On Board

On Board
Creating a wood wall can add warmth, industrial look to homes

by Hannah Ruhlman

It’s a wall within a home that stands dauntingly void. Maybe it’s blue, tan or stark white, but every time it’s passed, the wish it was different comes to mind, often coupled with a hefty sigh.

There’s a trend picking up speed that’s turning these once boring, blank walls into something unique with added texture and warmth: wood accent walls.

“Adding a wood wall is a really inexpensive way to make a room pop,” said Kathy Baker of Reflections Interior Design in Rapid City.

The process of accomplishing the rustic look isn’t as difficult as it might seem, either. First, homeowners should decide what type of wood wall they like best. Pinterest can be a good tool for side-by-side comparisons. There are several types of woods to choose from. If the end goal is a rustic, multi-stained wood in a random pattern, using tongue-and-groove pine purchased from a construction and home store, such as Lowes, might be best.

Once the tongue-and-groove pine is purchased, the boards can be cut using a table or circular saw into varying lengths and stained a number of different colors to fit the buyer’s taste. From there, it’s a puzzle game of deciding which color board should go where until the last piece of lumber is nailed.

Baker recommended using old palettes and re-purposing the wood to add texture and warmth. She said big box or furniture stores often have pallets they would gladly part with free-of-charge that someone could use, which could cut the cost of the project down considerably.

“Pallet wood is never perfect and varies in color and size, which could really add an interesting and industrial look to your home,” said Baker.

Having “perfect” walls shouldn’t be the end goal, says Baker.

“If it’s not perfect it adds to the character of the wall – sometimes it’s almost better if the boards don’t all line up perfectly,” she said. “If you can use a saw, hammer and tape measure you can do a wood wall.”

But, if that still sounds like it could be above a homeowner’s skill level, there are many different kits that can be purchased that adhere to a wall. However, without the added elbow grease from homeowners, the cost of a kit versus DIY will be more expensive.

“Some kits can range anywhere from $65 to $200 a square foot,” said Baker, remarking on Everitt & Schilling Tile, a company that creates kits from re-purposed wood. “But, it’s very easy to install and you’ll get a very high-end look.”

Sometimes, homeowners are not quick to jump on board the home-trend train out of fear that as soon as they do, whatever it was they finished will go quickly out of style. But, Baker says she foresees the wood wall trend sticking around for several years.

“Before people decide to do a project like this they always ask, ‘Well, how long am I going to like this?’” said Baker. “It varies, but I think you’ll still see people incorporating wood walls for the next eight years or so. They won’t go anywhere soon.”

Hannah Ruhlman is a new homeowner who recently tackled a wood wall project with her husband, Drew. She is now currently searching Pinterest for their next DIY project while Drew attempts to disconnect the WiFi.

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