Light vs Dark Wood Furniture

The prevailing wisdom of any number of hackneyed antique experts on popular daytime television shows would have you believe that dark wood furniture has been consigned to the history books. Of course, they base this viewpoint on the indisputable fact that prices of antique dark wood furniture have plummeted. That may well be, but it doesn’t mean that it is extinct as a design choice. In fact there are many factors, not least in the reduction in size of average living and dining spaces and a preference for open plan living which doesn’t always lend itself to intimidating dark pieces of wood. Everything in moderation, however and cleverly integrated dark and light wood furniture pieces both offer a fantastic opportunity to ground your living space and achieve a subtle connection to the natural world.

These days, you can pick up some incredible antique pieces of dark wood furniture and mahogany pieces that would have run into thousands of pounds territory back in the ‘70s can now be picked up for more than ten times less. In addition you have some excellent sustainable woods like mango wood that is highly flexible in that it takes colour superbly and can be stained or distressed to match your plan and tastes.

The case for light wood furniture

Traditionally oak or pine, but these days mango wood is a superb environmentally friendly option, lighter toned furniture is excellent for open plan spaces and conservatories or family rooms. You can help to make smaller rooms feel a little larger by using lighter pieces of furniture and there is something fresh and soothing about natural solid light mango wood furniture in particular. Why not add a nest of tables below a mango wood framed mirror when space is at a premium?

Another excellent option for a light wood piece is a book/record/CD/DVD display case. Interesting geometric shapes can work really well in such cases and really add character and a modern, airy feel to most spaces.

The case for dark wood furniture

There is absolutely no reason why a striking piece of dark wood furniture cannot be cleverly integrated in a room that has been furnished with predominantly light wood pieces, nor in especially light rooms make for a complete design option in and of itself. You can bring a shot of richness to a modern kitchen by adding a dash of dark wood to an otherwise rather clinical design theme – this works exceptionally well. Teak, walnut and rosewood are especially warm variants and achieve this trick beautifully, as can mango wood when imbued with the perfect hue. The wonderful splashes of colour given to the latter by a fungus growing in the wood also make it an exceptional choice for character pieces. Dark wood is perfect for upcycling, picking up classic pieces like the Windsor chair and giving classic pieces a change of use. I’ve seen some excellent ideas, such as glass fronted dark wooden cabinets being used to display shoe collections. This will make your dressing room the envy of your friends.