When new and unfinished, oak furniture will naturally appear quite light with a slightly yellowed hue. All woods however can have significant colour variation from one piece to another, as with any natural product. Any sample products should be taken as indicative of the wood and finish, however it is not possible to guarantee an exact colour match.
Over time, sunlight will cause the wood to darken and mellow throughout its life. Oils in the skin will accelerate this process with any areas that are regularly touched, such as handles, table edges or chair backs, gaining a noticeably darker tint to the rest of the furniture.
Solid oak furniture may also be subject to rough grain protruding from previously smooth surfaces. This is usually caused in humid conditions or areas where spillage has occurred, the water having been absorbed into the wood causing the grain to swell.
Compared to oak, walnut is quite dark when first cut, especially the American black walnut varieties. Sunlight will cause walnut to lighten overtime, often bleaching into a light brown, with perhaps a slightly red tint to it.
In all other respects, walnut behaves much in the same way as oak (see above).
Ash behaves in all respects nearly identically to oak, the main difference is ash has a slightly narrower grain. Again, as with oak, ash will darken over time.
Cherry is a wood that starts very pale, and can look very similar to both ash and oak when young. Over time, sunlight will cause cherry to darken and redden.
Avoid placing objects on cherry for a long period of time in a fixed position as this will mean the area which has been covered will remain lighter than the rest of the wood.
Sourced from North America, grey elm has a rich grain that makes it a fascinating and beautiful timber, especially when used to craft wide surfaces such as table tops and seats.
Elm is hard wearing with lacquered finishes naturally darkening over time.
Some of our furniture collections will include stained versions of the woods described above, usually in ash or oak, adding a little more protection from spillages.
Staining also adds a greater level of colour control between batches, however, as the stain is still applied to a natural surface, there will still be some level of natural variation between pieces.