Trending: Light wood finishes

While there’s been a surge in popularity for chrome, velvet, and other manmade finishes, we’re continually attracted to natural materials – an enduring but constantly evolving trend.

This year’s interpretation is a smoother, paler and more sophisticated version.  Ash, white oak, pine or even some chipboard, OSB, or rattan finishes can all create the effect.

Very popular as wall cladding, flooring or furniture, the use of natural wood brings a warmth to every space, as well as providing the biophilic connection that is essential for modern workplace wellbeing.  This blog post rounds up some of our favourite uses for natural wood in office spaces.

Pared back

Light neutrals form the base of this relaxed open plan office area, and depth is brought into the scheme through the use of wooden finishes.  Tabletops, structural beams, and wooden panelling as wall cladding create a modern and vibrant workplace.  Interestingly the three wooden finishes used here are diverse, and yet the interior comes together well as a warm, resimerical design.

Pale and uninteresting?

We think not!  The use of light wooden furniture creates a clean, Scandinavian feel in this tasteful breakout area design.  Beautifully contrasting to the industrial nature of the building, it gives a sense of refined polish, calm and relaxation to a busy area.  We especially like the geometric tiles on the bar design, bringing depth to the neutral interior through pattern. Image source

Corporate finish

While the majority of wood finishes are left unpolished these days for a raw, artisan feel, we really like the combination of a sealed wood floor and light wood furniture in this canteen/breakout space.

A living wall takes centre stage, and a grid shelving system in a matching finish houses plants – staff wellbeing was obviously at the forefront of the designer’s mind.  Bar stools, canteens chairs and modern pendant lights all come together to soften a contemporary design, with biophilic elements in abundance.

Deeper layers and rattan

Rattan followed fast on the heels of macramé and houseplants as part of the 70’s revival trend.  The lighter woven wood finish can be a great addition to a more casual offices for creatives.  We especially like the inclusion of the iconic rattan hanging chair, typically used in an outdoor setting, in this office space.  Wooden planks serve as flooring and form a feature archway with hanging lights.

Go with the grain

The choice of a wood with a distinct grain creates a warmer take on the trend, and is visually more complex.  It’s done right in this textural kitchen area, with wooden cupboard fronts and island, set on a terrazzo stone floor.  Warm orange accents and white are used to complete the scheme, while the greenery and geometric tiles bring it right on trend.  Image source

Or… let the grain disappear

In direct contrast to the above image, wood finishes as this sleek kitchen unit are bang on-trend.  Minimalist to the extreme, with cut away drawer pulls and handless cupboard fronts, there’s something so visually satisfying about this design.  A complementary toned wood is used on chairs and tables, while art deco influences come in through colour choices, marble and feature lighting. Image source


Looking for more on-trend workplace ideas?  Check out our other blog posts.

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