Can You Mix Different Color Wood Furniture in a Room?

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There is always a need for change, and sometimes you want to swap a few old pieces of furniture for something new. What happens if your favorite item has a different finish from the rest of the wood furniture at home? Can you mix different color wood furniture in a room?

You can mix wood furniture of different colors in a room, with all the enthusiasm in the world. It’s a little tricky to coordinate multiple wood colors in one room, even though many designers recommend mixing wood tones. However, you can do a fantastic job if you follow the rules.

This article explores whether all the furniture in a room must be the same color. I also discuss mixing different colored wood furniture in the same room. Finally, I cover the wood tones that complement each other.

Does the Furniture in a Room Have to Be the Same Color?


Perusing most catalogs will have you feeling like all furniture in every room must match, colors and all. Full sets often look perfect and reveal how beautiful a home can be. Kudos to the advertisers, but most people can’t buy complete furniture sets at once.

Additionally, furniture colors don’t need to match to look great. When buying furniture, put matching colors out of your mind and go for coordinating colors. You can have similarly-styled pieces but break up the similarities for colors.

Coordinating furniture colors with the color palette of the room aids in creating a coherent and visually pleasing design. It is often easier to choose a focal color and support it with neutrals. Also, match colors with similar values (light/darkness).

The 60-30-10 decorating rule is an excellent guide for selecting colors. It suggests that 60% of the room should be your dominant color, 30% as your secondary color, and 10% for accents.

Can You Mix Different Color Wood Furniture in a Room?

Monotony can be good, but not for wood furniture in a space. Although many people hesitate to mix different wood furniture pieces in an area, you can and should mix up those colors. Say goodbye to the matching furniture sets of old because mixtures are here to stay.

Mixing wood tones can be just as stunning as combining metals in a space. Why have a flat look when you can achieve a layered, multidimensional one? Whether you add a new item to your collection or furnish a new house, I encourage you to get complimenting and contrasting tones.

With some basic coordination rules under your belt, you don’t have to fear mixing different color wood furniture. If you have no idea what colors wood furniture comes in, below is a crash course in all things wood.

Types of wood furniture

It’s crucial to grasp the differences between solid wood furniture and engineered wood furniture. The processing of the woods differs, along with their costs and finishing.

The following are different types of wood furniture:

  1. Solid wood furniture: It comes from natural, solid wood, with each species having different colors, grain patterns, and undertones. Most solid wood furniture you buy often comes with a finish on it, and they are more versatile.

You can refinish solid wood—sand the original finish and apply your preferred finish. Painting a clear coat on the wood to enhance its natural tone is one way to customize your furniture.

Another standard method is staining the wood to change its color and topping it with a clear coat for protection.

  1. Engineered wood: A mixture of wood waste, glue, and chemicals make up engineered wood. It is made into shapes and covered with a laminate material that resembles wood or veneer of natural wood.

You can paint these furniture pieces but can’t sand, varnish, or stain them. An advantage it has over solid wood furniture is its reduced cost.

Colors of wood furniture

Solid wood also comes pre-finished in different colors, and you can customize your look depending on your preference. Engineered wood furniture commonly comes in the following finishes:

  • Oak
  • Natural
  • Cherry
  • Mahogany
  • Grey
  • Walnut
  • Bamboo

Oak has more golden notes in its natural appearance, while mahogany has a red appearance. Wood stains can completely change the wood’s natural look, with hues ranging from bright blue to dark brown.

Wood tones

You only have to keep two primary tones in mind: the mass tone and undertone. The mass tone is the prominent color you notice with one glance. Undertones need a closer inspection before identifying them, but they are crucial for mixing different wood finishes.

Now that you understand the varying features of wood furniture, here are some tips for mixing:

Choose a dominant tone

It always helps to select a dominant tone as your starting point and pick other pieces based on this tone. This anchor point could be your wood floors or the most significant piece of furniture in the room (dining table or dresser).

Contrast and undertones

After selecting your dominant tone, be sure to match the undertones between all wood furniture items. Stay in the same family of wood tones to create a coherent theme.

Contrast is the friend of the daring, and it adds visual interest. Mix a light, medium, and dark tone to give your design more depth.

Repeat for a cohesive look

When you combine wood tones in a room, you need to use each color at least twice. ‘Rinse and repeat’ is the code for structure and continuity. For example, the ceiling beams and couch legs can be white, while the accent chairs and wood floor are of a lighter tone.

Embrace textiles

Wall hangings, throw pillows, and rugs help to reduce the jarring effect of the differences in wood tones. A bright area rug can be your transition piece between a dark wood table and light wood floors.

Other factors to consider when mixing different color wood furniture in a room are the furniture’s grain and scale. Mixtures in design should tell a story, so continuity is vital. You can blend items confidently by paying attention to the tips above.

Which Wood Tones Go Together?

Matching wood tones is all about paying attention to the undertones. Wood having warm undertones will look red or yellow, like hickory, cherry, and mahogany. Cool-toned woods look a little gray. Pine, ash, poplar, and maple are woods with cool undertones.

As long as the undertones of the wood furniture are consistent, you can combine light and dark woods of varying grain sizes and finishes. Mixing warm and cool tones is possible, but getting the right look is hard.

It would be best to maintain the same tone for a safer bet throughout the room. You can create contrast while blending. Some woods like walnut are versatile because they have a neutral tone, allowing you to mix them with cool and warm-toned wood.

Here are some wood species that go together, tones, and finishes considered:

  • Maple and cherry
  • Mahogany and curly maple
  • Red oak and white ash
  • Walnut and maple
  • Cherry and mahogany
  • White oak and walnut

A room with different wood furniture has a layered and eclectic look that is organic. The space feels lived-in while looking trendy and modern. There’s no perfect formula, but you can experiment until you find a suitable combination.

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