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How To & DIY

How to Mix Wood Finishes in Your Home Design

Not everyone is running out and purchasing full sets of furniture to outfit the whole home. More commonly, homes are made of a mix of hand-me-down pieces, flea market finds, and those purchases you’ve saved up for years to buy. Mixing wood finishes that work together can be intimidating, but we’ve curated these tips so that you don’t make a home design faux pas.

Pay attention to undertones.

Mixing wood finishes can be appealing to the eye if done right, however, pay attention to the undertones of the wood pieces in your home. While the wood finishes don’t have to match, the undertones should coordinate and complement one another. If your living room consists of warm wood floors, stick to pairing furniture with similar warm wood finishes to create a cohesive look.  Warm undertones appear yellow, orange, and red, while cooler undertones will radiate a grayish color.

Choose complementary finishes.

After recognizing the undertones of the woods in your household, choosing complementary wood finishes will be less daunting. Regardless of the finish, if the undertones of the wood match, the various pieces will fit cohesively. Complementary finishes often contrast, so pick painted, stained, or lacquered furniture that ranges in color from light to dark to create visual interest for your guests to enjoy. If choosing complementary finishes intimidates you, read our Color Wheel Basics: How to Pick Color Schemes for the Home for color tips.

And don’t worry about the wood floor! On-trend gray floors pull cooler wood hues together. To provide a buffer between your wood floors and wood furniture pieces, consider placing an area rug underneath your dining table or coffee table to break up the monotony.

Limit the amount of wood finishes.

It’s easy for a room to feel chaotic if there are too many wood finishes. The easiest fix for this is to choose only a few different wood finishes in one room and utilize those mixed finishes in different ways. It is possible to have too many woods, so create a more balanced feel by limiting the chosen finishes.

In addition to limiting the number of mixed wood finishes, use a careful eye with the placement of these furniture pieces. To avoid one side of the room feeling heavy, place similar wood finishes on opposing sides of the room.

Be playful.

Pulling together your home design should be fun. Choose pieces that speak to you, regardless if you’re designing an eclectic, transitional, or traditional space. A fun way to do this is to bring in painted wood furniture such as dining chairs, like the Colors Side Chair or the Cottage Side Chair in aqua.

If something feels off about your design style, take this advice and think about the wood finishes in your home. Can something be changed or moved around the room to feel less lopsided? Once you’ve mastered wood finishes in your home, start adding different surfaces like mixed metals, glass, mirrors, and other decor pieces to create a room you love.


Living Room: Briargate Accent Chair | McLaren Sofa | Norway Coffee Table | Axis End Table | Lavita Expanse Rug | Red and Green Agave Plant in Ceramic Planter | Gramercy Table Lamp | Hina Candleholder

Dining Room: Colors Dining Table | Colors Side Chair | Dushanbe Rug | Plato Wine Bookcase Cabinet | Magnolia Home Metal Kinlen Box | Succulent, Echeveria, and Mini Dracaena in Wood Log | Turning Left Framed Print

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