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Warm Ways to Add Modern Style With Woodwork

By: Amanda Lecky
February 19, 2018

Give your rooms a designer look with a contemporary take on millwork, from simple shiplap to geometric paneling. Take inspiration from these rooms, which are as rich in decorating ideas as they are in architectural detail.

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Photo: Emily J Followill

Get All-White Right

The all-white kitchen is a classic look that never goes out of style. But it can look a little...plain vanilla. Designer Lauren Davenport Imber of Davenport Designs took care to avoid this pitfall by applying millwork to the walls for architectural interest. "By using a neutral color palette on the walls and cabinets, it allows the space to feel more open and grand than the actual square footage would normally allow," she says.

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Photo: Jane Beiles. From: Kelly and Co. Design.

Consider Contrast

In this streamlined bath, the design team at Kelly & Co. Design demonstrate the attraction of opposites, treating humble shiplap wood paneling to a crisp coat of white paint, elevating it from country to cool; black granite sinks and black barn lighting fixtures stand out against the white for a modern look.

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Photo: Amy Bartlam. From: Katherine Carter Design.

Build in Warmth

Creating a sense of enveloping comfort is important in any bedroom, but in a large space with walls of glass getting just the right balance between "open" and "soothing" can be a challenge. In this grand Malibu bedroom, designer Katherine Carter of Katherine Carter Design solved that problem by lining one wall with vertical panels of whitewashed wood, adding texture and natural richness to the simple space—without detracting from its ocean views.

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Master Geometry

The simplicity of a design like this one is a lesson in the concept of "less is more." The bold horizontal pattern of the wood paneling behind the bed takes the starring role in the room’s decor, but the subtler shapes of the bed frame and bedding play have important parts to play, too. The effect is modern and sculptural—and easy to achieve in your own home.

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