Wood-clad walls, whether stained, painted, or unfinished, add layers of richness and warmth that bring cocoonlike dimension to any size room. Though welcome additions to most designs, wood walls present a few challenges when it's time to decorate a space. The boards introduce an enveloping, repetitive pattern that needs to be considered when choosing fabrics and arranging furniture. When wood walls are high in impact or dark in tone, keep fabric motifs simple, furniture arrangements orderly, and accessories restrained to balance the board-after-board wood wall configuration. Woods, such as mahogany, walnut, or cherry, can darken a room in an unflattering way; you'll need to brighten the room's shadowy qualities with light and breezy upholstery fabrics, silvery finishes, and furnishings with airy silhouettes. Conversely, white-painted, naturally stained boards, and midtone woods showcase vivid upholstery fabrics, black finishes and accessories, and traditional and modern furniture lines. Though style is always a matter of personal taste, consider the following strategies to help you determine what works best with your wood walls.
Neutral Tones and Wood Walls
Wood walls provide organic backdrops that are readily enhanced by forest-and-field colors and imagery, seagrass and sisal rugs, and handcrafted log and driftwood furnishings. But, wood walls also set a sophisticated stage for more elegant appointments, as seen in this luxurious bedroom. Tones of charcoal gray and olive green repeat in varying tones and textures to create a bedstead that stands out from natural wood walls; framed dried botanicals appear as one large composition to tone down the busyness of the walls' randomly placed boards. Create similarly calming quarters by exhibiting oversize artwork or large groupings of same-size artwork and by judiciously displaying just two or three hues as plush, rough, and silky textiles, tone-on-tone upholstery fabrics, and understated area rugs.
Colors and Wood Walls
Choose accent colors cued by the wood's undertones to fashion cohesively charming spaces. In general, wood walls will sport yellow, orange, reddish-brown, or bluish brown undertones. Enhance honey-tone walls with golden yellow and medium green accessories; complement wood walls sporting reddish undertones with burgundy, hunter green, and eggplant accents. Medium-brown, driftwood gray, and naturally light wood walls pair nicely with most colors, but consider how you want a room to feel when choosing color companions. The higher the contrast between walls and furnishings, as in a pine-wall bathroom outfitted with bright white fixtures, the more dramatic a space will appear. Prefer serener scenes? Opt for low-key color partners, such as taupe, putty, and khaki.
Look at Undertones
If you prefer wood-walled interiors that are lively and feel modern, brighten your decorating palette to boost the contrast between walls and furnishings. Keep chaos at bay by accessorizing with saturated hues inspired by the wood's undertones. If the wood has yellow or orange undertones, boost the fun factor by adding sassy citrus greens and sunshine yellows. If the wood's undertones are reddish-brown or bluish-brown, introduce splashes of cherry red or vibrant turquoise to give dark wood-walled rooms a cheery lift.
By thinking in harmonies and creating pairings that forge complementary relationships, you'll create rooms that allow both your wood walls and furnishings to shine.