Gone were the days when people were obliged to invest in perfectly uniform pieces and sets of furniture. You can now mix and match items, their designs, colors, tones, and patterns. While mixing wood stains and finishes might seem intimidating at first, you will realize right away that it is the easiest method for those who would like to build and decorate an interior, which feels pieced together and real over time. However, there are certain tips and rules to keep in mind when mixing different wood tones and finishes. This is to ensure that the final output looks natural and makes your interiors truly breathtaking. Here are some of the most important rules and tips:

Mixing Wood

Mixing Wood

1 – Choose a dominant tone

Note that while it is acceptable to mix wood tones, such as the ones used in your living room wooden furniture, it is still advisable to choose a dominant tone to serve as your starting point. This should help you pick the other furniture pieces that you might want to add and integrate into the room, too.

For instance, if your floors are made of wood then consider making this your dominant tone. If not then your choice should be the largest piece of furniture within the room you wish to decorate.

2 – Make sure that the undertones are consistent

This means matching the undertones from one piece of furniture to another. For instance, if your living room is full of antique pieces of furniture made of wood that boast of warm mid-tones then do something to implement consistency and continuity all throughout the room.

Determine whether the dominant tone is either on the warm or cool side. Once you figure it out, make it a point to stick in that group as a means of creating a more coherent thread. Woods that have warm undertones often look red or yellow (ex. those derived from hickory, mahogany, and cherry).

You can expect these mentioned woods to work well together – that is possible even if there are differences in grain and darkness. Woods with neutral tones, such as walnut, boast of a high level of versatility. Walnut features soft purple undertones. Expect these to blend well with wood that has cool and warm tones.

3 – Spread finishes

For example, do not make the mistake of piling your dark pieces of wood on just a single side of the room. If you do, the side where you piled the pieces might become too heavy. Make it a point to spread the finishes evenly throughout the room. A wise tip to follow this rule is to space darker and lighter pieces throughout the decorated room.

This is a big help in increasing visual balance and interest. Some rooms also feature permanent wood compartments, either wooden floors, exposed beams, or siding. You can bring out the room’s character by integrating frames, furniture, and any other elements made of wood to build balance.

4 – Restrict the number of particular wood species

This is crucial in preventing the room from looking disjointed and chaotic too soon. What you should do is to consider huge quantities of one wood specie together with the actual number of species found inside the room. As a general rule, a max of around three wood tones in one space is enough.

5 – Choose an accent color

If you are concerned about having mismatched wood tones and grains then tie various styles and finishes together using an accent color. The good news is that there are different accessories and things that they can use for the activity. Among these are stools, lampshade, and throw pillows. Just use these items and accessories and apply an accent color to produce a more harmonious flow.

accent color

6 – Use a rug or carpet to break up the elements of wood

Note that a trusted rug can contribute a lot in making the room as well-decorated as possible. It is because this can help in breaking the wood elements, especially if your wooden floor and furniture items come with the same tone.

7 – Observe the undertones

Note that while there is no need for you to match wood finishes perfectly, it is still crucial to make sure that the finish or tone will go back and complement with each other. Examine the color bias of all the wood you plan to use. Figure out whether the wood is cool or warm so you will know how to mix and match naturally and beautifully.

8 – Create balance by trying to blend with other tones

For instance, white décor and accent furniture can be expected to balance the grey and brown undertones of wood. You may also use rugs as these can provide an added layer of texture while also acting as a buffer in between different wood species. This is a big help if your home has wood floors as well as other furniture items made of wood.

9 – Play with contrast

While this looks quite counter intuitive, contrast is actually your friend if you are trying to mix wood tones. For instance, you may want to complement light gray floors with dark walnut chairs and coffee table featuring three wood tones in your living room. The good thing about deciding to play with contrast is that it can make the space more visually interesting. It can also deepen the design.

Play with contrast

Play with contrast

10 – Use white

One magical combination in interior designing involves the use of wood and white. This combination works magically, so using white should be a rule to keep in mind when trying to mix wood tones. This is a big help if there are various wood tones you are planning to use that look nutty and chaotic.

In that case, you may want to intersperse white sections through furnishing, paint, or any other relevant décor. This is a big help in breaking up and calming down the somewhat chaotic design.


While mixing wood tones in interior designing does not come with extremely strict rules, you still have to keep in mind and consider several things to attain a certain mood or look. The good news is that the natural colors of wood are considered neutral, so expect them to blend well with different tones. You can even mix and match different wood shades and tones like a pro.