Is Plywood a Sustainable and Elevated Design Material?

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Thin, cheap, and sustainable, plywood is the design material of choice from architects to furniture makers.

When one thinks of elevated design, plywood is not the design material that often comes to mind. But it is actually inexpensive, easy to work with, easy to manipulate, and it can be a better choice if sourced sustainably.

A man-made laminated wood product, plywood is processed by bonding many thin layers of wood together to create super strong and stable sheets of wood.

Whether you are purchasing to DIY or buying finished products, do try to use plywood that is has been certified sustainable. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) are two international certification programs, but there are other certifications available like the American Tree Farm System and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. As a consumer, you want to make sure that your plywood products are coming from sustainable sources and aren’t using endangered tropical rain forest or illegal sources.

As far as design and decor go, what do you think of these plywood furnishings and decor? We certainly think they are fancy.

Plywood Home Furnishings and Decor

Stacked Magazine Table

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Image: Thomas J Collection

Made with walnut and Baltic birch plywood, this table draws its inspiration from the Mid-Century Modern era. It combines form and function as a work of art and as a functional table/magazine rack. Plus, Baltic birch can be a greener option as it is a faster-growing tree.

Kerf Wall

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Image: Kerf Wall

Kerf Design has created the amazing Kerf Wall, which is a simple system of cabinets and shelves that hang on slotted panels. The beauty of the Kerf Wall is that it is completely customizable and easy to move the shelves and bins around. There are even fun attachments like a guitar stand. It’s the ultimate in modular furniture.

Storage Bench  

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Image: Jason A. Hernandez

The FSC maintains a searchable database of valid certificates. The furniture artist Jason Hernandez is just one of the talented artisans in the database. He made this gorgeous storage bench from reclaimed wood and maple plywood.

Modern Rocking Chair

Plywood Chair

Image: Rocket Mission

This modern rocker is designed to be both comfortable and to encourage good posture. It’s made with Baltic birch plywood and protected with a low-VOC clear-coat to protect the wood. It can also be painted or stained.

Plywood Tree

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Image: One Two Tree Design

Whether you celebrate Christmas, or just want a wooden tree in your home, this eco-friendly wooden tree will fit the bill. The wooden tree consists of 36 “branches” that rotate from a central “trunk.” The trees are made from untreated high-grade Australian hoop pine plywood grown in managed forests in Australia.

Jellyfish Pendant Lamp

Plywood is an elevated design choice.

Image: Made in Love Design

This unique pendant lamp would be a stunning piece for the bedroom, dining room, or living room. It’s made with laser-cut plywood and faux leather braid.

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Plywood Stairs Image via Kerf Design

Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.