How to Mix Wood Tones and Achieve the Best Results

One thing we knew before we started this article is that shopping for furniture can be stressful.

Not only are you often required to dig deep, but you must also use all your powers of visualisation to try and predict whether what you are looking at will sit well in your home.

What we didn’t know, however, is that writing about furniture can take this angst to the next level.

Writing about it can, it would seem, prove divisive.  

Can You Mix Wood Tones with Any Success? 

At a recent team meeting, discussions turned to creating an article on the subject of mixing different coloured wood within the same theme.

Suffice it to say we had divergent opinions on the matter.

While we could agree that it's a good idea to stick to a handful of tones and that a buffer or two (think rug) is necessary to break up the monopoly of wood, we could not define the point at which consistency becomes monotony.

In an attempt to diffuse the situation, we decided to reach out for some expert advice.

And thankfully, the amazing Abigail Ahern agreed to step in, bring some order to the chaos and stop us from coming to blows.

Dear Abigail. Please Help.

EBTD: Is it possible to succeed when using different types of wood/ different coloured wood in the same interior theme? We can’t make our minds up? Help!

AA: Texture, texture, texture. My interiors all have oodles of texture. In order to have the coolest pad on the planet, I think every room should have a bit of contrast. When opposing elements mesh and mash together you create a really compelling scheme. You could do it through colour, texture, pattern, material, style—it's endless.

EBTD: Right, okay. You’ve dealt with that quite succinctly. Are there any wood pairings that work particularly well? Similarly, is there anything to avoid?

AA: Using too much wood is a no, no. I love mixing textures, so using metallics to create warming tones to complement the enveloping textures of wood is a hugely transformative design tool to use. 

EBTD: Interesting. Should different types of wood be grouped together or kept separate? Can you, for example, have an oak dining table and teak chairs or is this just madness?

AA: I would never say never. Try it, if it works, that’s great. I am all about breaking the rules, so I would try it out and mix it up—it might just look fabulous!

EBTD: What do we need to know about working with wooden flooring and wooden furniture?

AA: Wood is such a versatile texture to decorate with. I have a wooden headboard in my bedroom, which adds instant texture and a pretty impressive focal point. I would say, never fight the natural texture of wood—it will look best at its most natural state.

And with that, we had the answers we needed.

Expert Advice on Demand

If you'd like more of this kind of insight, head to the Abigail Ahern site and check out her wares and the blog, which is a hugely rich source of information.

If you’d like to take this a step further, you can even book in for a Masterclass and get some facetime with someone who really knows how to create compelling décor schemes.

Now That We're All Friends Again

From our end, we would just like to extend our thanks to Abigail for stepping in.

We’d also like remind our customers that if you want to see what different tones of wood look like when placed alongside one another, just ask and we’ll attempt to show you with what’s available in store.

Similarly, our returns policy is very forgiving so you can as good as try it before you buy it.  

If you’d like to see what stock we currently have available, head to our mid century furniture collection.

If you’re looking for something more specific, like elm furniture or teak furniture, head to our collections page.

Our comprehensive guide on the types of wood used in furniture making will also show you what to expect and how to identify what you're looking at.

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