Wood is a staple material in interior decorating. It’s versatile and can be used in many different ways to create depth and character. There’s no doubt that a classic American cherry creates an entirely different mood than a smoky black walnut. But if it’s your favorite material to decorate with then you run the risk of having your entire house look like a log cabin.

While there’s nothing wrong with log cabins, they are quite cozy after all, it may not be the style you’re going for. Don’t worry, the versatility of wood means there are infinite ways to incorporate it in your home. These tips will help you decorate with wood furniture and decor unexpectedly, leaving your houseguests “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” at your clever interior design.

1. Try Mixing Different Wood Tones and Stains 

Wood Tones and Stains

To avoid that “cabin in the woods” look, try mixing and matching contrasting woods and stains. If done correctly, this will add a lot of depth and character to your home. Boldly mix white shiplap walls with oak flooring and any designer would be impressed. While this is no easy feat, there are some basic tips and guidelines on how to mix wood tones so your home doesn’t end up mismatched. 

2. Turn A Bookshelf or Dresser into a Trendy Bar Cart 

Instead of toiling over how to spruce up your wood-dominated interior, think outside the box. Another route you can take is to think up new uses for your existing wood furniture and decor, for a fun and unexpected twist. Try turning an old wooden dresser or bookshelf into a living room bar cart. Display your booze in a new and trendy way on the top shelf, choosing whether to use the shelves or drawers to show off or hide your cocktail-making accessories and mixed drink recipe books while you master your at-home bartending skills.

3. Use Wood Pieces to Create a Cohesive Design

If you’re a fan of eclectic or vintage pieces, it can be hard to match modern furniture with the defined elegance and grandeur of vintage furniture. However, if you include a piece of wood furniture it can act as a nice neutralizing balancer. Whether the wood piece you choose is polished and new or an aged heirloom, it’s sure to tie the room together. 

4. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint to Old Wooden Furniture

There’s nothing a fresh coat of paint can’t fix, right? 

This is a great solution to spiff up your wooden furniture if you have a piece just sitting around. Or maybe you’ve recently acquired a new thrift store find but you’re unsure where to add it in your current style because it doesn’t quite match. By adding paint to it, you can make it feel new while taking care of your concerns about mismatched decor. 

5. Embellish the Room with Knick-Knacks, Dishes, and Decor

When you have a room dominated by heavy wood furniture it can become overbearing. Break up the monotony by adding small knick-knacks and trinkets in empty spaces. They’ll be eye-catching and fun to look at, plus they’ll stand out amongst the wood background. 

6. Textiles, Curtains, and Rugs to Break Up Space 

Add decorative wall-hangings and textiles like hand-woven tapestries in any style for a change of pace. Sometimes wood furniture and decor can be overwhelming. Adding in different textures like fur pillows, chunky knit blankets, silky curtains, and decorative rugs to add more character and division to a room.

7. Balance Wood Decor with Metal 

Wood Decor with Metal

When mixing and matching isn’t the answer, sometimes you need to bring in another material to break up the monotony of wood decor. Metal compliments all types of wood furniture and decor. Whether you want clean and polished aluminum, a shining copper, or a dark and industrial iron. The best part is that you can incorporate as much or as little metal as you want to reach the desired effect.  

8. Add a Rustic Wood Beam Shelf or Mantle 

Adding some rustic wood beams or reclaimed wood shelves to a room will bring character to its design. The aged and distressed wood may be a nice contrast to other elements happening in the room while providing a place for decor.

9. Use Decorative Wooden Bowls

Place a decorative wooden bowl on the entryway table to organize your keys, wallet, sunglasses, and anything else you may need before you leave the house. There are so many shapes, patterns, and sizes to choose from with small decorative items like these. The possibilities are endless. You’ll also be able to avoid those hectic mornings searching for your keys because you’ll know exactly where you left them. 

10. Pay Attention to Wood Undertones and Paint Pairings 

Paint Pairings

Next time you’re preparing to repaint a room in your home where wooden furniture is the main attraction, pay attention to the undertones. You may notice hints of yellow, orange, red, blue, or even other hues of brown. Highlight these colors by matching the paint on the walls with these undertones. Even the best interior decorators on HGTV will be impressed by your eye for detail. 

11. Pair Dark Woods with Dark Paints

An unexpected turn with wood decor would be to pair dark woods like brown mahogany or rosewood with plum purple, navy blue, or Sacramento green walls. Get experimental with your wood and paint pairings. Many home decorators are obsessed with contrasting light and dark, trying to keep spaces bathed in natural light. However, an all-dark pairing of wood and paint in one room in your home will offset it, making it feel more unique. 

It’s Time to Add Some Unexpected Charm to Your Home

Whoever said wood is boring just needed a little inspiration. If pink is the new black, then wood is the new burlap when it comes to interior decorating materials. Find fun and creative ways to work with wood pieces you already have.

Don’t shy away from using all of one material in your home. While some might say the same is boring and monotonous, it can provide constraints that force you to get creative. Now that you have all the inspiration you need, it’s time to gussy up your home with these eleven unexpected ways to decorate with wood furniture and decor.


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