How to Combine Different Types and Shades of Wood in the Interior

Wood in the interior is now more popular than ever. If you too want to live in an apartment “like from a magazine”, but all you have of wood is cabinets and laminate, then listen to the designer’s recommendations to use in your next renovation.

Observe the proportions

Designers often mix different types of wood in interiors, but if you have no experience in design, it is better to stop at two species of wood, so as not to overload the interior.

Professionals count the proportions not by formula, but by eye. And consider not only the natural wood, but also all the elements that imitate it: PVC panels, furniture made of any material, veneered with interior film, quartz vinyl. But furniture made of wood, painted so that its texture is not visible, does not take into account. When calculating the proportions, you need to keep in mind all surfaces, including the floor, furniture, shelves, window frames, light fixtures, and even knick knacks on shelves.

The most harmonious proportion is 70/30. Take 70% oak, using it in engineered floorboards, wall panels and furniture leg trim. And let 30% make up grisard – in cabinet panels or in a TV cabinet.

An interior with a 60/40 proportion looks a little less harmonious. Pay attention to our example: the interior has too much American walnut, which visually weighs down the room.

Strangely enough, the proportion 70/30 does not work in the bathroom. There it is better to use one type of wood: for example, only oak or only walnut – species that are well tolerant of humidity. The fact is that the bathroom is usually much smaller than the bedroom or living room, and in a small room, two types of wood will argue with each other, drawing attention, and not go well with tiles or porcelain tiles. Working with professional bathroom remodelers in Sacramento can provide a huge benefit when it comes to achieving the perfect proportion of wood in your bathroom. They will work alongside you to select, install, and finish, your desired type of wood while ensuring that it fits perfectly with the overall design, making sure that no detail is overlooked during the renovation process.

Юровский: In my projects I most often combine 2-3 species of wood. The first wood I usually choose is oak in different versions: natural, gray, tinted, European, chocolate. The second ingredient is usually walnut: American, Italian or Milanese. And for the sweet, I choose some exotic wood, such as grisard, which has a pronounced structure with a warm, saturated color.

Combinations and techniques that are best avoided

  • Do not choose related shades that differ by 1-2 tones, otherwise the interior will look as if the color you need ran out and you did not manage to pick up a similar one. If possible, order furniture from the same supplier – so there is less chance of buying a cabinet and cabinet in different shades.
  • Avoid combinations of reddish and yellow-green shades.
  • Refuse wood carvings.
  • Do not combine wood with gold. Classical interiors used to have wooden doors with gilded handles, today the gold in the interior is abandoned in favor of copper and brass.

Add light

When creating a design, it is important to consider lighting. For example, warm shades of chestnut, cherry and rosewood look more interesting in the yellowish light of the lamps. Wood tends to absorb light, so if there is a lot of it in the decoration, install more spotlights or sconces. In apartments with low ceilings will look advantageous chandelier with a soft diffused light. Such chandeliers can be recognized by a transparent or darkened plafond, from which the light spreads throughout the room at once.

How to use wood in different interior styles

The great advantage of wood is that it is appropriate in any interior style: from high-tech to country. But in each style it is played up differently.


The Provence style is characterized by light shades of wood in combination with other natural materials: vines, rattan, cotton and linen. Plant motifs are reflected in the upholstery of furniture, textile curtains and cushions. Wooden furniture is often painted in pastel colors with chalky paints to get a translucent coating through which the texture of the wood shows through.


For the Scandi style, which carries the ideas of minimalism, functionality and environmental friendliness, light shades of wood are also suitable. The main technique of this style is a combination of materials and textures: wood and brick, wood and metal, plaster and wood. In almost every interior you can find coffee tables with solid metal legs and a wooden surface, wooden shelves or entire accent walls made of wood.


For a deliberately sloppy loft style interior, rough, almost untreated wood or aged boards are usually used. Sofas made of pallets, solid slab tables, and laminate or hardwood flooring on the walls are often found in apartments.


The country style, also called rustic, uses a lot of wooden furniture. They are often artificially aged using different techniques, such as craquelure, as well as stained, fired and waxed. The ceilings in the house itself are lined with wood, and the ceiling beams are highlighted by painting in contrasting colors.


In the style of minimalism, which is easiest to implement in the apartment, wood is used for finishing the floor. The walls in such interiors are usually white, and both light and dark shades of wood go well with this color. Wooden double-glazed windows look organic in minimalism. They are resistant to temperature changes, do not form condensation on the windows, and provide excellent ventilation and air exchange in the apartment.


It’s hard to imagine a more natural and simple material than wood, and ecology and minimalism will be popular for a long time to come. The trend right now is:

  • Natural colors of wood coatings and details. These surfaces are not painted, but covered with furniture wax, oil or varnish.
  • The most flattering is the classic combination of dark walnut and light woods: oak, American ash, maple. It perfectly harmonizes with the light walls.
  • Different colors are emphasized. For example, furniture with elements of dark wood, the floor is a shade of natural oak, and the cornices, skirting boards and doors are whitewashed.


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