Have you ever bought a prominent wood furniture piece, just to have it go unnoticed in a poorly designed room? You may wonder why this great piece of furniture doesn’t stand out. You want people to notice your wood furniture for the beautiful tones that it can bring to a space. However, you may lose that beauty, if your wall colours fail to contrast with your wood furniture.
You can create contrast by placing a dark piece of furniture with a light paint colour or vice versa. In other words, choose a wall tone that is opposite of your wood tone. Your furniture can create a contrast that will draw your eye towards it. The contrasting paint shade you choose will depend on the undertones in your wood.
Undertones are the underlying colours in the grains of wood. For example, amber woods have warm undertones. These undertones in wood can vary from warm or cool colours. Warm wood tones work well with cool paint colours. Much like cool wood tones work well with warm paint colours.
Here are a few wood colours that have warm undertones and will work well with cool colours:
- White Oak
Here are some cool wood tones for warm colours:
- Sugar Pine
The wood undertones also need to contrast the paint intensity. Intensity refers to the brightness or darkness of the paint. Choosing similar intensities may make the room appear a different size. For example, dark colours coupled with dark woods will make the room appear compact.
Keep in mind, wood tones work with surrounding colours to create an overall impression to the room. You might choose lighter colours for a peaceful feel in a room. Or you may choose darker colours to make a sophisticated impression. As you design your room, it’s important to start with a plan. Take time to research what mood you want set in your room.
Once you find a look you like, find the colour at the paint store. As you search for colours you like, here are a few additional things to keep in mind.
Neutral colours include white, grey, brown, and black. These colours match warm and cool wood undertones, as long as the intensity provides contrast. The following are some specific wood types that go well with each neutral:
White colours, like cream and milky-white, create a clean background when coupled with dark wood. For example, cream matches with woods like mahogany or dark walnut. The dark woods contrasts with the light paint colour. In addition, milky white paint looks great with honey and amber toned woods.
The white-based colours provide the best contrast to your darker wood furniture. This contrast allows your wood furniture to be the focal point in your room.
Brown colours, like beige and tan, match with wood undertones. Unlike with white-based colours, matching these similar medium-toned colours creates a unified colour scheme. Matching paint colours with wood undertones is the easiest way to create cohesion in your design.
If you want a unified space, brown colours are a great choice. A brown paint tone allows your eyes to relax because the wood tone and paint tone mix well.
Grey colours, like taupe, look great when they contrast with undertones in some woods. Grey is a cool colour and goes with warm wood undertones. Like with white-based paints, you want grey to create contrast with the wood undertones.
For example, a dark taupe requires a lighter wood, like white oak. Light grey colours complement soft, blond, or weathered wood tones. Grey is a great choice for rooms that you want to look natural and peaceful.
Many people choose neutral paints for a natural appeal. However, don’t be afraid to choose brighter colours. Here are some ways you can use colours outside of neutrals.
Blue colours enhance wood undertones. Blue is a cool colour and goes well with warm-toned wood. A light blue coupled with dark woods creates a balanced space. Additionally, dark blue with light wood produces the same tranquillity. Blue brings a feeling of peace to a room’s design.
Light blue with grey undertones works well with medium-toned walnut. Or, for a more Caribbean feel, use turquoise or aqua with amber-toned wood.
Green colours offer a great earthy tone when accompanied with wood. Like blue hues, green is a cool colour and complements warm-toned wood. Use a lighter green like sage with dark or light woods. Olive-toned green works well with red, brown, and blond woods.
Red colours match undertones in darker woods. Therefore, as you mix and match with woods take into consideration creating contrast. Red is a warm colour. This means it creates contrast with cool wood tones. For example, sugar pine wood tone looks great with bright red because the two create a great contrast.
As you explore the options for paint colours, keep in mind contrasting both undertones and intensity. Your wood furnishings will catch viewers’ attention, if you use paint that contrasts the wood in your furnishings.
Before you decide on a colour, hold a paint sample up to your wood furniture. It’s important to visualize the result before you start painting. This will help you see if the paint complements the undertones in the wood. Choose a few samples and decide which looks best. You want to be confident in your choice before you break out the paintbrushes.
Now that you know how to create a cohesive paint and wood balance, check out our other blogs to find more information on wood furniture.