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As we head into the New Year, we find ourselves becoming acutely aware of the major trends that are making their mark in the design world. Sustainability is at the top of the list, and with it comes the introduction of a previously overlooked material: plywood being one of them.

The untreated wood composite bears a raw quality that inspires an element of intrigue and effortless cool. Versatile in nature, plywood can be used in an array of decorative instances—furniture, shelving, cabinetry, and the list goes on and on.

We compiled a list of the spaces that have taken on the material in its most understated form and transformed it into a decorative accent in its own right. Read on to get inspired.

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

One of the more common uses of plywood we’ve seen lately comes in the form of a streamlined sofa. A departure from the ordinary plush and upholstered variety, the concept behind this one is a simple one: a structured base paired with a cushion. The result is a texturally dynamic combination that marries form and function with effortless ease.  

Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Casey Zhang’s NYC apartment is a minimalist’s dream. The serene space is void of the superfluous, and the most standout items inside happen to be comprised of the material of the moment. In her pared-down living room, a baltic plywood console is decked out with a handful of decorative accents bearing saturated pops of color.  

In the kitchen, plywood makes for a rather inexpensive alternative to wooden cabinets, bringing with it a raw textured visual that will work beautifully within a rustic-meets-modern aesthetic. Take note from this California kitchen and pair the plywood with shiplap walls in lieu of the standard tile backsplash.

Photography by Laure Joliet

When it came to outfitting her home office, designer Jesse Kamm got really crafty: She flipped a plywood daybed and mounted it to the wall, allowing it to double as a perfectly functional and spacious workspace.

Photography by Laure Joliet

Plywood makes for a simplistic alternative to an otherwise bulky bench often reserved for the entry. The streamlined details of the wood paired with a neutral backdrop make for an ideal combo for small spaces. Bonus points for bringing in greenery for a high-contrast pop.

Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Sky Ting founder Krissy Jones’s NYC apartment is filled to the brim with plywood. Floor-to-ceiling shelving, crafted of the material, runs along the length of her tiny studio, functioning as a storage solution for books, clothes, and even dishware.

Photography by Molly Winters

The maple plywood cabinets and blue tiled floors are two of the more eye-catching elements in Claire Zinnecker’s Austin kitchen. Shiplapped walls stand in as a rustic alternative to tiles, while the slew of brass decorative accents peppered throughout lend a lustrous detail to the space.