Mixing Modern Materials with Backlit Finishes- Part 1

With Neocon 2010 fast approaching, your head is surely spinning with creative ideas and your desk will soon be filled with samples and swatches. How to bring them all together in a space? That’s the challenge.

GPI will be reviewing new innovative materials in the design world and giving ideas about how ato integrate these materials with our stone finishes. To kick off, we explore carved MDF panels. GPI will be investigating new interior material trends, so stayed tuned through the end of June. 

Carved MDF panels

(above images: Volta™ artistic dimensional panels courtesy of Marlite, Inc.)

Qualities: modern, creative, bold, fluid

Appearance: fluid lines, but in a more prominent and geometric pattern than found in stone.  Carvings and surface relief create pronounced shadows, while stone has a flat surface with the depth and layers being brought out when backlit. Carved MDF panels are often lit with grazers to highlight and shadow, while translucent stone and resin have the most pleasing aesthetic when evenly backlit.

Found in: lobbies, feature walls, reception desks, restaurants

Design tip for stone: Choose a more “modern” stone with uninterrupted surface. Distinct veins will compete with the sculptural MDF panels.  Keep both surfaces in the same color scheme or keep the stone to a neutral/white palette.

Design tip for alternative surface: Backlit resins are often well-suited for use adjacent to sculptural MDF panels.  The saturated color and uniform surface match the streamlined aesthetic, while the lightweight nature of resin allows for minimal structure, much like the MDF panels themselves.

Know of a product you’d like us to feature? Send material suggestions to info@gpidesign.com.