Plywood is such a versatile building material. That's why you can use it in so many different decorating applications around the home. What makes it even more attractive is that it comes in all different grades and price points. From kitchens to living rooms and every other space in between, plywood is a terrific value. Let me show you how you can use it to decorate in your home.
If you want to bring the warmth of nature to your walls, consider using plywood. In a kitchen, use furniture grade plywood on an accent wall to enjoy the richness of the wood grain. Although you can mount plywood panels vertically or horizontally, I think a horizontal application is visually pleasing - allowing the eye to travel continuously through the space while following the grain from side-to-side. But, don't discount a vertical application. Depending on the pattern and style of your room, it can work in either direction because it's the beauty of the wood grain that makes it such a special wall covering.
You can even create an inexpensive and stunning backsplash with plywood. Just stain the wood to complement or contrast with your cabinets and finish it with a marine grade polyurethane that resists moisture.
• Ceilings and Floors
Don't stop at the walls - ceilings and floors can also benefit from a plywood treatment. Install sturdy plywood panels for easy flooring. On ceilings you can fit panels together tightly or leave a small space between them to create a decorative groove.
I cannot tell you how many plywood bookcases I've built over the years - for myself and for my clients. Plywood is such an easy material to work with. You can create custom bookcases and storage units in any shape or size for very little money. If you can build a basic box, you can build a bookcase. Just add wood shelves on the inside and molding on the outside to fit your space.
Finish your plywood bookcase with stain or paint - or both. Get creative with molding on the front, top and bottom. Crown molding can make a simple plywood box look like a beautiful piece of furniture. Truly, your possibilities are endless.
• Countertops and Cabinets
If you've got good, basic carpentry skills, then building your own countertops and cabinets with plywood can save you a ton of money. Cut custom shapes and bond several sheets of plywood together to create thick countertops. Build basic box frames and cover them with plywood to make contemporary-styled cabinets. And don't worry about the edges. Just sand them smooth and apply a clear coat to make them shine as part of your design.
The good news is you can complete your masterpieces with just about any color stain or finish imaginable. You can't say that about cheap particle board cabinets. And the added satisfaction will be that your cabinets are made of solid wood that should last a lifetime.
Check out the pictures and the inspiration for this article in the Plywood ideabook on Houzz and see what you can do with plywood in your home.
Enjoy more home decor ideas from Terry Mulligan: