Exposed Plywood Trend - First Look

Trends come and go in the design world, but there are certain trends that gain more momentum than others—and in recent years, that trend is exposed plywood.


If you browse through the interior design boards on Pinterest or visit some of the web’s top design and architecture blogs, you’re bound to see exposed plywood used for everything from cabinetry and ceilings to flooring and furnishings.

But where, exactly, did the exposed plywood trend come from, why is it so popular, and how can you incorporate this trend into your home for maximum impact?

Becoming a trend

As a material, exposed plywood is nothing new—it’s been used as an affordable and durable material for home exteriors for years (plywood was first patented in 1865 and went into wider-scale production in the early 1900's). But thanks to the Great Recession, architects, designers and homeowners alike started to look for more affordable solutions for the interior of the home—and they found their solution in plywood.

Since then, the popularity of plywood has skyrocketed in the architecture and design space. Plywood is strong, durable, and incredibly affordable (varying grades of plywood are available to help maximize economy)—and, as designers have discovered, it looks great in interiors, too.

But where does it look best?


Plywood is incredibly durable and warp resistant, which makes it the perfect material to use for flooring. Use a light birch plywood to give an open and airy feel to a kitchen or living room or use a darker plywood to give more of a deep, rich feel to a bedroom or study.

Statement Wall

Having all plywood walls can feel a little overwhelming—but adding a statement wall can be just the right touch to incorporate the trend into a room. Use a walnut plywood to lend a retro feel, with a modern touch, to a living room, or a light plywood for a more sophisticated and timeless look that would be perfect for a kitchen or bathroom.

Cabinetry and Shelving

When it comes to cabinets and shelves, you want something sturdy—and plywood does the trick. Incorporating exposed plywood into room accents (like cabinetry and shelving) is a great way to test the waters and see if this trend feels like the right fit for your home without committing to a larger scale project like a wall or flooring.

The exposed plywood trend doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere soon, and now that you know how to make it work in your home, it’s time to hop on board with this trend and incorporate it into your home design.

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