In the Mix: Hardwoods

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More and more people are choosing to follow their own individual preferences when it comes to their homes.

August 01, 2004

 

More and more people are choosing to follow their own individual preferences when it comes to their homes. Mixing different hardwoods creates a unique, custom look in the kitchen or bathroom. Matching is no longer the only option.

"You can do maple cabinets with an oak island," says Kim Dunn, spokeswoman for Wellborn Cabinet Inc. "The island would then be the focal point, and you can use other décor to pull it all together."

Using different hardwoods for the cabinets and the floor also creates variety. Make sure you use woods that complement one another and look at them together. Although mixing hardwoods can make a room unique, be careful not to mix too many contrasting tones. More is not always better.

"You use different woods to highlight one area - if you use too many, your eyes don't know where to focus," says Dunn.

A light floor will set off dark furniture and create a contemporary look, says Rose Bennett Gilbert, syndicated columnist on design and writer for the American Hardwood Information Center. A dark floor creates a warm, comfortable look that appears more traditional.

"The most popular woods to mix are oak, elm and maple," says Gilbert. "It is also popular to mix two or three woods and painted wood pieces."

Although you can mix woods just about anywhere, it is most common to vary wood between the cabinets, floor and islands. Consumers enjoy this mix because it looks put together and still gives their kitchens or bathrooms character and personality.

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