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Wood accents don't have to match

While it was recommended in the past that wood furniture be finished in the same wood or stain, this is no longer the case. Why decorate your living spaces in a single wood tone - where nothing stands out.


When decorating your living spaces it isn't necessary that all the wood tones match, in fact, you should allow wood tones to introduce texture and depth to rooms rather than let them fall flat.

Modern decorating allows you to mix up wood tones, which means that not everything has to be mahogany and you don't have to buy everything in teak. Having a single, similar wood tone does absolutely nothing for a room - nothing stands out and a room can feel one-dimensional.

Mixing up wood tones adds life to a room and a space feels more organic and layered, as if all the pieces have been collected over a period of time.

If you're not sure how to mix up different wood species, or combine pieces in different wood stains, here are a few guidelines that will help you decorate a living room.





Let wood shine

Laminate floors are a good place to start when looking at wood tones in a room. Many homes have wood laminate floors installed, either in single rooms or throughout living spaces. Matching pieces to floors can result in a flat, lifeless room. It is far better to create a dynamic setting by pairing dark furniture with light flooring or vice-versa. After all, the point is to allow individual pieces shine and take centre stage rather than fade into the background.

Mix light and dark woods

How many times have you seen a room filled with dark wood pieces. Chances are these same rooms appear dark and dated. Simply by pairing light with dark, whether upholstered or wood furniture, the opposite is achieved. Lighter wood or upholstered pieces lift a room and add an element of lightness, helping to make a room feel more spacious and airy.

Create a balanced look

If you're not too sure where to start, an easy way is to start by using a large piece of wooden furniture and to add contrasting wood tones around this piece. Experiment with the look, swapping pieces around, until you are happy with how all the pieces work harmoniously together.

Try to avoid an off-balance look by carefully selecting the right pieces for a room. If you have lots of dark furniture, pair this with a few whitewashed pieces, or unstained pieces, to balance both light and dark.

Introduce accent colours

If you have a lot of furniture with different stain or wood grain, use an accent colour to tie all the pieces together. Simply by introducing a few decor accessories such as cushions, fabrics and accents in a single colour, a harmonious flow is achieved that cancels out any mismatched pieces.

Adapted from article by ballard designs


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