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Decorating & Furniture/mixing and matching furniture


What are the basic rules about mixing and matching the colors and types of wood furniture?  I am about to purchase several pieces of wood furniture and although I would like everything to "go together" in the room/house, I don't particularly love the idea of all the pieces being the same color of wood or stain.  I prefer things to be a bit less uniform.  For instance, I have a deep brown distressed french country dining table and would like to add a black sideboard with black chairs.  Would this work?  What about white or colored pine (antiqued red or black)?  Does this work with traditional dark oak?  I am really interested in your opinions.



Thanks for writing and for your question about mixing wooden furniture.  There really are no hard and fast rules about this subject, and my best answer is to tell you that you can readily mix different wood tones within a room.  Having said that, you "may" be a person who prefers that things coordinate rather than "match".   If you are, mixing wood pieces will not bother your sensitivity in the least.  

I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make is trying to match everything to everything else.  What a predictable, boring scenario it would be if there were no "surprises" in your decor.  

As for your specific questions, by all means, add the black sideboard and chairs to your dining ensemble.  It will be interesting, warm and inviting.  White or colored pine, particularly the "washed" or "pickled" varieties look great with dark woods.  It's that shabby chic, french influence that softens even the hardest edges!

Keep your built-ins consistent; all your doors, frames, window sills, moldings etc. should be EITHER painted or STAINED.  That's simply for consistency from room to room.  With furniture, it's all up to your good design judgement.  


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


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BA, Psychology

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