Expert advice on how to combine wooden furniture with wooden floors
Posted on March 20 2021
Wood offers a warm, classic look, so it's no wonder that many people choose it for flooring and furniture. However, all that wood can be a bit tricky to fuse together. Do you combine wooden furniture and wooden floors? Does it go with contrasting colors? Does color matter? It may seem intimidating, but our expert advice on how to combine wooden furniture with wooden floors makes the task a lot easier.
The case against matching wood tones
You want your furniture and floors to reflect your style and display favorably, that's a given. In a 2013 study of furniture choice and habits, approximately 67-72% of participants said they feel that their furniture expresses their individuality and that their homes should have something to say about it. And wooden furniture is always a favorite. In fact, when respondents in the same study were asked how long they thought their furniture would last, 92,4% chose wood as the most reliable.
So how can you incorporate quality, elegant wooden furniture into a room with a wooden floor in a way that complements the space and matches your preferences? The answer may be different than you think.
Matching the finish of your furniture and floors seems like a safe option. How can you go wrong if you use the same color for both? It's an option, but there are a few reasons why you might want to avoid this match.
First, combining all the wood in the room can make the space look flat and boring. Think of it as too good a thing. When all the wood is the same color, it blends in and loses its charm. Nothing stands out as unique. By mixing different finishes, you add visual depth and interest to the space. The pieces highlight and display individual charm and beauty.
Working in different wood finishes creates a cozy feeling in your room. The space becomes homey. Combining all the wood elements can seem like you're trying too hard.
Another challenge in exactly matching wood finishes is the fact that most people don't buy everything at once. Older pieces often have an aged look, so even if they have the same finish, it won't necessarily look the same as a new piece with that finish. Some people intentionally choose different pieces rather than a matching ensemble to create an up-to-date, select look.
That doesn't mean you can't have any combination of woods, but you may want to incorporate contrasting colors to add some dimension to the space. Looking at the different characteristics of wood finishes can help you find pieces that go well with the color of your existing wood floors.
Elements that affect the appearance of wood
The color of the finish is only one aspect of the appearance of the wood, whether it is the flooring or the furniture. Several elements work together to create the final look of a piece of wood. Before you can compare these features and find others that work together, it's important to understand them.
Some things that affect the look of wood include:
- Wood species: The type of wood the piece is made of affects its appearance, even if the piece is stained. The type of wood also affects aspects such as quality and durability.
- Grain: Different types of wood have a different grain appearance. Some have distinct, prominent grain patterns that stand out. Others have subtle wood grain patterns that are less noticeable. The beans may appear straight, swirled, or patterned in other ways.
- Stain: Wood floors and furniture can be stained to change the original wood color. The stain can cause the wood to take on a different color or a darker appearance.
Analyze the characteristics of your soil
Wood floors add an elegant touch to any home. Did you know that 54% of home buyers are more likely to buy or pay a higher price for a home with hardwood floors? If you already own a home with hardwood floors, you'll want to do everything you can to accentuate the true beauty of your flooring as much as possible. That is how.
Since your wood flooring is already installed, it is easier to start there and choose other pieces of wood to complement it. Before buying new wood furniture, take a close look at your hardwood floor to learn more about it. Look at things like color, how dark or light the soil looks, grain patterns, and any other unique features. If you have a sample of your flooring, take it with you when you look at the furniture to see how well it works with different pieces.
Limit the number of wood finishes
Mixing wood finishes that work well together is a good thing, but you don't want to have too many different finishes in one space. When you place too many different wood styles, the space can seem busy, mismatched, scattered, or disconnected. Two or three different finishes is a good starting point. If you have a large area to furnish, using four different finishes can work.
Spaces tend to work best when you have a dominant wood finish. Since you are working in a space with hardwood floors, your floor finish is likely to be the dominant color. It's the one constant that covers the entire room and won't change unless you go through the repainting process. The other finish or two will complement that main wood tone.
Once you have your color choices, repeat them throughout the space. You can choose to hang dark wood frames similar to the dark wood flooring while putting a lighter wood finish on the dining room table and the sideboard. Using each wood finish more than once ties the room together and creates a sense of balance.
