Plywood, an engineered material made from layers of thin wood veneers that have been glued together, is often used in structural applications.
In these ten projects, the plywood was left exposed or even added to the designs to create surprisingly luxurious examples of how the material can be used to create warm, welcoming interiors.
This is the latest roundup in our Dezeen Lookbooks series that provides visual inspiration for designers and design enthusiasts. Previous lookbooks include marble bathrooms, Japandi interiors, cosy cabin bedrooms and mid-century modern interiors.
The Wood Ribbon Apartment in Paris, set within a classic Hausmann residential building, features a sinuous statement wall made from plywood that winds through the flat.
The wall, which was made by a carpenter off-site and assembled in situ, divides the apartment into three zones: a living area, main bedroom, and sleeping quarters for the child. In the sitting room and kitchen, in-built shelves provide space for the owners’ belongings.
In this pine-clad Swedish summer house, set on the country’s west coast, the minimalist plywood interior adds to a feeling of relaxation – and helps to highlight the dramatic surrounding landscape.
Both the walls and ceilings inside the house were lined with birch plywood, which studio founder Mathias Holmberg told Dezeen “provides a warmth to the interior that both contrasts and connects with the raw cliffs outside.”
Pocket House was squeezed into a space that previously contained a garage in south London, with all available space needing to be used. In its kitchen, a compact yet beautiful plywood kitchen sits against one wall.
This was made by furniture manufacturer Uncommon Projects, which specialises in bespoke plywood kitchens and furniture, and features clever space-shaving sliding doors and cut-outs rather than handles for a striking streamlined design.
Cats cover many of the surfaces in the Queen of Catford house in Catford, south London. In the plywood kitchen, a motif of cats’ heads with pointy ears decorates the kitchen cabinets.
CNC-cut plywood was used for the kitchen cabinets, closets, furniture, lighting fixtures and staircases, giving the home an unusual design character. Upstairs, a plywood bed sits in front of large windows with a view of the brutalist Catford Centre.
A dark box houses the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom in this Seattle apartment that also functions as a photography studio. Clad in stained plywood, the box also has a loft level that can be accessed from a side door and used for storage and utilities.
The dark colour creates a more elegant interior than raw plywood would have done and has been matched with dark wood furniture.
The unusual colour of this green-stained plywood kitchen was chosen to evoke a moss-coloured rock found in the nearby Peak District in northern England and shows how stained plywood can be used to create decorative interiors with a finished feel.
The handmade kitchen consists of a beechwood kitchen island and a series of green-stained plywood wall units, as well as worktops made from local limestone.
Laminated plywood layers make up much of the interior of Rock Creek House, which NADAAA designed in Washington DC. The studio oriented the grain of the plywood layers in a north-south direction, which it said allows more light to permeate the spaces from the south without interruption.
In the staircase, open plywood bannisters create a sculptural intervention in the space while also allowing the light to travel between the floors of the multi-storey house.
This adaptable apartment in London’s iconic brutalist Barbican building was designed to be able to transform into a dance studio.
Its tenant can adjust the multi-purpose pieces of plywood furniture in the middle of the room to create multiple configurations, including using it as a bed or a seating area. A flat-pack table can also be slotted in, and pieces can be removed when the space is needed for dance practice.
Built in 2019 as “a sanctuary from the UK’s Brexit-dominated political climate,” the Brexit Bunker in London is a weathered-steel-clad extension that functions as a small studio.
Rise Design Studio used plywood throughout the interior of the small space to create a warm, light-filled room.
The multifunctional wooden volume is made from maple plywood and spans two levels, with the bedroom and a study on the second floor. Downstairs, the studio also added a curved nook for reading or watching the view from the bay windows, as well as built-in storage.
This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing home libraries, Shaker-style interiors and marble bathrooms.
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