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Forum topic by RickB posted 1660 days ago 5116 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RickB

48 posts in 1736 days


1660 days ago

All:

Does the wood match in your house? Since I recently started woodworking, the wife has requested some pieces. Two in particular are a dining room table and a corner hutch (also for the dining room).

The kitchen nearby has stock wood cabinets made from red oak and finished with a golden/honey oak type finish.

So, as I consider these projects, the question is what kind of wood to use. I could use more oak, and that would be fine and look good. But I do have a well stocked lumberyard near my house. And Rockler has a sale on African Mahogany.

So, do your pieces in a room in your house all match? Do you feel they need to? Or do you just use whatever kind of wood excites you at a given instance? How do you choose?

Regards

Rick


17 replies so far

View papadan's profile

papadan

1111 posts in 1964 days


#1 posted 1660 days ago

I try to match wood in the same room, but not throughout the house. I also use what is called for in special pices that don’t match anything, like my wifes sewing center/dry sink.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View bfd's profile

bfd

502 posts in 2403 days


#2 posted 1660 days ago

Hi Rick,

As a woodworker and having an interior design background I personally think it is fine to mix wood species in the home. I personally think that it would be boring and one-dimensional if you didn’t. There are a few “rules” that you might want to consider to make sure everything is harmonious. You generally want to use the wood (or similar finish range) more then once in the same room. So in your example, if your Kitchen is the standard red oak cabinets with a golden honey finish and you want to use Khaya (African Mahogany) in the dining room I think that is perfectly acceptible. I would build both my table and the hutch out of the Mahogany and then perhaps introduce a third finish for the chairs.

Below is my dining/living room. In these two room I have an ebonize table and chairs, along with wenge, walnut furniture and some accents of red thrown in for good measure. The floors are pecan and it all pulls together in one harmonious ecclectic composition.

Click for details

This subtle mix of woods are repeated throughout the house so that everthing flows nicely but isn’t all matchy matchy. You can see that although my family room has a totally different feel to it then the living/dining room the furniture still all relates even though there are several different wood species and finishes going on.

Click for details

hope this helps

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2417 days


#3 posted 1659 days ago

Rick, I just bow to my wife’s wishes since I am in charge of engineering and she handles design. The wood in our home is rather eclectic. For instance in the kitchen we have oak furniture, cherry cabinetry, maple flooring (stained cherry), pine baseboard and trim and brazillian cherry quarter round.

The other rooms are pretty much the same story. I guess my feeling is that as long as it is wood the species does not really matter.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View RichinsCarpentry's profile

RichinsCarpentry

44 posts in 2061 days


#4 posted 1659 days ago

We mix it up quite a bit. My kitchen is Tennessee red Cedar. The trim throughout my home is Knotty alder. (clear lacquer) My furniture is a mix of Bamboo, Knotty Alder, Dark cherry and Black lacquer thrown in for good measure.

-- See our blog at http://www.richinscarpentry.com

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RichinsCarpentry

44 posts in 2061 days


#5 posted 1659 days ago

We mix it up quite a bit. My kitchen is Tennessee red Cedar. The trim throughout my home is Knotty alder. (clear lacquer) My furniture is a mix of Bamboo, Knotty Alder, Dark cherry and Black lacquer thrown in for good measure.

-- See our blog at http://www.richinscarpentry.com

View scrappy's profile

scrappy

3505 posts in 2026 days


#6 posted 1659 days ago

I have NO sense of style so I use what I (the wife) wants for any given project. She leans towards the darker woods on most things and some of her older furniture is maple. So a lot of our stuff does NOT match.

Also be advised I HATE doing BIG projects. so I try to avoid these. It doesn’t allways work.