Find a unifying trait
Choosing types of wood to combine them can seem complicated. You don't want the wood tones to be too similar, but you also don't want too many completely different finishes. Mismatched pieces of wood can create a disconnected and overly sparse feeling that detracts from the pieces.
Instead, look for at least one trait that the different pieces of wood have in common. You can choose two pieces with similar large grain patterns, or you can choose two types of wood with rustic tones. The two types of wood may still look completely different, but they have that common trait that unifies them.
Spread similar wood tones
To create balance in the room, use the area to distribute the different wood tones of your choice. Instead of grouping all the pieces of one color together, place them in different parts of the room. If you have a rich mahogany piece on one side of the room, balance it with a similarly colored piece on the other side. This distribution of finishes creates a more natural look without making one part of the room appear heavier or darker than others.
Consider the nuances of wood
Wood can have subtle hues or colors that affect the overall look of the piece. The nuances of your hardwood floor and the wooden furniture pieces need to be matched. The undertones can be warm, cool, or neutral in appearance. Warm tones in wood tend to appear yellow, orange, or red. If the wood turns gray, it has cold undertones. Neutral hues give the wood a beige appearance without any distinctive color.
Since wood flooring is not easy to change, focus on the nuances of that wood first. Woods with the same type of hues tend to work better together. For example, if your hardwood floor has warm undertones, look for other warm undertones as well. You will get the best results if you choose shades of the same specific shade. If your floors have red undertones, choose furniture that also has red undertones. If your floor takes on a yellowish appearance, choose furniture that also has that yellow hue.
If your wood floor has neutral undertones, you're in luck. You can go for warm, cool, or neutral woods because they all look great with neutral wood flooring. However, if you add multiple wood finishes to the room, make sure all those additional wood pieces have similar nuances.
Note that the background is not the same as the darkness of the wood. A piece can have red undertones and be very light, very dark, or somewhere in between. While the pieces you choose may all have red undertones, you can create variety by choosing pieces of different levels of darkness and with other unique characteristics, such as different wood grain patterns.
Avoid heavy finishes
Mixing wooden floors with wooden furniture becomes easier with natural-looking pieces. In nature, many different types of wood grow together in harmony. By keeping your pieces of wood as close to that natural state as possible, you can better coordinate the pieces.
Wood with a thick shellac coating ends up looking unnaturally shiny and smooth. The gloss takes away much of the natural beauty of the wood and the characteristics that make it easier to combine with other woods. Choose pieces with natural stains and finishes to allow greater versatility when combining different pieces of wood.
En Oak.Store we offer a wide variety of natural wood furniture that will fit perfectly in your space.
Mix the veins carefully
Grain refers to the lines and patterns that occur naturally in wood. As the wood grows, the grain develops based on the cells of the wood. The wood species often determines the general type of grain because growth patterns vary from species to species. However, each piece of wood has its own distinctive pattern, even within the same species. Some types of wood have prominent grain patterns, while others are less noticeable. This difference is noticeable in the finished product, especially in pieces with natural finishes.
The vein is described as open or closed. Open grain patterns occur in wood with large pores, such as pine, elm, ash, and oak. Wood often has a rough appearance. It may appear more textured than smooth. Closed grain wood has smaller pores that minimize the appearance of lines and marks. Also known as fine grain, this type of wood includes maple, birch, alder, cherry, and walnut.
The grain also varies in the way the patterns appear. Some species of wood have a straight grain. The lines in the wood follow a relatively straight path. These woods tend to look a bit more subtle than other wood grains. Some wood species have unique grain patterns that may appear wavy, swirling, twisted, or differently patterned. They stand out on finished wood flooring or wood furniture because they are often uneven and more noticeable than straight lines.
The type of grain affects the style or mood that the wood creates. Large grain patterns tend to evoke a casual tone. Fine grain patterns are associated with formal styles. Keep these sentiments in mind when choosing pieces for your space so that you can create an overall tone that matches your style.
The grain is an important feature when choosing different pieces of wood to combine. You do not need to try to exactly match the grain. However, if you have too many pieces with prominent grain that look completely different, they can compete with each other instead of creating a harmonious look in the room.
