Five tricks for mixing wood finishes

Wood is a tried and tested way to bring any space to life. It looks equally attractive in both modern and classic homes, and can add real value while creating a warm, homely atmosphere. Having said that, mixing wood finishes can be difficult – especially given the fact that you’re unlikely to buy the entirety of your furniture from one place, or have it all made from the same wood. Here are five things to keep in mind when mixing different wood finishes in your home.

Five tricks for mixing wood finishes

1. Separate the woods

If you have a few different types of wooden furniture sitting on a wooden floor, it can quickly become apparent they are at odds with each other. This can make your space look mismatched or unfinished. A good way to avoid this is to use something to separate the woods. A rug under a table is very effective at drawing the eye away from the contrasting textures and shades of different woods, and it can also add a burst of colour to your room.

2. Limit the finishes

While it might be tempting to pick up every piece you like when furnishing your home, you can create a more streamlined look by limiting yourself to just a few types of wood. This makes mixing wood finishes much easier. Choose two or three at most, and then base the rest of your choices around these particular finishes. This will help to avoid a cluttered look and give you a more cohesive décor.

3. Line up the grains

If you do have several different finishes and tones then you can still achieve a well-balanced look in a room by matching up the grains. Make sure, for example, that the lines of your wooden table follow the lines of the floorboards, or the wooden bench has a grain that follows the lines of your ceiling. This will help blend all your wooden features together, even if they are at odds in terms of colour and texture.

4. Complement the colours

While certain matching elements will give you a more coordinated look, it’s certainly not a necessary requirement if you have lots of wood in your home. While it can be a simple way to make mixing wood finishes work, by carefully noting undertones you can be equally as successful at creating a complementary scheme. Selecting all warm woods, such as mahogany and walnut, or cool tones such as pine will create a subtle dynamic in your space that you can use as a basis for the rest of your décor.

5. Try a whitewash

If you’ve tried all the above and simply can’t make mixing wood finishes work in your space, then another, failsafe option, is to paint the piece or feature white. Wood really comes to life when contrasted with a coat of fresh white paint. You don’t need to cover the whole table or surface however – it might only need one surface of white to suddenly tie the room together.

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