Q + A: How do I make Mixed Wood Tones look Intentional?

Summit Creek ProjectRebekah Westover Photography

We are always talking about how we like to mix wood tones in our projects for a more interesting layered look. If you are used to buying a dining set where your chairs match your table or using only walnut throughout your home, the idea of mixing wood tones can be uncomfortable. But a  single wood tone can feel flat in a space, and playing with tones and finishes is a definite do. It makes your space feel collected, less old-school matchy matchy. Today we are sharing a few tips for nailing this trending mixed wood tone look.


m.elle design

Although subtle variations in wood tone can be pretty, high contrast makes it clear that your mixed wood choice is intentional. It’s a look that also adds a lot of beauty and drama. Light wood has been trending in the last few years, but lately we’re seeing a turn back toward traditional dark wood tones. Go bold like this beautiful kitchen from m.elle.design, or simply add dark wood accents like cutting boards, utensils, vases and bowls, to your light wood space.


Precision Cabinetry and Design

All wood has either a warm or cool undertone independent from their lightness or darkness. Light oak can have a golden or ashy look depending on the stain and finish. Here is a good visual. Although you can mix warm and cool tones, it can be harder to pull off and your choices might not look right. A safer bet is to stick to the same tone throughout your space. This pretty kitchen from Precision Cabinetry and Design uses medium and dark tone woods but all with a warm undertone. The look blends while still creating contrast in the space.


Trickle Creek Designer Homes

You can pull of mixing several different wood tones in a space if they all have the same finish. In this follower-favorite kitchen, the wood tones are all rustic and blend with the rustic rock that pulls it all together. Think about the grain of your mix of woods, whether they are rustic or refined looking, and how that blends in the space.


House Seven Design

Light and dark woods feel balanced when the eye sees them both dotted throughout the space. Here, light/medium tone woods dominate the room, but the dark wood accents feel balanced because they are repeated in the dark wood chairs, a dark woven pendant above, and dark wood vases on the console table. Try to use each wood tone at least twice if you want to ensure an intentional look.

We love a mixed wood room. Hope this helps you get the look in your own space!



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