Oak trim, cabinetry or flooring fills a room with a honey-like colour, mixing together tones of brown with yellow highlights. Choosing a wall colour to compliment oak accents could pose some difficulty for the average homeowner. Embracing samples and the ability to try several colours before committing to a single paint job helps homeowners select the colour that works best in the space and with the trim.
Tones of green often work well in a kitchen with oak cabinetry or a room with oak floor and trim. Try greens with brown undertones. These greens help prevent the wall colour from fighting against the warm tones in the oak trim. Crisp apple greens also work well with oak trim.
Burgundy and deep red tones create a deeper contrast against oak woods, providing a rich, decadent colour scheme. A deep red tone that borders on purple in a room with oak floors and bright, white trim creates a formal, luxurious colour scheme. Red tones also work well when paired with an earthy green and oak accents. Avoid choosing bright reds, which may give the room a feeling of Christmas year-round.
A slate blue, or deep blues with grey undertones, work well with oak trim. These colours provide a cool contrast to the warm highlight of the blue. Ideal for spaces like living rooms and/or family rooms, a cool blue and warm oak evokes feelings of relaxation. Pair with light, neutral accents and fabrics for a crisp, clean look. Light grey-blues work well in spaces where light colours are preferred over deeper, saturated tones. These colours still provide the same cool contrast without making the room dark.
Light pinks, like those commonly used for ballet shoes, work well with the warm tones in oak wood. These light pinks provide an airy tone that complements the wood. It works well in a child's room, bathroom or playroom -- any space where a light and airy feel is desired. Avoid lipstick or bubblegum pinks which may create a jarring contrast with the wood tones.
Painting sample squares
To choose the colour that looks best in your space, try several sample paints. Use paint samples rather than swatches to see how the light plays across the paint, how the colour changes with additional coats and how the colour changes during the drying process. Many paint manufacturers offer sample jars. Paint large squares a minimum of 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inches) on the wall. Paint at eye-level. Paint the sample colours all in a row, and live with the sample blocks for a few days to choose an ideal colour.