Odds are, you have a few cherry wood pieces in your home. "Cherry wood has a reputation for being used in traditional office settings, for antique furniture, or even in kitchens," designer Kim Coombs of KBCO Design says. "The truth is, cherry wood is available in so many beautiful varieties from across the globe, such as black and pink woods from North America and more exotic varieties from Brazil and Patagonia, and when naturally stained, can enhance today's more contemporary designs."
Whether you're already on board with cherry wood or are looking to incorporate more of it into your space, you may be wondering just what color paint to use in rooms with cherry wood furnishings and finishes. Below, designers weigh in with their go to picks and share some key tips to keep in mind when narrowing down paint hues in general.
Choose Colors with Subtle Pink Undertones
Considering the pink undertones present in cherry wood is key when selecting a paint color, notes designer Shoshanna Shapiro of Sho and Co. "Whenever you are working with wood elements in the design, you need to work with the undertones the wood provides," she says. "Finding paint colors with both warm undertones as well as subtle pink undertones would be the best way to work with cherry wood elements." Thus, Shapiro advises shying away from yellow, blue, and green, which will compete with these undertones.
Not feeling a plain white? No worries. Shapiro suggests opting for Benjamin Moore Classic Grey. "The color has warm grey undertones that work nicely with cherry wood," she says. Shapiro is also a proponent of the subtle warmth present in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. "It will provide a nice contrast and highlight cherry wood tones."
Think Cream and Off-White
Designer Sherry Hope-Kennedy of Studio SHK finds these hues to be "a great match for cherry wood." She notes, "Their warm, neutral tones pair well with the wood’s earthy red." And the shades are quite versatile, she adds. "The combination provides a sophisticated look that works well with many design styles, from contemporary dining spaces and traditional bedrooms to transitional kitchens and modern home offices."
Look to the Opposite of the Color Wheel
Try a Bit of Red
According to O'Gara, "You can use small accents of red to actually push the wood in a cooler direction—the true red will make the wood look less so in contrast." That said, don't go overboard with the hue, he advises. "Keep in mind reds are much more visually predominant in a room; it’s all about balance when incorporating such a warm wood!"
Select These Hues for a Contemporary Look
As John Lum of John Lum Architecture explains, cherry wood is often associated with traditional spaces. However, Lum notes, there are ways to add a more modern spin to spaces featuring this finish. "By treating cherry wood as an architectural material‚for cabinetry, trim, casework—one can achieve a more contemporary feel and look," Lum comments. "For more contemporary interiors, a light blue or gray color will give a more energetic feel to make the cherry wood pop."
Keep These Parting Words in Mind
Hope-Kennedy offers a few key tips to keep top of mind during the paint selection process. "To pick the best shade, turn to inspiration images and take home a handful of paint chips," she suggests. Additionally, there are a number of online resources that will prove extremely valuable while mapping out a space. "Pinterest, design magazines and blogs, and Instagram are a great start to finding that perfect shade," she adds. "Search images by room, or if you have a specific cherry wood furniture piece you are trying to match, search that particular piece." Feeling ready to proceed with a particular hue? "When you've narrowed down the selection, do a couple of test swatches, placing your cherry wood furniture near it to see how the colors flow during various times of day," Hope-Kennedy advises.