Mixing Wood Tones

**side note: I just realized that my last blog post was in July…JULY! Where does time go?! I have all sorts of posts I’ve been working on and then motherhood happens and you know the story! I will try to be better about it. It’s not too early for New Years resolutions right?**

Mixing different wood tones is sometimes hard to do, but I’ve come across it many times when helping clients pick out new hardwood flooring for their home or wood furniture to go with their existing hardwood flooring. There isn’t a magic formula, but as with everything when it comes to decorating…balance is key.

When adding new wood into a space with existing wood furniture or flooring, it’s best to try not to match exactly. Wood is so unique that even if you’re matching one oak bench with oak flooring, it’s never going to look exactly the same. It also looks really strange if there is no contrast. Either go with a darker stain on the same wood, go with a completely different wood, or different stain, different wood. You get the picture…mix it up!

Here are a few examples of rooms with well balanced wood tones.

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More tips on mixing wood

  • Break things up with an area rug. If you have a wood dining table on hardwood floors, add a contrasting area rug to break up all of the wood.
  • Add other elements to the room. Metals, glass, fabrics….anything that would contrast with the wood will keep the room from looking too much like a forest.
  • Balance painted wood and natural wood. Too much of each can seem too matchy.
  • Be strategic when placing wood items in a room. For example, if you have a wood mirror that looks similar to a wood coffee table, try to put them on different sides of the room or separate them as much as possible.
  • With dark woods, especially, add in light colors throughout the room. An all dark room can feel very heavy without a lighter contrast.
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Mixing Neutrals

I feel like everyone loves the idea of neutral decor, but it tends to cause overthinking. “This beige doesn’t match this beige and this is the wrong shade of off white.” Sound familiar? Do yourself a favor, don’t overthink it. The key is balance. Having a good amount of neutral color variations in different textures will balance a room. Trying to match each shade of white/beige/gray won’t look natural and it may drive you crazy.

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of what I mean by balance.

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The above room pulls off neutrals beautifully. The sofas, pillows, rug and wall color are all different shades of creamy white/beige, but because they’re all different textures, they flow well together. Strategically placed items in the same color family but darker (baskets, pots, blanket) pull the room together and give it dimension.

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Above is another example of various shades of neutrals used together. Here, not only do the textures vary but patterns vary as well. Again, balance is key. Be sure to use large and small patterns together. Too many large patterns can appear bold; too many small patterns appears to be busy.

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Once again, a wonderful example of mixing patterns and textures. I also love the subtle pop of color with pillows and flowers.

Struggling with paint colors? Check out my post here.

Indoor/Outdoor Rugs …Indoors

Most people think of indoor/outdoor rugs as outdoor rugs, that look like indoor rugs. They can certainly be described that way, they’ve come a long way since the fake grass look, but I actually like indoor/outdoor rugs indoors as well. They are very durable and easy to maintain. They may not be your softest, plushest carpet, but they sure make cleaning up soggy, mashed in goldfish much easier than on a rug with higher pile.

We bought our living room rug a couple of years ago and have been very happy with the decision to get an indoor/outdoor one. They work great in areas with kids and pets. I also like the idea for kitchens where there’s a lot of traffic, water, and messes. If you’re considering one, here are a few to take a look at.

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Safavieh-Courtyard-Digitas-Beige-Outdoor-Indoor-Area-Rug-CY7938-79A18

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Also…regarding sizes, the rule has always been to have at least your front furniture legs touching the rug, but when in doubt, I think it’s always best to go bigger. There’s nothing worse than an area rug floating in the room.