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Wood surfaces bring warmth to tented events

Trend Watch | August 1, 2009 | By:

Incorporating wood and wood-grain surfaces into decor.

A trend is emerging for tented events, especially in the northern California region, toward embracing the natural interior environment. The trend includes using a variety of types of wood in a variety of applications, according to Susan Kidwell, Northern California regional manager for Classic Party Rentals in Burlingame, Calif. “Sometimes we’ve used old, weathered wood from a salvageyard that tore down an old barn or stained planks [for flooring],” she says. “We used the planking on top of our subfloor to create a firm foundation but with a natural look.” For clients who want a more polished look, Kidwell says designers are choosing to use Pergo® laminated flooring as an alternative.

There are challenges and concerns with using weathered wood for flooring. “Some of the weathered wood has knots in it,” Kidwell says. “You need to be careful not to create a liability hazard if someone were to catch their heel [in one of the knots].” For that reason, Classic Party Rentals designers prefer to use solid planking rather than types of wood that are more knotty, like weathered barn wood.

Installers also need to keep in mind that the wood flooring is a multiuse item, Kidwell says. With single-use flooring, installers can just pull the flooring up, but with more expensive wood flooring they need to be sure to unscrew it so the flooring is not damaged.

Keeping in mind many clients’ economic restrictions, Kidwell points out that there’s no need to do the whole tent in wood. Many clients opt to use wood for that first dramatic impact—the registration tent for a corporate event or the entry tent for a residential event. Then for the rest of the spaces clients may choose brown Astroturf® or something less expensive.

“We’ve also used wood for accent visual pieces,” Kidwell says, “everything from creating encasements around a wallpole to using a wood header board for the eave of the tent.”

As with all design elements, the possibilities of a wood motif are only limited by your imagination. “Be creative, and brainstorm with your client,” Kidwell says.

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