Foil finish wood panel designs are getting more artistic with new trends focusing on mixing colours and textures, according to Decorative Panels’ design chief Julian Tatham.

He said both subtle and high-profile mixing of colours and textures was currently being used to good effect.

Mr Tatham said finishes were also moving in line with the style icons of the times, notably cars and iPods, with white the strongest individual theme.

“Grey unicolours and single colours that reflect earthy hues like greens and browns are rising in importance and the traditionally dark woodgrains like walnuts are getting lighter.

“Even the lighter woods like beech and maple are getting ever lighter with increasing levels of texture now being a priority feature in the printing.”

Mr Tatham said oak grains are also becoming lighter, with traditional medium brown now being optimum, while cherry can have overtone hints of grey-browns.

He said exotic wood finishes were strengthening their position, with specification still in the darker shades.