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Mixing different wood tones in one space

How to mix different wood tones together

I wrote this article “How to mix different wood tones together” for “Houzz” in 2018. My first claim to fame 😉

Timber is such a beautiful, natural material, and it looks incredible paired with materials such as stone, concrete and metallics. And it’s not just limited to kitchen cabinets – we’re using it on bench tops, feature lighting and decorative accessories too.

But the last thing you want to do is create a ski-lodge look, where all the timber elements in a room are perfectly matching and nothing stands out. Keep it fashionable – and draw attention to your favourite pieces – by combining different finishes in one.

how to mix different wood finishes together

How to mix different wood species together​

Spotted gum and Tasmanian oak are popular choices for timber floors in Australian homes and come in tones ranging from pale to dark brown. Mango wood, which features multi-coloured grains, is a popular species for furniture and accessories right now, and it looks fantastic alongside spotted gum and Tasmanian oak floors – particularly darker ones.

For darker timber furniture and accessories, consider pieces crafted from Sheesham wood, which boasts a rich, chestnut colour and a rustic feel. Pair it with pale timber floorboards for contrast.

Speaking of light timbers, I think we will continue to see more furniture crafted from pale timber, grey-toned timber and white-washed varieties in 2018, which all contrast beautifully with dark timber floors.


Mixing different wood tones in one space

The room above works beautifully with three different types of wood because they are all showing warm undertones. The red/yellow undertones allow these woods to work so nicely together. 


How do I do it?

  • If you are adding a wooden piece of furniture to a room with a wooden floor, make sure it compliments or contrasts. By complimenting, you are looking for a balance between the items undertones. By contrast, you are going so different that it works, not fights. For example, a walnut table sitting on an oak floor.


  • Pay close attention to the undertones of your timbers, which will either be cool (blue- or grey-based) or warm (yellow-, orange- or red-based). When combining different timbers, make sure they all share the same undertone.


  • Also, pay attention to the pattern of the grains. If you have one timber element – say a buffet – with a very pronounced grain, keep the rest of the scheme simple to create balance.
mid century living room with blue walls

More tips to mix different woods together​

Don’t mix too many different timber species in one space, and avoid even numbers – three is ideal.

If your wooden floor and wooden furniture don’t sit well together, break them up with a rug. If your table and chair don’t work together, go for a contrasting leg, such as black or metal.


Don’t forget texture

You can go for wood tones with different scale wood grains. Think of wood grain like a pattern. Mixing patterns creates visual interest as does working with multiple textures. Go for a rough surface floor with a polished table to create interest. You can also go for different scale planks to avoid a matchy-matchy look.

Check out more helpful tips and tricks HERE.

Tracey Bright

Tracey Bright

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