Insider Secrets: Furniture Trends Data Reveals Top Stains and Wood SpeciesBy Bailiegh Basham · August 14, 2023
Much like fashion and food fads, home decor trends remain forever-fluid, pulling from surprising sources of inspiration and reflecting consumer interests. As we round out the latter half of 2023, Countryside Amish Furniture conducted our own research by leveraging thousands of purchase orders to pinpoint American buyers’ top preferences and what trends—based on building year-over-year momentum—may be the furniture trends of tomorrow. The data is in!
- Oak is a long-reigning king, but Cherry is an increasingly powerful contender for the crown
- Medium and dark stains are significantly more popular than light stains, but we see lighter stains gaining momentum
- Warm stains are 4.5X more popular than cool stains, though we see its lead gradually receding as requests for cool stains gradually increase from year to year
Keep reading to explore the data behind these takeaways, as well as hear expert insights into why we may be seeing such shifts in wood species and stain popularity.
How We Gathered Data to Identify Emerging Furniture Trends
How did we determine the most in-demand wood species and popular stain colors for furniture? We rolled up our sleeves and examined thousands of customer orders over the years; because our pieces are available in multiple wood species and in dozens of stains, specific furniture designs don’t bias the data as much as if our furniture was made with singular options.
We give customers free reins to choose their lumber species and stain, giving us first-hand insights into the most popular stains and wood species.
Oak Remains King But Cherry Wood Consistently Gains Ground
Three wood species stood out from the 11 wood species we studies: oak, brown maple, and cherry.
We weren’t surprised to see that oak consistently was the most popular choice amongst fans of solid wood furniture. It’s incredibly durable, displays an iconic open grain, is adaptable to a full range of stains, and tends to carry a lower price tag than other choices of timber.
However, data revealed that cherry wood was an emerging star, as it was the only wood to consistently gain popularity as all other species oscillated from one year to the next. In fact, in the past months, it outperformed brown maple for the first time to become our second-most requested wood.
Why? Finding inspiration from nature was never a trend that went away, but we see it now more than ever. People are increasingly drawn to naturally-tinted stains that showcases the wood’s natural character, and it’s hard to find a timber more full of warmth and personality than cherry.
People Prefer Medium Stains But Light Stains Emerge From the Shadows
Why medium stains continue to dominate: Medium wood stains are popular because they strike a balance between preserving the natural beauty of wood and adding a touch of warmth and character. These stains allow the wood's inherent grains, knots, and textures to shine through, enhancing its organic appeal. They provide a timeless and classic look that complements various interior styles, making them a versatile choice for both traditional and modern aesthetics.
Why customers are increasingly considering light stains: Looking at the data, we can’t pretend that light stains rival the popularity of dark or medium stains. Part of the reason they’re less popular is tied consumers’ choice of wood species themselves, with red oak, brown maple, and cherry looking particularly handsome finished in richer tones.
However, lighter wood stains align with multiple increasingly popular home decor movements, starting with Scandinavian-inspired interior design that embraces natural materials, airiness, and overall visual lightness. Lighter stains also accommodate people’s growing desire to “bring the outdoors in,” by showcasing the woods’ natural grain and imperfections.
Warm Stains are Overwhelmingly More Popular Than Cool, But Cool Begins to Rally
When comparing distinctly warmer stains versus cooler stains, warm was the undisputed winner; in 2023, warm colors proved 4.5X more popular than their cooler counterparts. However, in past years, this lead was even greater; warm stains' dominance has gradually but consistently decreased as cool coloring begins to gain (particularly in 2022 and 2023).
Why do shoppers prefer warm stains: Warm and neutral stains lend themselves to a greater range of decor styles, especially those with rustic or traditional undertones. What’s more, the colors emphasize the wood’s innate coloring and inviting nature, while cooler stains can feel less organic.
The very reasons cooler stains were less frequently requested are also the reasons it has a small but growing number of fans. Cool tints make furniture feel contemporary and cosmopolitan, making it ideally suited for surging design trends like Industrial, Scandanavian, and Coastal.
Want to Learn More About Furniture Craftmanship? Read With Countryside Amish Furniture
If there’s one thing we’re passionate about, it's furniture! We proudly offer customers made-to-order pieces hand-crafted by Amish woodworkers, meaning that we have a keen eye and appreciation for quality. To further your knowledge of wood stains, decor, and furniture construction, read:
- To Mix or Match? A Guide to Choosing Wood Stains That Go Together
- Wood Table Leg and Base Styles
- Table Edge Profiles
- Standard Height vs. Counter Height vs. Bar Height
- Guide to Cherry Wood Furniture
- Guide to Brown Maple Furniture
- Guide to Oak Furniture