In the Raw: The Strange Beauty of Plywood

Traditionally used as a substrate (read: a building material that goes under other things), plywood is slowly starting to come out in the open. Because the veneers that make up a sheet of plywood are created by rotating a log around its long axis to draw out long, thin layers of wood, plywood often has a beautiful grain that repeats over and over. Even in an unfinished state, it's a powerful testament to the raw beauty of wood.

Those of you who know your way around a construction site (or an architectural office) will be quick to point out that some of these examples aren't plywood at all — they're OSB, or oriented strand board, which is made of scraps of wood that are compressed and held together with adhesives. Whatever your choice, be sure to sand lightly before putting your lovely, raw building materials up on the wall — there's nothing beautiful about splinters.

TOP ROW:
1 & 2. Marble and plywood — an elegant marriage of high and low. From Emmas DesignBlogg.
3. An OSB pinboard from Laurie Joliet.
4 & 5. OSB walls and a black ceiling make for rustic drama in Alan's Colorful, Daring & Dramatic East Austin Home.

MIDDLE ROW:
6 & 7. A plywood backsplash brings warmth to this tiny kitchen from Small Cool Kitchens 2011.
8 & 9. A plywood interior in a light-filled Canadian cottage, from Kitka.
10. Apartment Therapy reader Aaron has slowly built up the interior of his apartment from scratch. See more pictures at the Small Cool Contest page.

BOTTOM ROW:
11. A plywood paneled wall from SF Girl by Bay
12. A plywood table from Emmas Designblogg.
13. OSB gives an appropriately rustic feel to the interior of a British barn converted into a home. From Dwell.
14. Plywood livens up a humble cottage kitchen from House and Home
15. In a more traditional setting, from Better Homes and Gardens

(Images: as linked above)