Houses have seen a steady increase in the use of decorative timber in recent years, as homeowners search for a deeper connection to the earth and nature indoors.
Indeed, the materials surrounding us on a daily basis have a bearing on our mood, and the beauty and unique characteristics of wood are being embraced for this reason. While some building materials can look hard and cold, the warmth of timber brings a sense of nature and wellbeing into the home, and often oozes luxury.
The way their patterns mimic nature and help achieve a sense of wellbeing is at the core of biophilic design.Far from being a mere trend, architects are now incorporating biophilic design into standard residential buildings. By leveraging natural materials such as wood and stone, homeowners can achieve visual connections with nature without necessarily having outdoor spaces. This can also be done by utilising organic and biomorphic shapes and forms: live plants, earthy textures and colours, natural lighting and ventilation.
"Home owners are not only looking for sustainable design, but an all-encompassing holistic approach to style and functionality as well as health and wellness in their homes," says John Lorente, general manager of Big River Group. "With an increase in apartment living and smaller house footprints, we are seeing a rise in the use of decorative timbers on walls and ceilings being specified as part of the design element to enhance the living space. There's a myriad of timbers available depending on where it will be used in the home and the texture and colour the homeowner likes."
The warmth of timber brings a sense of nature and wellbeing into the home, and often oozes luxury.
From the natural blonde of birch and hoop pine, to the deep rustic tones of spotted gum and walnut colourings of blackbutt, Big River Group has a variety of naturally beautiful timber options that are known for their interesting texture and hard-wearing finish.
The company's extensive use of Plytech birch for interior walls, ceilings and cabinetry merges interior and exterior spaces throughout the home. The premium decorative panel is constructed using high-grade finish birch veneer to ensure a consistent high-quality finish, which blends beautifully into its surroundings.
A prime example of timber in its element is the award-winning Victorian project, 'Taking it to the Bank' by JFK Design (pictured). All the internal timber is a variation of Big River Group's spotted gum plywood, including window reveals, kitchen carcasses, kitchen joinery and wall panelling. The custom joinery units also act as furniture, with various items including the bookcase and concealed desk in the guest room/study.
"The plywood has been a linking feature throughout the home, connecting each expertly crafted space and adding a depth and richness to the overall design. The result is a contemporary and stylish apartment with a focus on livability, and a home that is a pleasure to live in," says JFK Design's founder, Jackson Fitzroy-Kelly. "We chose Big River plywood for its durability, unique finish, bespoke application and Australian origins."
When it comes to cabinetry and joinery, Big River's ArmourCab also achieves a natural aesthetic. Part of a new generation of engineered Australian decorative wood panelling, it's available in blackbutt, spotted gum and hoop pine timber finishes, each with its own natural colour and markings.
Meanwhile, decorative plywood Armourpanel is another popular choice in domestic properties, thanks to its distinctly natural appeal and durability, which make it ideal for use in hard-wearing areas, such as flooring, wall panelling, screening, cabinetry, ceiling linings and joinery. "In maintaining the natural characteristics of the selected wood species, every Armourpanel sheet offers an individual and natural look, with the species' unique grain structures being preserved so no two sheets look alike," says Lorente.