Natural wood tones

I'll admit I've always been a painted-wood girl. Usually white but sometimes black. When I moved into my first place I had to start from scratch as far as furniture went. My plan was to get a black dining set but Ryan didn't like it. Since I was already pretty sure we would be living together someday (two years before it happened, ha) I bought furniture that had an "espresso" stain.  I know I know, I should have been buying things that I liked for my bachelorette apartment. But as it turns out, he was right. I like the espresso stain MUCH more than black furniture I see now. But it's been a few years and I've found myself drawn to even more natural tones. And luckily for me, I predicted that this year we would see a growing fondness for non-painted and even non-stained woods. What will that mean for my espresso dining set? Well, probably nothing for a while... it's not exactly heirloom quality so I'm not sure how it would take to a refinishing. But in the meanwhile, I can dream about spaces like these. Check it out:

I've shown this gem before, but I just can't get enough of the warmth that the mixture of woods brings to the white walls and accessories. Looks like you don't have to a hutch that matches your buffet if they're both going au natural. These two pieces work well together because it's obvious they didn't come as a set. The detail and trim work is different, the handles are different, and the wood is different. But because they are surrounded by even MORE woods, it all kind of works together.

This space is a little different in that it is much more sparse and modern in feel. Actually it feels a little like a school to me (maybe it's just that door handle that says that... hardware says a lot!). Again the natural wood is paired with white walls. Using a lighter wood often looks cleaner and more modern. It looks like the designer had fun using the knots in the wood as accents. There's someone who really loves natural wood.

Here is a great vintage find! You might easily find a small desk or vanity like this at any old antique mall or garage sale. And I bet you wouldn't naturally think "romantic and feminine dressing table" would you? But paired with a shapely lamp, decadent mirror, some baubles and perfume and you have yourself a showstopper. Keeps it from feeling a little too luxe and over-the-top glamorous. We can't all be Dorothy Draper.

I think this one might be my favorite. I'm loving the idea of an unpainted and barely adorned mantle. Feels so fresh compared to the detailed or high-gloss modern mantles we've been seeing for so long. I especially love it's teensy-ness (that is a technical term) and what better way to show off it's petite size than to pair it with a mirror (also in untreated wood) that is the same size. I love it.

What is your take on natural wood? Granted, I'm no fan of the aging trim in many homes that has yellowed and (in some dire cases) oranged. By all means, paint them! But I like this back-to-the country feel of the untreated wood. It's fresh, flexible, and eco-friendly if you're going for vintage pieces that haven't been hit by the paintbrush yet. And the best part? It mixes in very well with your already-painted pieces. Hmm, maybe I'll be able to pick up a little something sooner than I thought!

Photos from: decorology, desire to inspire, dress design decor, houzz.