RATHER THAN RELYING ON THE KNOWN QUALITIES OF “CLASSIC’ TIMBERS, DESIGNERS TODAY ARE OFTEN BEING MOTIVATED BY UNIQUE FEATURES OF A WIDER RANGE OF TIMBERS – CONSUMERS ARE FLOCKING TO MORE RUSTIC AND INDIVIDUALISED PIECES IN THEIR DROVES.
The UK furniture market has traditionally been dominated by oak. But that’s beginning to change. A straw poll of designers, makers, and retailers within the industry shows an increasingly diverse range of timber species and finishes in use. Rather than relying on the known qualities of “classic” timbers, designers today are often being motivated by the unique features of a wider variety of timbers – and consumers are flocking to more rustic and individualised pieces in their droves.
This trend is not confined to independent craftsmen and small businesses – it is apparent at even the largest commercial furniture retailers. Katherine Mitchell, beds and bedroom furniture buyer for John Lewis, says:
“Over the last five to ten years, predominant timber shades have been paler – oak being the preferred material. But darker timbers are starting to see an uplift and we have just launched a walnut bedroom range for this season. For the living room we sell a selection of walnut and darker pieces and my feeling is that newer trends arrive downstairs first – it’s the part of the home that is on show so we often see customers updating this room more often. Wilder oaks are also selling well, showing a more knotty rugged appearance.”
If this year’s Wood Awards Furniture Shortlist is anything to go buy, the taste for a variety of timbers in furniture making is ubiquitous. This year, fourteen pieces were shortlisted, and the timbers used in them were anything but predictable. They range from British bog oak to tropical olive, British holly to black walnut, and more. With the apparent appetite for these types of timber on the rise, are you giving your customers the choice they want?
Quercus supplies a wide variety of hardwoods and softwoods to furniture manufacturers around the country. To learn more, or place an order, please contact us on 01295 71 31 67. Alternatively, you can send us an email through the contact form on this website.