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How to Warm Up a Bedroom With Wood

Snuggle up in a space made cosy by this most versatile and beautiful of materials

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The warmest finish for interiors? It’s wood that beats others hands down. Raw finishes, original beams and solid furniture are the images that spring to mind – and for good reason. But more contemporary takes on wood, and more unusual ways to introduce it, can have the same effect of making a space feel cosier without necessarily going down the country-style route if that’s not your bag… or maybe it is. Whether a rustic or sleek bedroom tickles your fancy, these schemes should give you ideas for your own space.

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Take a shortcut
A simple wood bedside table and a chair that shows its wear with pride are the details that count in this bedroom. Unmatching finishes aren’t an issue – they add to the simple charm.

Genuine age is not compulsory: get the same effect as this chair by painting then sanding back to bare wood in the areas where it would naturally become worn.

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Shine on
In this room, a mango wood wardrobe introduces a natural note to a scheme that’s contemporary (and so does the wood on the headboard). The wardrobe has a simple design, but the steel detailing gives it modern gloss.

Take a leaf from this room’s book if you’re showing off art and fit lighting that highlights what’s hung on the walls.

More beautiful freestanding wardrobes

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Here’s another take on a wooden headboard, with the pair created with vertical planks that echo the wide boards of the floor. Painted in white, the vertical wood wall panelling behind lets the headboards’ natural finish stand out.

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Keep it bare
Lucky enough to have exposed beams in a bedroom? To maximise their warming benefit, keep the finish natural and step away from white paint or dark stains.

If you’ve inherited dark beams, take care in stripping old finishes. Avoid aggressive removal measures that can damage them or leave them looking less than lovely. Chemical strippers can help, but always check they’re suitable for the job, and try a test in an area that won’t show first. If in doubt, call in a conservation professional for advice.

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Step back
Original features can provide the wood that warms. In this conversion of a stable block, the internal partitions were refurbished for a room that blends old and new.

Tour the rest of this converted stable block

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Stripping back also let the features in this home make their presence felt, and the contemporary look remains sympathetic to the cottage’s period.

Beware of removing the character from wood if you’re making a link with the past. Small dents and marks are part of the history, so avoid repairing them.

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Be in your element
This bed’s close to nature with legs that look as if they’ve come straight from the forest and a headboard that swaps straight lines all over for a gently wavy top. Style is as high up the agenda as rusticity, though, with geometric bed linen in an on-trend grey and yellow combination.

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Swap wallpaper for wood
Ash cladding hides storage in this room and gives a shot of organic warmth against the silvery greys of the furniture and floor. Wood veneers can create regular patterns, like this one, standing in for wallpaper where intricacy’s required.

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Go with the grain
Floors and doors create opportunities to introduce wood to bedroom schemes, and here both show off beautiful grain (you can see the reflection of the door in the mirror). A gloss finish to flooring can up the look-at-me index even further.

Individual woods have distinctive grain patterns, so check out generously sized samples before settling on a timber.

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Fall for darks
Wood is not just a warming addition because it’s natural and isn’t cool to touch. In this room, a rich chocolate tone for panelling does its bit alongside the blush shade of bed linen.

Repeat the look by using walnut, which boasts rich browns and even purplish shades.

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Lay another way
A feature wall panelled in wood can transform a room, and here a featheredge cladding, or weatherboard-style wood arrangement (horizontal overlapping boards more usually seen on an exterior), are an unusual take on a favourite.

Boards laid this way can make a room feel wider. Want to make the bedroom look loftier? Use timber cladding with vertical boards to draw the eye upwards.

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Get the look
Here’s a lesson in trompe l’oeil: concrete with the appearance and tactility of wood proves that even the suggestion of timber can bring its benefits. Real wood can be used to make an imprint in concrete so the appearance is natural even if the material isn’t.

How have you use wood in your bedroom? Tell/show us in the Comments section.
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