Wood furniture can transform any room in your home. Its warmth, clarity and richness can either take center stage, like a beautiful dining room table, or play a supporting role, like a nightstand in the bedroom, or a set of end tables in the living room.
When it comes to wood furniture, there are as many wood types as there are furniture design styles. We’ve highlighted eight of our favorite types of wood in these handy infographics.
Common Woods Used to Make Furniture
Oak is most popular hardwood in North America, renowned for its unique grain and
rich tones. It’s often found in Mission-style furniture for a clean, classic look, but its versatility leaves it open to a wide range of applications.
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Freshly milled cherry is light in color, but it naturally darkens over time to a deep, ruddy red. It has a straight, fairly uniform grain. It’s easy to work with and is a very popular choice for furniture and interior work.
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Hickory is known for its range of hues. The sapwood is white or creamy, while the heartwood is a darker, reddish-brown. This color variation, known as calico hickory, gives the wood its unique character.
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Pine is the only non-hardwood on our list. Since it’s an evergreen and not a deciduous tree, it’s classified as softwood. Pine furniture ranges in color from white to light brown, unless it’s stained darker. Natural knotting adds texture and character.
Walnut is steamed to darken the creamy white sapwood for a deeper, more consistent auburn tone. It is often used with lighter-toned woods or upholstery to provide a pleasing contrast that adds depth to any setting.
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Maple is known for its clean, straight grain and exceptional hardness, making it a great option for furniture. It varies in tone from creamy white to reddish-brown, and it has a natural sheen that exudes warmth.
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Mahogany offers a range of hues, from pale pink to reddish-brown. It has a generally straight grain, and like cherry, will naturally darken with age. This is why a mahogany finish is synonymous with deep, dark brown.
Birch is heavy, strong, and takes well to bending. It ranges in color from cream to a light brown with red tones and it has a fine texture and straight grain.
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