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How to: Mix and Match Wood Tones

Our guide to exploring the forest of wooden tones…
Tom Raffield Leven Pendant trio

Combining mixed wood types – such as oak, walnut, ash – has become increasingly popular over the last few years thanks to the laid-back, ‘lived-in’ trend sweeping the interior world. Contrasting woods create interest, insight personality and add depth to any living space – exuberating a warm and sleek aesthetic. What's more, using the same wooden tone throughout your home can make it feel flat and one dimensional; incorporating various wood hues is an effective way to create a dynamic space. We’ve collated a fail-safe guide to mixing wooden shades with our classic trio of sustainably sourced ash, oak, or walnut to help you create a welcoming, unique home to be proud of.

Tom Raffield workshop

When it comes to introducing a range of woods to your interior, there is one simple goal: continuity. Start by choosing a dominant wood tone and use this for both your flooring and largest pieces of furniture - this will make your interior flow seamlessly and create a calming atmosphere. You can then introduce different toned woods for smaller accessories or lighting designs to create areas of interest.

Using different wood tones for each and every item within your home will create an ‘eclectic’, chaotic effect, not the refined and well considered approach desired.

Bedrooms

Tom Raffield Grand Designs house
The walnut Drift Pendant creates a soothing core in this bedroom, perfectly accompanied with the warm hues found in the oak Wheal Wall Light.

Create the cosy bedrooms of your dreams with warm hues of oak and walnut.

Boasting a golden hue when illuminated, oak wood makes a great choice for bedroom lighting. Adding a ceiling pendant centerpiece will invite warmth to your space making it feel cosy and relaxing.

Walnut wood suits almost any interior - the perfect all-round neutral hue looks great alongside both cool and warm toned designs. Adding a rich, walnut toned table or bed side light will help create a natural flow through your space, whilst framing the bed to create an inviting bedroom.

tom raffield leven pendant small
When introducing two wooden pieces directly next to one another, it is best to experiment with very different tones to create depth.
tom raffield verso pendant
Featuring ash, oak, and walnut, this bedroom space showcases how beautiful your home can be when confidently mixing wood.

Consider where light is needed in your bedroom when adding additional designs. If you are in need of directional light for reading your favourite book, opt for the Leven Pendant Small to illuminate specific areas of your bedrooms with a gentle spotlight or an Urchin Table Light to alight your interior with angled lighting.

If your room in need of extra task lighting throughout, the endless glow of the Hanter Table Light or Wheal Wall Light would suit perfectly.

Hallways

tom raffield customer picture hallway with cage pendant and noctis wheal wall light
This narrow hallway by @absoluteprojectmanagement, illuminated by the Cage Pendant, is given depth with the bold, deep lines of the Noctis Wheal Wall Lights. (picture: @moonstreetstudiophotography)

Hallways play a vital role of setting the tone for your home - as a hallway carries your interior scheme from room to room. The space needs to feel balanced and welcoming, whilst showcasing its own personality - making cool toned ash wood well suited.

Trio of Leven Pendant small
The Walnut Leven Pendant Small unifies with a pair of Leven Pendant Small's in oak.

Hallways are dynamic spaces, which give you the perfect canvas to play with opposing colour, tone, and materials. Choosing a light toned wooden lighting design (ideally an ash or oak piece) will illuminate darker, awkwardly shaped hallways - we particularly like the soft downlighting of our Leven Drum Pendant and Cage Pendant to practically illuminate a path of light.

Showcase and contrast the bright light that penetrates through the grain of sustainably sourced ash against wooden accessories such as an oak coat loop.

tom raffield flock chandelier
For open plan interiors, or hallways with taller ceilings, adding a Flock Chandelier will create visual interest and depth with its sustainably sourced ash, oak, and walnut curlicues.

Living rooms

Adding a range of wooden shades to a living room gives the impression of a well lived in home that has collected pieces over the years. If you would like to achieve an eclectic look, but still want a cohesive space, ensure you have some designs that are crafted from the same wood (such as oak flooring and furnishings). This will create a layered aesthetic that feels well considered.

tom raffield grand designs home
Down to the details. Adding home accents with varying wooden tones can help brighten up dark corners whilst making your thoughtfully chosen décor stand out.

Lighting is a key feature to experiment with in a living space - a duo of pendants will provide great task lighting whilst drawing eyes across the room. Choosing oak or walnut as your hero wood for living rooms gives you control of the ambiance as both wooden tones, once illuminated, help to promote a muted, cosy aesthetic.

tom raffield cape pendant
Showcasing how powerfully the contrasting undertones of ash and oak can work together, this ash Cape Pendant lifts this space with its lighter wood – balancing out the darker oak found in the Arbor Armchair and May Coffee Table.
tom raffield trio of no. 1 pendants
A symphony of wooden tones. This cluster of No. 1 Pendants provides a playful focal point to this living space, whilst illuminating with a mesmerising display of light and shadow.

Kitchens

customer pic skipper pendants
The duo of Skipper Pendants in ash, paired with cool toned wooden kitchen furniture enhance the crisp, clean look of this kitchen by @oaktreelodge2020.

The hub of most homes - kitchen spaces need to be bright, welcoming, and fresh. Ash and oak woods are a popular choice for kitchen areas that you want to keep airy. If your kitchen already holds a lot of oak furnishings, breaking this up with sustainably sourced ash pendants will draw eyes upwards and lift your interior with a sense of depth and intrigue. Sculptural forms, such as the Verso Collection or Skipper Lighting Range will soften your kitchen space with their curvaceous silhouettes.

Tom Raffield grand designs home
Avoid overwhelming your interior with many different wood grains. Opt for minimalist wooden designs, such as the Kern Pendant, which will blend seamlessly with your décor rather than competing for attention in a busy space.
Tom Raffield customer picture loer pendant cluster
The Loer Pendants steam bent ash frame stands out against the deeper wooden cabinets in this space by @childstewartdesign, drawing the eyes up and across the self-curated cluster.

Dining rooms

The meeting place of loved ones after a long day, a dining space should be comfortable and homely. Play with contrasting tones and shapes throughout your dining area, whilst adding varying light sources for adaptability. Cooler toned ash is a great base for dining rooms as it can be contrasted with darker walnut features.

renovating cheznous home
Use sculptural form to add personality. The partnership of an oak Skipper Floor Light and ash Arame Pendant create a calming atmosphere in this dining space by @renovating_cheznous.

If your dining room is multi-functional, adding varying hues will help carry your space from day to evening seamlessly. If the daytime showcases your dining area as a home office or a quick resting stop, focusing on bright ash lighting designs will energise the area throughout the day. As you transition to evening, and your dining room is used as a spot to relax and unwind with a home cooked meal, turn to walnut wooden lighting features to entice solace with their deep, ambient glow.

Tom raffield grand designs home
If you have a large, open area above your dining space, an evenly spaced trio of ceiling pendants will allow for atmospheric lighting, without distracting socialising guests.
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