What’s next in surface colors, materials and finishes?
By Jessie Collins, Rehau
June 3, 2021 | 7:45 am CDT

This high-gloss closet in Rauvisio brilliant Bianco features matching LaserEdge zero-joint edgeband for a clean, seamless finish with nothing to distract from its mirror-like reflectivity and elegance. 

 

Organization, storage, and closets are where modern and contemporary styles shine. These tight, often complex spaces need to be sleek and efficient, which has traditionally limited design to white or overused woodgrain surfaces. Today, there are many options for clients.

Closets are evolving into multi-functional spaces. If they’re doubling as a quiet office, they need to be video conference ready. If they’re also a fitness studio, they may be storing equipment and hosting additional germs, requiring more than your average closet cleaning.  

Softening color
Organizational spaces are moving beyond basic white, to warmer whites and even pastels, allowing clients to stick their toes in the color pool when they’re not quite ready to take the plunge. Deep, rich navy blues are a softer neutral, pushing the brooding boundaries beyond black. Pair navy with brass for a touch of classic Americana or rustic shiplap elements for a nautical-inspired design. Soft greys with green undertones partner with warm textured woodgrains to bring the sensations of the past year’s hikes and forest explorations indoors. 

Finishes that absorb light
Matte or gloss? In this period of retreat to the familiar, matte lends a sense of wellbeing. Super-matte is the base of modern design. This soft, light-absorbing foundation invites touch, so be sure to look for an anti-microbial option. There is still a place for gloss, especially in closets, which are often dark. High-gloss panels not only enhance light, but some offer mirror-like reflectivity that can function as an additional mirror. 

Nature’s textures at their best 
From indoor plants to stone and wood decorative elements, nature is inspiring a light and elevated mood throughout our living spaces. Among these natural textures, the color palette is making a subtle shift from cool grey to warmer rust and marigold undertones, as if the cloud cover is giving way to touches of sunshine. Much like nature, deeply textured, soft-touch woodgrain surfaces give us pause, yet are rugged enough to stand the test of time in heavily used spaces such as closets and storage built-ins. While textures are not new to the industry, relatively recent upgrades in melamine and laminate surfaces are worth a fresh look.
 
Metallic accents

Metallics – both warm and cool – are an exciting new play in the surfaces landscape. In the absence of decorative hardware, they provide a welcomed accent in organizational spaces. Since metallics mix well with stone, wood, glass, gloss, and matte, there are virtually unlimited design combinations to explore to strike just the right tone for each client. 

Monolithic unchanging edge
With the move to minimal hardware, the edge, which has often been an afterthought, becomes an even more prominent feature of your final design. Nothing says quality like a seamless finished without distracting glue lines. This look can only be achieved with zero-joint edgebanding, an adhesion process that allows the board and the edgeband to appear as one solid surface. Many other adhesion methods – such as EVA glue, PUR glue, and pre-coated glue layer – have visible glue lines that shrink and swell in heat and humidity, forming gaps. 

In closets and organizational spaces, it’s time to leave the world of white melamine and tired woodgrains with EVA-glue-adhered edgeband behind. The sleek furnishings in these spaces is where modern engineered surfaces excel. With both visual and tactile appeal, they elevate the design and offer long-lasting refuge. 

Designers now have endless options to guide clients to their own individual design. 

Editor's Note: Jesse Collins is the marketing manager for the furniture solutions division of Rehau, rehau.com.
 

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