August 15, 2023

Avino's Guide to Wood in Interior Design and Architecture

Written by Michelle Martin

What are the different uses of wood in interior design and architecture? 

This bite-sized guide will lead you through the many properties and applications of different timber types and how they best suit interior design and architectural needs.



With its distinctive uniform texture, cosy aroma and natural resistance to decay, Cedar is an extremely durable timber type which doesn’t shrink or warp even when facing drastic weather changes. These attributes make Cedar one of the most suitable materials for external cladding, patio decking and even outdoor furniture. Cedar clad structures are increasingly popular in North America, where red and Atlantic white cedar grow, however, at higher altitudes, it can also be found in Lebanon and Cyprus, though they are considered different species.  



Throughout its dozens of species and with its signature rustic knots, pine is one of the world’s strongest timber types and the ideal material for a variety of elements, from furniture pieces to entire structures. Stiff, shock resistant and highly durable, pine can compete with hardwoods like oak in both aesthetic and practical uses and, when properly treated, can withstand external climatic challenges as well as any other wood. Thanks to these properties, pine is seen in most architectural moments such as windows, doors, and other spacial framings. 


Douglas Fir 

Part of the western, North American pine family, Douglas Fir is a softwood known for its pink and red tones. Also known as Oregon Pine, it is often used in architecture for external cladding, indoor walls, structural support beams, and even oversized cabinet surfaces as Douglas Fir’s stability and clean lines make it the perfect incorporation for contemporary living spaces. 



Found all across the northern hemisphere, spruce wood is one of the most used timber types both in construction and interior design. Sometimes confused with pine, spruce usually displays light off-white, creamy yellows and reddish colours. Being a softwood material, it is one of the easiest timbers to work with for both internal and external cladding, as well as carpentry elements such as oversized countertops or even room partitions. 



Better categorised a plant as opposed to a tree, Bamboo canes are used all across architecture and interior design both their natural and processed lumber-like form. Bamboo canes can be used for interior and exterior structural elements such as battening, doors, and room dividers, as well as furniture and home décor accessories. Due to its high sustainability, durability and strength, Bamboo has become an increasingly popular material in projects all over the world. 


Vertical timber louvres control internal temperature and light ingress



A beautifully pale hardwood with oak-like grains, ash timber is one of the most used materials for furniture and home accessories and ideal for bespoke kitchen designs as well as hardwood floors. Usually used for interior joineries such as doors, architraves and skirtings, and can also be seen in external Thermo Ash claddings on projects that wish to take advantage of its naturally greying colour. 



One of the coarsest textured timbers, fresh chestnut wood is used in many external configurations such as cladding, decking and outdoor landscaping as well as shading systems, due to its strength and elasticity and its natural resistance to the elements. On the other hand, dry chestnut is better utilised in joinery and furniture work. 



Undoubtedly the strongest and most durable timber of all, oak is a rich, naturally decay resistant wood and thus the ideal material for trusses, beams, and pillars. Thanks to its invaluable innate attributes, European oak is extremely useful in barn renovations, house extensions and solid garden structures as well as providing long lasting sustainable framings to windows, doors and claddings. 



Found across the entire north hemisphere, larch is renowned for its reddish brown colours and unique character. Tough, durable and naturally waterproof, larch is widely used outdoors for cladding, patios and external landscaping as well as providing high quality window and door finishes.  



One of the most interestingly patterned timbers, walnut is particularly known for its use in creating durable framings and unique facades, as well as interior elements such as staircases, bannisters and floorings. With its smooth surface and high shrinking resistance, walnut is highly regarded for joineries, bespoke furniture and home décor elements. 


Contact the Avino team today to explore our wide range of timber finishes!