Why wood is so popular for contemporary interior design

Wood is like wine; it just gets better with age and never seems to lose its beauty. Even with the increasing number of modern materials, we prefer wood for our contemporary interiors. But why are interior designers faithful to using wood in their projects? What makes them so passionate about it?

Why use wood for interior design?

Wood has been used for centuries to create homes and objects that reside inside them – from traditional wooden floors to building-quality furniture.

Alongside the variety of use cases, wood has other fascinating properties:

  • It is strong and durable, making it a long-lasting choice.
  • It is easy to use both for professional builders and DIY fans.
  • It has great properties. Ashpine, teak, oak, beech, mahogany, and every other type of wood (especially thermowood) have their distinct style, unique appearance and qualities.
  • Wood is a natural material and if it is obtained certified, e.g. by FSC or PEFC, it shows that it comes from responsibly managed forests, thus contributing to sustainable forest management.

Combined with the woods’ delicate and warm appearance, these strengths make it the ideal contemporary style interior design and decor material. Over the last years, there has been increasing use of wood in modern design, as sustainability considerations gain importance and biophilic style is trending in interior design.

Plastic has become a widely available material, cheap, easy to process and maintain. However, wood has remained a popular design style material. Wood enriches a space’s interior and is pleasing to the eye adding contemporary flair.

Incorporating biophilic design principles

Interior designers and architects have long been passionate about working with wooden materials. As sustainability becomes more important, architects try to incorporate biophilic design principles into architecture and interior design. Adding plants and wooden accents is one of the easiest ways to bring nature into your living space.

However, the contemporary design movement has favoured the use of wood for several reasons, including wood is the perfect complement to other materials mentioned above. Constantly evolving trends inspire employers increasingly choose wood in offices’ open spaces. Because research has demonstrated that similar to the way indoor plants can help ease stress, using indoor natural wood surfaces can also improve physiological health.

It was revealed that 82% of workers who were exposed to eight or more wooden surfaces in their office were either satisfied or very satisfied with their work, compared with only 53% of workers with no wooden surfaces present in their workplace. Wooden interiors, neutral colors and natural elements improve employees’ job satisfaction, stimulate creativity, and increase efficiency.

With our move towards remote working due to the global pandemic, designers have increasingly adopted to create this nature-inspired atmosphere into the home. Wood is being used in contemporary style interior design in several forms, from the entire structure or merely architectural elements and excessive carved details within the home.


Let’s take a look at the benefits wood offers to interiors

1. Durability

As mentioned above, wood is incredibly durable, making it a favourite of many interior designers. As a natural material, small differences in texture and neutral colors are part of the beauty of wood. It is also one of the natural materials that age very well and is low maintenance. This makes wood suitable both for domestic and commercial spaces. With the right treatment, wood can be used also in wet rooms like bathrooms or spas and also in a contemporary kitchen.

2. Eco-friendly

Wood is a natural material and less damaging to the environment than some other indoor decorative materials. Processing wood releases less carbon that can be otherwise harmful to the environment and our health.

Furthermore, wood has outstanding insulating properties, thus incorporating it into your home will ensure space is cooled or heated nicely. Plus, it can absorb excessive noise, making it a better place for your mental wellbeing.

3. Affordability

When you compare the benefits of adopting wood in your home instead of its price, you will be amazed. Wood has a very good price and quality ratio to be used in interior design. For example, creating a statement wall in your dining room or enhancing neutral shades in a contemporary-style bathroom doesn’t require much material and the installation is also quick and easy.

4. Aesthetic adaptability

Not only is wood aesthetically pleasing, but you can also design and use it in different ways to give charm, warmth, and earthiness to a space. From decking to cladding to flooring, wood is a superb material for many contemporary designers. When used the right way, wood can transform a space into a sanctuary.

Wood surfaces can easily be treated with bold colors to brighten up the interior or sanded to get the original neutral tones back afterwards.

Thermally modified wood has rich tones, making it an alternative to exotic wood.

5. A source of design inspiration

Besides the soothing properties wood brings to an area, it is one of the natural materials that can be adapted to provide a different look and aesthetic. Combining different profiles allow you to add visual interest and tactile qualities to a room. Timber gives an opportunity to enhance living space with clean geometric shapes or streamlined silhouettes, earthy palettes or bold colors.

Wood can be polished, sanded, painted, and given a glossy finish if needed. From Thermory’s collection, Ignite has a black embossed surface that resembles charred wood but thanks to modern technology, leaves no residue. Drift has an aged, weathered, barn-house look that gives a rustic feeling to a contemporary interior.

Even if you decide not to modify the wood, it can still be crafted into several designs and features that can highlight its features and aesthetic. Wood is perfect to compliment any style, decor and color tone.

Use cases for using wood in modern interior design

Wooden floors

Wooden floors typically refer to parquet flooring. A parquet wooden floor provides a touch of elegance and additional warmth in your home. Thermowood flooring panels come in various thicknesses, lengths and widths, all able to add something to your home, office or restaurant.

