When planning and designing your staircase, one thing to consider is the décor that is going to surround the completed installation. One of the virtues of working with wood is that you can use a number of different stains and finishes to achieve different coloured results, but today we are going to focus on working with woods in their natural colouration.
We work with a variety of different woods that each offers their own distinct colours. It is fine (and sometimes encouraged) to mix a small number of different wood tones together; but if you try and mix too many the result will be chaotic and messy.
Lighter wood tones are the most abundant and offer a range of creamy hues across Ash, Oak and Pine timbers. When your staircase is made of a lighter coloured wood, you can complement it in a number of ways. Using white and silver will play off the lighter tone, while green - your contrasting colour in this arrangement - can be used sparingly amongst highlighting accessories.
One benefit of the lighter woods is their chromatic flexibility. It is entirely possible that you don’t need to use them as the primary colour at all. Instead, use the light wood tones as a complimentary colour across your stairs and furniture. Because of this, it is easy to match the lighter woods with a wide range of primary colours. This can be especially helpful in a family home, since it offers a lot of options should you choose to redecorate years down the line.
Although not a redwood by taxonomy, the Sapele that we work with is certainly a redwood by colour. Sapele wood offers a comforting warmth that can be accentuated easily with complimentary warm tones; yellows, creams, oranges and similar autumnal tones can combine to create a cosy environment for your family. This can be further tied together with the addition of some earth tones or, if you would rather contrast and go for a lighter atmosphere, then white is still the go-to choice.
The darkest wood we work with is Black Walnut. It offers a powerful sense of atmosphere, but also demands the most attention to potential clashes of colour. With dark tones like this, you have two options – compliment or contrast.
If you choose to compliment a dark walnut staircase, redwoods are an excellent choice. You will see this combination show up in archetypical law offices – through desks and panelling rather than staircases – where the construction of a powerful, almost imposing atmosphere is seen as desirable. For a home, this heavier atmosphere is not always what customers are looking for. In this case, you can contrast. Chromatically, the opposite to the dark of black walnut is stark white. This can come in the form of wallpapers, accessories, or painted woods. When used correctly, this contrasting colour scheme can create a sophisticated aesthetic.
We hope you’ll take the time to consider all the options available to you when you are designing your new wooden staircase. You can find more inspiration and examples of our work in our staircase gallery.
To help you understand the best process to getting your own stair parts, we have a short guide that explains how it all works. If you would like further assistance from our on-site experts, we are happy to answer any questions – all you have to do is get in touch.