You can never go wrong with incorporating more wood into your interior design. Wood’s classic and natural hues, sturdiness, and insulating properties will spruce up any Australian home or office, and the right wood furniture or flooring may increase the aesthetic, functional, and cooling properties of the space you put it in.
But rather than settling for just any mass-produced catalogue item made out of generic wood material, why not patronise the excellent wood varieties that grow in our very own woodlands and backyards? Populating your indoor space with Australian wood may fulfil several needs with one deed: you’ll enjoy the superior quality of fine Australian wood, you’ll support local Australian craftsmanship, and you’ll be sourcing wood products from forested areas that are likely maintained by sustainable forestry practices.
Read on below to discover the most beautiful native Australian wood types, their unique characteristics, and common applications for them in interior design. Any of these wood varieties would be a welcome addition for your indoor space.
1. Marri. Marri, also known as red gum, is a variety of bloodwood that prospers in Western Australia. The Noongar indigenous Australians once used the tree’s namesake kino, or botanical gum, for medicinal purposes. Carpentry specialists are responsible for the modern popularity of this wood, whose delectable honey-hued finish and distinctive veins look rather striking on custom marri dining table or marri flooring.
2. Jarrah. Jarrah, which hails from the eucalyptus family, is a dense and durable hardwood also grown in Western Australia. Jarrah forestry is closely protected and only a certain portion of it may be harvested for commercial purposes every year. Nevertheless, the reddish-brown wood is a worthwhile investment for almost any furniture application. It can be made into flooring or used to accent tables and shelves. It can also withstand extensive modification, from strong polish to milled machining.
3. Spotted gum. In its natural environment of Southern Queensland, the spotted gum sports a singular mottled appearance. One might perceive its grainy look in hues ranging from a cream colour to a redder shade of brown. Outstanding qualities of spotted gum include its extreme toughness, its fire resistance, and its low tannin content compared to other native Australian woods (causing less stain or bleed-through). Spotted gum is thus a dependable option for poles, joinery, and framing within an indoor space.
4. Tasmanian oak. Tasmanian oak is another eucalyptus variety, native to Tasmania in addition to some parts of Victoria and New South Wales. The tree can grow very tall and its wood can appear in the sumptuous light hues of cream, pink, and reddish brown. Tasmanian oak is a favorite among wood craftsmen for its pliability, adaptability, and aesthetic appeal, and many incorporate the “stained” look into wooden beams and flooring.
5. Tasmanian blackwood. Contrary to its name, this wood does not come in a perceivable black color. Instead, the southeastern Australian-native wood can sport colors as diverse as gray-white on its sapwood and dark brown with chocolate tones on its heartwood. Tasmanian blackwood has long figured in the construction of musical instruments and boats, but it is also well-disposed for use in making cabinets, tables, or wooden benches.
6. Blackbutt. Blackbutt is a hardwood timber that grows in New South Wales and Queensland. Its name derives from the blackened appearance the bark may take on after a bushfire. It is incredibly resilient and quick to sprout, which makes it a common grower’s choice in timber plantations. Blackbutt’s applications range from wooden flooring and cladding to turnery and joinery. The natural blackbutt finish is also well-suited for use on stairs, table surfaces, and other furnishings that are often exposed to the elements.
7. Grey ironbark. Grey ironbark is another hardwood grown in New South Wales and Queensland. In the past, it was used by indigenous Australians to make weaponry, but in contemporary times, the wood enjoys a premium status among builders and woodworkers. Its intricate cathedral grain patterns give it an elegant and sophisticated touch. Grey ironbark timber does well on wooden flooring, stairs, and posts, because it can hold up against heavy use.
The basic principles of interior design demand that unity, balance, rhythm, emphasis, contrast, scale and proportion, and attention to detail be applied to the space in question. Without a doubt, including Australian wood in one’s plans will check off on all of these qualities, thus creating for the inhabitants a cool, comfortable, stylish, and functional indoor space!