Let’s Talk Wood

By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Provenza-wood--300It’s a fact—wood floors add value and character to any home.  The popularity of wood is still enjoying huge and sustained interest with consumers, and manufacturers have wisely responded with more collections and inspired new products.  Let me give you a visual tour of some of the stunners that were highlighted at Surfaces:

Provenza Floors in Southern California is not a newcomer to the hardwood flooring industry.  They have a history of elevating wood floors to museum-quality works of art.  Look at the graining and exceptional finish on this particular “work of art”.  The mid-range coloration makes this style a front-runner in their collection.  Provenza is expert at finding the right species and “cuts” and then executing stains and flawless finishes that bring out the inherent beauty of the wood.  This is a great example.

Provenza-Paint-Inject-Woods_300How about novelty wood finishes that are designed to make a statement?  Provenza has that covered as well.  Their technique of injecting color right into the wood is brilliant, both in concept and coloration.  These are definitely “statement” floors and meant to be the focal point of a design.  The “wow” factor is obvious, as you can see…

Provenza-woods_300Here are just a few more Provenza selections to highlight the versatility of styles available right now.  I see a trend towards vintage looks.  Also woods featuring high texture, inclusive of saw marks and chatter marks.  Colors range from light to dark, and every nuance in between.

DuChateau-Zimbabwei_300I always enjoy the Du Chateau Wood Floors exhibit.  Their spectacular finishes are exceptional, and of course there are always one or two show-stoppers that literally stop you in your tracks. Pictured here is their new style “Zimbabwie”, an exotic color- diverse hardwood that is one of a kind.  Multi levels of gray tones are accented with striations of peachy neutrals.  What a great combination!  And of course it’s the signature graining that gives it its name.

Natural hardwood floors show no signs of waning in popularity.  The floor covering industry has gone to great extents to be cautious in harvesting woods conscientiously.  Certifications have been established, and every hardwood floor sample will be labeled appropriately to ensure consumers that they meet strict government regulations.  If you are a hardwood lover, go ahead and find the floor of your dreams without reservation.

New Product Showcase

By Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Surfaces 2013, sponsored by the World Floor Covering Association, rocked the halls of the Mandalay Bay Convention center in Las Vegas in late January.  Retailers were back, in force, along with designers taking advantage of the education days, product tours, and the always- popular Trends Hub.  How refreshing to see a buzz of activity as new products were unveiled and novelty interior products debuted.

When you think of Vegas, you think of glitz and glamour. So appropriately, I discovered a product with all the glitz and sparkle of precious metals. It’s actually hard to put this into words.  As part of the Trends Hub showcase of products, Genesis Development introduced a product prototype of stabilized aluminum foam coated in clear resin.  I know, I just lost you because those words sound like they don’t go together.  But hang on—it’s a new material concept, definitely worth understanding as to what it is and what the applications could be!  The sample materials pictured here should help you visualize it.  Glittering copper, gold and silver versions of this open-celled aluminum were imbedded in resin, and these treasures were on display in the Trends Hub.   Everybody wanted to know what they were and how to use them.

clip_image002_300International designers have already glommed onto this innovative discovery and are using it for wall cladding (interior and exterior), light-weight ceiling tiles, flooring, and countertops in commercial settings.  It’s just a matter of time before you see it incorporated into art-status furniture and lighting fixtures as well.

A Toronto based company, Alusion, which is a division of Cymat Technologies, has their own trademarked version and markets this exciting new product globally.  Their resume of applications for these stunning panels includes restaurants and bars, corporate offices, hospitality applications, and retail displays—all very impressive, to say the least.  Because these panels can be built with translucent properties, light is an important additive to the finished design.  Colored wall-wash lighting can be timed to change the entire look and ambience of an interior.  The modernity of the panels gives a sparkling, contemporary edge, and the colored lighting adds yet another exciting element.

Fashion-store-italy_300Interior design is at its best when it pushes the boundaries of imagination.  This new marriage of art and technology has done just that, and produced a newcomer to the world of design. The possibilities are beyond exciting. Utilized as a floor covering, this open-cell, colored aluminum encased in a durable polymer brings a fresh, high-character look to the floor.  Right now, most of these applications have been featured only in commercial interiors.  But wait for it—it’s just a matter of time before the frontier expands to the residential world as well.  I will keep you posted.