Trend Alert: Goodbye Pale Wood, Hello Rich Timber Tones
by Carlisle Homes
Cosy up your home with the latest trend for walnut and other rich, dark timber tones in joinery and furniture.
Our homes are our sanctuaries – now more than ever, given the upheavals of the last couple of years. Comfort and cosiness are driving forces behind 2022 design trends, with rich, grounding colours, shapely furniture and natural textures coming to the fore.
As a result, the bleached-out timbers we’ve been loving for the past decade or so are taking a backseat to dark and dramatic timbers, such as walnut. Bold yet cocooning, these rich timber tones are guaranteed to bring a touch of luxury to your interior.
Here, our expert interior designers reveal how and where to work them into your home, and how to style them to create a look you’ll love.
Rich, earthy palettes on the rise
Pale timbers are ideal for creating open, light-enhancing interiors, but if it’s warmth and impact you’re after, nothing compares with a richly grained dark timber.
Walnut, blackened oak and elm, and black birchply add sophistication to your interiors, elevating functional elements such as kitchen joinery and flooring to statement features. And they pair beautifully with this season’s earth-drawn colours, creating a home that feels cosy and thoroughly on-trend. Discover Dulux’s calm and cocooning Restore palette here.
Where to use dark timber
Bring hotel-style luxury to your bathroom with a vanity in walnut, paired with chic, matt-black tapware and rich grey stone tiles; add warmth to your kitchen or laundry by contrasting dark timber joinery with pale grey Caesarstone benchtops; or make a statement in your lounge or family room with a custom-joinery wall in a blackened oak finish against warm-white walls.
Turn your bedroom into a cocooning retreat by specifying dark timber for your wardrobe doors, coupled with a charcoal-painted feature wall and a luxurious velvet-upholstered bedhead. Or make a study nook or home office more inviting with a built-in or freestanding desk in walnut, finished off with warm-grey carpet and upholstered seating.
Joinery isn’t your only option; consider a striking dark timber floor for the hardworking parts of your home such as the kitchen, meals area and lounge (added bonus: dark tones are incredibly forgiving in a family home!) Or set an opulent tone with a rich timber staircase in your entry, complemented with a timber-framed front door and large-format stone floor tiles.
You can create cohesion by using the same dark timber species throughout your home. Or, if you prefer, add an intriguing, layered look by mixing various dark timber tones in different rooms.
Brown-based colour palettes inspired by nature are key for 2022, and they sit beautifully alongside rich timber tones. Think earthy browns, greige, gentle off-whites and soft, pebble greys for walls, and upholstery, art and accessories in rich greens, terracotta and sky blue.
Natural, organic textures, such as limewashed or Venetian plastered walls or Zellige wall tiles used as a splashback in a laundry or bathroom, create a subtle sense of contrast and bring in another layer of richness and tactility.
Up the comfort factor by layering different tones of the same hue across your walls and soft furnishings, and bringing in a medley of different textures, such as sumptuous velvet, slubby linens and chunky wool carpet.
Or create a crisp, tailored look by contrasting dark timber tones with off-white walls and soft-grey stone benchtops and tiling.
How to style & accessorise dark timbers
Keep the focus on comforting shapes and honest, natural materials. Dispense with sharp edges and instead choose furniture with curved, organic lines and rounded edges in natural materials such as timber and linen. Soften the look further with sculptural lighting and handcrafted decorative pieces.