walnut color combinations

by Mike
(Taft, Ca.)

contrasting colors

contrasting colors

I'm building a book stand out of claro walnut and it is 44" tall by 21" at it's widest. The top is 21"X 24" and includes a shelf.
I would like for the top and shelf to look a little different by using a lighter color or different species of wood. However, I'm not sure what goes well with the colors and grain of walnut. I like mohagany, but don't care for the combination and I'm thinking maple would be too light.
I want to stay with the darker, rich colors or should I? Can I stain the sides darker and leave the top natural (using all walnut) or would you suggest a different species for the top and Shelf? Do you think it would be fine leaving the intire project the same?
Oh and I will be using a small amount of ebony for plugs and a book rail.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
mike stockton

Hi Mike,

It sounds like a great project. Have you thought about cherry as a contrast? It is similar in tone but more of a reddish color. I like the subtly of the two together. Oak and walnut are also nice, but I would recommend just using a little oak or it might detract from the elegance of the walnut.

How about instead of having the whole top and sides of a contrasting wood just having a stripe of contrast. You could even face the edges with a contrasting wood like in the drawing above.

Of course you could do the same with ebony as the contrast, or use the same wood for the plugs and rail as you use for the top and shelf.

Have fun and send in a photo when you’re done so we can see what you decided.

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