Guild Anderson have undertaken some fantastic bespoke furniture commissions in the last few months, increasingly including unusual and original requests for high-quality veneer cabinetry finishes.
Spurred by recent technical advances in the veneers market, our design team has been exploring creative and practical uses for veneers. Reduced manufacturing costs have made exotic woods more viable and the sheer variety of veneer colours, textures and patinas now available is enormously exciting. Thanks to ‘altered’ and coloured natural woods, veneers can bring a more contemporary, sharper and crisper edge to a room than a hand painted finish.
Veneers are extremely tactile, quite impossibly beautiful and mesmerizing, and make an intriguing alternative for kitchen cabinetry, a library or study. Guild Anderson are supplied by trade-only Mundy Veneers, based in the West Country. Mundy’s stock a huge range of 800 natural and man-made finished veneers. Simon Mundy’s enthusiasm for the beauty of raw veneer is infectious and he makes it a personal quest to source the best timbers for our clients, like the search for a fine wine or cigar. His descriptions of his travels are highly evocative – of bundles of veneers laid out to be examined for defects and splits, as carefully and as precious as an uncut diamond; the smells of the raw wood, the richly aromatic Cedar of Lebanon or distinctive, fragrant and earthy smell of teak.
Simon describes how the texture, smell and tone indicate a log’s potential as a veneer, so he physically handles each one to test the sound. The real thing has a pretty and distinctive resonance, without which the wood may either be too dry or doesn’t contain enough oil, causing problems further down the line.
Guild Anderson and Mundy’s have collaborated on a number of projects. A country house kitchen, installed recently in Wiltshire, used a modern grey Tabu veneer called ‘Caleidolgno’, the soft tones of the grey accentuating the grain of the wood. Carrera marble work surfaces and walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Lulworth Blue’ were chosen to underline the sophistication of the veneered, handle-less kitchen cabinets to a very good effect.
Handling veneers is clearly a specialist’s job, the glues and lacquers making it a complicated and delicate business. However, wood veneers are a flexible, rewarding material to work with – the finish is up to skilled cabinetry designers and makers like the team in the Guild Anderson workshop, and the possibilities for different design effects are almost limitless.
From traditional to modern treatments, veneers can be textured or even embossed with 3-D shapes pressed into the veneer like a leather, and are drawing particular attention as a medium from which to create something highly innovative and individual. With such thought-provoking modern finishes, colours and cutting techniques, the future of wood veneers is one we are watching with interest.
Further examples of our work can be found throughout the website showing natural wood veneers in lacewood, larch, rosewood and american black walnut.