When designing any area of your home, its only half the battle to find materials, and styles that you like… But then trying to coordinate them all and make sure everything matches? This is a task that sometimes seems near impossible. For example, maybe you like oak hardwood for your floors, but now you’ve found cherry cabinets your like. Will these go together? When it comes to wood, you have to be pretty particular as to what can be paired. Use our guide to help understand which types of wood work well together in a space.
Oak and Ash
When choosing multiples types of wood, grain patterns should preferably match or at least have similar characteristics. Two that are so similar they’re sometimes even confused with each other, are oak and ash. They both have broad-grain patterns with a light amber color distributed between them. Ash has sharper grain lines that zig-zag, while oak has slightly more graceful curves. They work well together in a room, whether used for flooring or cabinets. They should never be used with straight-grained hardwoods such as mahogany and hickory, or different colored woods such as maple or cherry. Although woods can be stained differently to match another color, grain lines matching is essential for design purposes.
Cherry, Alder, and Mahogany
Cherry and alder are light brown, semi-soft hardwoods with subtle grain patterns The two are very similar to one another, complementing each other nicely in a kitchen. However, they will not work well with broad-grained hardwoods such as oak and ash. Mahogany differs depending on its origin, but Philippine mahogany will pair well with cherry or alder because of their similar colors and grain patterns.
Maple and Birch
Hardwoods can also be matched according to their density. Maple and birch are among the hardest options, working together nicely in any setting. They both have subtle to no grain patterns, with white or light-colored open spaces. They typically have larger swirls of dark wood, making them a popular choice for furniture and cabinets. However, they will not pair well with oak, ash, cherry or mahogany. Use maple or birch (or both) in a bright kitchen for contrast.