Blog/Made of Wood by Mark & Sally Bailey

.Made of Wood, a book by Mark & Sally Bailey about the enduring beauty of using wood in our homes

The hallway of this 18th Century farmhouse is lined with exercise pins, pork pie moulds, hat blocks and bowls, ware boards and shop signage. Photography by Debi Treloar.


Mark and Sally Bailey are the award winning retailers behind the rustic design store Baileys Home. Their book, ‘Made of Wood’, is a beautiful introduction into the ways in which using wood and bringing wood into your home can help you feel closer to nature and to appreciate the skills associated with everyday craftsmanship.

Made of Wood - a book by Mark & Sally Bailey that explores the use of wood in our homes. Photography by Debi Treloar.

Made of Wood is a book by Mark & Sally Bailey about the use of this enduring material in our homes. Photography by Debi Treloar.


It starts out with an explanation of how the idea for the book came about when the pair realised what an integral role the material has played in their lives over the past few decades. They also briefly explain what it is about wood that makes it such a viable, versatile, reliable, honest and sustainable material to use in our homes.

Mark and Sally share details of their personal philosophy which is to be surrounded with hand-made objects, to embrace imperfection, and to celebrate the humble, everyday things for their simple, sculptural beauty.

They share that they have a weakness for pieces with ordinary origins but that have been made extraordinary by their sculptural shape, their agricultural or industrial history, or the way that they have been marked or scarred by age.

The book highlights the fact that surrounding yourself with natural materials is a way to achieve a balanced and peaceful atmosphere in the home, and that wood is the principle ingredient in that recipe for harmony.

They suggest introducing more wood into your home by making a conscious decision to choose it over plastic. Wood, they say, is not only more pleasing to look at, but also much nicer to hold and touch. It brings a tactile experience to daily rituals, warms any interior, and will give your home a sense of soul that is so often lacking in this age of mass production.

The book is divided into two sections. The first is called Wooden Elements and explores the many ways in which we can use wood in our homes: sculptural, natural, textural, painted and recycled. The second section is called Wooden Stories and contains 12 case studies, each one offering a glimpse into the homes of people who have used this most ancient and versatile of materials in creative and inspiring ways.

Whilst there aren’t any specific examples of industrial spaces or warehouse conversions in this book, there are plenty of examples of how items with an industrial heritage, particularly those made of wood, can be worked into our homes.

‘Made of Wood’ is a celebration of recycled pieces, age-old crafting techniques, clean modern lines, and global influences as well as art and tableware with a handmade feel. It has definitely earned its place in our Design Reads collection.

Made of Wood by Mark & Sally Bailey is published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99, available here.

Photography by Debi Treloar.

Made of Wood is a book by Mark & Sally Bailey. Photography by Debi Treloar. Kitchen

In this kitchen, rustic furniture enhances the ancient character of this former pub. Photography by Debi Treloar.