Decorating Tips For Wood Furniture Finishes

Let’s all sing it from the mountaintops. The days of matching wood tones and furniture sets are finally a thing of the past. Unless you are seeking a minimal lux modern look, where, in that case, matching woods are preferred, having a space with all one wood color is not the way to go. 

When all of the wood surfaces in a single space share the same color, nothing stands out and the room falls flat. However, allowing various dark and light wood finishes to coexist can result in a layered look that lends the right amount of texture and depth. The overall feel is more organic, as if individual pieces have been collected over time. Bottom line, you need some variation and stying in the same tone can work. 

There is no magic formula when it comes to mixing wood furniture finishes, but there are a few decorating tips recommended to help establish a few guidelines to help every home decorator find their footing. And if you are ever in doubt, always trust your designer as they are skilled in the process and can make purchasing easier. 

Contrast wood furniture and flooring 

Furnishings can get lost against the backdrop of a similarly toned wood floor. Break up the monotony by pairing light furniture with flooring that has a darker stain or vice versa. You can also use a rug to help create a separation and remove any monotony. Never match your flooring to your coffee table or console; the lack of contrast will leave the room aimless. Wood should be in the same tone family but not identical. 

Use an anchor piece 

An easy way to create impact is by using a larger piece of wood furniture, such as a coffee table or buffet/ console, as your starting point and mixing in two to three contrasting wood tones around it. You can always experiment by switching out wood accesso- ries to see what appeals to you. 

Create a harmonious balance 

To prevent your room from looking lopsided, balance different wood finishes throughout your space. An example would be to mix dark-stained floating shelves, grounding the room, then mix in whitewashed elements, allowing them to have a greater contrast for an airy effect. Keep in mind wood looks different in various forms of lighting. You may see something and love the wood tone, but the lighting in your home might be different than a showroom light or catalog picture lighting, which is bright photography light that tends to make all wood look light in tone and color. 

As long as the wood is within a similar tone, it will coordinate and balance and give depth and dimension. It need not match exactly, just be in the same tone. 

Know your wood tone 

Your wood tone does matter and should be considered for an optimal design. I have supplied a wood tone chart to help guide you. It is fairly simple. If you have cool wood tones, stay within the cool wood tone family, and if you have warm wood tones, stay within those. 

To view the chart in color, please log onto the online version of the News-Leader. If you receive the paper physically, you already get access to the online version. 

Keep continuity with an accent color 

If you’re worried your mismatched wood grains have gotten out of hand in your space, tie the different finishes and styles together with an accent color. You can use some accessories — throw pillows, lamps and draper- ies — to create a harmonious flow through a neutral color. 

These guidelines should help you as you look to design your space and when in doubt, always consult your designer or local store. They can be a real asset to clearing the confusion and making it easier for you to have a well-balanced beautiful home. 

Jeanette Gaskill is the lead designer for Coastal Cottage of Amelia. She loves being able to work hand-in-hand with customers to design the spaces they dream of. Gaskill knows that interior design is very personal, so she considers it an honor to be invited into her customers’ homes.Want a space that feels unique and personal? Contact Coastal Cottage of Amelia today for a design consultation!

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