Scrappy

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2489 days


#7 posted 1659 days ago

no

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View mmh's profile

mmh

3322 posts in 2318 days


#8 posted 1659 days ago

We happen to like classic modern style furniture. (I personally dislike Colonial and oak furniture, although I do have an antique quarter sawn oak rocking chair.) Our favorite woods are Tiger/Fiddleback Maple with Black Walnut and we’ve made several pieces to match such as the TV table http://lumberjocks.com/projects/10567, Dining Table http://lumberjocks.com/projects/10551 and a coffee table that were designed and fabricated by my husband. (I helped assemble, sand, finish, and made the handles for the TV table.)

The house is over 50 yrs. old and has oak floors which I love, but as for furniture and cabinetry I prefer other woods. The rest of our furniture is eclectic, a little of this and a little of that, which makes it more interesting than having everything the same.

I think the Mahogany would be beautiful and think you’ll have fun using different woods to accent it. PLAY, experiment, have fun!!! If you don’t learn to play and have fun now, when are you going to do it?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2154 days


#9 posted 1659 days ago

I didn’t read through the previous responses, but I think the most important aspect of wood selection is to make it appropriate to the piece. Houses come and go, but hand made furniture lasts forever (hence you’ll probably have to bequeath it). I use quartersawn white oak almost exclusively for my Arts & Crafts pieces. Once in a great while I’ll use mahogany or walnut as an accent piece. You hardly ever see a Stickley made out of pine. I think a nice, and appropriate piece will look good regardless of it’s surroundings.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 1659 days ago

NO! HAHAHAHAHA man I was just thinking about that last night. I always tell my wife how i wish our furniture would match but I’m always experimenting with new styles and designs and different woods

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5377 posts in 1827 days


#11 posted 1659 days ago

No, but that’s no big deal. However, I try to match wood within a room. So for example, the living bed room furnishings are Lodge Pole Pine with BLO / Wax, hard for me to get here, so trim / accessories I am building are from Southen Yellow Pine (as close as I can get here) with BLO / Wax….

That’s what I get for imports…

Living room is a disaster in carried over furnishings that are going bye bye anyway… Looking for a nice walnut slab for a mantle. All the slabs I have looked at have large loose knots in them… Have a friend that is about to remove a Walnut tree on his property. Might just have to take that to a sawyer and get it slabbed and kiln dried…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View huff's profile

huff

2779 posts in 1881 days


#12 posted 1659 days ago

Rick, I believe at one time people tried to carry the same woods throughout the house, but not so much anymore. I’m not a designer, but over the years, I’ve seen the trend go more to a pleasant mix of woods and styles (even in the same room)....... And as far as my home goes, if the furniture is wood, I’ve made it…......and it’s all a collection of different styles and different woods that I’ve wanted to work with. Personally, I love it. It’s personal and everyone that visits, knows it’s me. (not a package deal from Rooms-to-go).

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8711 posts in 2695 days


#13 posted 1659 days ago

Woods commonly get mixed to some degree in a house. Clear pine is used in the construction of windows for the interior and oak is a common trim material. When it is all stained with the same color it all blends.

I work a lot in older homes and a common situation is to have a premium wood like quartersawn oak in the “public” part of the house like the entry, dining, and living room. A secondary wood like fir or pine is commonly used upstairs and in the bedrooms.

The interesting thing is that nobody really notices the difference. It all looks the same because it is stained the same color and in the day to day activities nobody looks critically at these things. Well… except for me:)

As a remodeling contractor it is interesting to find things in houses that are totally wacked in one way or another and nobody notices it until is worked on and has to be dealt with.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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mtkate

2049 posts in 1921 days


#14 posted 1659 days ago

Exactly as Todd says… if the wood is nothing spectacular I just stain things to make them harmonize. Guaranteed, though… the wood in my house does NOT match.

View WibblyPig's profile

WibblyPig

168 posts in 1870 days


#15 posted 1656 days ago

I like to match things by the room. Our living room furniture is cherry, the dining room furniture is oak with painted cabinetry and the kitchen is maple. It’s a relatively open floor plan and is all tied together by the spalted oak flooring.

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

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