How to Mix Wood Floors & Walls
Many homeowners are curious about how to bring together several types of wood finishes in one room. A modern den may have cherry paneling and cabinets while the floors in the house may be a dark finished wide plank style hardwood floor. To complicate matters, a homeowner will often have an antique table or chair with yet another color of wood finish. Determining how to bring different wood colors together can go a long way toward making a room feel well designed and comfortable.
Acquire a set of wood color samples for both your walls and flooring. If you are continuing with a floor that is in other parts of the house then only look at the single floor sample. Because the walls of the room are larger than the floor, the wall color will dominate the room. The room will look best if the two wood tones contrast or coordinate.
Position your sample board for the wall adjacent to the wood floor sample. A contrasting color is a distinct light choice and dark choice. A coordinating color is a lighter version of a similar wood tone paired with a darker version of the same tone. Combining a wood wall and floor in one room will tend to make a room look dark so consider a lighter wood color for the walls to reduce this tendency.
Separate wood samples that have similar underlying colors. Many types of wood have a red, amber or yellow appearance when finished. When these woods are paired the overall effect will be red or orange. The other group of wood will often have a brown undertone creating a brown overall effect.
Counteract overly dark wood walls with additional light fixtures, skylights and windows. Use furniture that combines both wood colors to unify the color choices. Bring dark wood accents up onto light wood shelves or light wood accents to dark panel walls.
Use rugs, upholstery, art and textiles to further unify the different wood tones. Add a rug and furniture in lighter tones. This will reflect light and reduce the closed in feeling. Select upholstery and textiles that have a pattern that incorporates some or all of the colors in the room. This will help unify the different woods and other colors. Avoid large expanses of solid color on furniture pieces since you already have two strong solid color surfaces. A sofa's color can be broken up with texture as well as pattern.
Select large art pieces that will contrast against the wall. Some of the color of the art piece should also be used elsewhere in the room either as an accent color or incorporated into the upholstery or textile patterns.
Position accents that have mirrored or reflective surfaces to further bounce light around and to add lightness to the room. Use pops of color in artwork to draw the eye upward.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.
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