Does your wood match

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Forum topic by RickB posted 01-05-2010 01:30 AM 6386 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 3109 days

01-05-2010 01:30 AM


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?



17 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 01-05-2010 01:40 AM

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.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3775 days

#2 posted 01-05-2010 03:09 AM

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

27250 posts in 3790 days

#3 posted 01-05-2010 04:17 AM

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


44 posts in 3434 days

#4 posted 01-05-2010 04:56 AM

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

View RichinsCarpentry's profile


44 posts in 3434 days

#5 posted 01-05-2010 04:57 AM

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

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 01-05-2010 07:50 AM

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.


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

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3862 days

#7 posted 01-05-2010 08:01 AM


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

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3690 days

#8 posted 01-05-2010 08:18 AM

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, Dining Table 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

View CaptainSkully's profile


1591 posts in 3527 days

#9 posted 01-05-2010 06:03 PM

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


1807 posts in 3242 days

#10 posted 01-05-2010 06:23 PM

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

-- M.K.

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3200 days

#11 posted 01-05-2010 06:43 PM

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…

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View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3253 days

#12 posted 01-06-2010 02:55 AM

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 @

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4068 days

#13 posted 01-06-2010 03:08 AM

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,

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3293 days

#14 posted 01-06-2010 03:14 AM

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


172 posts in 3242 days

#15 posted 01-08-2010 09:29 PM

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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