Mixing Light and Dark Woods

With wood floors being so popular in homes these days there is a new discussion about matching or mixing wood tones between flooring and furniture. Having all the same type of wood furniture in a room is an older way of approaching design. Very formal rooms, such as dining rooms, often had all mahogany or cherry furniture. Today’s design style is more apt to mix one or more woods in a room’s design, including the flooring.


If you have light floors like maple or dark floors like ebony stained hickory, you are not held to only have light or dark furniture to match the floors.  Placing dark wood furniture on light floors and vice versa can make the wood of both pop. Using similar wood, dark on dark or light on light, will cause your furniture to blend in more with the flooring. This can be remedied by using a colorful or patterned area rug to break up the unified wood tones.


The contrast between light and dark has a more modern and contemporary feel than the traditional style of using similar wood tones. Using different wood tones can give your space more visual interest while also creating a more eclectic style that is favored by many designers today.


When mixing woods, pay attention to the undertones of the color just as you would when mixing paint colors or fabric colors.  Cherries and mahoganies have red undertones while maple has a more yellow undertone. These undertones will be more noticeable when you mix your woods.

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