Latest wood coatings innovations 

Leila Andrews

Experts from AkzoNobel’s Global Color and Design team for Wood Coatings showcased the latest trends in colour and wood finishes at this Fall’s 2021 International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

The Global Color and Design Studio for Wood Coatings works with color designers to create new colors and effects in paints and coatings, drawing inspiration from trends in other areas of society, such as fashion and lifestyle. Across the five days of the High Point Market event in October, the team will be sharing valuable insights – both in the showroom and virtually – into the color and design influences currently shaping the wood industries.

“Color can bring joy, vibrancy, and impact to our lives, and that’s never been so important as it has over this past year,” says Rob Haley, Color Trends Manager for Wood Coatings at AkzoNobel. “This is why we’re so committed to innovating with color and wood finishes, keeping customers up to date on the latest trends. We like to visually demonstrate the relationship between color and wood finishes to our customers during consultations – and make the right decision together based on centuries of experience and in-depth market research.”

Some of the modern furniture designs and higher-end influences being reflected in the latest products from the AkzoNobel team include the trend for fresh looks rather than distressing, the preference for less gray and more color, the growing popularity of natural designs and smoother woods, such as birch, cherry, burl, walnut, and maple – all bringing the outside in. Consumers are also opting for organic elements, such as rattan, jute, sisal, and stone while moving away from pale and desaturated furnishings. 

Bright Skies™ ­– AkzoNobel’s Color of the Year 2022 – exemplifies these changing tastes. It is an airy, light blue that captures the optimism and desire for a fresh start felt across society. Extensive research conducted by the company’s in-house paints and coatings color experts and international design professionals reveals that people want open-air, connections to the great outdoors, and a fresh approach to everything after a spell of feeling shut-in.

AkzoNobel’s wood coatings experts have worked with these trends to build four distinct color palettes around the Color of the Year:

  • The Studio – soulful, warm and modern tones
  • The Salon – embracing artful qualities
  • The Greenhouse – reveling in nature’s influence
  • The Workshop – creating flexibility in multifunctional spaces

These will be a key influence on home decor – including furniture, flooring, cabinetry, and building products – in the coming year. The wood design team then works closely with highly-trained technical specialists to ensure the wood finishes are robust and can be industrialized for customers across the globe, across a full range of substrates.

“Wood is exceptionally versatile and the perfect companion for modern life. We want to inspire our customers with creative opportunities for combining colors and wood trends that reflect the way they live today,” adds Bob Averett, Color Design Manager for Wood Coatings at AkzoNobel. “Showcasing how we can help our customers achieve a contemporary, and personal aesthetic is a key part of the process.”

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