In the 80’s and 90’s the trend was for all woods to match. Your floors matched your trim, which matched your doors which matched your kitchen cabinets and even went as far as having all the wood pieces in your furniture being the same color.
At that time Honey Oak or Golden Oak was the big deal and there really was a sea of oak when you walked into homes from that era. You still see a lot of these oak stains in cabinetry and trim but many people are tired of it and it is considered very dated.
What you want to see in a home now is contrast. So if you have two wood pieces next to each other one would be darker than another.
If you want a dark stained island, make sure your floors are lighter.
If you want wood cabinets, make sure your floors are lighter or darker than your cabinets.
It’s okay to mix in painted pieces as well. A white kitchen, gray island, and dark floors.
The same rule applies to your furniture. If things don’t match they add character, interest and bring depth to a home. It makes it feel like it has been acquired over time rather than purchased all in the same section of a furniture store. Note the dining table above contrasts with the floor.
Below, the cabinets don’t match the island, which doesn’t match the floor, which doesn’t match the kitchen table, which doesn’t match the locker system way in the back and so on.
It is difficult for some to get past the rule that all the woods should match. I get that. But start slow and practice. Perhaps it is as simple as adding an end table that is different in stain color or is painted. If a couple things match that’s okay. Just try to have the larger pieces show a contrast, each piece standing out instead of blending in.
Whether selling or dwelling, if you need assistance in making new wood selections call in a professional designer or home stager to walk you through the process.