Materials 101: The Versatility of Wood with Manomin Resawn Timbers

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picture by Spatialship

Kitchen design by Tays & Co. Design Studios, with reclaimed wood elements sourced from Manomin Resawn Timbers.

Choosing wood tones that complement the many colors and styles found in a home can be difficult. But for Sarah Londerville, the owner of Manomin split wood at Hugo, the versatility of these wood tones is both fascinating and liberating. “We can take the same wood and create five different looks,” says Londerville. The exact same material can elevate a traditional farmhouse-style abode, a timber-framed cabin, or a contemporary-style home. After all, as Londerville puts it, “The floor becomes the base pallet to begin with, and the client builds from that pallet.”

So what materials should this foundation be? Recent years have seen the growing popularity of light, natural wood tones. Ten years ago, popular wood styles and tones mirrored gray and white color trends in interior design. Although Londerville predicts that blondes and medium browns will continue to be in style over the next five years, she appreciates the flexibility of wood to become whatever it needs. “I think everyone has their own taste of what they like,” she says. “We even did regular oak in a mid-century modern house. It’s something that might not have been done back then, but now you can do it with the right color.

For Londerville, it’s all a matter of personal preference when choosing between light, natural and darker tones. “Lighter tones can bring warmth to a space,” she says. But darker tones “can provide a rich contrast between dark and light colors in walls and furniture.” Londerville also sees the appeal of mixing wood tones and thinks it’s popular to mix at least two types in the home.

Londerville is also a respected expert in reclaimed wood. The reclamation process is often intensive, requiring meticulous conservation of timber from centuries-old barns, bridges and industrial buildings. And while having reclaimed hardwood floors may seem contradictory to clients looking to include modern elements in their homes, Londerville says reclaimed wood can actually balance out these contemporary themes.

Hoping for a more vintage look? Londerville recommends selecting antique oak. This wood has a rich patina – a natural finish – creating a unique weathered look. If you’re aiming for a more modern aesthetic, antique elm can give your floor an alluring sheen. Antique ash and maple also lend themselves well to the contemporary vibe, often displaying gorgeous warm brown hues.

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