OSB in Interiors: From Humble Material to Design Feature
OSB in Interiors: From Humble Material to Design Feature
From its outer skin to its frame system, a building is made up of many layers. Much like a human body, many of these layers – which tend to be the most crucial functional components – remain invisible to the public, covered in aesthetic features. Of all the hidden elements, all buildings include a cladding, the outer shell that construction crews place to perform several key functions: to protect the floor, walls, roofs and ceilings, to fortify the structure against internal forces and external, and cover the entire frame, giving the building a solid shape.
Wood is the most common material for siding, with oriented strand board (OSB) usually being the first choice. Why? Made by compressing and gluing cross-oriented strands of wood with thermosetting adhesives, OSB panels are lightweight, flexible, strong, versatile and completely recyclable. They also stand out for their resistance to bending, warping and distortion, in addition to offering some thermal and acoustic insulation. However, apart from their good performance and mechanical properties, OSB boards are best known for being cheaper than other alternatives, which significantly saves costs and time. In fact, this structural panel can cost $3 to $5 less than plywood, which is why it’s often considered its low-cost substitute.
OSB has earned a solid reputation as an affordable yet reliable product that, at least in its widespread use, remains hidden inside buildings. Because of this, it is not commonly associated with decorative aesthetic value worth seeing. Finding beauty in its simplicity, recent projects have incorporated OSB panels as visible design elements in modern residential interiors, giving new meaning to the widely used engineered board. Serving both functional and decorative purposes, this has transformed the humble material into an elegant element capable of adding warmth and uniqueness to spaces.
Varnished or unfinished – and with colors ranging from straw yellow to dark brown – OSB offers endless design possibilities that can be explored at different scales: from covering entire walls and ceilings to a simple touch by covering with small areas and furniture. It can also be combined with other woods and neutral colors to achieve a cozy Nordic style, or with steel and concrete for an elegant industrial look. Ultimately, it’s a simple material that can bring about a substantial change – and, at the same time, can bring stiffness and strength to interiors.
To dive deeper into this growing trend, below we present creative and inspiring ways to use OSB as a beautiful design element in homes.
Cadam: Apartment renovation for a musician / DTR_studio arquitectos
For this renovation project, the new finishes were chosen in accordance with the pre-existing materials; among them, recycled OSB panels that complement the modern industrial aesthetic.
House in Sintra / SER-ra
Once an open space, the kitchen and bathroom are hidden behind an OSB wall, acting as both a partition and a decorative element in an otherwise all-white space.
Unimog House / Fabian Evers Architecture, Wezel Architektur
On the second floor, the ceiling and walls are covered with OSB panels which, adding light and warm tones, create a contrast with the black floor.
Hostel CONII / Studio ODS
Although not a home, this hotel serves as inspiration for residential spaces, creatively using industrial wood paneling in the kitchen and bedrooms in the form of floors, walls and furniture .
Three-gabled roof house / Arrokabe Arquitectos
Using resources not common in traditional buildings, the project features an OSB-clad ceiling, complementing views of the nearby forest and adding orange and yellow tones to neutral-colored interiors.
Apartment Xadrez / Collective UMA
This renovation concept aimed to generate a contemporary look using raw materials, integrating OSB panels in the walls and ceilings.
Upcycle House / Lender Arkitekter
Aiming to function as a contemporary home built with simple, conventional materials, the interior is clad in OSB panels combined with white walls.
Real estate complex Alpes São Chico / Porto Quadrado
The prefabricated house is covered with engineered panels which, in addition to covering the layers of insulation, create a modern industrial look.
The POP-UP house / TallerDE2 Arquitectos
Seeking to use a single economical and versatile material, the infrastructure is built with OSB panels, which gives a unique aesthetic and texture.
MMR / ARCHI7
The choice of materials was made taking into account durability, quality and economy. Thus, the interior walls are clad with structural panels (also serving as a bracing system).
Triangle House / JVA
Inspired by the beauty of the surrounding nature, the exterior of this house is clad in wood panels, while most of the interior walls and ceilings are clad in OSB panels.
Mac House / La Erreria
Keen to avoid excess and opulence, the architects focused on displaying simple materials in their natural state, including the engineered wood panels that clad the walls, floors and ceilings.
Everything I Own / PKMN Architectures
Experimenting with flexibility and multiple configurations, this home features custom-built OSB wood units that act as hanging, mobile, and transformable containers.
Individual Hangar / PEOPLE
With a limited budget, this house had to be made of cost-effective materials, which is why it took advantage of OSB panels as a cheap and elegant design element in the hallway and bedrooms.
Husarö House / Tham & Videgård Arkitekter
Imitating the surrounding forest, the entire construction and finishes are in wood. On the upper level, this is achieved with the structural panels that cover the walls and the ceiling.
Urban Cabin / Company Francesca Perani
The interior design is made up of two monochromatic areas in open contrast: while marbled stoneware is used in the kitchen, warm OSB defines the living room as a unique textured surface.
Roll House / Moon Hon
In this house, one of the multi-purpose rooms is covered with untreated OSB panels, revealing a repetitive and porous texture.
Petit Bayle / Meld Architecture
Inside, the upper level walls and ceilings are clad in OSB, which is painted in the bedrooms to distinguish the more private spaces but left raw on the remaining walls, giving the interior a cozy and soft feel.