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The Fair
May 01, 2023

Bleached oak, walnut, ebony—and marine blue? Designers are branching out when it comes to wood finishing, experimenting with new techniques and an array of colors.

See the unexpected shades adding bold personality to timber finishes and furnishings in our round up below.

The Mortise bookshelf by Juntos

A detail of the wood finish; Arc Stools


A project born from a desire to blend contrasting aesthetic sensibilities in art and design, Juntos creates furniture and objects made to bring people together. Every design is developed in collaboration with highly skilled craftspeople using premium, natural materials sourced as locally as possible. Their first collection, Coming Home, offers a range of pieces made in Lewiston, Maine, using hard maple sustainably sourced from the Northeastern United States. Items come in three unique stains made exclusively for Juntos: Lichen, a soft green; Tide, a dark blue; and Tinto, a deep aubergine.

Image courtesy of INDO-


Founded in 2017 by Urvi Sharma and Manan Narang, INDO- is an award-winning interdisciplinary design studio based in Providence, Rhode Island. The duo, both natives of New Delhi, create modern furniture pieces that reference traditional dying and weaving techniques.

The studio’s Pilar collection was inspired by the bold colors and rich, earthy glazes of ceramics. “It is a nod to simple, functional, contemporary design with a beauty inherent in the handmade,” they say of the pieces.

Unique color finishes from INDO-

Image courtesy of Timbur

The Stack Collection by Timbur


Timbur is a digital fabrication company that uses advanced robotic and CNC manufacturing methods to create objects that re-imagine the natural world. The Stack collection, dboth residential and hospitality settings. The products are made in the USA using FSC-certified plywood and designed to minimize material waste.”We finish all of our Stack laminated pieces with custom-tinted waterborne acrylics,” says Ardolino of the furniture’s hues. “It takes just the right touch to build up the color while allowing the beauty of the layers to read through.”


  • The Stack Collection from Timbur

The Iris Coffee Table from Last Ditch Design

Last Ditch Design

Designed and handmade in Los Angeles, California, by self-taught woodworker Todd Hewitt, the Last Ditch collection relies on a simplicity of form, pureness of function, and subtle elegance. The studio’s Iris Coffee Table uses craft as a foundation for the minimal-yet-bold piece. Rounded edges smooth the blocky form, removing all rigid lines, while the bleached ash finish makes this solid object appear soft and almost weightless.

  • Image courtesy of Aronson Woodworks

  • A custom dresser in Chinoiserie CLAIZE™ on solid ash

Aronson Woodworks

Located 15 minutes from Des Moines, Iowa, Aronson Woodworks is a woodworking shop specializing in furniture as everyday works of art. Its handcrafted pieces undergo a proprietary, 8-step finishing technique called CLAIZE™ that renders each item truly one of a kind.

Named for founder Clay Aronson, the process infuses custom color in both the field and the grain of the wood. The results can range from dramatic to subtle depending upon the colors used and the inherent character of the wood itself.  “Each piece that is finished with CLAIZE™ is intended to last for generations,” the shop says of the approach.”Each step of our process ensures that the wood is well-protected and adheres to our measure of quality and luxury.”

Sweetheart CLAIZE™ wood finish

  • Pieces from Studio Sløyd

Studio Sløyd

Studio Sløyd is a design studio based in Oslo, Norway, which produces everything from conceptual, one-off pieces to more commercial contemporary designs. The approach is inspired by the educational sløyd— a system of handicraft-based education that is taught in Scandinavian primary school and focuses on exploring and respecting tools and material.

The designers’ latest collection, Roggbif, fuses both color and overlapping shapes and joints to highlight the qualities of the birch from which the pieces are constructed. “Rather than starting with a shape or form, we turned our usual process on its head for this project, experimenting our way to a new material,” the designers  explain. “Made from through-colored wood, these pieces will survive years and years of wear and tear—a more sustainable alternative to the industry standard of coloring wood with a vulnerable top layer.” The product’s name—the Norwegian acronym for the colors of the rainbow—also reflects its multicolored design.