Wooden walls and wood panelling

Wood is ideal for walls and panelling. Whether indoors for a contemporary bedroom or dining room, outside for effect on a veranda, wooden cladding allows you to create a private but beautiful space to look at. Wood is a good material for creating statement walls or structural elements and giving the room an accent. As a natural material, it instantly adds warmth and natural light to an interior.

Wooden contemporary style furniture

Classic furniture is typically made of wood, although plenty of plastic options still occupy our homes. It’s thought that wood only has a specific look and colour, yet wood comes in a plethora of colours, finishes and formats.

Thermory Ignite kitchen island

Wooden ceilings

Heavy, wooden beams typically supported the first floor in older houses. In present-day design, they are used as a contemporary design to highlight a room’s interior, not only for a classic look. Actually, modern wood ceilings are now a popular choice for contemporary-style home enthusiasts.

Wooden doors and stairs

Unless you’re using glass or plastic, an internal door is typically made of wood. Some builders choose to finish interior doors with a layer of paint whilst installing beautiful wood doors to let the wooden structure shine through. This also applies to wooden stairs. A wooden stairway is stunning and low-maintenance, and wood properties last for years.


Wood walls in a sauna give them warmth and inviting appeal. Still, physical appearance is not the primary reason for these wooden foundational elements. The hot, moist air in a sauna would easily damage plaster or drywall, which lacks wood’s resilience and durability. Thermowood varieties are better than other alternatives because it stays cooler and does not get hot to the touch.

Wood’s interior aesthetics are timeless

When it comes to modern interior design, wood is a classic and timeless material choice that will remain in design styles for years to come.

Wood is versatile and adaptable as a contemporary interior design material. Wood can look rustic and modern, yet still, offer warmth and homeliness wherever it is applied – in a contemporary home or office.

Because wood is this exquisite material with its universal and versatile character, it can easily combine with other materials and textures – this is why it has become so popular for contemporary and modern design.

Why not check out Thermory’s vast array of wooden products to make your contemporary home feel warm and look fantastic.

Related posts

Thermory Benchmark Ash Cladding Noa restaurant

Let your creativity loose with the playfulness of Thermory’s mix and match profiles

Combining different wood species, finishes and profiles brings variety to any interior or exterior design, delivering a tantalizing injection of texture and...

Accent wall

How Wood Slat Walls Are Transforming Interiors

A new high-rise trend has taken over households around the world. Wood slat walls have aesthetic appeal and offer visual interest both indoors and outdoors....

Ribbed wall cladding interior

A unique way to use ribbed panels in the interior

Creating a beautiful interior is all about finding that magical balance between colours, textures and materials. Interior architect Reet Helisabeth Karm...

Thermory Drift cladding

Thermory Design Awards: winning projects

Thermory Design Awards is part of Thermory 25 celebrations for acknowledging and rewarding our...

Thermory Decor Mosaic tiles_medium

True Eye Catchers in Any Room: Mosaic Tiles from Thermally Modified Ash

Choosing materials for you home design may seem a straightforward task: wallpaper for the rooms, ceramic tiles for the bathroom, painted walls for the hall,...

The positive impact of wood on health and well-being

Wood is a sustainable and versatile material with an almost limitless range of uses, including construction, tools, paper and fuel to name just a few. But...

Sourcing: not every tree makes the grade

Ensuring the highest quality with the smallest possible ecological footprint and responsible use of resources are all principles that we consider important...

Thermory Benchmark thermo-pine cladding

A closer look at wood as a building material

Throughout the history of architecture, surely no other material has been as influential as wood. It’s rare to see a building that’s been produced...

Thermory Benchmark thermo-ash decking and cladding, Maidla Nature Resort in Estonia

Biophilic design – for what and whom?

A trend is taking root in the worlds of architecture and interior design based on using natural materials and living plants to better...

Thermory Ignite cladding, New American Home, Nevada USA, Photo Jeffrey A. Davis Photography

Get creative: Imaginative uses of wood for interior design

With its natural appeal, wood is great for decorating any home and the ways that this versatile material can be used are almost limitless. Adding character...

Kodiak by Thermory

Haptic properties of wood

The wood-paneled interiors so common to mid-century homes have become sought after again, as many seek the warm, cozy feeling that the natural material...

Thermory Motion wall panels

17 ways to make your tiny home look bigger

Live small, be happy? The next big thing that has emerged is the Tiny Home Movement. However, just because their homes are small and contain less, it...

Thermory Benchmark thermo-ash cladding D4 and D4sg2, developer Interfaca

HOME TOUR: modern country house in the Netherlands

The location of this particularly beautiful modern country house is unlikely. Hidden in the forest, you arrive at a clearing with endless views over the...

Thermory Benchmark thermo-ash cladding D31 and Thermory Shingles thermo-ash shingle panel, ÖÖD house

How the tiny house movement has led to sustainable living

The tiny house movement has gained more momentum in the last decade, but why? It is based on tiny living: owning less so that what you own doesn’t own...

Projects related to this post

Order samples