Modern style, light colour and visible knots – that’s how consumers want to decorate their home with wood. This is according to a study of opinions on interior pine products, conducted as a research project within the Swedish strategic innovation programme, BioInnovation.

The organisers of the study are industry organisation Swedish Wood, Linköping University and Luleå University of Technology.

A study has reflected a positive view of wood for interior décor. Image credit: Luleå University of Technology, Wood Science and Engineering.

A study has reflected a positive view of wood for interior décor. Image credit: Luleå University of Technology, Wood Science and Engineering.

The purpose of the study was to create a clear picture of market requirements and expectations when it comes to interior wood products. The results are drawn from a questionnaire in seven European countries: Sweden, Norway, the UK, Poland, Germany, France and Spain, and are based on over 7 000 responses.

The results clearly show a positive view of wood in the home in all countries, irrespective of the interior style (Modern, Scandinavian, Classic and Country). Wood also reinforces a positive attitude towards each interior design style, so people become more positive towards a style if it has exposed wood than if there is no wood. The respondents prefer wood for flooring, wall cladding and furniture, once again irrespective of the style.

A large group particularly prefers pine wood flooring, and light colours are more popular for both wood flooring and wall cladding. More want visible knots in wood flooring and cladding than knot-free alternatives. For consumers, ease of cleaning, help with installation and the option of home delivery are all key factors for their purchases. Broadly speaking, price, quality and look/design are of equal importance when purchasing home furnishing products.

According to Olof Broman, lecturer at Luleå University of Technology, the main takeout from the study is that wood is very much ‘on trend’. “The study shows that with the right style, colour, finish, function and design, there is enormous potential for pine in both furniture and interior design,” says Olof.

For wood flooring, around 70% of the respondents prefer a light colour palette, in this case pale brown and grey. The same also applies to wall cladding, with white wood another popular choice. “Wooden floors and walls bring a warm feeling to an interior. With new technologies and finishes, it’s also possible to create many different looks and styles. We saw this at the London Design Fair, for example, where the Swedish Design Pavilion attracted considerable attention with its innovative, pink stained wood,” comments Björn Nordin, Director of Interior & Design at Swedish Wood.

The respondents in the study were also asked their view of statements regarding the environmental impact of products, with the majority saying that they value a product having a low environmental impact, and over half also stating that, from an environmental point of view, wood is a better material than the alternatives.