Symphony Showhouses: Wood Furniture Heroes 

It’s true, wood furniture doesn’t typically come with the vast array of customization options that you’ll find when designing a piece of upholstered furniture, but that doesn’t mean that it is without its charms. And as we enter the second half of our Wood Furniture Sale here at Nell Hill’s, and I watch these pieces make their way into your homes, I’m feeling more and more inspired by these furniture heroes, and what they can do for the overall feel of a room.  

From adding warmth and texture to creating focal points, incorporating wood furniture plays a pivotal role in elevating the overall aesthetic of a space. In the two particular spaces we’ll explore today, the strategic use of wood furniture not only enhances the visual appeal of the room, but also sets the tone for a welcoming and stylish ambiance for the homeowner to enjoy day after day. Join us as we delve into the importance of wood furniture in interior design and discover how it can truly steal the spotlight in your home decor. 

 A Dreamy Primary Bedroom 

When thinking about interior design and wood furniture heroes, the 2022 Symphony Showhouse is one such design that immediately comes to mind. The Symphony Designers’ Showhouse is a Kansas City tradition sponsored by the Kansas City Symphony Alliance, the project is a benefit for the Kansas City Symphony. Each year, a Kansas City landmark residence is chosen as the Showhouse and local designers are selected to transform each room of the home into a design showplace.  

Nell Hill’s has been elated to be a part of the Symphony Design Showhouse project for the last two years, and every year I’m amazed by the design team’s ability to create such visually stunning designs that feel fresh and embrace the look, feel, and history of the home.  

The 2022 Symphony Showcase home boasted some impeccable features that we knew we wanted to incorporate into the look. One walk through the home and Design Manager, Carlie, knew that the Primary Bedroom space was the room we wanted to design. Topped with hand hewn oak beams that matched the 18th and 19th century, carved wood moldings, and fireplace surrounds, we knew that wood would play a central theme to the room’s decor. We wanted the design to feel at home with the French iron chandeliers, stained glass, and antique brick flooring that was characteristic throughout the nearly century-old abode. 

In order to design a primary room congruent with the rich details of the Tudor style home, special attention was paid to the layout and functionality of the room as well as the furniture that inhabits the space. We used wood furniture as the base of our design, and added in layers of soft elements to create a primary bedroom that is as balanced as it is serene.  

To ensure that the overall design felt very at home in the grand Tudor space, we anchored our design with several dark wood pieces, bringing continuity to the beams and large architectural art piece above the fireplace. As the focal point of the room, a rich turned wood four-poster bed elevates the design. In order to make room for the sofa in the adjacent space, the accompanying bedside tables needed to be scaled down from the original selection. These traditional pieces with bobbin legs were a last-minute addition that worked seamlessly with the bed. Carlie loved them for their versatility, their size and scale made them perfect for those “tricky” spaces. They are a testament to the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice style when compromising on size, making them a hero in my book.  

Dark-stained pieces aren’t the only way that we incorporated wood into the room’s design. The painted dresser and bamboo mirror showcase a new way to use wood in a space that is heavy in dark-washed tones. These two pieces, like the others selected for the space, are mixed and matched to create a look that feels carefully curated over time. Although the dresser is very traditional in style and the mirror is chinoiserie, they share a common element of blue, so it all works together. Sometimes I hear from clients who think it’s scary to invest in a piece with a painted finish, but this room is a great example of how it needed this one additional element to pull it all together.  

The Equestrian Lounge 

The 2023 Symphony Showcase home was equally as lovely as the year before it. Although in this home, the space that spoke to us wasn’t just a room. It was an entire suite. The suite, affectionately called The Ballroom, as this space would have typically been used as a popular entertaining space at the turn of the century, was imagined and designed into an equestrian lounge by the Nell Hill’s design team. It included a large open sitting area, two bedrooms – one of which was refashioned into a cozy office, and a bright and airy bathroom. I wrote all about it on the blog previously, if you are interested in seeing more of the overall design.  

When curating interiors, we tend not to color match too perfectly; instead we aim for more of a collected feel for more depth and dimension. Wood finishes are a great place to throw out the “rule book” when it comes to mixing and matching! 

Pairing a light chair with the rest of the dark wood makes them pop and creates movement throughout the design. Green leather tabletop and espresso colored game table, but warm brown neutral chairs. More of a collected feel. Everything doesn’t have to match. You can find pieces that you love that makes sense for you and your space.

Wood furniture took center stage in the office space. The focal point of the room is a large wood desk with wrought iron horse heads fashioned on each side. Sometimes, it’s those unexpected design elements that makes the space. We fell in love with this unique desk at Market and knew it was perfect for the space the moment we walked into it!  It became the foundational element in the room and the piece around which we built the design, paring it with a wool rug featuring varied neutrals, equestrian artwork and accessories, and other elements befitting an office. 

When working on a design, we can easily and do often work with the existing furniture in a space. In this adjoining bedroom, our job was to enhance what was already there, a lovely antique carved wooden bed and accompanying dresser. The exquisite small-scale antique bed became the cornerstone of the design, and it guided the selection of additional pieces found at Nell Hill’s that would seamlessly enhance its charm. This approach not only respects the unique character of existing furniture but also allows for the creation of a space with a curated and collected feel. It’s a testament to the notion that great design is about celebrating individual pieces and bringing them together in harmony, resulting in spaces that feel not just decorated but truly lived in. 

That’s why it’s important to search for and buy things that you really love, not just things you think match what you already have. And the fact that you can then come into Nell Hill’s and find pieces that can accentuate your existing furniture is truly special. If mixing old and new isn’t something that comes naturally or easily to you, we are happy to help!  

Wood furniture offers practical benefits beyond its aesthetic appeal. Known for its durability and longevity, well-crafted wood furniture can stand the test of time, making it a valuable investment for your home. Whether it’s a sturdy dining table for family gatherings, a comfortable wooden chair for cozy reading nooks, or a spacious wooden dresser for ample storage, wood furniture combines style with functionality to enhance your daily living experience.  

With its timeless beauty, versatility, and durability, incorporating wood furniture into your room design can truly transform the space and make a lasting impact on your home decor. Hopefully this post has shown you that even your wood furniture can be a star. And if you are looking to add a new piece of wood furniture to your collection, now is the perfect time! The Nell Hill’s 20% Off Wood Furniture Sale is happening now until March 15th. Pop by the store to shop any time, or schedule some one-on-one shopping time with one of our Designers (it’s free!). Until next time, Happy Decorating! 

The 54th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse will open for public tours this spring, April 27th – May 19th  Learn more about the history of the home, and the Kansas City Symphony Alliance on their website. And follow along on the blog as we take you behind the scenes throughout the design and installation process of our 2024 Showhouse design!