Wooden Aquarelle by Meike Harde uses an unusual painting technique to create individually tinted furniture that double as works of art.

This Watercolor-Inspired, Hand-Painted Wood Furniture Is Vibrant and Dreamy

This Watercolor-Inspired, Hand-Painted Wood Furniture Is Vibrant and Dreamy

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
May 1 2015 1:50 PM

This Watercolor-Inspired, Hand-Painted Wood Furniture Is Vibrant and Dreamy

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle06
A watercolor-tinted room divider screen from German designer Meike Harde, who is inspired by German Expressionist painting techniques.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

German designer Meike Harde makes poetic objects and furniture, such as a clock that tells time with a ballerina’s limbs or lightweight metal clothing storage covered in soft, dreamy fabrics.

Recently featured in a satellite showcase for emerging talent at the Milan Furniture Fair, her new series, Wooden Aquarelle, is inspired by the fluid pigments of watercolors and techniques used by German Expressionist painters August Macke and Emil Nolde.

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle07
A set of watercolor-tinted nesting tables from Meike Harde.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

Harde clamps birchwood sheets to a waterproof frame, washing the wooden surfaces with pigmented water that soaks and tints the wood. The pigmented water creates an effect she likens to “translucent ink.”

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle03
150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle04
Birchwood sheets are placed on a frame then tinted with pigmented water to produce random, unique effects on each piece.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

Advertisement

The water evaporates within a few hours to leave a singular pattern of streaks, smudges, and color variations, each sheet resembling an abstract watercolor painting. Once it’s completely dry, she seals the wood with a transparent finish.

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle11
150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle01
150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle02
Close-ups of the watercolor-tinted wood.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

Then she turns the painted panels into furniture-like dining or nesting tables and room divider screens. Harde says that her technique allows for the mass production of individually unique pieces.

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle05
150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle08
Dining table made from pigmented wood.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

Harde notes that the boards can also be used as wall panels or floor tiles to add a fresh, artistic flourish to interiors.

150501_EYE_WoodenAquarelle09
The tinted birchwood boards can also be used as flooring or wall panels.

Courtesy of Meike Harde/Karolina Suflida

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.