How To Mix Wood Tones in Your Home
01/31 How To

How To Mix Wood Tones in Your Home

Our go-to tips for mixing woods

Mixing wood tones in your home can be challenging, but doing it right can make all the difference in your design.

Recently, our team received a question from our community that said: “How do I mix wood tones in my home? For example, if a coffee table is dark wood shade, can you add a bench in a lighter wood?”

Our answer? Yes, of course! We love mixing wood tones, and in our opinion, using only one wood tone throughout an entire space can actually make the design fall flat. However, creating a balanced look with mixed wood tones can be easier said than done.

Although we’ve touched on mixing woods before, we’ve never done an entire post covering our favorite wood-blending tips, and today we’re excited to share a few things we’ve learned over the years.

Here is our step-by-step guide to mixing wood tones in your home:

Step No. 1: Identify your dominant wood tone or tones

When our team begins a project, before choosing which coffee table we should use in a great room or what decor we could style on a console table, we consider the finishes.

Even if you’re simply looking for new barstools, evaluating the dominant wood tone or tones in your space can help ensure the tones flow together and feel cohesive.

From our Crestview House

Although you may have more than one, as a rule of thumb, your dominant wood tone will appear in one of your significant finishes like flooring, cabinetry, or windows. If you don’t have any wood tones in the space or room you’re designing, your largest piece of wood furniture is likely where you’ll find your dominant wood tone.

Step No. 2: Look for undertones

Once you’ve identified your dominant wood tone, look deeper and find the undertones you want to pull out through your design. If you have warm undertones in your dominant wood (Most unstained woods – Walnuts, White Oaks, Cherry, and Maple Woods), other warm woods will naturally mix seamlessly with your dominant wood.

On the other hand, if you have cool tones in your dominant wood (Many stained woods – Charcoal stains, bark stains, and sand stains), other cool tones will blend easily.

From our Pine Brook Home

Chances are, there’s a note within your dominant wood that you can pull out through your furniture or decorative accents to create a cohesive feeling. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, and sometimes, contrasting undertones can create the most interesting results.

Step No. 3: Complement or contrast your tones

When you have a general idea of your dominant wood and its undertones, it’s time for the fun part!

While certain spaces call for matched wood tones and a more streamlined look, we love contrasting wood tones to create dimension and interest.

When it comes to contrasting our woods, we tend to keep it bold to avoid competing visual points. For example, if we have a light oak piece or finish we want to contrast, we’ll likely pair it with a dark wood like walnut or stained maple.

Designer note: If the wood tones in your space seem overwhelming, try balancing them out with a neutral-stained wood piece in black, white, or even light grey. 

From our PC Contemporary Project

Step No. 4: Balance your woods throughout your space

Mixing wood tones successfully is all about balance, and once you introduce a tone, evenly dispersing it throughout your space creates a more intentional look.

Incorporating repeating tones throughout a space can look like anything from using the same wood tone on your console table and coffee table to introducing the tone from a furniture piece through decor in a built-in.

From our Modern Bohemian Netflix Remodel

Designer note: Adding rustic or reclaimed woods to your design can be a great way to seamlessly blend wood tones and bring more character into your space. 

From our SM Ranch House

Show Comments
Studio McGee
  1. I like this article because it gives me some tips about how to mix wood tones in my home. I would love to have a beautiful place where I can enjoy and relax with my family.

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