Okay, I confess. I love brown furniture.

I know it’s not terribly on trend to be wanting brown furniture. And of course, there’s brown furniture and there’s brown furniture.
But I can’t help it – I often feel it’s a total crime to sand down and paint certain wooden items.
Anything made from pine? Go for it, you have my blessing. I have no issue with pine furniture, but there’s not much to love about the look of the wood, and brightening it with some paint is often a massive improvement. I mean, look at this super-basic makeover by Lisa-Jo Baker.


I think we can all recognise that chest of drawers on the left – Maybe every house in the land has had something similar at some point. I mean it’s still working, you can still store stuff in it… but ugh. Ugly. A quick lick of paint and a switch of the handles, though? The piece of furniture on the right is so pretty!

So yes, paint some of the uglier wood stuff. that’s okay. If you’re a woodpaint virgin and are a bit nervous about how to start, I saw an excellent ‘how to paint wood furniture’ complete tutorial on Woodsmith Spirtit which tells you everything you need to know about doing a professional job. Though to be brutally honest – we have a dark wood welsh dresser which we picked up on eBay for a song (mostly because it was dark and ugly), and one afternoon the husband simply took to it with a tin of Annie Sloan chalk paint. Looks amazing, and it was less than a 2hr job.

But when I was writing about my dream bedroom makeover a couple of years ago, I realised that actually, my heart tends to skip a little at the sight of something made from wood (I’m still hankering over that 1930’s walnut bedroom set). There’s just something organic and tactile about the warmth and soft muted tones of a really pretty wooden piece of furniture, isn’t there?


We picked up this chest of drawers in a small second hand shop
It’s plain, simply 1930’s furniture, and I can’t tell you how much I love it. The warm solidity of it just lifts that end of the living room, adding character to a fairly generic palette, and providing a perfect foil for the collection of black & white family portraits we hang around it.

But it doesn’t have to be vintage furniture to get that lovely warmth.


If you’re after a clean contemporary finish that’s achievable too – whilst still keeping that spectacular effect of natural wood grain. Look at this fab set of storage drawers from Quercus (it’s part of their Cube Sheesham range).

That wood! *squeaks*

It’s made from Sheesham (North Indian Rosewood) and Acacia, and I love the way the elegantly clean lines and sharp angles are softened by that rich swirling grain. There’s no mistaking it for a vintage piece, and yet it’s in no way cold they way a modern minimalistic design can be either.

There’s a really nice article on Houzz talking about your styling options with natural wood – you don’t have to go the whole hog and fill your home with large pieces of dark furniture. Just the odd signature piece can really add depth and warmth without feeling heavy and intimidating the space.

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. there is something very satisfying about the warm honey glow of brown wood.

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  2. I also love brown colored furniture! It suits everything, especially in small apartments

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  3. To be honest I am not the biggest fan of dark wood furniture – unless it’s a great big dining room table! The furniture in my house is a grey/brown at the moment which I absolutely adore. It does so well with so many different things and I don’t have to worry about what colour we are going to redecorate as it goes well with so many colours. If I had a dark furniture then I’m afraid I would be the one to paint it!

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