Case Study: Mixing Wood Finishes & Totally Pulling It Off

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Most of us know by now that you don’t have to match all the wood finishes in your home exactly, but many of us are still a bit nervous when it comes to mixing lots of wood finishes in the same room. I spotted four wood finishes in the dining room of Jen and Kirstie’s home; here’s a closer look at how they pull the look off so successfully.

1. The finishes have the same warm undertones

Though there are four distinct wood finishes in their dining room (the credenza, the bookshelf, the dining table and the wood floor), all the different wood finishes have a warm undertone. There’s no clashing with say, a gray-toned walnut or some other cooler-colored wood finish. In this way, though they’re all technically different shades and wood types, they still feel connected and the result is a room bursting with organic warmth.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

2. The finishes are not too closely alike

The four wood finishes in this space are clearly distinct, and that’s a key to making them work together. If any two of them were so similarly colored they looked like they were matching, that one tone might overwhelm the entire composition. Instead, by each finish being its own shade, you have a multi-layered look that really looks great.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

3. None of them have grain patterns that are too wild or busy

Though the wood finish colors are different, none of the furniture pieces are made of wood types with wild or busy grains. Meaning none of the grains stick out or steal the show. This helps make the pieces feel like they have more in common than not.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

4. They went with painting the chairs black

Though the chairs are wood, they decided to spray paint them black. This graphic pop of contrast looks great with the light-colored dining room wood finish, but also keeps the space from having five (and potentially too many) different wood finishes in a small space.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

5. They used other colors in the room to complement

Could they have pulled off mixing four different wood finishes in an all-white room? Maybe. But what really works here is a few things. The rich red color in the art piece above the credenza really makes the warm undertones of all the wood finishes sing, and is mirrored in a red object placed on top of the bookshelf. And the wall paint color on the accent wall is dark and dramatic, cocooning all the wood finishes and matching the intensity of all of that wood, balancing the rest of the space out.

Read more about mixing wood finishes → 5 Secrets to Mixing Multiple Wood Finishes

See the rest of this gorgeous Australian house → Jen and Kirstie’s Happy, Colorful Home in Australia