This is a highly decorative hardwood which yields a sleek look regardless of the milieu, be it modern or traditional. During this past decade, walnut ranked as the most popular choice for wood countertops and, we have reasons to believe this trend will stay for quite a while. The sapwood is creamy-white which turns into a light brown when a clear finish is applied. The heartwood color varies from chocolate-brown to purplish black; in between, it can take quite a number of shades. Regardless of its color tones, once the finish is applied, one quickly understands the reason for its popularity. Over time it acquires a distinct patina; the colors rather become rather deeper than darker and the end result is a truly Victorian era antique look. If used in the face-grain configuration, the grain is elegantly waved with plenty of burls and knots disrupting the grain and creating new patterns. If employed in an edge-grain fashion, thegrain is rather stripey, alternating different tonalities of brown. As an end-grain butcher-block, the pattern is often motley. The wood exhibits good hardness and resistance to abrasion and wear and, due to its high content of natural oils, has exceptional durability, even higher than oak or maple.