Walnut the Wood of 2015

Walnut the wood of the yearEvery year, I see paint companies post their picks for the paint color of the year in an attempt to set the trend for what is popular for those years’ interior designs. This year Benjamin Moore announced their trends to be monochromatic colors, with Guilford Green (HC-116) as the color to tie it all together.  Pantone revealed that their paint color for 2015 is marsala, which is quite different from Benjamin Moore’s color pick.

As each paint company reveals its color choices, many interior designers turn to their blogs and social media to promote or weigh in with their opinion of whether or not these color choices are actual trends or just trumped up to sell paint.

As I watch people post their interior designs across the web, using their chosen paint color, there is one thing missing: the presence and beauty of natural wood. It makes me sad that many of these pictures seem to be right out of an HGTV show sponsored by a paint company, and many people are missing out on the rich colors and beautiful figures in the grain that natural wood has to offer. This got me thinking: why can’t woodworkers have a trending wood of the year this year? I think woodworkers should declare walnuts as the wood of the year.

Walnut has rich brown tones that range from medium light streaks to deep dark brown. I have even seen, in some pieces, beautiful streaking of purple and violets.

Walnut works well as an accent wood being inlaid into a contrasting lighter wood or is great at creating a bold statement by building an entire piece of furniture from it.

It mills beautifully, and it is durable enough with a Janka hardness rating of 3684 to withstand the abuse of time.

Walnut is a domestic wood here in the United States and is regulated to prevent deforestation, so it is harvested in a sustainable manner.

Don’t fall victim to the made-up trends of the paint companies, and let the natural beauty of wood come through. The range of different colors and depths of the figure in the grain of natural wood is far more beautiful than the monochromatic tones of paint.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.


  1. I just recently found your blog and know it’s a little late but I like the idea of wood of the year. Wood is so beautiful from different grains, to colors and I even love the smell when your cutting into some woods.
    I found the real beauty of wood by accident one day when I forgot to mix my walnut polyshade stain and ended up putting just a coat of polyurethane on the wood and what I got was something absolutely beautiful. I may use stain from time to time depending on the type of wood I’m using but not to often after this screw up lol.
    I love your video’s, ideas and the music in the videos. Don’t think that no one is paying attention cause they are. You should keep posting your ideas for wood of the year. I didn’t see one for 2016 yet.

    1. Thanks Michael, I have a few new blog posts in the works and should be coming out soon, I’ll work in a 2016 wood.

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