Tying a Space Together – Combining Wood Furniture and Upholstery 

Although our upholstery sale is quickly coming to an end on July 15th, we’re excited to jump into our wood furniture sale beginning the same day! As we head towards another sale period, I thought now would be a great time to dig into some tips for decorating with both wood and upholstered furniture so you can make the most of the magical day of overlapping day of sales!  

A space with too much wood furniture or too many upholstered pieces can feel off balanced. Plus, it’s hard to relax in a space that only features hard surfaces or know where you put your drink in a space that lacks them altogether! It’s the magic of the two working together that gives you all the livable and lovely layers to make your space feel like home. Let’s jump into some things to consider and looks we’re loving right now.  

Legs for Days  

To match or not to match legs, that’s always a question we get when we’re curating a space with upholstered and wood furniture. And the answer is a very helpful, “Depends!” Depends on what you may ask? A number of things, of course! How formal is your room and the furniture pieces within it? Do you like matchy-matchy or prefer a more collected look? What material and color is the flooring in your space? Do your upholstered pieces show a little leg or a lot? Does your space need pieces that carry a lot of visual weight or options that aren’t quite as “heavy”?  

Your answers to these questions (among others) can guide you as you curate the right combination of pieces for your spaces. More formal settings often feature legs that match in both color and shape, like the iconic Queen Anne cabriole leg or classic colonial turned legs, on both upholstered and wood furniture pieces. More casual or relaxed spaces might feature multiple finishes and styles, from more contemporary straight block legs to simple and timeless bobbin legs. Skirts and slipcovers on upholstered pieces often hide legs altogether, giving you more freedom when selecting leg options for your wood pieces.  

While there might not be a single right way to mix and match these elements, keeping in mind design fundamentals like repetition, contrast, scale, and balance will steer you in the right direction every time!

Make it Monochromatic 

Note: This chair is upholstered with a brown and cream ticking stripe, which can look skewed in some photography!
Note: this chair is upholstered in a brown and cream ticking stripe which can look skewed in photography.

As much as we love playing with color, we don’t shy away from a neutral moment or monochromatic look. Pairing similar-toned wood and upholstery pieces creates cohesion and serenity within a space. Although you may not be throwing in bold colors, a subtle contrast allows for endless experimenting with color, pattern, and texture in both the wood and upholstery pieces.  

Monochromatic palettes are perfect for creating a calm, sophisticated atmosphere. Even though you’re working with a limited color range, the variations in shade and texture within the space create a rich and layered look. Play with different fabric textures and weights on your upholstery to add depth to your space. Similarly, natural variations in wood grain can provide visual interest and complexity without being overwhelming. With the wide variety of options in both fabrics and wood finishes, from stains to paint in every imaginable color, you can create a monochromatic look that’s all your own.  

Beautiful Burl 

Wood furniture is so much more than basic brown boxy shapes. While wood furniture does often feature straight lines and wood grains, wood furniture is anything but basic! Don’t underestimate the impact of interesting wood grains on your overall space and don’t be shy when it comes to mixing them into your space.  

The beauty of burl wood lies in its intricate and unpredictable patterns, making each piece truly unique. A burl wood coffee table or dresser can serve as a statement piece in any room, drawing the eye and adding a touch of luxury. Pair a dark burl piece with a creamy boucle upholstered piece for an elevated contemporary look. Mix light burl pieces with soft feminine velvets for a look that skews glam or take it in a more preppy direction by mixing it with bright, happy textiles.  Burl wood’s natural charm will elevate any setting, providing a sophisticated touch. 

With texture and warmth, burl wood pieces can be seamlessly added to a space and make the most impact when not overdone.  Treat the wood as a pattern or decorative element when mixing in upholstered furniture, and don’t be afraid to play around. Our featured examples both happen to be in our State Line room and lean masculine but throw a similar chest or burl side table next to a block-print sofa, and you may be surprised with what you find!  

Bamboo Goes with Everything 

We have a real soft spot for bamboo in the shop. There is just something so fantastic about the knobby nodes and earthy colors that seem to go with everything. Bamboo’s natural lightness and flexibility make it a versatile addition. Its casual elegance works well in indoor and outdoor settings, seamlessly blending with various decor styles. 

For a coastal look, pair bamboo furniture with light, airy fabrics in whites, creams, and blues. Mix bamboo pieces with bold, patterned upholstery for a more eclectic look, or Asian toiles for a colorful yet sophisticated arrangement. And of course, bamboo accents always look just right in a British Colonial-inspired space or paired with block print! The key is balance – selecting upholstery that complements or elevates bamboo’s natural texture and warmth rather than competing with it – to create a harmonious and inviting space. 

Thoughtfully combining wood and upholstered furniture can transform your space, giving it a harmonious, inviting atmosphere. Remember that balance is key! As we move from one sale to the next, we invite you into the shop to explore the pairings we’re featuring on the floor. Whether you’re reworking your space with pieces you have or are looking for something new, I hope you’ll find lots of inspiration and ideas at the shop! If you need more than inspiration, our team of designers is here to help! Get to know them or book an appointment right here on our website. Until next time – Happy Decorating!