Fresh Decorating Ideas to Make Wood Furniture Look Modern
While wood furniture definitely adds richness and character to your home, it can be tricky integrating it into more vibrant or contemporary styles. Here are a few ways to decorate that will help you do just that.
The key to decorating with wood furniture is achieving a balance. Bonus? You can give those vintage or hand-me-down pieces new life.
Think Outside the Box
Go beyond a piece of furniture’s original purpose to find creative ways to decorate. For example, move a wood dresser out of the bedroom and use it for dishware storage in the dining room. Or, as long as the height works with the furniture around them, try repurposing wood nightstands into side tables in the living room or use them in a small entryway as a dropzone.
Style With Vintage Finds
Go with the antique look by styling wood furniture with other vintage treasures. For example, display an heirloom collection inside a retro hutch, or pair a thrifted wood dining table with midcentury chairs. Don’t worry about mixing wood furniture from different eras or styles. The aged appearance alone will tie them all together.
Dark Wood & Saturated Colors
Dark wood furniture can be too much for an all-white room or one filled with light, airy colors. So why not make it easy on yourself and embrace a stormy palette of saturated colors instead? In a bedroom, for instance, consider pairing dark cherry wood furniture with charcoal gray walls for a warm, sheltered feel. Use white accents to balance the space so that it doesn’t come off overly gloomy.
Mix Wood Finishes
If you’re uncertain about what color goes with wood furniture, a safe choice is to use other wood tones. Wood finishes typically have undertones that look dark brown, blue-gray, red, orange or yellow. To decorate with mixed wood furniture, simply choose accent pieces that feature a similar undertone, even if the finish is darker or lighter. Use neutral paint colors and natural materials to bring the look together.
Pair With Painted Pieces
When decorating a bedroom with dark wood furniture, you must be careful about mixing — especially with finishes like cherry or walnut. Using too many wood pieces can create an overcrowded or heavy look. For example, you don’t want to use an entire bedroom set of wood furniture. Instead, choose one showpiece to keep in the room, like a dresser or bed, and then get rid of the rest. (You can either use the other pieces throughout the rest of the house, sell them, or give them away.) Balance the dark wood piece you kept with accents that feature painted or metal finishes.
Use Colorful Accents
Show some personality by incorporating colorful accessories when decorating with wood furniture. Try using a bright runner on a wood table or dresser, or choose bold wall art or textiles in a bedroom featuring wood furniture. You can also inject color with table lamps, vases and planters to cheer up dark wood. Again, let the wood’s undertone guide any color decisions.
When All Else Fails, Just Paint It
If you’ve tried everything and just can’t make wood furniture work in your space, painting it is an option. Choose a fresh color — either play it safe with a neutral hue or go with a bold accent color to make a statement. Another simple way to update furniture is to switch out its current hardware with modern knobs and pulls.