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5 Ideas for Decorating with Wood Furniture to Avoid a Dated Look

Wood furniture adds rich character to dining spaces, bedrooms, and living areas, but it can also pose a tricky design dilemma. Dark stained finishes and clunky shapes can be difficult to integrate into more colorful or contemporary interiors. Whether you're working with a hand-me-down family heirloom or a vintage piece you scored for a bargain, decorating with wood furniture is all about achieving a balance.


Blend wood dining tables, dressers, hutches, and more into your existing decor with the right mix of colors, textures, and styles. Use these tips on how to decorate with wood furniture to style old pieces with an updated look.

1. Decorate with old wood furniture in new ways.

Think beyond an item's original purpose to find creative ways to decorate with wood furniture. A wood dresser could stand in as a handy sideboard for beverages or as dishware storage in the dining room. Wood nightstands can work as side tables in the living room or as a dropzone in a small entryway; just make sure the height works with the surrounding furniture.


For an easy furniture update, swap out the existing hardware with modern knobs and pulls, or line the back of a piece with glass doors with pretty patterned wallpaper.

2. Style wood furniture with vintage finds.

Lean into an antique look by styling wood furniture with other vintage pieces. Surround a salvaged wood dining table with midcentury chairs, or display collected dishware inside an heirloom hutch..


3. Embrace dark wood furniture with deep colors.

Embrace a moody palette of saturated paint colors to go with the wood furniture. In a bedroom, try setting off dark cherry wood furniture with charcoal gray walls to create a cozy, cocoon-like space. Accessorize with small doses of white to avoid an overly gloomy look.


4. Pair wood furniture with painted pieces.

If you inherited an entire bedroom set of wood furniture, choose one standout piece—such as the bed or dresser—to keep in the room and ditch the rest. You can either space out the set throughout other rooms, or hand unwanted pieces down to someone else. Then balance the dark wood by choosing painted or metal finishes for other bedroom furniture pieces.

5. Paint wood furniture with a fresh color.

Consider painting over the piece with a fresh color. Play it safe with a neutral hue that blends with the piece's traditional look, or choose a bold accent color to make it really stand out.

Source: Better Homes & Gardens


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