Have you found a piece of wooden furniture that you just adore, but the finish isn't quite the same as the rest of the wood furniture back at home? Coordinating multiple wood finishes and colors into the same room is tricky. So, can you mix different color wood furniture? We researched and compiled this guide to help you figure out which wood tones can exist in harmony.
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The answer is a resounding yes; you can mix different color wood furniture in a room. In fact, mixing wood tones is highly recommended by many designers. The key is in how you mix them.
While you are encouraged to mix wood tones to accomplish a more dimensional look, some basic rules can help you successfully coordinate. So, what wood tones work best together? And what are the rules for mixing them? Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks to make your wood furniture pieces complement each other.
A Closer Look At Wood Furniture
It is important to note the difference between engineered wood furniture with a veneer and solid wood furniture. Engineered wood can be painted, but it cannot be sanded, stained, or varnished. Solid wood is much more versatile and can handle just about any type of refinishing if you want to customize your furniture.
Engineered wood furniture is often less costly than solid wood furniture but can look just as nice. This wood is made from a mixture of wood waste, chemicals, and glue. Once shaped, it is covered with a veneer of either real wood or a laminate material made to look like wood. Engineered wood furniture should not be sanded and re-finished; damaging the veneer may ruin the piece.
Solid wood furniture, much like it sounds, is made from real, solid wood. Different species of natural wood have different colors, undertones, and grain patterns. When you purchase solid wood furniture, it typically comes with a finish on it.
Solid wood furniture also has the ability to be refinished, unlike engineered wood. This means you can sand the original finish off and apply the finish of your choice. Paint a clear coat to protect the wood and enhance its natural tones, or stain to alter the color with a clear coat on top for protection; both methods are common.
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What Are The Different Colors Of Wood Furniture?
Engineered wood furniture is common in the following finishes:
Solid wood furniture can be found pre-finished in many of the colors listed above. It can also be altered with different stains for a custom look. Different wood species have different natural appearances; for instance, Mahogany has a red appearance, while Oak has more golden notes. Stains are available in a variety of hues, from dark brown to bright blue. Stain can completely change the wood's natural look.
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What Are Wood Tones?
Wood has two major tones to consider; a mass tone and an undertone. The mass tone is the prominent color of the wood; it is noticeable with a quick glance. The undertones are a little less obvious and typically require closer inspection to determine, but they are vital for mixing different wood finishes. For example, African Mahogany has red mass tones with golden undertones:
How Do You Know What Undertone The Wood Is?
One of the best ways to determine the undertone of wood is to compare it with other wood finishes until you find a good match. If the company offers samples of the wood finishes, request several and compare them to the rest of the wood tones in your home until you find a good match. You could also ask the company if they could send you high-quality photographs of the different finish options.
Seek Professional Assistance
You could also seek the help of a professional to ensure you are making a good choice. An interior designer, cabinet maker, millworker, flooring specialist, or your local lumber yard can be good places to start. Make sure to bring good photos of the wood you are trying to match. This will help the professional provide an educated opinion on what will match best.
What Is Wood Grain?
The darker lines that appear in wood products are called grain. This grain is created by an arrangement of fibers in the wood. It becomes more prominent when a finish is added, creating enhanced texture and depth. Wood grain varies depending on the wood species. Some species display a more obvious grain pattern than others. Some people prefer wood with a prominent grain pattern, while others prefer wood with very little grain.
What Is Knotty Wood?
Knots are natural imperfections that occur in wood. When the tree grows a branch, the grain fibers grow around the branch, creating a knot. It is the perfect wood for a rustic look and feel and can often be found in Pine, Alder, and some Cedars.
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Can You Use Wicker Furniture Indoors?
Yes, wicker furniture can be used indoors. You will still want to be aware of the existing wood tones in the room when using wicker. Natural wicker usually has a pretty consistent yellow tone all over. Therefore it would best match other wood with yellow or golden undertones.
To find out more about using wicker furniture indoors with your wood furniture, head over to this post: Can You Mix Wicker And Wood Furniture? [Here’s How To]
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What Wall Color Goes With Wood Furniture?
When rethinking the room's wall color, consider your wood furniture's undertones before making a decision. Using the wood tone to help guide your wall color selection can help you determine whether to use contrasting colors for a large impact or complementary colors for a low-contrast, cozy feeling.
Some common pairings include:
Green Walls With Yellow Wood Tones
Light and medium green colors compliment yellow wood tones very well. Even some gray-green paints look good with yellow wood tones. Pine, Poplar, Cypress, White Oak, and wicker all have yellow tones that will help to create a rustic look against a green background.
Being a neutral color, white could be the perfect choice for either high or low-contrast looks. Using white walls with dark brown or black wood tones can create a dramatic, high-contrast look. White walls with lighter wood tones create a low-contrast, bright and airy atmosphere.
Blue Walls with White, Brown, or Orange Wood Tones
Dark brown wood with blue walls creates a charming elegance. Wood with orange tones against blue walls can provide a beautifully traditional-feeling contrast. Using pale white wood tones with blue walls can accomplish a stunning coastal atmosphere.
Yellow Walls with Natural Wood Tones
Natural wood tones tend to have a ton of varying yellow and gold hues that can create a pleasing dimensional look. These tones construct a bright and welcoming feeling when paired with yellow walls.
Wicker is another great addition to this look. Adding a piece of furniture or decor with brown undertones can also increase interest and provide enough contrast to tie the look together. In the picture below, the dark wood floors provide contrast.
Coordination Catastrophe Avoided
Now that you know the trick to mix different color wood furniture, you're ready to create the home of your dreams. Just remember to match your undertones, and you can create harmony among almost any differing mass tones. Time to start looking at color swatches and new furniture, have fun designing!
For more information on coordinating furniture...
If you're looking for more information on mixing wood and wicker furniture, check out our article "Can You Mix Wicker And Wood Furniture? [And How To]."
If you need help planning out your next bedroom makeover, you might also enjoy our article "What Color Bedding Goes With White Furniture?"