Wondering how to mix wood tones in your home decor and furniture? Read these designer tips for mixing light and dark wood tones in your bedroom, living room, bathroom, or kitchen.
How to Mix Wood Tones
“We just bought a home with beautiful, knotty pine floors throughout. They have recently been refinished and are a light, natural color that showcases all the “knots”.
I want to incorporate darker shades of wood in our decor (picture frames, furniture, etc) but I’m not sure how to do it.
Are there any rules to mixing wood types/shades? “
This is a GREAT question!
YES, it’s okay to mix wood tones.
Gone are the days of decorating with match-matchy furnishings were ALL of the wood furniture was exactly the same and even matched the floors.
People aren’t buying full sets of matching furniture anymore; they are mixing and matching decor styles for a more unique, curated feel.
(I actually talked about this in The Dos and Donts of Mixing decor styles!)
And with decorating, I don’t like to follow set “rules” so much as “guidelines”, so if you are wanting to break up the wood tones in your home, I’m going to give you some guidelines to follow that will help you look like a pro designed your home!
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links, which allow us to continue providing you lots of decorating and DIY ideas at no cost to you. Learn more here.
Find all sources for this mood board here!
I will dive into my mood board in a bit and explain my choices, but first let’s chat about how to mix different wood tones.
Learn more about visualizing your space in a mood board here.
4 Tips to Mix Wood Tones in Your Home Decorating
1. Look for Common Undertones.
As you can see in the picture below, the shades of wood vary from light to dark, but the thing they have in common is that they share the same rich, warm, reddish undertone.
What you don’t see is any cool, grey wood undertones here, or any light blonde shades of wood either.
Here you can see another great example using grayish tones of wood in varying shades, from whitewashed floors to darker beams and furniture.
2. Go for High Contrast.
One dark wood focal piece in a space when all the other wood in the room is much lighter really makes an impact!
Imagine if this dining table was the same shade as the floor and the chairs. They would blend together and look bland, don’t you think?
See more beautiful inspiration spaces in our Get This Look library.
3. Repeat your accent wood at least twice.
Here you can see that the homeowners took the darker shade of wood that is used on the window frames and repeated it with the dark wood chairs.
Repetition is key, but to know when to stop, follow the the 80/20 rule I talked about here.
Resist the urge to add too many shades of wood into your space by keeping the main shade (which is usually the floor in most cases) in about 80% of the design, then adding about 20% of the accent color. This will maintain balance in the space and make it visually appealing.
4. Go for varying textures.
Add lighter, more rustic wood pieces or accents in with your sleek wood floors to add interest to the space, or add sleek, modern dark furniture in with your rustic knotty pine floors.
The contrast in texture will add interest and dimension to your room.
How amazing is this ceiling?!?
Weathered Gray Mixed Wood Tones Mood Board
Before I give our reader some advise on her question, I’m going to show you the mood board I created using most of the guidelines above, pulling from all the yummy inspiration we just saw.
Find sources and similar items for this mood board below!
I’m completely in love with moody grays right now! I even recently re-painted my living room with these tones, so naturally I was drawn to this beautiful rustic wood floor with grey and neutral tones.
I kept most of my furnishings in the weathered grey tones, then added darker, richer wood tones as my accent color, pulling from the colors in the flooring.
Need to change the stain on a piece of furniture you love? Read our Step by Step Guide to Refinishing Wood Furniture.
I also mixed up the decor styles adding a rustic coffee table with the more formal seating. A rustic chandelier is the perfect accompaniment to the sleek mid century modern dining table and chairs!
Tips for mixing wood tones with knotty pine floors:
The advise that I would give the Remodelaholic reader for picking mixed wood tone furniture to go with her light knotty pine floors:
1 – Add a few pieces of wood furniture in the medium to dark range, making sure that you stay away from any red undertones as pine tends to be more on the yellow side.
2 – Add some white to the space to help keep it light and bright as well.
For example, if you have knotty pine wood floors in your living room, try adding a darker wood coffee table and accent chair, but incorporate a large white oversized sofa to keep an airiness to the space.
3- Most importantly, have fun with it! If a piece doesn’t fit into these guidelines, but just feels right, then it probably is.
Thanks again to team at Remodelaholic for having me again today! If you have time, i’d love for you to pop over to my blog and say hi:)
See ya next month!
Easy ways to add wood tones to your home:
- Build and install a simple wood mantel
- DIY reclaimed wood floating vanity
- How to refinish wood furniture (without sanding a ton)
- Build an easy decorative wood ladder
- DIY wood ceiling tutorial
Home by Diamond B Builders and Cedar & Sage Interiors // photo © Remodelaholic.com
First published 4 Feb 2015 // Updated 13 Sept 2021