Wood and Wellness

Published: September 7, 2023

As people, we are inherently more balanced and at ease when we’re connected with nature. The problem is, in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, most North Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, and although it may not be readily apparent in our day-to-day lives, the mental health implications are staggering. Ideally, the solution is to spend more time outside, but for many who work typical office hours and have a longer commute, increasing outdoor time may not be realistic. What is, however, a viable and increasingly popular solution is bringing more of the outdoors into our homes. That’s where wood literally comes in.

Shifting Design Trends

Multiple studies suggest that incorporating wood into interior designs can drastically reduce stress and boost serotonin levels. This simple yet highly effective solution is helping promote well-being and create a sense of balance within our living spaces, especially in kitchens – the epicenters of our homes. As is true of all great interior design, a space’s aesthetic should reflect its purpose. Although once purely utilitarian, the kitchen has evolved over time into one of the most significant rooms in the house – where we cook, entertain, celebrate and gather with loved ones. Interior design trends are evolving in tandem, embracing the warmth of wood, raw materials and organic shapes to complement cool marbles and modern fixtures. The timeless appeal and inviting nature of wood creates an environment that restores a sense of balance and helps people feel more at ease.

Sustainable Plywood: An Eco-Friendly Solution

In pursuit of a greener future, architects, designers and homeowners are prioritizing environmentally-friendly building materials, and sustainably sourced plywood has emerged as a popular choice. Garnica products, for example, are sourced from European fast-growing tree farms, ensuring both responsible forestry and superior quality. By opting for sustainable plywood, homeowners can create eco-conscious kitchens that still capture the essence of natural hardwood and bring the same sense of tranquility to their space.

Choosing the Right Plywood for Your Project

Selecting the appropriate plywood is crucial when incorporating wood into kitchen design. Various applications require specific plywood properties to ensure longevity and functionality. For cabinetry, high-quality plywood with superior strength, dimensional stability and load-bearing capacity is essential. For walls and ceilings, plywood with moisture-resistant properties is most suitable as it can withstand humid conditions typically associated with cooking, boiling water and running the dishwasher.

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When considering countertops, plywood with a laminate surface resistant to scratching and staining is ideal. Understanding the characteristics of various plywood panels is crucial to achieving both the desired aesthetic and functionality of each individual kitchen.

Embracing Timeless Design

According to a 2022 CNN study, nine out of 10 Americans believe that there’s a mental health crisis in the U.S. The growing demand for wood reflects a societal shift toward fostering mental well-being and our intrinsic relationship to nature. Sustainable plywood offers an eco-friendly and cost-efficient solution that aligns with these values, combining elements of nature and thoughtful design to support a more balanced lifestyle. With an emphasis on holistic wellness and environmental sustainability, the incorporation of wood in kitchens will surely transcend fads and fleeting trends to become a foundational element in the design world.

—By Jaime Alvarez, head of marketing at Garnica

Photo courtesy Garnica

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