Great Grains

by Lisa, October 30, 2017

New trends are constantly emerging in the design world, and we spend a lot of time (and have a lot of fun) keeping current.  Just like everybody else, we read the trade magazines and follow design stars on social media.  We also attend all kinds of industry events.  Our annual trip to High Point Market is a great opportunity to preview what’s coming next to living rooms near you.  It is always fun and inspiring to see new product lines.  Very often we find that what’s “new” is actually not — but rather a re-birth of elements from design trends of the past.  A great example of that — and one we touched on in a recent piece for Arlington Magazine —  is wood grains.  More and more showrooms and magazine spreads are showing pieces with very prominent grains.  Natural wood finishes have been around as long as there has been wood furniture, but at different points in history we’ve gone out of our way to cover them up.  The current craze for fascinating finishes and more warm, organic and tactile looks, has brought wood grains out from under cover.  Featuring natural graining or highly stylized treatments of different wood species, furniture makers are producing some truly extraordinary pieces that make this trend worth considering. Here’s a look at some good wood:

Zebra Wood:  There are several species of wood with naturally striped graining that make for an eye-catching piece of furniture.

Henredon Ellington Bar Cabinet

The Ellington Circle Bar Cabinet in the Henredon showroom in High Point, featuring tiger eye gmelina

Burled:  A burl in wood is a malformation in tree roots or trunks, usually caused by some sort of stress to the tree.  A bad day for the tree yields some pretty unique and beautiful — and also exceptionally strong — wood.

 

 

Norbro Burl Coffee Table from Kravet

Norbro Burl Coffee Table from Kravet

 

J Richard Burled

This John-Richard cocktail table has the look of burl wood but is actually a walnut curl veneer.

Cerused:  A fancy name for limed wood — a chemical technique to highlight the contrast in the grain.

Privet Lane coffee table in dune cerused oak finish by Kravet.

Privet Lane coffee table in dune cerused oak finish by Kravet.

Inlay:  Veneers (or other materials like metal, shell, etc) are inlaid into wood finishes to create patterns.

The Cadence cabinet from John-Richard.

The Cadence cabinet from John-Richard.

Other Great Grains:

Natural wood graining is highlighted in a chevron pattern on this eye-catching headboard. (Room by Whittington Design Studio)

Natural wood graining is highlighted in a chevron pattern on this eye-catching headboard in a client’s master suite.

A previously painted piece is sanded down to reveal it's original grain on this Arlington porch by Whittington Design Studio.

A previously painted piece is sanded down to reveal it’s original grain on our client’s Arlington porch.

Old Wood Co Benton nesting tables with fractal burn patterns and leather wrapped legs.

The Old Wood Co Benton nesting tables with fractal burn patterns (and very cool leather wrapped legs).

This beautiful wooden chest shows the organic, tactile beauty of natural wood and also provides our client with a handy surface for a bar.

This striking wooden chest shows the organic, tactile beauty of natural wood and also provides our client with a handy surface for a bar.

Yukas natural graining highlighted with resin filling in the Cuzco Media Console by Four Hands.

Yukas natural graining is highlighted with resin filling in the Cuzco Media Console by Four Hands.

Final J Richard 1

A black lacquer base surrounds high gloss, highly prominent grain patterned doors in this cabinet at John-Richard.

 

Sequoia Center Table by Brabbu

Maybe just take a slice of the whole tree — the Sequoia Center Table by Brabbu

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