Natural wood is one of the most versatile and valuable materials available. It’s abundant, beautiful, durable, a renewable resource, and serves a variety of purposes. 

It’s the uniqueness and flexibility of wood that also makes it perfect for making furniture, inspiring a multitude of warm, cozy and distinctive design possibilities. 

Practice Makes Imperfect

Unlike man-made materials that are manufactured to strict and uniform specifications, hardwood solids and veneers have natural imperfections that are part of their organic appeal and character. (BDI Natural Walnut)

Like snowflakes, every piece of wood differs from every other, even when originating from the same tree. As such, variation in grain, texture and tone should be expected from one panel or piece of furniture to the next. These variations generate the natural beauty and individuality of a genuine wood finish.

For example, BDI's Natural Walnut finish is clear-coated and does not include any stains or color modifiers in order to allow these natural characteristics to shine through.

Wood Matching Methods

When a log is sliced, the width of the leaves are a function of the size of the log, the slicing method and the distance of the slice from the diameter of the log. To make a veneer panel, the leaves are cut to width and spliced together. The manner in which these are arranged or spliced is called matching and has a dramatic effect on the appearance.

The two most common methods are Book Matching and Slip Matching. Depending upon the intent of the design, BDI will utilize either book or slip matching to create the most compelling and distinct visual effect.

Book Matching

Book matching is a process where two or more wood surfaces are paired so that the adjoining surfaces mirror one another, like an open book. This technique is frequently used to enhance furniture veneer.

Slip Matching

Slip matching is the process in which a sequence of matching veneer slices are slipped out one after the next, to form the face of a panel. This results in all the same face sides being exposed. The visual effect shows a repeating grain pattern, but joints do not show grain match.

Common Slicing Methods

The slicing process is composed of several techniques: rotary slicing, quarter slicing, plain slicing, rift slicing and half-round slicing. Each of these methods will produce a very distinctive type of grain depending upon the species selected.

BDI utilizes both quarter and plain slicing to create the most compelling visual impact.

  • Quarter Sliced Straight Pattern

    As the name implies, the log is sliced into quarters before slicing the veneer. The resulting grain pattern is typically straighter in most species.

  • Plain Sliced Flame Shaped

    Made by sawing the log parallel to the center line. The grain pattern produced is commonly referred to as "cathedral" or "flame" shaped. 

Let There Be Light

Hardwoods can change color depending on their exposure to sunlight. For instance, a shade of the wood may become richer over time when exposed to ambient natural light, assuming a warm, darker radiance and silky patina. If displayed in direct sunlight, the wood can fade and lighten. 

To preserve the beauty of the finish, clean the surface of your furniture with a soft damp cloth and then dry it thoroughly. To avoid discolored spots in the wood tone, periodically move any items that are resting on the finished surfaces including lamps, vases, TVs, and books.

By taking gentle care of your hardwood furniture, you will be able to enjoy one-of-a-kind pieces with long-lasting personality and style for many years. 

Show Some Character

Natural hardwoods and veneer contain unique features that make for visually pleasing patterns such as knots, threads, and swirls.