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What goes with wood?


Wood looks good with neutrals and some bright coloursIt occurred to me today while walking through the bush reserve near my house that trees are wonderful. So is what they are made from - wood.

We love wood. Many people have panic attacks if others suggest painting over it. Sacrilege! When considering the merits of a possible house purchase way up the Yes scale is the delicious thought that ripping up the carpet may lead to the discovery of timber floors or the outside recreational area can be extended with acres of wooden decking.

If you are like many other folk and the sight of rimu, matai, redwood and cedar has your heart beating faster the following stuff might be really interesting, helpful or both.

Wood is natural - but it does come in many different colours. The thing that all wood has in common is that it really likes neutral colours. Not one particular neutral and certainly not ruling out all other colours. The following colour suggestions might resonate with you in regard the 'love relationship/harmonies' of different types of wood.

Rimu


There are two kinds: ordinary (yellow/green in tone) and heart (rich ginger/gold) – it is very common in NZ homes – floors, furniture, panelling or kitchen cabinetry. Try it with creams like Resene Pearl Lusta, Resene Double Spanish White and greens like Resene Paddock and Resene Coriander.

 
Resene Pearl Lusta
Resene Pearl Lusta
Resene Double Spanish White
Resene Double Spanish White
Resene Paddock
Resene Paddock
Resene Coriander
Resene Coriander
 

Matai


In older homes built early last century it often was used for flooring, panelled walls or planked ceilings. It is a lovely warm red/gold. Try it with rich warm creams like Resene Solitaire, Resene Haystack and indulgent ochre tans like Resene Pendragon and blue based greens like Resene Tiki Tour and Resene Kermadec.

 
Resene Solitaire
Resene Solitaire
Resene Haystack
Resene Haystack
Resene Pendragon
Resene Pendragon
Resene Tiki Tour
Resene Tiki Tour
Resene Kermadec
Resene Kermadec
 

Radiata Pine


It is used for everything from fences, weatherboards, house framing, furniture and extensively in Lockwood Homes as wall cladding. It is pale yellow/white but it takes stains really well – so it can be almost any colour – and goes golden yellow as polyurethane ages. It likes all colours but it seems to prefer clear crisp creams like Resene Rice Cake, Resene Wheatfield, dense yellow based greys like Resene Taupe Grey and bolder colours like Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Kaitoke Green and Resene Regatta.

 
Resene Rice Cake
Resene Rice Cake
Resene Wheatfield
Resene Wheatfield
Resene Taupe_Grey
Resene Taupe Grey
Resene Pohutukawa
Resene Pohutukawa
Resene Kaitoke Green
Resene Kaitoke Green
Resene Regatta
Resene Regatta
 

Cedar


It is used as weatherboards, fascias and decorative detailing. In the colonial past it was used as window frames with the harder Redwood for window sills and sashes. Though it has a lovely warm red-brown colour when new it greys off rapidly when exposed to sunlight and weathering. It likes rich warm neutrals like Resene Spanish White, Resene Double Biscotti and Resene Nougat, dense greens like Resene Forest Green and earthy stain colours like Resene Iroko, Resene Bark and Resene Treehouse.

 
Resene Spanish White
Resene Spanish White
Resene Double Biscotti
Resene Double Biscotti
Resene Nougat
Resene Nougat
Resene Forest Green
Resene Forest Green
Resene Iroko
Resene Iroko
Resene Bark
Resene Bark
Resene Treehouse
Resene Treehouse
 
 

Redwood


If you are lucky enough to have this for exterior furniture, decking and fascias on the house it will endlessly please with its great strength, long straight grain and stability and beautiful rich red colour. Try it with complex neutrals like Resene Triple Ash, Resene Joanna, Resene Triple Friar Grey or warm strong natured colours like Resene Double Dutch White, Resene Blackout, Resene Wimbledon and Resene St Kilda.

 
Resene Triple Ash
Resene Triple Ash
Resene Joanna
Resene Joanna
Resene Triple Friar Grey
Resene Triple Friar Grey
 
Resene Double Dutch White
Resene Double Dutch White
Resene Blackout
Resene Blackout
Resene Wimbledon
Resene Wimbledon
Resene St Kilda
Resene St Kilda
 

Tawa


Tawa was used a lot during the 1970s for flooring and more recently for kitchen cabinetry. It is a light yellow/beige and takes on a pale honey gold look when polyurethaned. Try it with slightly green edged creams like Resene Villa White, Resene Half Wheatfield and Resene Thorndon Cream. Because of its lightness it suits deep blues, greens and charcoals like Resene Into The Blue, Resene Robin Hood and Resene Foundry.

 
Resene Villa White
Resene Villa White
Resene Half Wheatfield
Resene Half Wheatfield
Resene Thorndon Cream
Resene Thorndon Cream
Resene Into The Blue
Resene Into The Blue
Resene Robin Hood
Resene Robin Hood
Resene Foundry
Resene Foundry
 

Oak


In the past Oak was used a lot as furniture often stained a deep colour or just varnished and referred to as 'blond oak’. It has strong open graining and when stripped back to bare wood, bleached or whitewashed it takes on a Scandinavian, coastal and shabby chic look. When left as a dark strong colour it likes associating with traditional and earthy colours – Resene Clotted Cream, Resene Red Berry, Resene Evolution and Resene Half Pearl Lusta. When stripped it works well as Limewash, or with muted greys, blues and greens – Resene Triple Black White, Resene Duck Egg Blue, Resene Half Robin Egg Blue and Resene Periglacial Blue.

 
Resene Clotted Cream
Resene Clotted Cream
Resene Red Berry
Resene Red Berry
Resene Evolution
Resene Evolution
Resene Half Pearl Lusta
Resene Half Pearl Lusta
Resene Triple Black White
Resene Triple Black White
Resene Duck Egg Blue
Resene Duck Egg Blue
Resene Half Robin Egg Blue
Resene Half Robin Egg Blue
Resene Periglacial Blue
Resene Periglacial Blue

To just touch on exotic woods – Teak, Mahogany, Wenge, Kwila, Fijian Kauri, Maple and Elm – these have mainly been used as furniture, decking and high end cabinetry. I won’t suggest any colours in regard these woods or any of the multitude of kitchen laminates that are available as they open up so much rich possibilities it would turn this article into a epistle of great length. If you have any other timber you are trying to choose complementary colours for, bring it into your local Resene ColorShop and view with A4 swatches from the in store colour library. It must be noted that there has been never been as much wood to choose from – a bit like paint colours in fact - isn’t that wonderful?

Neutral colours look good with a bleached wooden floor

Article thanks to Carolyn Atkinson.

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