Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wood Is Making A Comeback



Do you remember the days of knotty-pine basements and wood paneling in the den? If I recall correctly, it was a 70s thing. Then when we bought a house with paneling in the 90s, the first priority in a redo was to throw out those awful paneled walls. A recent article, Wood Design Focus: Kindling Comfort, in "Contract" magazine by Stacy Straczynski suggests wood for walls is back. Maybe, the only inhibiting factors are the economy and price.

Straczynski writes "... wood has taken root against today’s tight recessionary budgets to expand beyond its traditional use in the corporate sector. Now, wood is cropping up more frequently as a design staple in hospitality/restaurant, education, and healthcare projects, as well as in contemporary architectural structures..."

It's making a comeback because it's visibly green and manufacturers have made changes in the products that meet LEED standards. "The increase in FSC certification, renewable resources, and low- and non-VOC adhesives and finishes has played a big role in bringing this seasoned material back into the limelight as a viable, sustainable option. "

Straczynski tells us that not only does wood make a room feel warm, but is associated with comfort and quality. She then goes on to discuss which colors are being used in design. Gone are the dark woods. Now demand is for lighter hues and something called ceruse. Ceruse, I discovered, is achieved by applying a white material to the wood which is absorbed by the grain. "Known in Britain as “limed oak,” the finish was popular throughout the Art Deco era and employed by notable midcentury modern pioneers including Jean-Michel Franck and Paul T. Frankl. A version of the technique, with a whitened grain contrasting against a black stain, was widely imitated in the 1950s."

It seems the only thing holding back wider use of wood in design is the economy.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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