For several seasons, colorful finishes like brown on walnut and gray or black on oak have been on-trend for furniture, lighting and decorative accessories. But of course, nothing remains static in the world of trend. Today, walnut’s popularity has leveled off, along with the preference for Mid-century Modern looks. Gray and black finishes, while still building, have entered the mainstream. These two evolutions have cleared the way for the next big wood trend.
Recently, hints about the next step for wood appeared on the fringes. It came via a quiet, yet powerful experimentation with unstained oak, ash and beech, and the white pigment oil that was seen applied to them. White pigment oil is nearly transparent. This barely there suggestion of white results in a dreamy, gauze-filter effect on wood. The mild visual softening, which feels light without being bright, is new, fresh and directional.
Pieces in this look were first seen at last September’s Maison & Objet trade fair in Paris. While still in the earliest emerging stages, light wood alone, and light wood with applied white pigment oil were already being well received in Europe. Even considering the delays that COVID-19 is creating within the trend lifecycle, these features are forecasted to find an audience in the US during 2021.
For those who are developing assortments with wood, it’s time to consider light looks again, especially light wood with white pigment oil.