For most, the normal progression of a project goes from start to finish. But what about when the 'finish' is the best place to start? When it comes to furnishing a room, the tones, tints, and finishes you choose are going to play a big role in the overall aesthetic. 

Does your home decor lean more modern or contemporary, or are you full-on traditional? Depending on your style preference some finishes work exceptionally well with certain aesthetics.

Here are some tips for selecting the perfect finish for any room in your home. 

Compare and contrast.

Your choice of finish can make a dramatic or more subdued statement about your style while anchoring the color palette of a space.

Look Down

Have beautiful wood floors? Lucky you! However, be aware that furniture on a wood floor can get lost if they’re stained similar tones. Try pairing dark furniture on light wood floors or vice versa, to create appealing visual separation. 

Start Big

If you’re starting from scratch, the first piece you should look for is the room’s anchor piece. Maybe it’s the coffee table in your living room. Perhaps it’s the desk in your office. Either way, consider first how it works in the space. Then consider how you’ll build around it.

Drop Some Complements

In today’s homes, it’s all about striking the right balance. If you have a dramatic, dark anchor piece, look for lighter accessories for contrast. If you’re afraid that mixed finishes will look too unplanned, try tying it all together with a single accent color — think throws, lamp shades, wall color, or upholstery. 

Table it for Later

Accent furniture like tables offer a great platform for some mix-n-match finish fun. Since they don’t dominate the space, you have a little more leeway to play with finishes and pair darks with lights in the same area. Nesting tables allow you to group tables with different finishes together for more impact, and space around the room as needed. 

Metals Matter

They say the devil is in the details. While those wood finishes might be the first thing you notice when walking into the room, it’s the hardware — door knobs, hinges, light fixtures, furniture details — that is going to tie the look together.

As with wood, it’s completely fine — great, even! — to mix and match. But here, a bit of restraint can pay big dividends. 

A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to three or four finishes to use throughout your entire home, and then use no more than two in any one room. This will help to create a sense of cohesion, and that’s ultimately what makes a house a home.