Decorating & Design

November 28, 2008

Do Woods Need To Match?

Q. The pine of my dining room set doesn’t match the dark panelling of the room. I don’t really want to buy a whole new set or paint the panelling (it is also in the hallway). Should I slipcover my chairs?

A. Mixing wood stains and colours is fine ? as long as it’s kept to a minimum, otherwise the look will be too cluttered. The wood table and chairs actually look good with the darker panelling and window trim, but to lighten things up, paint the buffet a warm white, like your crown moulding. Replace the door and drawer pulls with those in a wrought iron or oil-rubbed bronze finish, which will tie in with the leaded glass in your windows.

Replace your existing wall sconces with fixtures in the same colour or finish as your new door pulls, or simply paint the brass sconces a satin black. This will immediately let the buffet stand out as a beautiful piece of furniture, and it will contrast smartly with the dark wood panelling. Slipcovering your chairs is a great idea; use an off-white, simple twill or duck cotton and make the skirt short (not to the floor). Contrasting piping in black or even a blue pulled from your window fabric will provide more punch. Drape your table with a short, linen or cream coloured tablecloth or runner, fill a bowl with red apples (which will reflect the bold wall colour), and everything will look right in place.