A trend that still seems to be holding sway in the world of wood flooring is the trend toward the handscraped effect, and handworked wood surfaces in general. Those looking to buy handscraped wood flooring in particular are after a more lived in look than they can get with smooth-planed hardwood.
I suppose even the illusion of an authentically worked wood surface lends an air of comfort, and also a sense that the surfaces are hard won. And ultimately, there is a feeling that the surface has a history locked inside of it too. This effect obviously extends beyond flooring, and also applies to cabinetry and furniture too, for those who want that down-home, back to basics look.
For hundreds of years, and up until the present day, true hand-worked millwork, wood flooring, cabinetry, and other elements have been made by religious communities in rural areas all over North America. In looking into it a bit, I found a Squiddo lens about Amish furniture.
And yes, the irony of finding something about the Amish on the Internet is not lost on me. At least you know that the Amish will never spam you, right?
Amish woodworkers favour the species which are native to the areas in which they live. So, lots of oak, cherry, and maple.
Among other points made, the lens talks about the work-ethic found in their beliefs which drives them toward precision and excellence. And these principles comes out in the work they do. For them, working with wood is more than just about practicality. From their standpoint, woodworking is spiritual too. You’ve gotta respect that.
Rob.Amish family in a carriage image courtesy of Diluvi.