Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dark wood furniture... Love it or hate it?

Last night I sat watching a UK housey show... you know the format, some poor saps (home owners) want to sell up and move on, but just cannot sell their dilapidated (unloved) home... enter presenter to point out the blindingly obvious: get them to spend some cash to improve their property and, low and behold, it now sells... Homeowners thank presenter profusely for pointing out that a dog pee stained carpet and filthy kitchen is not loved by one and all. Even though I find the presenters condescending and shake my head in disbelief at the home owners, I still watch goggle-eyed, as though I were my daughters watching an all new episode of Sofia the First...
Anyhoo, where am I going with this? Oh, yes, last night I watched the telly, as they churned out the same formulae for selling a home. Neutralise, neutralise, neutralise (or is that what the Daleks say... oh no, that was exterminate...)... remove all traces of personality, lose the dark wooden furniture, yada, yada, yada etc. Screech... Rewind... What was that about dark wooden furniture? Lose the dark wooden furniture? Is this a fashion faux pas? Apparently, in some circles (no, make that a lot of circles) it is a big no-no. The equivalent of having mink throws adorning your couch and stuffed white rhino heads on your walls.
Now, I've flirted with blond furniture and beech wood, but I always feel drawn towards the richness of dark wood. You could say I'm drawn to the dark side. In fact, I'd go as far to say I love dark wooden furniture. There, I've said it. I'll join the unhip crowd! Mind you, I can't be on my own, as here in the States dark wood appears in many a home magazine (and I'm not talking the kind of mags that you find at the doctor's office, circa 1980).
Yes - that is a picture frame without a picture in it... I have yet to get one printed out... I said there'd be no foofing...
Across the pond, back in Blighty, it might be a different story though, as I've found that the love affair with lighter wood is still going strong and the much less popular dark wood has been relegated to the homes of OAP's (old aged pensioners) and charity shops. In fact, even my mum (an aforementioned OAP) is in favour of junking all her lovely antique pieces in favour of it's lighter wooden counterpart...

Perhaps I'm just an old fashioned girl, or perhaps I have been Stateside long enough that my tastes have shifted too. Needless to say that friends back home, with their modern, contemporary homes would be running a mile if viewing my home at an open house... either that or calling up some design show for a makeover!
Anyway, before I dash off, I'd like to hear from you. Are you a lover or hater of dark wood? Am I completely missing the mark???
Ta-ta for now!


  1. Before she died, my Jaeger-clad grandmother used to tut at my love for pine (good quality - not the ghastly flimsy orange stuff). "You'll grow out of it" she'd say. Her house was full of immaculate conker-brown, highly-polished mahogany which, as children, we were warned not to touch, go near or indeed breathe on.

    I never did grow out of it. So warm pine is my choice. It lends itself to being slightly battered and stands the test of time. I have an almost phobia about dark wood which I blame my grandmother for!!!

    That said, I watched a show last night where a 1960s veneer sideboard was painted grey and orange. It was foul!

    You live near/on the beach. I would imagine your house is bathed in a lovely reflective light so your dark furniture (oak?) looks lovely. No, you're certainly not unhip. You have your own taste and style which, to me, is far more desirable than fashion-following.

    Heather x

    PS. Just brilliant observations of our DIY tv programmes - made me laugh out loud!!!

    1. Lol - I watched the same Kirstie Allsop show last night. The guy in the house hardly said a word. He did not look impressed. I'd have been mortified if they'd have painted all my pine grey! Thanks for the comment. Lx

    2. I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic way is amusing, continue the good work!furniture

  2. I kinda like to take all the woods and mix them up. The wood grains can fight it out.

  3. I hesitate to agree with any kind of rules like this one about dark wood. Different kinds of wood look good in different places! Having all lights woods is a little boring in my opinion.

  4. Well hi there Laura. How lovely to have you back on my blog feed...I've missed your lovely posts. So glad that you're all ok out there.

    I can't quite give up the dark stuff either! I have tried the white sofa look but it was just too much work so have just invested in some antique brown leather sofas and I'm so pleased. It might be against the Australian modern look too, but I'm ok with that. Your place looks lovely and I think a bit of dark wood gives a place that homely cozy, feel.

  5. I'm nearly ashamed to say I love wood as it doesn't seem to be the trend on blogland. I love a few painted pieces (I'm painting an old laminated shelf today and catching on posts while coat 1 is drying), but I like real wood to look like wood!

  6. Still newish to England, I am smitten by the weathered grey wood seen in local decor - still a novelty to me :)

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  12. I have been thinking the same thing lately. What in the heck is wrong with dark wood? A cup of tea, a book, a cozy throw and firelight reflecting off a dark, glossy wood surface...that is pure heaven. So C.S. Lewis-y! Now that being said, I love the light, bright look as well but I think there is room enough in this world for all types of wood lovers, and when you love something it suddenly becomes hip anyway :) On a side note, I think home fashion magazines lack a lot of heart these days. It seems like everyone shops at flea markets to find one of a kind plastic deer that look like everyone else's one of a kind plastic deer. Ya' know?

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  15. I have a mix of dark wood (rich silky, deep red, fiery grain) and painted furniture in subtle colours (Farrow & Ball and the Little Green Paint Company if you are in the UK) I have had this same style for years: never 'in' and never 'out' of fashion. I also have neutral walls, wooden floors, some original paintings and rich, ethnic patterned textiles and ceramics. These are teamed with silk white plantation shutters and lots of glossy green plants. I don't think I shall ever want to change, as I love the cosiness and interest of my environment. I treasure my antique mahogany and artisan pieces and would like to hand them on, but my daughter in law has already made it clear that she wants to keep her own minimalist look forever, so she won't want them! To each their own. I don't need a Kirsty Allsop to make me happy!

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