Rich chocolate, coffee, sweet caramel... The hues of dark and brown wood furniture range from honeyed walnut through to bronze, deep tobacco and cocoa brown. And just like these descriptions suggest, this type of furniture is worth savouring.
Once thought of as heavy, stuffy and old, dark wood has been wrongly maligned. It is often associated with the Victorian era and early 20th Century, where large styles were paired with fussy interiors and overblown decor. But, add beautiful pieces of dark wood furniture to our modern homes and clean decor and you’ll introduce depth, grace and style.
Here are three top tips for using dark and brown wood furniture:
1. Choose items which display a beautiful form.
Dark and brown wood can ‘pop’ next to a neutral or muted colour scheme, so the form of the item of furniture will really stand out. Choose an item which has a beautiful shape or very strong lines and you’ll not only love the piece itself, but also the spaces in between or to the side of it, which will be accentuated.
2. Enjoy the sense of history dark wood furniture provides.
Furniture made from solid dark wood is sadly not made anymore. You can get modern furniture with a dark veneer, but this does not have the same rich patina which a real wood item gives - a soft honey-sheen as a result of being looked after for many years. These pieces are unique and are often antiques. They have a story all to their very own and give a window into another age and time. This sense of history will add beauty and weight to your home.
3. Mix and match the old and modern wood styles in your home.
Yes, light and dark woods can be mixed. As can old and new styles. But of course you have to choose your pieces carefully and make sure they pair well by matching the ‘tones’ of the wood (do they both have a red tone or a warmth to them for example?) or the grains (i.e. do they both have a similar pattern or ‘look’). Sometimes a home accessory placed in between two types of wood will help them to ‘breathe’ and come together. This could be a rug on the floor, a picture or some items such a books or soft furnishings. Take a step back and look at your room as a whole. This will help you see what works well and what doesn’t.
So next time you’re browsing a shop, looking through old family furniture or wandering the aisles of a vintage market, salvage yard or auction house, take time to look through that dark and brown wood furniture. Add a bit of its soft sheen and richness to your house… After all, variation - of colour, texture, material, style, age - is what keeps a home looking fresh, vibrant and ultimately, personal to you.
Title photo: madaboutthehouse.com