Design and styling experts from AkzoNobel’s Wood Coatings used the Spring 2016 High Point International Furniture Market in April to introduce the five major lifestyle trends for 2016 that are driving styles within the wood industry. First shown at last fall’s Furniture Market, the evening’s showcase took a closer look at the trends and brought each of them to life. Freestanding wall displays dedicated to each of the trends featured lifestyle cues tied together with complementary examples of wood colors, techniques and finishing processes – all created by the artisans and technicians in the AkzoNobel International Color Studio located in High Point, NC. Another display showcased the 2016 AkzoNobel Color of the Year, Ochre Gold, and demonstrated how it could be used as a key accent to enhance the trends. According to Robert Haley, color trends manager for AkzoNobel’s Wood Coatings business, “It’s a very exciting time for the wood coatings industry. Since the inception of the open home construction, we have seen a tremendous amount of interest from all our customers in what each industry is introducing. “Creating a seamless fusion between flooring, furniture, cabinetry, windows and doors is a high priority. The casual finish trend continues to grow across all style decors, which validates consumers’ appreciation for a relaxed home environment.” The displays were designed to invite attendee interaction and set off conversations between the designers and manufacturers in attendance. “By presenting wood trends in the context of lifestyles, AkzoNobel has made it easier for the designers to envision how to integrate the colors and finish techniques into their designs and readily communicate it to the manufacturers,” Haley said. Christopher Bradford, director of marketing for the Wood Coatings business added: “We continue to look for new and exciting ways to make the trends more lifestyle-relatable. With each new AkzoNobel trends report we want to make it easier for designers to select complementary finishes across segments. These new displays are a step in that direction,” he said. “We intend to continue adding new layers to our trends reports and expect to have an even more dynamic presentation for our customers when we launch the 2017 trends at next October’s Fall Market.” In addition to the trends presentation, AkzoNobel showcased its innovative waterborne coatings with a ‘Touch Challenge.’ Two identical furniture pieces were positioned side by side, one finished with solvent-borne nitrocellulose lacquer and the other with the new waterborne technology. “Attendees had difficulty telling the two apart, highlighting the progress AkzoNobel has made in elevating the aesthetics and design capability of waterborne technology,” Bradford said. “Sustainable wood coatings are a consumer driven industry trend and an important part of AkzoNobel’s Planet Possible initiative.”