Saturday, November 04, 2006

There is no substitute for woodwork

If you're thinking about building in the Arts & Crafts or Adirondack style, you cannot underestimate the importance of woodwork. Wood creates depth, presence and texture, even in a small home. It can instantly transform a new house into something that seems to have decades of history behind it. It humanizes any space. When we were picking stain colors for all of our woodwork, we went rather dark, inspired by the Centennial finish that Stickley currently offers. Everyone tried to talk us out of it: our contractor, our cabinetmaker and even our architect. And yet, once all the staining was done, everyone agreed that the finished woodwork lent a presence to our house that no one could have imagined.

For Arts & Crafts interiors, quartersawn white oak is the classic choice of wood for all millwork, but it can be prohibitively expensive. So we chose to be strategic about our wood choices. For much of the woodwork, we chose to use red oak and then reserved white oak for showstoppers, such as our front door.

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