Home Design Considerations: Light or Dark Wood?

You’re designing a home, and you’ve decided that you love the look of wood. Should you go with light or dark wood? This is a common question that comes up, and there is no correct answer. Both light and dark wood have their merits and drawbacks, and you must consider these carefully when making your choice.

contrast light and dark wood

Dark Wood

  • Dark wood is great for creating a rustic look, especially when it’s used for floors. Pair dark wood with neutral colored walls to create a timeless look. If you use textured decor, it intensifies the look.
  • Dark wood holds its color better than light wood, meaning that it’s the same color after 15 years as it was when you first installed it.
  • A downfall of dark wood is that it shows dings more easily than light wood. You may have to touch these up with stain or a wood pen.
  • Dark wood also tends to make small rooms seem smaller, thus it’s not usually the best choice in smaller dens, hallways or bedrooms.

Light Wood

  • Light wood creates a beautiful contrast when paired with dark-colored walls. This is a more modern look than the look created with dark wood.
  • An advantage to light wood is that it does not show dings and dents easily.
  • Light wood is less prone to fading in sunlight than dark wood, making it a good choice in rooms with lots of sunlight.
  • Light wood sometimes darkens with age, meaning that it may be darker in 15 years than it is when you install it.

Are you in the process of designing a home? We would be happy to help you make it the home of your dreams. Contact us at Gelotte Hommas Architecture to learn more about our interior and exterior design services.