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Is dark wood out of style?

Are you wondering – is dark wood out of style? Let’s talk about wood tones & interior design trends and how to best incorporate dark wood into modern home decor!

There are a lot of home decor trends that go in and out of style: paint colors, carpet styles (hello shag carpet!) and even tile trends change every few years.

One thing that can instantly date a space that you might not consider is wood tones.

Wood pieces – both real wood and laminate imitation wood – come in tons of different wood types, tones, and colors.

And these colors really go in and out of style quickly.

Think about yellow oak in the 90s or grayed woods in the 2010s. They just scream that decade!

Today we want to talk about dark wood tones, if they are in or out of style, and how to use dark wood tones in your home today.

is dark wood out of style

Is dark wood out of style?

Dark furniture has been considered out of style for the past 10-15 years, but are now making a comeback.

Trending woods were first gray (in the 2010s) and then turned to more natural/raw wood looks. This was in line with the focus on light-bright interiors, open floor plans, and monochromatic color palattes.

After the pandemic, people began craving cozier spaces. Wood trends moved from gray to warm-toned light brown natural woods.

And now, that trend is going even further. Designers are choosing dark tones woods as a way to add color depth, texture, and interest to a space.

With a huge emphasis on making homes feel warm and cozy, more and more people are choosing to decorate with traditional elements – which often includes darker wood tones.

Is Dark Furniture Out of Style?

Dark furniture has felt out of style for almost 20 years, but it is starting to come back into style. However, beware of falling into the 90s furniture trap. When selecting furniture with super dark colors, look for lighter shapes and fresher lines. A super dark, bulky piece of furniture will still feel dated.

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Embracing Warm Color Palettes

Color trends are definitely leaning towards darker and warmer color palettes recently. This goes along with the ideas that warm color palettes create inviting spaces that inherently feel cozy.

Light gray or raw wood furniture doesn’t feel as cozy and doesn’t complement warm color schemes like dark wood tones do.

However, you don’t want your home to have dark walls, dark floors, and dark furniture. It will start to feel like a cave!

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Balancing Dark Wood in Modern Decor

It is super important to find a balance in tone and color depth when decorating your home. Here are some tips and tricks for incorporating dark wood accents in modern homes:

Accent Pieces: Use dark wood furniture as statement or accent pieces rather than filling the entire room. For instance, a dark wood coffee table or bookshelf can add depth without overpowering the space.

Contrast with Light Walls: Pair dark wood furniture with light-colored walls to create a striking contrast. Light walls can balance the heaviness of dark furniture and make the room feel more spacious.

Mix with Modern Decor: Combine dark wood furniture with modern or minimalist decor elements. This fusion creates an eclectic look, adding character and warmth to contemporary spaces.

Choose Complementary Fabrics: Opt for upholstery and curtains in light tones. This softens the visual impact of dark wood and creates a balance in the room.

Incorporate Metallic Accents: Introduce metallic accents like brass or gold in decor items or light fixtures. Metallics add a touch of glam and break the monotony of dark tones, enhancing the overall aesthetic.

Proper Lighting: Install adequate lighting sources, both natural and artificial. Well-lit spaces reduce the perceived heaviness of dark wood and highlight its natural beauty.

Textiles and Soft Furnishings: Use soft textiles such as rugs, throws, and cushions in lighter shades or subtle patterns. These textiles not only add comfort but also provide a visual break from the dark wood, creating a cozy atmosphere.

Play with Textures: Combine different textures in your decor. For instance, pair smooth dark wood with rough textures like jute or linen. This contrast adds depth and textural interest to the space.

Art and Decor: Display artwork or decorative items strategically. Use vibrant, colorful art pieces to draw attention away from the dark furniture, creating a focal point in the room.

Use White as a Neutralizer: White accents, such as white frames, vases, or shelves, can break up the darkness of the wood. These elements provide a fresh, modern look while toning down the intensity of dark wood.

Full photo of DIY floating shelves above bar

The Timeless Appeal of Dark Wood

Dark wood tones come and go in the trends, but can be timeless classics as well. Certain wood species like mahogany, walnut, and cherry are gorgeous examples of rich wood that can feel fresh and interesting in any space.

Whether trends stay with dark wood furniture or move back to lighter wood tones, the most important thing is to decorate a home that you love.

Want more wood tones?

Check out our wood stain test where we tested 10 different wood stains on 5 species of wood!

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