Tag Archives: wood

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How to Choose Your Kitchen Island

The kitchen island, once considered an item designed solely for functionality, has become an integral part of home décor. How do you choose from the abundance of materials and functions for this staple item?

The kitchen island has become a key element in almost every modern kitchen, combining style and functionality. There are many options to consider when choosing your kitchen island. Here are some ideas.

Originally, the island consisted of a practical space on which meals were prepared. Eventually, it became a multipurpose piece of furniture that included elements such as a prepping station, sink, dishwasher, stove, small fridge, hot plate, oven, integrated cutting board and even a counter used for enjoying meals.

Furniture is decorative – and the kitchen island is no exception. Some kitchens have massive islands made of high-quality wood, anchored with sturdy legs, adorned with decorative detailing, topped with grill paneling or comprised of frosted glass when used as a storage unit. The island is the central focus point of the space, often standing out in comparison to other pieces in the kitchen. Continue reading

The ecological virtues of wood

Wood is the only fully renewable material and it has the ability to fix carbon dioxide, an important asset in the planetary fight against global warming.

Wood is a living being and therefore has a great ability to adapt to outdoor conditions: light, heat, humidity.

Despite its light weight, wood is resistant. It ages well, like good wine, and has no problem passing through the centuries, making it one of the most sustainable materials.

Do you want to join the ecological turnaround? You can’t go wrong with wood. But you need a minimum of knowledge so you don’t get mislead.

The ideal ecological product meets four requirements: the material comes from the region you live in, it is manufactured nearby, it is healthy and durable and can be recycled. Wood meets these requirements hands down.

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But the ideal ecological world doesn’t exist yet. For now, we have to try to be as ecological as possible. On top of that is added a fairly major variable: the budget. Some products are financially accessible, others not so much. The same goes for wood.

Wood has multiple uses: siding, frame, skeleton, parquet, panelling, furniture. But you have to be careful when decoration comes into play. Mahogany, teak and ebony are formidable and highly esthetic woods, but they have a lower ecological virtue than maple or oak because they come from outside the country. Pine on the other hand is highly recommended. Continue reading

Treat wood naturally

Natural wood is ecological, but it has to be treated if you want to keep it looking good for a long time, especially if the woodwork has to face the rigours of the weather. Indoors, bare parquet could be dangerous for obvious reasons.

You always have the option of buying prefinished parquet, which will save you the finishing work: manual labour, odour of the product used, long wait before walking on the floor.

If you decide to treat your wood on your own, it’s preferable to avoid synthetic products in favour of natural products, such as varnish without solvent. Don’t play with your health. A toxic product can release noxious vapours for several months, even if your nose can’t detect them.

There are four major type of wood finish: varnish, lacquer, oil and wax.

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Varnish stays on the surface of the wood. It has a strictly protective role. Perfect for furniture, applicable for parquet. However, you have to be patient when the time comes to refinish, because you have to sand the entire surface. Continue reading

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Naturally warm

It helps to protect the ozone layer. It’s completely renewable. Durable? Not a question worth asking. Some of the oldest constructions in the world owe their longevity to this product. And what about its decorative qualities! Wood impresses us century after century.

It is often said that nature provides us with the best decorative material: wood, stone, bamboo, slate. Maybe because they are rough, authentic, without pretence. In an era of green housing and natural decoration, they are more popular than ever.

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Before the green wave, wood was seen as a traditional material that succeeded in lasting over time. Why? Because there’s nothing like it to warm up an atmosphere. The presence of wood evokes our grandmother’s kitchens, tea time or daydreaming in front of candles. Not surprising that fans of peace homes appreciate wood.

Wood has a thick skin. It has resisted all decoration revolutions. Even contemporary decors have ended up adopting it. You just have to turn the pages of the bibles of this decorative style to see for yourself: wood is omnipresent. Continue reading

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The concrete revolution

Do you not like concrete? It’s grey, cold, ugly, uniform, old fashioned. You don’t even like the word “concrete”. But concrete has come a long way in the last few years! The proof: there is concrete that generates light because of the luminous fibre optics it contains. Want to hear more?

There is translucent concrete which allows the natural light to shine through, self-cleaning and depolluting concrete, concrete that sparkles, concrete that reproduces photos, concrete that changes colour. All of this could be flooding the market soon.

Good old traditional concrete is easy to maintain, resistant, waterproof, solid. Originally reserved for industrial buildings and architecture, concrete has become a popular decorative material in the last few years.

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Concrete is not a noble material, but it highlights natural materials like wood, stone and slate. As a floor covering, it fits easily with any of these materials to ensure variety when it comes to flooring. It has even been used to complement terra cotta tiles. Continue reading