Using dark wood successfully in the home

Many of us will own or will have inherited a few pieces of dark wood furniture throughout our lives. These pieces can quite often appear heavy within your interior...

Many of us will own or will have inherited a few pieces of dark wood furniture throughout our lives. These pieces can quite often appear heavy within your interior spaces and whilst many will be sturdy enough, the stability of the piece may soon out live the aesthetic quality. There are ways however, of incorporating these often intrusive pieces within your space more sympathetically.

Tuck it in: If you can find a natural home for your dark piece – an alcove or corner that fits it perfectly, then it will blend into the space much more seamlessly.

Create a clean backdrop: setting dark wooden furniture against a beautifully clean; contemporary backdrop gives it a chance to shine. A pale floor, smoothly plastered walls and fresh paintwork create an immaculate stage against which your antique pieces can stand out and have space to breathe.

Offset with bright art: If you can’t team your piece with bright furniture, then create an exciting juxtaposition with funky, colourful artwork. Hang the art close to the furniture to make the clash strong and deliberate.

Go all-out eclectic: forget matchy-matchy styles and adopt an unashamedly eclectic look for your space. You can then slot in a range of vintage and antique pieces, in dark and pale wood, and tie them all together with a collection of interesting accessories to produce a look that hangs together beautifully.

Match with other dark tones: Make the darkness of your wooden piece into a style virtue by picking out a similarly inky shade for woodwork and other pieces of furniture. This will create a more cohesive look.

Upcycle to personalise: Giving a favourite dark wood piece a unique touch can help link it to more modern elements in your home. For example you could re-invent your piece with some painted embellishments that match your home decor better. Be mindful of keeping the decorated area fairly small however, so not to disguise the piece entirely.

Combine with colour: Choose a rich, strong colour to go with a dark wooden piece and use it boldly around the room. The deep tones of the wood will be balanced out by the colour for a warm, considered effect.

Add welcome weight: Children’s nurseries can easily become rather sweet and sickly, relying on a candy colour scheme and cute motifs. But adding a piece of dark wood furniture can steer the space in a far more exciting direction.

Whether you have an abundance of dark wood furniture which dominates your home or simply one of two accent pieces there are many ways to incorporate them into your space that will give you a more fluid and less intrusive look.