What is so special about oak wood? Plenty. First, oak is a hardwood. It is very durable, and because of its hardness and durability, it is and has always been a very popular wood for home furnishings.
What is so special about oak wood? Plenty.
First, oak is a hardwood. It is very durable, and because of its hardness and durability, it is and has always been a very popular wood for home furnishings.
Oak is thick and has a deep grain, and when it is stained, the grain stands out beautifully. Oak wood is less expensive than other hardwoods, such as cherry or teak, and that's another reason for its popularity.
The strength and durability of oak has been employed for centuries. The keel and framework of large sailing ships were made of oak. Horse-drawn carriages were made of oak. Wagon wheels were made of oak. Oak was good then, and is still good now.
What are some of the current applications of oak wood? Let's start with the floor. Oak is a great choice for a floor covering. This wood does not chip easily, and it has a very long life. The longevity of oak also lends itself to timelessness because it never goes out of style. Its grain pattern gives the home a welcome and homey feeling. And when the years of wear begin to show, simply sand it and refinish, and it's as good as new.
Oak paneling on the wall creates a cozy den. Whether the oak goes a third of the way up the wall or covers the entire wall, it creates a nesting feeling and a sense of warmth and comfort.
What about oak furniture? There's nothing like solid oak furniture, whether it's simply a cocktail table or an entire bedroom set.
Don't forget about the dining table and chairs. Unfinished-furniture stores sell oak furnishings that you can stain to a custom finish all your own. This is the type of thing heirlooms are made of.
What about that front door? That is a fabulous application for oak wood. A solid oak front door emits strength and warmth. It makes a wonderful first impression.
Oak accessories, such as wood trim on the walls, baseboards and crown moldings, are well-accepted flourishes. Don't forget about shelves, plant stands, picture frames, that fireplace mantel and kitchen cabinets.
Oak is a small word with big uses.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.