Warm-toned woodgrain decors are set to play a vital supporting role to solid colour in Australian kitchen and bathroom design in 2020.

While nature-inspired solid colours are set to dominate interior design in 2020, warm-toned timbers are the perfect accompaniment, bringing texture and contrast and, as we see in the palettes from Laminex Forecast 2020, helping to create spaces with very different looks and feelings. Here are our tips for bringing them into your kitchen and bathroom.

Bathroom with floating vanity
Floating vanity featuring Laminex Elegant Oak
Keep it simple with blocks of woodgrain and colour

Warm timbers work best when applied at scale, to showcase the natural detail in their woodgrain patterning. At the same time, the trend around colour blocking in interior design means that solid colours are also mostly being applied over large surfaces. So instead of building a complicated colour palette, consider choosing just one woodgrain decor and one colour, with each applied to entire sections of cabinetry. For example, drawing on the deep and moody hues of the Deep Below palette, you could pair dark brown Laminex Blackened Legno on tower cabinetry with classic blue French Navy on main cabinetry.

Cabinetry carcass in Possum
Cabinetry carcass in Possum
Celebrate the opulent return of art deco

The decors of Deep Below will also support another big trend for 2020 – the grand return of art deco. To emulate this style, the emphasis is very much on dark tones and jewel-like flashes of colour, with warm woodgrain elements evoking the textural character of timber furniture and fittings. Deep blue Laminex Midnight and warm Charcoal are great options for main cabinetry. Blackened Legno can again feature on tower cabinetry, or in adjacent areas, on built-in furniture or a dining table. And to complete the look, emerald-green velvet upholstery on dining chairs, and perhaps brass cabinetry handles or tapware.

Create natural warmth with the “new neutrals”

White, beige and grey are no longer the default neutrals in interior design. They’ve been joined by a range of warmer and more colour-driven tones, which are set to have a huge influence on Australian homes in 2020 and beyond. These warmer tones are, of course, beautifully complemented by warm timbers, as showcased by the selection of decors of the nature-inspired In the Shallows palette. One possible combination amongst many – main cabinetry in deep brown Laminex Espresso offset by warm, earthy Stipple Hemp for benchtops, and supported by accents in the rich, organic brown woodgrain texture of Jarrah Legno.

Connect to nature with the colours and textures of the bush

In the Shallows also highlights the colour-driven neutrals that have risen to prominence, with a wonderful range of muted organic green decors reminiscent of eucalyptus foliage and native grasses. The beauty of these greens, which include warm green Green Slate, delicate yellow-green Seed and sage-green Bayleaf, is that they work just as well as single hero colours as they do when brought together in “tonal” combinations. And in either approach, small amounts of a warm timber decor such as red-toned Natural Teak will bring subtle texture and a stunning natural colour contrast, like a glimpse of tree trunk amongst the leaves.

Use woodgrains to create the look of furniture

Another great way to celebrate a warm woodgrain decor in a palette of solid colours is to design a piece of cabinetry to have a furniture-like presence. In your kitchen, the island bench; in the bathroom, a vanity; and in other rooms, a wardrobe or study nook. You might choose the beautifully aged look of Laminex Weathered Ash in a kitchen featuring the warm neutrals of the Calm palette, or finely grained Waxed Maple in a bathroom of muted pastels inspired by See the Light. The key is to use just the one woodgrain decor for the entire object, to set it apart from other surfaces.

Laminex study nook with Smoked Birchply and Tinted Paper Terrazzo
Shelves and cabinetry: Laminex Smoked Birchply. Wall panel: Laminex Tinted Paper Terrazzo. Wall colour: Dulux Pancake Mix. Handles: Linear Standard. Designed by Bree Leech. Photography by Derek Swalwell.
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