Before proceeding too much farther into the remaining steps, it’s first necessary to confirm that the material in question is actually a solid piece of wood, and not a man-made composite or piece of plastic made to imitate wood. Can you see the end-grain? Manufactured wood such as MDF, OSB, and particleboard all have a distinct look that is—in nearly all cases—easily distinguishable from the endgrain of real wood. Look for growth rings—formed by the yearly growth of a tree—which will be a dead-giveaway that the wood sample in question is a solid, genuine chunk of wood taken from a tree. Is it veneered? If you see a large panel that has a repeating grain pattern, it may be a veneer. In such cases, a very thin layer of real wood is peeled from a tree and attached to a substrate; sometimes the veneer can be one continuous repeating piece because it is rotary-sliced to shave off the veneer layer as the tree trunk is spun by machines.
Start by working from a color wheel. There are primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. They are pure colors and cannot be created. Secondary colors are orange, green and purple. These colors are formed when equal parts of 2 primary colors are combined. For example equal parts yellow and blue make green. As basic as this is this is where we begin the color selection. Tertiary colors are a mixture, in varying parts of secondary and primary colors to create different hues, as a result the primary and secondary colors become less vivid. White and black are often added to darken and soften these hues.
Because the layout and storage options are pretty standard, picking interesting materials is key for helping your kitchen stand out. When it comes to counters, granite countertops and marble countertops are elegant options, while concrete, limestone and stainless steel counters are a little more trendy. For a bit of color, add a bright mosaic tile backsplash or pick out a vibrant wood floor finish. You can even mix up your cabinetry! Frosted cabinets are great for a modern feel, while painted cabinets make for a nice but cheap kitchen remodel.
Nothing is as personal as color. Choosing a color palette is both the most important part and yet the most daunting part for many when it comes to decorating their homes. Read on and get some great tips as we help guide you to create the color palette that best suits your style, personality and lifestyle. Specifically, the living room, dining room and entry way. Choose a color scheme for those areas first, then pull one color from the scheme. For example, take the red sofa and tone it down (say, to burgundy) for an accent in more private spaces such as the den, office or bedroom.
Use your color wheel to help you create your own color scheme that best fit your your personality. The monochromatic color scheme uses tone on tone of the same color with the addition of white or black to lighten or darken the color. For example, in this scheme blue can become a pale sky blue or a dark midnight blue and all three hues of the same shade are used to create this effect. The analogous scheme uses colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel.
Obviously softwoods will tend to be softer than hardwoods, but try to get a sense of how it compares to other known woods. Density and hardness are closely related, so if the wood is heavy, it will most likely be hard too. If the wood is a part of a finished item that you can’t adequately weigh, you might be able to test the hardness by gouging it in an inconspicuous area. Also, if it is used in a piece of furniture, such as a tabletop, a general idea of its hardness can be assessed by the number and depth of the gouges/dings in the piece given its age and use. A tabletop made of pine will have much deeper dents than a tabletop made of Oak. Additionally, you can always try the “fingernail test” as a rough hardness indicator: find a crisp edge of the wood, and with your fingernail try to push in as hard as you can and see if you’re able to make a dent in the wood.
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