Organic Modernism

How to Approach Wood in Your Interior: Is it Okay to Pair Wood Tones?

If you are redecorating your home, you have probably been in a lot of furniture stores lately. If you are like most people, hand crafted wood furnishings have probably caught your eye. Natural woods add beauty and a touch of class to any room in your home. Deciding what kind of wood to use can be a vexing task. You may find it difficult to acquire all the pieces you need that are aesthetically pleasing in a single type of timber. It is fine to mix and match, but it is advisable to choose a predominant wood.


What Wood Should be Dominant?

If the room you are decorating has hard wood floors, then the leading wood, should be that of the floor. You would want to make the wood in the furniture lighter and softer than the tone of the floor. If you are decorating a carpeted room, your dominant wood piece should be the largest piece of furniture in the room and the other furniture would be of a subtler tone. 

It is a bit different when selecting individual pieces of furniture.  Generally, the most buoyant wood will be at the center of an individual piece of furniture.  The woods with gentler tones would play a smaller role in the piece. 

You also want to keep a consistent color tone when mixing woods. Again, you should reference your main wood piece.  Let’s say our dominant wood piece was a walnut dining room table. Walnut is considered a warm tone, so you would want to select other warm tones to go with the walnut furnishing. 


Our Bergman Dining Table in Walnut (Above)

It is equally important to match the undertones in the room. An undertone is created when you mix two colors together and one of those colors is central. For example, if you combined yellow and blue together to make green and the yellow was dominant, the yellow would be considered the undertone. If you are unable to find matching wood tones in the furniture that you like, you can always apply a finish. A good finish can help you even out inconsistencies in the tone of your furniture.

Should I Combine Designers?

A consistent design theme is also important when you are decorating a room. It is a good idea to select most pieces from a single designer and then throw in a couple of small antique pieces with a similar style. This will give the room an eclectic feel. 

How to Choose Accents

Having some contrast is also important when it comes to furniture design.  Contrast should be very subtle and organic. If you have warm wood tones, you may want to contrast them with cooler seat covers or decorative pillows and throw rugs. If you have several different kinds of wood tones, white accent rugs and artwork will work as a neutralizer. 

If you are interested in framing your artwork, remember that you want the picture itself to stand out. The frame thickness should complement your painting or photograph. Very ornate frames draw attention to the frame itself and can be overpowering and garish. A thinner wood frame is best for smaller pictures and a thick frame is better for larger pictures. 

If you want a picture frame that will last a long time, it is a good idea to use a hard wood like oak. An oak wood frame can last 100 years if it is taken care of properly.

What Woods Pair Well

There are a few kinds of woods that tend to compliment each other well.  Having a similar tone is important, but so is finding woods that have grains that complement each other.  Walnut and maple complement one another quite well because they have just the right amount of contrast and similarities. Walnut grain is straight and has a medium texture and the wood itself is heavy and resistant to damage. Maple wood has a straight grain and a delicate texture. Red oak and white ash also compliment each other nicely. Red oak is straight grained with a rough texture and white ash is a hard wood with a tough texture. There is just enough difference between the two woods that they do not clash, but they are similar enough to go together.


The Walnut & Maple Miami 2 (above)

Some professional designers choose to take a bolder approach and use a more pronounced contrast. Mixing a light wood with a dark wood can give a room a sophisticated European feel.

No matter what kinds of woods you decide to combine, buying your furniture from a top-quality designer will always give your home a sense of elegance, style and taste. We can help you put together a fabulous living room, dining room or bedroom at a price that won’t leave you in debt.

Tags: How-To