A guide to using wooden furniture

With hundreds of different types of wood on offer, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing your furniture. Do you go for the pale pine softwood for its subtle colour and decorative knotty effect, or do you make an impact with a rich, red mahogany?

With hundreds of different types of wood on offer, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing your furniture. Do you go for the pale pine softwood for its subtle colour and decorative knotty effect, or do you make an impact with a rich, red mahogany?

Well, by following some simple design tips you can match different woods to your different styles, and make a maximum visual impact with your décor.

Firstly, select the colour of the wood you want to use and match it to your space. If you have a small sized room, then select lighter woods, such as maple, pine or birch to make it appear larger. Alternatively, if you want to use your wooden furniture to add drama and command attention in your interior design then use dark woods with subtle red undertones. The dark brown appearance of rosewood will make your décor stand out (but can be hard to maintain), whilst deep coloured will be a striking focal point that is well worth the investment.

When choosing your wood, as a general rule try to keep the tone in line with your colour palette. Mixing various light and dark woods can make a room appear chaotic and unorganised. If you have a wide selection of colours throughout your décor and upholstery then try to stick to limited wood tones, which complement one another. Alternatively, if you do want to use a wide range of different woods then pick a softer and more subdued palette to avoid a messy look.

Remember that you don’t have to match all the wood in your room. Although it is wise to keep your larger furniture pieces in the same wood tone, blending different grains and undertones can be a great way to achieve a stunning interior. Contrast dark coloured furniture on lighter wooden floors, or vice versa to make an assertive statement, or mix very light woods to very warm ones in order to create a natural, rustic design.

If you do have a mixture of wooden furniture in your room though make sure to keep it balanced. Ground your space by keeping a good mix of tones throughout the room. Don’t be tempted to keep all the dark woods on one side and the light ones on the other, as this will make an unappealing imbalance. A good spread will create a brighter or deeper contrast between the tones.

If you want to use darker woods in a lighter room then you can soften them with a subtle coloured rug to tie the piece in. Upholstery can also be used to mimic the wooden tones and make more mismatched wooden furniture work in a room. If the majority of the wood in your room is a dark mahogany, making a more airy beech piece feel out of place, then simply add warm, light yellows through furnishings and drapery to keep the space visually appealing.

Finally, you can use finishing pieces in an accent colour to tie a mixture of wooden finishes together. For example, if you have a very dark walnut table next to an oak dresser, it can be challenging to work around the different tones. To get around this problem simply choose an accent colour, in royal blue or burgundy for example, and use smaller pieces such as pillows, vases, table lamps or even floral arrangements across both pieces of furniture to bring them together.

 

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