As the world gets smaller and our ideas get bigger many of us now opt to import our furniture, home ware and crafts from Scandinavia, East Asia and elsewhere. On our own doorsteps however lies a beautiful, versatile and timeless material ideal for most domestic requirements. Seen in England, Europe and North America the deciduous beech tree has many uses including firewood, smoking cheese, making beer and furniture. The wood is a heavy, pale-coloured, medium-to-hard material with a delicate and fine grain similar to maple or birch. Beech’s relatively hard wearing properties and high shock resistance lends the material particularly well for frequently used pieces such as chairs, stools, flooring and tables. Furthermore, the wood stains effectively and easily enabling you to incorporate pieces in to your current design and colour scheme.
As beech is such a readily available material you will not struggle to find a wide range of styles and pieces for your home. Beech’s lighter colour yet solid and textured surface makes the material a beautiful addition to any design scheme. Consider a traditional farmhouse dining table, classic tall back dining chairs or a more contemporary box bed frame. These additions will add elegance, charm and comfort to your home whilst their more angular properties will maintain the crisp and clean finish required.
Available from most furniture companies it is also possible to personalise your furniture with handles, knobs and upholstery. For a contemporary apartment or home choose concealed, brushed steel or gloss handles and knobs. The cool colour of the wood will sit to complement the man made and linear finish of these objects. For a more traditional finish choose cast iron, ceramic or wooden handles and knobs that coordinate with the age and style of your property. Finally, to add an extra level of detail dress the furniture with tassels, pom-poms, crystals or ribbon for an Eastern or English Country feel. For seating and bed heads the soft yet stylish beech colour will ensure that almost any shade or type of fabric will not clash with the wood. Use leather, faux suede, velvet or printed cotton to upholster your furniture in keeping with your overall design scheme. If you are feeling confident buy an upholstery gun and some padding and do it yourself or alternatively hire a professional to finish the job. If you would prefer a less permanent seat pad or cushion why not make your own in coordinating fabrics, cords and textures. Finish these off with matching tassels, pom-poms or ribbon that you used to decorate your handles.
As described beech is a hard wearing, subtly striking and versatile wood which can complement most design schemes; contemporary or modern. If appropriate do not alter the natural character or colour of the wood and instead decorate with small yet effective accessories. Embrace the chunky charm and individuality or each piece of wood and use it to add an element of comfort and tradition in to your home.