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How to Mix and Match Different Wood Tones in Your Home

white kitchen with wood floors and wood island with white top
Janis Nicolay

Decorating with different wood tones in one space is a tricky design convention to get right. But armed with these four tips on how to mix and match your tones and stains, you’ll be a wood (miracle) worker in no time.

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Chic open concept living space featuring two different wood tones on the floor and in the ceiling beam.
Janis Nicolay

Before you even think about mixing different wood tones together, choose a dominant colour for the majority of the finishings. Whether it’s white oak floor boards, oak cabinetry or stained pine window frames, pick one tone to take prominence in the space. If none of the built-in features of the room are wood, look to the biggest piece of wooden furniture to be the jumping off point.

Related: We Predict the Biggest Home Decor Trends of 2023

Beautiful modern kitchen that uses two different tones of wood on the floor and in the kitchen cabinets
Janis Nicolay

Look for wood colours with the same warm or cool undertones and pair them together. Unstained warm woods — such as maple, cherry, walnut and white oak — complement each other beautifully. Meanwhile, cooler, darker stain tones (think charcoal or black) layer nicely with one another. Of course, these are only suggestions — if a unique mix of colours is calling you, answer that call!

Sticking to the same undertones when picking out your mix-and-match wood tones will create a cohesive colour palette in your space. But if you’re looking for a room with a bit more va-va-voom, consider sparingly pairing the dominant colour with opposing undertones. For example, a black-stained coffee table on white-pine floor becomes a statement piece and gives a living room extra design depth.

Related: The 16 Most Popular Interior Design Styles Explained

Modern family room with a large TV on a wood lined wall in a different wood tone to the wood flooring, with a coffee table and a guitar in the corner.
Janis Nicolay

When decorating with mixed wood tones, either with built-ins or accessories, getting the right balance is crucial. Once you’ve picked the dominant tone, make sure you spread it out throughout the whole area, whether it’s with a set of floating shelves or furniture. Seeing the same main tone in multiple places will pull together a room visually. Also, be sure to counterweight with other materials — too much wood can feel overwhelming. Use it to highlight, not hijack, a space.

Related: This Eco-Conscious Montreal Home Definitely Isn’t Afraid of Colour

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