Wooden derivatives are often used in interior projects to add character. Throughout history, wood has been a part of interior styles in one way or another. In the Georgian era, dark red mahogany wood combined with intricate details and sculptural elements were all the rage. Even now, wood heavily buttresses styles such as Mid-century Modern and Scandinavian designs.
VD Werkstätten, a German manufacturer, has been a stalwart provider of wood products for over 50 years. What started as a small joinery factory in the heart of the German furniture industry today is an international industrial production plant. Although the top name in relief panels, VD Werkstätten has also begun to establish its name in the design and construction world.
Romain Hubert, their Managing Partner, comments, “We have seen many trends come and go over the years. Some wood species or veneers were prevalent in the past and then disappeared from the market, but they are coming back in different ways. For example, our linear structures are popular today, and our top sellers are similar to our top-selling products from twenty to twenty-five years ago. When it comes to interiors, wood is a classic and timeless choice. No material is as versatile and adaptable as wood – it can achieve all types of decor – from rustic and historical to modern and contemporary. There is something quite magical about the organic warmth that wood brings into an interior.”
Wood and Craftsmanship
Wood carving is one of humankind’s most ancient crafts. Ornate carvings in wood can make a nonchalant passerby look back in curiosity. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, wood-carved art, furniture and windows were the most swanky assets any home or premise could hold. With the discovery and research advancement of other materials, such as metals and rubber, and the demand for mass-produced products post-industrial revolution, handwork took a backseat. However, its rarity fuels its novelty even more today, and VD Werkstätten understands this.
“Ever since VD-Werkstätten was established, we have aimed to have craftsmanship geared towards innovation. Craftsmanship is still an important part of our production. We also rely on innovative machinery, but professional craftspersons with experience are crucial to the production of our embossed wood panels. The first step – meticulously handcrafting the design of the mould is pivotal for the quality of the finished product”, informs Romain.
Popular contemporary interior design styles like modern, minimalistic, and industrial might not require complex wood carvings or craftsmanship, but that does not mean simple and clean woodwork cannot benefit from keen craftsmanship.
Wood and Design
There’s been a worldwide ‘aha’ moment, especially after the pandemic. Our interior spaces lack connection with nature. Physically separated by a window pane, this disconnection from the outdoors has had repercussions on our mental well-being. Design considerations such as the placement of plants, provision of openable windows wherever possible and clever use of wood in design can establish a link with nature.
While vinyl sheets, HPL (high-pressure laminates), and melamine-faced boards are good options. With VD Werkstätten, there exists an opportunity to replicate the nuances of wood’s texture, colour, and grains in a design. Alongside stirring a bit of good ol’ nature, the entire look and feel of the space also benefit from these options. The availability of a wide range of offerings also allows designers to play around – after all even subtle changes in tints and skin can really transform a design.
“In addition to our unique embossing technique, the veneer or wood surface also plays a significant role in creating a design and atmosphere. Our most in-demand product is our embossed wood panels with lacquered surfaces and varied wood veneer surfaces. We develop designs independently, but during conversations with customers, we often collaborate on trend-setting ideas and designs. Many architects and designers show us images of a single sample that, thanks to our unique production process, can be produced in large quantities by us in an identical manner and quality”, informs Romain.
In Dubai, VD Werkstätten has contributed to projects for Emaar in Downtown Dubai and delivered unique decorative panels for the Marriott and Hilton Hotels on Palm Jumeirah. The Mövenpick Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah and the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi are also part of the brand’s portfolio. Currently, VD Werkstätten is also working on several hotels in the Red Sea project in Saudi Arabia.
26 January, 2023