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How to Get the Rustic Look

Rustic wood furnishings bring the outdoors to your interior. They blend right in with a barn conversion or country home, introduce fresh raw materials into an industrial style loft, or bring a touch of nature to an urban abode.

There are several different ways to achieve a more rustic look for your home with wooden furniture.

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Natural character features

Character features are natural markings on wood such as tiger stripes, knots and colour variations. Every piece of wood is unique, but pronounced character features will make your wood furniture seem truly one of a kind. Character is most likely to be found in solid wood.

Cracking, or "checking", is another character feature. As wood seasons, it shrinks and swells. Different parts of the wood shrink and swell at different rates, and the inside takes longer to dry than the outside. These differences create stresses in the wood which can cause it to split or crack. Cracking is harmless in most cases, and succeeds at giving the wood a more rustic look. The Olette range uses cracked oak in its design, giving a barn conversion or country home a dramatic twist.

Does more character mean a lower quality product?

Wood with character features is considered lower grade than wood with few character features, and is less expensive as a result. However, that doesn't make it low quality or any less sturdy — it's just that the look of character wood isn't for everyone, and high grade wood such as prime oak is popular for its consistent coloration. The difference is purely aesthetic and will not influence the longevity of your furniture.

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Unusual woods

Unusual woods can also offer a distinctive look. An interesting woodgrain or unusual coloration can make a piece of furniture truly unforgettable. The East Indian walnut in our Giovanny range has a stunning dark finish. This contrasts beautifully with the brass detail in the collection and accentuates the markings on the wood.

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Live edge furniture

Also known as a waney edge, live edge wood furniture includes the natural edge of the wood as part of the design. An example of this can be found on our Gainsville sideboard. The bottom of the drawers and the tops of the cupboard doors both feature a live edge, giving the piece a more natural look. A live edge is also a unique feature, as no two pieces of wood will have the same natural edge.

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Reclaimed timbers

Brimming with natural and manmade character, reclaimed timbers are old timbers that have been repurposed for something new, making them an environmentally friendly addition to your home. They will likely be weathered and distressed, and may feature scratches, old nail holes, and even brand marks in certain cases. All of these features are signs of your furniture's previous life.

Our Chelsea furniture range pairs recycled wood tops with stainless steel cross bases for a stylish modern look.

Is reclaimed wood less durable than new wood?

Reclaimed wood is actually more reliable than new wood. Splitting occurs in wooden furniture when the wood expands and contracts in response to changes in moisture levels in the environment. Old wood has already expanded and contracted many times over the course of its life, so it will move less than new wood and is therefore less likely to split.

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Rustic design and craftsmanship

Wood furniture can also be crafted to have a more rustic feel. The Quebec textured door wide sideboard is a brilliant example of this. The raised panels on its doors and alternating woodgrain add depth and give the piece more texture. The result is a show-stopping piece of storage with a rich mid-tone finish.

Get the rustic look

To see more of our rustic furniture, explore our website or visit one of our showrooms.

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