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Lamitak’s Italian Inspiration

The brand’s latest Brunello range of timber laminates goes down a more provincial route.

Lamitak’s Italian Inspiration


November 21st, 2013

Timber laminates don’t usually elicit the most enthusiastic of responses from designers. As rice is to Asian cuisine, so is the timber finish to the world of laminates – important as a staple, but not exactly the most exciting ingredient to use. But in Jansen Tan’s books, not all timber laminates are created equal. The creative director of innovative laminate brand Lamitak has been on a quest to turn the fact of pleasant but pedestrian timber laminates into a myth.


Photo © Justin Loh

“I was looking to create a woodgrain that doesn’t look so polished – not so refined,” Tan says explaining that he was after a tricky mix of a timber finish that is raw and bold but also palatable. As with all the laminate finishes he concocts for the brand, travel served as an inspirational catalyst. In this case, the new Brunello range from Lamitak finds its genesis in a small, family-run restaurant in the medieval town of Bergamo within the Lombardia region of Italy.

“A friend who stays in Italy brought me to this restaurant that specialises in pairing wines with its food, “he says, narrating how it all started. He describes old timber planks taken from dismantled wine barrels lining the walls as a dado, each plank bearing its own colouring and texture as they represent the various wine regions they hail from.


“The wood we’re used to – those used as flooring or furniture – is all very processed. They’ve already been sanded down quite a lot so you don’t get that rawness, which is basically the essence of the Brunello range,” Tan describes.

The laminates mimic the saw cuts that mark oak barrel planks, both in appearance and feel. Replicating the look and texture of timber in what is essentially kraft paper is, in itself, no mean feat. Adding on the extra dimension of rough cuts made by hacksaws didn’t make it any easier. Rounds of trial and error – deeper cuts here, lighter scars there, heavier grains, different colours – finally culminated in a range of laminates that evoke the earthy, provincial life of oak barrels.

Top image: Photo © Justin Loh

To see more interesting designs from Lamitak, visit and check them out on their Facebook page.


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