Distressed Wood Furniture for the Stylish Home
Years ago, in Early American furniture design, the rich grain of the wood was always showcased with a smooth finish, and a gleaming polish brought out the rich color of the chosen stain. Today, furniture design has blossomed into a number of different genres. For example, a distressed wood finish is one modern style that fits well with both contemporary coastal and farmhouse chic décor. The idea is to create furnishings that look rustic and weathered but are actually fully functional and built to last.
This look was originally a do-it-yourself (DIY) project for the most part, but then furniture manufacturers caught on to the trend. Now you can find antiqued, whitewashed and chalk-painted tables, accessories and cabinets everywhere. Another contemporary style is an unevenly stained zebra pattern that gives the impression of distressed wood but has a smooth, modern finish. Kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities come in the distressed look, and so do dressers and headboards for the bedroom. Here are a few variations on this nostalgic trend in home furnishings.
"Antiquing" is a technique that's been around for quite a while in the realm of DIY projects. It's the process of taking a piece of contemporary furniture and applying a patina that makes it look as if it's been passed down through generations. One way to make a side table or vanity look as if it's been around for a while is to use faux-painting artistry to make it look aged and weathered. All you need is paint and glaze to work your magic using this method.
One of the simplest ways to age a piece of furniture is to give it a coat of white paint and then remove some of it with a rag or brush. A light sanding after the paint dries will give it a smooth finish and add to the rustic appearance. As with other weathered wood styles, you can buy furnishings that have already been given the whitewash treatment. It's a clean, tropical style for a sink vanity when you're going for a Key West look in the bath.
This type of paint was invented in 1990 by British artist Annie Sloan. She needed a paint that would give a shabby chic, aged look to furnishings without the hassle of doing a lot of sanding and priming. Chalk paint dries quickly to a soft, velvety finish and gives an authentic heirloom appearance to wood. One technique that works well is to use two different shades of the same paint color to give the finish a timeworn appearance. Once the paint dries, a bit of sanding here and there can also expose the wood grain and add to the vintage look.
Showcase Your Distressed Wood Furniture
Antiqued or distressed furnishings can look outstanding if you place them in the right setting. In the kitchen, pair your weathered cottage chic cabinets with an unstained butcher block countertop. Find some vintage metal wall art to continue the theme, and use rustic woven baskets for countertop storage. A beadboard wall or ceiling can be the perfect touch that ties all of these elements together. It's a charming way to give your kitchen a nostalgic setting for preparing meals and gathering with the family.
In your bedroom, distressed wood goes beautifully with a wrought-iron headboard and antique lampshades. Add a fluffy, white crocheted bedspread as a finishing touch to create a stylish vintage boudoir. Distressed paint is also a fitting design choice for a weathered nautical design scheme in the living room. In addition to the furniture, wide wooden picture frames with a timeworn appearance will continue the ocean-tossed theme. In the dining room, pair a distressed dining table with a vintage chandelier, and choose a china cabinet with a seasoned finish that makes it look like a treasured heirloom.
A Distressed Finish to Complement Your Décor
Distressed wood furniture can be an integral component of many different styles, and here are some of them:
- Shabby Chic
- Key West
Furnishings with a rustic, worn finish can be the hub of your decorating plan for any room in the house. The distressed surface gives your home the feel of a bygone era, and it can make any piece of furniture appear old and venerable. It's a style that extends from a casual, beachy look to a classic antique décor. Enjoy incorporating it into your home design choices!