Valspar introduces Peek 2011: Style Guide

High Point, NC – Wood craftsmen are inspired by design trends – the colors, textures, finishes and shapes that enhance the vibrancy of wood. But, the ability to achieve the newest looks, and replicate them in the manufacturing process, is what distinguishes true craftsman from layman; and turns a mere cabinet into a celebration of style. This month, Valspar Wood Products, the innovation leader in wood coatings, introduces PEEK 2011: Style Guide that sets the tone for trends in wood finishings; and offers ideas and instruction for hobby woodworkers to industrial craftsmen so they can achieve the most contemporary finishes.

“In wood, finish is the distinguishing touch that makes the style statement on the best furniture, cabinetry and woodcraft pieces,”’ said Edwin Messer, director of Global Wood Business Development at Valspar and leader of the internationally recognized Valspar Global Color and Design Studio. “It is finish that creates the apirational element to a finished wooded piece. Whether it’s furniture, kitchen cabinets, windows, doors or moldings, the coatings that are used and how they are innovatively applied with a master craftsman’s touch can increase the perceived value of a piece and differentiate upper-end products from lower-end options.”

For years, Valspar’s Global Color and Design Studio has worked with the largest wooden cabinet and furniture design leaders to create the “looks of the future.” With the new PEEK 2011: Style Guide, the company opens its vault of innovation and creativity to smaller manufacturers and craftsmen, allowing them to see the newest style possibilities and offering information and instruction to help them achieve the newest looks with the most advanced products on the market.

“Our expertise has been to innovate color and finishes for multiple manufacturing applications,” said Messer. “We regularly travel the world for inspiration, from Vermont to Indonesia. From what we see, we come back to the Valspar Design Studio and use proprietary technology to create the same distressed, reclaimed look we saw in the barn in Iowa or the sleek, lacquer finish from an old chest in China. We then work with manufacturers to create custom looks for their lines that allow them to stay ahead of trend. Normally, this kind of knowledge and training is only available to the large manufacturers. Now, we can help the smaller OEMs achieve their vision.”
Part of the research conducted by Valspar helps them determine the next trends in color and techniques in aging that add character to wooden pieces. “We are still seeing dark finishes dominating the palate moving forward,” shares Messer. “We see a lot of old mixed with new – reclaimed wood mixed with high-tech finishes. Wood paired with exotic materials from around the globe. Pops of bright blues within a sea of neutrals. Unique chemical and physical aging applications now realistically reflect the use of pieces. For example, aging on a table is not randomly applied all over a piece, but applied where dishes and serving pieces would naturally land on a tabletop. Eclectic is the word that sums it up.”

To get a glimpse of styles that are trending, “PEEK 2011: Style Guide” features four core models:
• “At Home” demonstrates a livable way of decorating that is easy, comfortable and cozy, authentic and real. There’s lots of wood—mixed in tone and texture— and calming colors on walls and fabrics. Hints of trend can be found in the use of a metallic table or interesting cabinet knobs.
• “Timeless” starts with rich, deep colors, heavenly fabrics, curvy shapes, and a focus on beautiful finishes. Telltale signs of sophistication are the use of vintage accents of silver or china—candlesticks, decanters, vases. Rooms feature pieces that are collectibles and keepsakes.
• “Trends” showcases a liberating way to live when you design around emerging trends. Mixing and matching modern with vintage, darks with lights, finished pieces with raw elements is signature to the style. This is where old meets new and everything in between.
• A modern Mecca of glossy and glam is what distinguishes the style, “Minimalist.” Here, less is more. Clean lines dominate. This minimalist look can seem simple at first, but when accented with bold accessories and vibrant color, it quickly gains pizzazz. Sleekly sophisticated, cool and arty, there’s an upscale art-museum quality about this style.

The beauty of “PEEK 2011: Style Guide” is the fact that tips and instruction on how to achieve the styles showcased in the guide are detailed throughout. Call-out features indicate the materials and Valspar finishes used in each model room. The Guide provides a Custom Finish Instruction Code for each example. Manufacturers can contact their Valspar distributor to receive complete instructions on how to achieve the looks in the Guide. “This is the most important feature of the Guide,” adds Messer. “Looking at a beautiful piece is one thing, replicating it is another; and replicating it in the manufacturing process is the most important thing for smaller OEMs. This is our way to help them innovate, using the best products and techniques in the industry, to help them better compete in their areas of the industry.”

Valspar’s Zenith® line of waterborne products is used throughout much of the guide. These products are Greenguard-certified and are the only complete line of waterborne finishes on the market. They perform like traditional solvent-based finishes, but are HAPs-free and very-low-VOC. Plus, the company’s renowned COLOR Choice program allows manufacturers to get an unlimited array of custom colors for matching and finishing. Now, manufacturers can deliver the colors customers want and the finishes that are in vogue while allowing for precise and consistent replication of the latest styles.
About Valspar

The Valspar Corporation (NYSE:VAL), producer of the first wood varnish sold in North America beginning in 1806, is a global leader in the paint and coatings industry, including stains, varnishes, lacquers, topcoats, and other finishing products. Valspar is dedicated to bringing customers the latest innovations, the finest quality and the best customer service to enhance all wood products around the world. The company is focused on environmental improvement to reduce waste, emissions and pollutants; and improve worker health and safety around the globe. Consumer-facing ValsparEarthSense.com is an online resource providing environmental advice on painting projects.

SOURCE: Valspar Corp.

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