Use of timber battens is a design trend we’re seeing more of writes Gary Paech.
Subtle wood finishes are starting to creep back and kitchen islands with an architectural timber feature can easily create a warm, organic statement in the kitchen. No longer just a prep space, the island bench growing and it’s a great hang-out spot for entertaining family and friends. Geelong Interior Designer, Rebecca Jansma from Space, Grace & Style agrees.
“Wooden slates, horizontal, vertical, pale, dark, narrow or wide, wooden slats are the perfect way to add a unique touch to any space,” says Rebecca whom many of our cabinetmakers work with.
“Timber is part of the response to the year that we all stayed home – 2020. We found we needed, and also liked to nurture ourselves. The drive to create a safe, warm environment in our homes has led to the resurgence of these more natural, organic finishes with a very contemporary feel.”
The options for timber battens are endless and they can be left natural, stained, or painted to tie in with other cabinetry and interior colours. There is a vast range of pre-finished decorative batten profiles readily available. Many suppliers offer a range of shapes from half-round; batten; concave to shiplap in natural timber which can be stained or even painted to still retain the timber grain underneath.
Alternatively, timber battens can be crafted by a cabinetmaker and made using a CNC machine to router your own design.
A wide range of woods can be used for timber battens, with each offering a different colour, grain, and texture. Spacing the distance between each individual batten, will not only affect the aesthetics but any ancillary function.
Not just for the kitchen, we are seeing the use of battens in the bathroom, laundry and other cabinetry too. Timber battens are being used on facades, walls, and ceilings all over the home today, adding a modern appeal. Room dividers or partitions that won’t obstruct light or views can add a striking feature to any internal space.
“However, there’s no need to put them everywhere. Adding battens on one wall or on a kitchen island is enough to completely transform a room,” advises Rebecca.
If they are sourced and installed correctly, timber battens will wear exceptionally well. Care will still need to be taken around wet areas but as long as they are not being exposed to pooling water there should be no issue. Just recall all the timber kitchens and bathrooms of the 60s and 70s, some of which are still fully functioning today. The finish is critical, and your cabinet maker will guide you to make the best choice for your space.
Working timber battens into your kitchen or other cabinetry design might just add the warmth and cosiness you’ve been looking for.
Words: Gary Paech, Vice President, ICM Geelong and owner iCab Cabinets.
An abridged version of this article appeared in the GT Magazine, April 2021 “The Timber Design Trend Everyone is Talking About”.