Interior Design: What Woods Go Best in Your Space?

Whether renovating your current home or designing for a brand-new one, one of the top decisions you will need to make is what type of wood you use. Here are some of the most well-known wood species for home design. See what’s most up your alley, and take it from there!


This tightly grained, durable wood offers a look like none other, which is why so many contractors, designers, and furniture makers prefer it. White oak is more popular than red oak, but it’s also slightly more expensive. White oak tends to be pale in its beginning stages, but it may yellow over time, so experts recommend applying a tough and durable topcoat. If you’d like to save money, leaning on red oak isn’t a bad option. Just note that the porous wood will exhibit some pink hues.


Run your hands over an ash board, and you’ll immediately feel just how smooth the wood is. Though silky and lightweight, ash is not considered a softwood; it is highly durable for just about any furniture creation, but it does have one unique twist: It is very flexible.


Creamy hues with golden undertones make this wood species incredibly versatile in its finishing capabilities. Maple can take on any stain or paint color; the finishes seep deep into the wood, creating a uniform look throughout. Maple is a top wood selection for modern furniture, thanks to its affordability and strength.


Beautiful and durable, with straight grain and delicate reddish-brown tones, mahogany is particularly popular for bedroom furniture, as it darkens over time. Mahogany also lends itself to outdoor furniture due to its ability to withstand all weather conditions (it does not crack quickly under pressurized cold or heat). Mahogany is hard enough to stand the test of time but has the right amount of softness for woodcarvers to mold it into different shapes.


A favored classic, walnut is the perfect wood for any high-impact area of the home. A beautiful coffee table made in walnut will last decades, if not centuries, due to its hard and durable reputation. Walnut is most commonly found in dark browns and purple-like hues, with its graining popping out for all to admire. Walnut is one of the priciest woods on the market, but its unique aura doesn’t stop people from buying it!


Cherry wood is naturally reddish-pink and light brown, but it deepens and becomes more vibrant over time. Cherry is a relatively inexpensive wood for dining tables, coffee tables, beds, and accent pieces. The rippling effect within the wood, combined with its straight graining, suggests this particular species is fluidly elegant.

Which of these woods is your favorite?

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