A “grafting-from” polymerization approach within and at the complex and heterogeneous macromolecular assembly of wood cell walls is shown. The approach allows for the implementation of novel functionalities in renewable and functional wood-based materials. The native wood structure is retained and used as a hierarchical multiscale framework for a modular two-step polymerization process. The versatility and potential of the approach is shown by a polymerization of either hydrophobic or hydrophilic and pH-responsive monomers in the wood structure. Characterization of the modified wood reveals the presence of polymer in the cell wall, and the new properties of these wood materials are discussed.