Design Trends, Ideas + Inspiration

On Our Radar: Wood Wonders

Is there anything wood can’t do?

(I think there is a “what would wood do,” joke here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. So we’ll stick to what we know—wood as a design element).

Championed by classic Nordic design, mid-century modernists and HGTV shows alike, wood has nearly endless design possibilities to meet every style and taste. Natural wood is almost always an eye catcher, with its fluid texture and comforting tones. Done right, it’s warm and modern all at once. The versatility of wood has brought styles like rustic and farmhouse to sit right alongside modern and contemporary.

But if you skew on the more modern side of “rustic modern,” going full-on with the wood beams and shiplap might not be quite up your alley. That same dose of warmth can be achieved with unexpected wood accents in other areas—like lighting fixtures.

Wood has taken on new forms and styles in lighting, from straightforward pieces that pay tribute to its natural state to ones that slice, bend and carve it in ways that bring new life to the material. Here are a few ways wood lighting works especially well in a modern interior:

Keep it Pure + Simple

Wood is a rather effortless material, thanks to its multitude of finishes and grains. When paired with a straightforward silhouette, what appears simple at first actually becomes a striking piece of design.

The Scandinavians have embraced the organic look of wood for some time, typically in light-toned, natural forms. The simplicity draws attention to the au naturel vibe.

Into that wood beam look? Recreate it with a lighting fixture. The straightforward silhouette of a linear suspension bridges rustic with minimalist.

Angular, uncomplicated shapes are an ideal composition to let wood finishes shine.

Go Raw + Industrial

If you’re more into exposed beams and a hint of log cabin vibe, wood can take on a look that’s more urban industrial when paired with metal and shapes reminiscent of a modern erector set.

Sustainably sourced maple, walnut, pine, oak and redwood are the hallmark of Stickbulb’s lighting designs, each of which are inspired by the scraps of wood that would pile up in their workshop.

Geometric shapes bring an unexpected element, while strong wood finishes add a raw aesthetic kin to a loft setting.

The natural look of wood doesn’t have to mean simple, however. Bold design is easily achievable with a unique and dramatic fixture in a wood finish.

Channel Mother Nature

There may be no better way to celebrate the unique qualities of wood than to take it back to its roots. From flora-inspired designs to shapes evocative of seascapes, wood is well suited to bring a bit of the natural world into a space.

It could be argued that no one uses nature as a muse better than David Trubridge, whose artistic wood lighting designs primarily use sustainably sourced bamboo. The shadows and silhouettes of these fixtures recall various parts of nature, like forestry, the seaside, and botanicals.

Sweeping curves are a soft and less-than-expected take on wood, with nature’s influence seen clearly in this simple but striking design.

The pliability and lightness of wood veneer enables LZF to create lighting designs that evoke images of wind, water, clouds, or other elements of nature that play off of the same fluidity. The style of each fixture creates unique shadow and light play.

For more ways to bring the warmth of wood into your space, check out our favorite wood lighting fixtures at YLighting.

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Sarah Schaale

Sarah Schaale

Sarah is a Brand Marketing Manager for YDesign Group brands. A writer and editor at heart, she loves storytelling in all its forms and is a copious consumer of the Internet (for better or worse). In design, she finds inspiration in simplicity, warmth and all things Danish.

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