HIGH POINT, NC – Wood industry professionals now have more options to stay ahead of the latest trends. Experts on wood coatings design from AkzoNobel presented the latest findings on color and styling trends at the Fall 2018 High Point International Home Furnishings Market. At the event, AkzoNobel invited a select group of manufacturers, designers and product developers across the wood industries to special presentations about cutting-edge trends for furniture, cabinetry, flooring and building products. A highlight included the wood coatings launch of Spiced Honey as the 2019 AkzoNobel Color of the Year.

A highly anticipated presentation came from Robert Haley, Color Trends Manager for AkzoNobel’s Wood Coatings business, who revealed the color and design influences that will drive the industry in 2019. Haley took a deep dive into specific industry-leading styles within the wood market for the next year. According to Haley, two top trends are centered on the customization in design and the influence urban housing is having on the home furnishings industry.

“We are seeing a strong desire for customization in design, and research is revealing consumers expressing their individual styles — for example, through reclaimed flooring used on statement walls and repurposed vintage pieces in homes,” said Haley. “Collaborative spaces are also becoming more important as populations in urban areas continue to expand, leading to more residents living in large collaborative environments that are more cost effective than individual houses or apartments.”

When it comes to wood finishing, Haley and Bob Averett, Color Design Manager at AkzoNobel, identified four trends for 2019 that transcend design:

  • Dichotomy – the importance of two-tones, multiple layers and contrasting styles in a space;
  • Authentic – organic forms that include weathered, wire-brushed finishes where imperfection is admired;
  • Luminous – pearl and metallic finishes on luxurious looks that include velvet touches; and
  • Retro-Classic – modern influences with a traditional soul.

 “These four trends we expect in 2019 are already influencing many designs right now,” said Averett. “Our job is to inspire our customers with translations of these trends into unique wood finishes and to ensure that they are capable of running these designs in their factories across the world. We help designers reflect and accent the Color of the Year, Spiced Honey, by offering interpretations based on contrasting tonal palettes to deliver an on-trend room aesthetic.”

Designers are enthusiastic about the trends research and presentation. “AkzoNobel’s Color Studio group has a long history of developing finishes across generations including working with our family. The whole team in the AkzoNobel Color Studio is knowledgeable, friendly and always available to work with us to achieve any finish we need,” said Taylor and Derek West, brothers and designers at Haywood L. West Designs, a boutique furniture and cabinet design company in High Point. “The color stylists at AkzoNobel are some of the best in the world and are always willing to take on any challenge we have for them. Their expertise and knowledge on emerging color trends makes the whole design process very efficient and enjoyable for us as young, professional product designers. By combining our own research and development at the start of a project with their on-point trend forecasts and inspirational showroom, we are always confident we will be satisfied working with the team in the Color Studio. We depend on AkzoNobel, and they always deliver.”

Haley’s presentation was delivered at a client appreciation gathering hosted by AkzoNobel at the Market event, with nearly 200 industry leaders from around the world in attendance. Customers engaged with studio artisans to review the finishing trends and see different species of wood panels displayed in novel and unique ways. The exhibit was completed with a vignette interpreting the 2019 Color of the Year in furniture, cabinetry, flooring and building products to provide inspiration for guests.