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How to mix wood finishes in your interior design

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Project: Volstruis Ave, Yzerfontein Eclectic style dining room by de Beyer Design Studio Eclectic
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It’s pretty impossible to scope out furniture stores and décor websites these days and not be greeted with an overflow of wood furnishings, -accessories and -finishes. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering how versatile and sturdy (and experienced) this wonderful natural material is.

But how do you ensure that all your wood pieces contribute to a consistent look for your home’s style, especially if they’re made from different types (and tones) of wood? 

Glad you asked…  

1. Take your samples when shopping

It’s possible to ask for small wood samples from the manufacturers of identifiable furniture brands, but what if you’re shopping at flea markets? Jumpstart a charming collection of different wood finishes which you can conveniently take with you the next time you’re on the hunt for some wood. 

2. Complementary is better than close

Dining room 2 Minimalist dining room by AB DESIGN Minimalist

Dining room 2


Furniture pieces bought from different sources and made from different woods won’t match 100%. But this is preferable, because blending different wood finishes that complement each other really looks like a design choice instead of an afterthought. 

Besides, opting for furniture that is too matchy-matchy can make a design fall flat. 

3. Study those undertones

Check the undertone (the colour temperature) to find wood pieces that match well. Wood finishes that have warm undertones will appear orange, red and yellow. Cool undertones are more greyish/bluish, while those that look beige have a neutral colour temperature. 

4. Blend those grain patterns and -sizes

Urban Man Cave by Inhouse Industrial

Urban Man Cave


The grain pattern is the stripes or swirls seen in the wood, while the grain pattern size refers to those elements’ scale. Apart from colour, also consider the grain pattern and –sizes of the wood finish to add interest as you would by mixing different fabric patterns.  

5. Balance your wood finishes

Project: Volstruis Ave, Yzerfontein Eclectic style dining room by de Beyer Design Studio Eclectic
de Beyer Design Studio

Project: Volstruis Ave, Yzerfontein

de Beyer Design Studio

Ending up with all your dark woods on one side of the room will make the space seem uneven and heavy. Be careful about your scattering of finishes and ensure they are close in colour throughout the room. 

Maybe see how a professional Carpenter can help you with your dream wood furnishings? 

6. Pick one dominant tone

The dominant wood tone doesn’t have to be the biggest surface in the room, like the floor or large dining table. In certain cases you can choose two or three pieces to flaunt that dominant colour (remember that they don’t need to match perfectly; being in the same orange-toned / dark-tinted colour realm is usually preferable). 

7. Let textiles soften the look

Roca Llisa Modern style bedroom by ARRCC Modern

Roca Llisa


Ensure some softness around your wood pieces via textiles. In the case where your hardwood floor differs from the one on your dining table, for instance, a beautiful rug can help to frame your dining section while also making the difference between those finishes less noticeable. 

8. Break up that wooden monotony

Too much wood and you’re left with a log-cabin look. Ensure some visual interest by adding other hard surfaces to your woods and textiles. Stainless steel and light-tinted wood, for instance, are ideal to craft a modern/contemporary vibe, while metals, concrete and warm woods are more conducive to an industrial look.

Speaking of good wood, these are the 5 reasons why natural materials are popular in interior design.

Is wood one of the dominant materials in your home’s design?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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