Ultramodern Interior Design – Using WOOD!
As a design philosophy the ultramodern approach poses a unique set of challenges to both the architect and the interior designer. To create a building that seems to both belong to the space it inhabits and meet the requirements of the owner,careful use of shape, line, texture, and materials is required. Take that challenge into the kitchen and you face the added complexity of creating both function and form in a room that will bear the brunt of dinner party demands and are home to many a budding chef (who don’t take kindly to poor design).
Clean lines and sharp minimal use of space are only part of this picture. Space must be available for utensils and appliances, while areas for food preparation and serving must be in keeping with the overall design. Material, as is the case with all interior design, will make a huge difference to how the eye judges the light. How light works with the surfaces can have a marked effect on the all-important flow of one line to the next.
Where in this balance is there space for wood? With the potential for grain to take the carefully placed “less is more” environment and create confusion, wood must be used with care. I’d like to take a few excellent examples of where wood has been used in ultramodern design and pick apart why it works.
Old Style but still Ultramodern
The wood here works with both the style it conjures up and the choice of a very knotted timber to make formless, seemingly random, patterns. A segmented feeling from the way the beams close in at the centre give the whole space form and the island unit gives function to the room as a work zone. The wooden floor keeps to the old shaker feel while the exposed end brick work makes for a fantastic change of pattern and ties into the slate tile used in the fore.
Image courtesy of Houzz.
Encapsulating a monochromatic design, here it is the floor that is the star of the show. The dark wood brings a polished depth to make sure that all the light in the room does not risk overwhelming the eye. Blue glass accents in the lighting add just a touch of colour while the patterned backboard to the cooker creates a break in the white surfaces.
Using Wood as the Standout Detail
Here, using a raised top in Iroko, it is wood that takes the back seat and provides some standout detail. The change of tone from man-made to natural works well.
Sometimes it is the tone of wood, and the way it catches the eye, that proves useful in a design. By raising it from the primary work surface, this Iroko wooden top acts almost like a shadow oraccent to the main white counter top.
One Material, Many Uses
Wood then can be used in a multitude of ways in ultramodern design. As a primary surface on the floor or ceiling, timber based materials can direct light and the eye to other details while softening high gloss surfaces that reflect light. It can be used to evoke a particular design philosophy from another era while being flexible enough to cut to any shape needed to keep the required lines and ultramodern design philosophy. In this way wood can be made the centre of attention, or it can meld more into the background to give other surfaces the chance to come to the fore.
For those that seek that ultramodern look in the kitchen, wood can lend itself to many differentshapes and looks, juxtapositioning a timeless richness and depth to almost any other surfaces or material.
About the Author: Jon Buck has been managing director at Bordercraftsince 1996. During this time he has overseen projects from a single drawer front for a local customer through to a complete Oak panelled office for a multi-national corporation in Japan. In his spare time Jon is a keen runner and loves travel and red wine in equal measures. You can connect with Bordercraft on Facebook.