Cherry wood is a type of hardwood made from felled cherry trees, and it is widely used to make furniture and for flooring. This is a very popular type of wood due to its unique red tone and the interesting grain it features. It has more to offer than just face value and is a strong and durable wood that stands up well against wear and tear. It is slightly flexible, which makes it easy to work with, and is, therefore, a favorite among carpenters.
Due to the variety of fiery tones in cherry wood, and the fact that the color can differ so dramatically between species of cherry tree, it can be a struggle to find colors that go well with it. Here we look at some of the colors that are on-trend right now, which work nicely with cherry wood.
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Types of Cherry Wood
American Cherry Wood
This type of cherry wood is also known as Black Cherry Wood. The scientific name for the tree which produces American Cherry Wood is Prunus serotina. It is native to North and South America, where it is widespread. This is a very popular type of wood in this region of the world, and as such, it is mass manufactured in the Eastern United States, where the trees grow to between 60 and 100 feet. In terms of lumber hardiness, American Cherry wood performs very well. It is extremely durable and resistant to dents but is still soft enough to make it easy to cut, sand, and nail.
American Cherry wood is resistant to decay and usually has a smooth, straight grain running through it. This type of wood is typically more expensive to buy than oak or maple but is not among the most expensive types of wood, considering how easy it is to source. American Cherry wood has a brown color with a pink hue when it is first cut, but this will deepen as the wood is exposed to light. In its saleable state, American Cherry wood will have a deep red-brown color, which will continue to gradually get even darker and richer with age.
European Cherry Wood
This type of cherry wood is also commonly known as Sweet Cherry Wood, with the scientific name of Prunus avium. It is native to Asia and Europe, though it has become naturalized in Australia and North America. The tree grows to heights of up to 60 feet and produces wood which is known for its strength and durability.
On the hardiness scale, this is one of the toughest woods out there, making it ideal for projects where it needs to withstand heavy use. However, the extreme durability of European Cherry wood is a disadvantage to those working with the lumber because it is very stubborn when it comes to being cut, sanded, or driving nails and screws into it.
The color of this wood is pinkish-brown when first cut, but it will mature to a deeper shade of golden tan with light exposure. This type of wood is less popular than American Cherry Wood because it is harder to work with and is only available in shorter lengths due to the smaller size of the tree. It is also more expensive because it is harder to source compared with American Cherry.
Colors to Use with Cherry Wood
If you have cherry wood in your home and want to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere, then use colors of a similar tone to that of the wood. Cherry wood, whether it is American Cherry or European Cherry, is a rich-toned wood with warm and fiery shades of red, orange, or pink. You can use complementary colors which also have warm undertones to accentuate this element of the wood and achieve a homely, welcoming space.
Gold looks classy, elegant, and sophisticated next to cherry wood. If you have cherry wood cabinets, then opt for gold handles and hardware as opposed to silver, as the gold will accent the warm tones in the wood. You could also use shades of gold in soft furnishings in a room with hardwood cherry flooring, for example, gold silk drapes or gold cushions.
Beige is an easy color to pair with cherry wood as it is a natural-looking shade that works as a warm neutral color. With undertones of brown and gold, beige brings out the rich tones in cherry wood while also remaining in the background and allowing the wood to really shine as the main feature in the room. For kitchens with cherry wood cabinets, opt for beige painted walls and countertops in beige marble.
Red, when used alongside cherry wood, is a very attractive look, but it needs to be done carefully. Cherry wood has red undertones, so you’ll want to make sure the shade of red you choose for paint or accessories doesn’t clash with the wood but instead highlights the red aspects in it. This is especially important if you have red items juxtaposed with cherry wood because if the shades of red are too similar, there will be no definition that can make them look like they are bleeding into one another.
If you want to paint your walls red alongside cherry wood wall cabinets, you should choose a soft and playful shade of red for the paint and a dark cherry wood. American cherry wood represents the best option as it comes in much darker, almost black, hues. A completely red room can feel overwhelming, or it might make a space feel smaller than it already is, but when done correctly, it can feel intimate and elegant. This is a color scheme that would work well in a bathroom or dining room.
Yellow is a bright and cheerful color and is the more playful version of its cousin, gold. Yellow is a warm color, so it works nicely alongside the warm tones in cherry wood, but it is also a vibrant color, so it can be used to liven up a space and make it feel lighter and happier. Various shades of yellow go with cherry wood, including mustard yellow, corn yellow, and blonde yellow. Use yellow on your walls to bring bold energy to the room, or use it more sparingly in decor accessories to add a fun atmosphere to a space.
Contrasting colors have a bolder, more vivid look because they take more adjustment from the eyes to process them. As cherry wood is a warm tone, you’ll need to use cold tones to contrast against it. This is a good idea if you feel like the cherry wood in your home is overpowering, and you want to tone it down or if you want to bring about more modern styling to a space.
Blue is a cool color that creates a soothing and calming atmosphere. The cold tones in blue, when used alongside cherry wood, will help to balance out the warmth in the wood and make for a more neutral feel in the room. Navy blue is a visually striking color to use with cherry wood and works to achieve a grand and majestic atmosphere in a space. This pairing is both inviting and imposing and offers a perfect balance in the emotions it elicits.
Paler shades of blue also work well with cherry wood, though European Cherry Wood is best in this instance because the orange tones running through it offer the greatest contrast with sky blue.
Gray is another color with cold tones, which is a modern classic. Rooms painted gray instantly look contemporary, and it is no exception in this case. If you have inherited cherry wood furniture which you feel looks too stuffy, or maybe if you have moved into a home with cherry wood floors that look too traditional for your taste, then you don’t need to get rid of them. Instead, contrast the cherry wood with gray walls and gray accessories to minimize the warm impact of the wood and neutralize the red and orange shades in it.
For cherry wood which has strong red undertones, green is the perfect contrasting color because they are opposite each other on the color wheel. Pale or light shades of green will allow the cherry wood to shine as the main feature in the room while also working to brighten up the space.
Light to mid-green are refreshing colors that can be seen alongside cherry wood shades in nature, so these are ideal if you want to create an outdoor living vibe in a summer room. Sage green or mint green will be uplifting when used with cherry wood, and they work well together in a variety of interior decor styles, including traditional and mid-century. Dark green can also work with cherry wood, but this combination will result in a more cozy and festive feel, as the red undertones with deep green are synonymous with the holidays.