Veneer laminates featured in kitchens for Design Within Reach.

They say the best place to be at a party is in the kitchen. That’s never been more true than when the kitchen is clad in Treefrog Veneer. Black Oak Straight Grain and American Walnut Crown, popular veneers in the Treefrog line, are now featured as veneer choices in modular kitchens and accompanying interiors from Design Within Reach.

According to Design Within Reach, “DWR: Kitchen is for you if you’re looking for a smart solution that falls between the expensive European kitchens that are costly to ship and slow to arrive, and the do-it-yourself kitchens which are difficult to assemble and last only a few years.”

These objectives in mind, DWR: Kitchen was designed by Nilus de Matran, the San Francisco-based founder of Nilus Designs (, an interdisciplinary design office that works on commercial and residential projects and new product introductions, like this.

Working out of his San Francisco design studio, de Matran developed plans for kitchen components including storage modules, organizational elements, and free-standing islands. “The challenge,” de Matran pointed out, “is that I usually focus on custom designs. With this, we couldn’t be specific.”

Ultimately, they had to beautiful and functional units that solved the issues of the modern kitchen. Then de Matran had his first introduction to Treefrog Veneer.

De Matran was familiar with Treefrog from samples, and worked directly with people at Treefrog to learn more about the product.

Made in Italy, Treefrog features engineered wood, a unique process that uses faster growing and more commonly occurring tree species to create the look and feel of more exotic and sometimes threatened tree species without harvesting these threatened species. Treefrog isn’t plastic, and it’s not printed. It’s real wood.

“I looked at other materials, but they didn’t feel as rich. It feels real, “says de Matran. “Treefrog’s product was superior for what I needed it to do.”

Treefrog’s Black Oak and Walnut were obvious choices. “In wood, these are the best selling “colors” at Design Within Reach,” says de Matran.

Treefrog’s American Walnut Crown, a flat cut veneer presented horizontally in the furniture, especially captures the stylized look of higher end European kitchens.

Treefrog also solved another challenge faced by DWR and de Matran: how to replicate the look in years to come. Since Treefrog’s process helps ensure a design consistency, sheet after sheet, DWR can always offer customers a consistent wood look. De Matran took great pleasure knowing that if a customer purchases modules from this series, they can further expand their kitchen down the road with confidence in the consistency in finish.

When the fabricator built the first full model, de Matran was overwhelmingly pleased. “It was instantly right,” he said. “The whole result is surprising.

It’s a new line for DWR and has the possibility to be really exciting,” says de Matran, “and I believe this wood veneer can communicate in a number of ways for today’s home.”

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