If you choose a piece or have a floor with a prominent grain, balance with other pieces that have a light grain pattern. If all of your pieces have a prominent grain, they should have a similar pattern to help them fit together.
Use contrast to create a focal point
If you want to emphasize a piece of furniture or a certain part of the room, choose a finish color that contrasts with the rest of the wooden elements in the space. You can choose a dark dining table to contrast with light wood floors, for example. The contrast doesn't have to be too strong. You can pair a light shade with a medium shade with the same undertones, for example. A dark wood tone, such as mahogany or cherry, can have a wide contrast to a medium wood tone.
Texture is another way to make a piece stand out and to create dimension in your space. If your hardwood floors are perfectly smooth and polished, choose a chunky rustic piece of furniture with lots of texture to contrast.
Consider other colors in the room
The colors you use for walls, window shades, decorations, rugs, and accent pieces all influence the way the pieces of wood work together. A wooden cabinet can look completely different against a neutral white background than against a bright yellow wall.
If you use several different wood finishes in a space, neutral colors for the walls and other elements tend to work best. The neutral palette helps bring the different wood tones together and creates a sense of balance in the room.
Wood tone with soft materials
Having wooden floors and furniture can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming if you don't have anything to balance all that wood. Incorporate softer materials into the room to balance the space. Carpets work well in rooms with wooden floors. Rugs break up the wood look and add a soft feel underfoot. A rug is also a good visual break between the floor and the wooden furniture, which can help you feel more comfortable mixing woods. Drawers in furniture also help break up a large area of wood.
You can also work on other types of materials to tone down the look of the wood. You can incorporate a metal lamp or decorative glass pieces, for example.
Dark wood furniture with dark wood floors
Contrast helps create depth, but you can pair dark wood furniture with dark wood floors and still make the room look interesting. Dark wood finishes tend to have a formal look and add a dramatic touch to your space. The key is to provide some balance to offset the dark wood so the whole room doesn't feel heavy, dark, and cave-like.
One trick is to choose furniture that is a few shades lighter than the floor, especially if the wooden floor is extremely dark. You still get the look of dark furniture, but it helps to brighten the room overall. Another option is to put in some much lighter pieces of wood to compensate for all the dark finishes. To help create that balance, try two-tone furniture with lighter surfaces and legs that match the dark color of the floor.
Another important factor in a room with dark wood floors and dark wood furniture is the rest of the room's color palette. Combining lighter walls with dark wood elements helps keep the room balanced overall. Sharp white walls work well with darker woods, but you can use other light shades, such as light gray or cream.
Provide a light colored break between dark wood floors and dark wood furniture with a light colored area rug. For example, place a soft gray area rug under a dark wood dining table to provide that visual separation with a touch of lightness.
Light wood furniture with light wood floors
Light wood tones keep a room airy and often make the space feel casual. Light wood floors tend to be neutral, but some lighter woods have warm undertones. Check for a strong yellow or red hue. If you don't notice one, your light floors are neutral and you have a lot more freedom to mix. If you notice a red or yellow hue, stick with other light woods that have the same color undertones.
If you want to use light furniture with light floors, try to find slightly different wood tones to create a bit of contrast. You can choose wood pieces a shade or two darker than very light flooring, for example. This adds dimension and interest to the space while making certain elements pop, but still maintaining the overall light look in the room. You can also use a rug to separate light flooring from light furniture. Opt for a darker colored rug to create a contrast that helps create more dimension in the space.
Sus accessories also help balance all light wood. Work in different materials and accents to contrast with the light wood elements. Colors don't have to be dark or intense. You can add a soft green or blue for a pop of color without being too loud.
Dark wood with light wood
One of the easiest options to combine is dark wood with light wood, whether it's light floors with dark furniture or dark floors with light furniture. Sometimes if you try to match two dark woods or two light woods, the results look like you tried to match the colors but failed. When you choose a light and a dark option, it is clear that you were not trying to match the wood finishes.
Oak.Store is an authority in the solid wood furniture industry. If you are looking for wood furniture that works with your wood floors, we can help. Request a quote today for the new furniture you need. In addition, we are always ready to help you and resolve any questions in our showroom at Barcelona, Avenida Diagonal, 352.