Walnut has a rich history in the interior design space, and for good reason. Its dark color, beautiful patina, timeless quality, and ability to bring instant warmth to any room makes it a perfect choice for design-lovers who value practicality, sustainability, and aesthetics. With the recent launch of Zig Zag, our budget-friendly, natural walnut hardwood floor, we wanted to share the many reasons we adore this timeless wood.
In Ancient times, the Greeks and Romans valued walnut for its durability and workability in furniture-making. In the Medieval and Renaissance periods, walnut’s dark brown hue and distinctive graining made it the preferred choice for castle paneling. In the 18th and 19th centuries, walnut was used for tables, cabinetry, and more, complementing intricately carved, ornate furniture designs. Today, walnut remains a popular choice in contemporary design with its versatility appealing to homeowners with traditional or modern tastes, or those desiring a look that falls somewhere in between. Throughout history, walnut has maintained its appeal and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Why do designers like to use walnut wood?
Designers enjoy walnut for various reasons:
1. Unique Tone and Graining
Its inviting deep brown tone, tight graining that adds visual interest, and distinct color that will patina over time make it an attractive wood for furniture, cabinetry, and other elements.
Walnut wood features dynamic natural grain patterns and rich brown tones.
2. Design Adaptability
Walnut is highly adaptable and can be used in various design styles from transitional to midcentury to uber modern. Warm up a new-build with walnut or enhance your home’s historical architecture with an equally historic material.
Walnut has excellent durability (similar to that of white oak), resists wear-and-tear, and is relatively easy to work with. It’s a good choice for flooring as it will hold up to foot traffic and lively households with children and/or animals.
4. Forever Classic
Walnut has and will continue to transcend trends. The sophisticated appearance of walnut contributes to it being a good choice in both residential and commercial settings.
5. Environmental Adaptability
Walnut trees are adaptable to a range of climates and soil types. While the trees harvested for Zig Zag come from Europe, walnut trees can thrive in various regions and growing conditions.
Sustainably managed walnut orchards promote long-term ecological health and biodiversity. Walnut is readily available and good forestry management practices ensure it continues to be a renewable resource.
7. Cultural Significance
Humans have been eating walnuts for hundreds of years. In some cultures, walnut trees hold symbolic and cultural significance and are associated with wisdom and longevity. The Romans linked walnuts with Jupiter, the king of the gods, while the ancient Greeks, the first to cultivate the tree, used walnuts for medicinal purposes, for clothing, hair dye, and more.
8. Easy Maintenance
Walnut flooring is easy-to-maintain with the right cleaning products. Learn more about how to clean your hardwood floors here.
9. Increased Home Value
Like engineered hardwood floors, walnut floors are an attractive resale feature. By installing wood in your home, it’ll increase its value by 2 to 3 percent, on average. Not only are wood floors beautiful, but they are a much healthier alternative to toxic vinyl or laminate flooring.