How to mix oak & mahogany wood colours in interior decorating

The mixing of wood tones in home decor can be challenging. This is especially true for starkly contrasting tones, such as mahogany and oak. The contrast of the dark and light hues can create a design gap if the layout is poorly planned. However, using a few simple design techniques, you can make the mixture of the two tones feel custom and luxurious without looking mismatched.

Make a note of which furniture pieces in your space are mahogany and which are oak. The design choices you make will depend heavily on how much or little of each wood type you have. If you have oak flooring and mahogany furniture, your design process will be simpler than if you have an oak table and a mahogany cabinet, or one oak and one mahogany end table.

Place a large rug or carpet that contains both colours on the floor of the space and then place your furniture pieces. When shopping for carpeting, be sure to choose a large, patterned piece that contains colours that echo mahogany and oak. The rug will tie the hues together by drawing the eyes down and relating colours, instead of drawing attention to the stark difference between the two.

Hang drapery that has a contrasting pattern to that of your carpeting, but maintains the same colour pallet. Choosing drapery is similar to choosing carpets. The colours should echo mahogany and oak, but if you have a rug with a paisley pattern, for example, choose drapes that are striped.

Paint walls in a neutral colour that is a blend of the two wood species, such as putty or tan. Choose and hang wall decor that is organic and neutral. Iron wall hangings and similar rustic pieces work well to tie wood species together.

Select and place throw pillows and blankets of a bright, contrasting, accent colour. Cool colours, such as teal or aqua, work best when working with contrasting wood species. Bright accent colours will draw the eye and break up the warmth in the room. Select tabletop decor that matches your accent colour, and place it sporadically throughout the space. Vases, candle holders, picture frames and dishes make excellent tabletop decor choices.


Keep your space clutter free to add to the feel of custom design. This will draw attention to the beauty of your wood hues instead of to the clutter.

Things You'll Need

  • Rug/carpeting
  • Drapery
  • Paint and accessories
  • Wall decor
  • Throws/blankets
  • Throw pillows
  • Tabletop decor
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