6 Tips for Implementing Different Wood Tones and Textures in Your Home Décor

Photo by roam in color on Unsplash

Have you noticed the furniture sets that match everything in the one living room aren’t as popular as they once were? That’s because, for a few years now, people have started seeing the merits of mixing their wooden furniture. There’s more variety to the space, a new piece of furniture doesn’t have to clash with everything else, and it all looks like cohesive chaos. Take a look at our tips on how you can implement mixed wood furniture.

Go for contrast

A very sleek and modern way of combining different wood tones is to implement high contrast. Combining very light and very dark woods, or matte and glossy finishes creates visual interest through contrast. Walnut shelves with a white oak console table for example, give. a very modern look. You can see a lot of this influence in Japandi and minimalism because the relatively bare and neutral aesthetics allow the wood to pop.

Also, consider that there is more wood to the room than your big furniture items like a TV stand or cabinet. Don’t go overboard matching all furniture to one wood tone. Use a mix through accents like shelving, legs, trim to add layers.

Consider undertones

However, whatever wood you go with, think about the undertones. You don’t have to stick to the same shade of wood across the board, making for a room where the eye has nowhere to rest and nothing to catch onto, but in order to have some cohesion in the room, you might want to have the undertones become the throughline of the look. Cool undertones appear more blue, ash grey. Warm woods look more red, yellow, and golden. Neutral balances both. Mixing wood species with similar undertones (warm reddish vs cool brown) creates a more harmonious look and avoids you clashing undertones.

Factor in light

This is all amplified by natural light. Natural light has a way of bringing the unseen to the forefront and is the most straightforward way of determining undertones.  The hue of wood changes in different lighting. This is why you want to test out a new paint or varnish sample in the natural light. Take light sources into account when pairing woods like oak laminate flooring against dark wood furniture to allow the contrast to be more dramatic in some settings.

Complement with metals

For a little more diversity across your furniture, you can incorporate different metals on your handles and trimming. To get started, it’s worth remembering that brass or gold accents work well with lighter oak tones. Stainless steel pops against darker espresso woods and metallics bridge colour contrasts.

Transition with neutrals

There is also the soft furnishings to think about. Natural fibres like jute area rugs or linen upholstery on furniture provide a neutral base for blending various wood pieces. They provide a layer that bonds various wood furniture hues. For example, you may have a dark mahogany seat set around a walnut kitchen table, joined by a coffee table with oak elements. If all hard surfaces were different woods, this could feel disjointed or unbalanced. Adding area rugs that combine ivory, flax linen and jute rope fibres provides a softer, textural continuity that anchors the wood pieces using a shared neutral palette.

Stain modifies tone

If you are looking to upcycle your wooden furniture or trimmings, a stain is a good option if you don’t like the idea of painting it. It’s the difference between the wood pattern being a focal point or the wood pattern being hidden by the paint. Custom stain or paint on select pieces modifies colour slightly to bridge wood variety while maintaining texture. You can try a dark stain for lighter oak furniture, which takes it from a reddish tan appearance much darker toward a rich chocolate brown hue. On the opposite end you can lighten wood with whitewashing. An antiquing glaze coats pine panelling in a muted frosty distressed grey. But the unique pine knots and linear grain isn’t obscured at all.


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