The Wood Mistake That's Haunting Your Bathroom, According To HGTV's David Bromstad

If you've ever flicked through a home magazine, you've probably been caught staring at the glossy photos of bigger, better, and brighter bathrooms. Bathrooms are one of the most frequently renovated spaces, as they tend to have fixtures and other features that can quickly date a home. In fact, outdated style is the most common reason why people renovate their bathrooms, according to a survey by Statista. But before taking the plunge into a renovation (or redecoration), one designer warns residents to carefully consider their wood tones. 

David Bromstad is among television's most well-known and beloved designers and color experts, hosting several HGTV shows including "My Lottery Dream Home, "Color Splash," and "DIY Insider." With bathrooms being one of the most commonly renovated spaces, it makes sense that residents may want to overhaul the whole space, especially if it has mismatched wood tones, but Bromstad believes that unifying the wood tones in a bathroom is a mistake. 

At one point in time, it seemed like everyone was after a monochrome wood look, but matching furniture sets have fallen in and out of style quite dramatically, and the same can be said for matching wood cabinets, floors, décor, and everything else in a single space. Here's why Bromstad is against matchy-matchy wood tones in the bathroom, what he prefers to see instead, and how you can follow the designer's advice to avoid this common bathroom blunder. 

Too much of one wood shade is boring

HGTV's David Bromstad has plenty of great tips for creating your own dream home. And, when it comes to the bathroom, if your cabinets, floors, shelves, and other wood details are all different shades, it might be a good thing. While some interior designers and homeowners stress over mismatched wood, Bromstad feels that mixing it up is a vital process. 

"Mixing wood tones is a necessary thing. Being too matchy-matchy — eww," he warned in an interview with Pretty Handy Girl. "Matching wood tones means it looks like it came from a set." It's not that matching sets are inherently offensive, but using too much of one wood shade can feel bland in the bathroom. Instead, Bromstad said not to stress about mixing woods. 

As he motivated fans, "When you have a dark wood something with a light wood something it shows that you have design aesthetic and a design personality [...] So, mixing your wood tones is encouraged!" Mixed tones can add interest to a room, especially when it's done tastefully. For the best results, stick to shades within a similar wood color family. For example, try to incorporate blonde wood into your home décor if you already have light oak cabinets, but stick to rich walnut or mahogany if you have dark cabinets. 

Balancing different wood tones in the bathroom

If you already have too much of one wood tone in your bathroom, such as huge, dark wood cabinets you can either lighten your dark wood cabinets with Bromstad's expert advice to gently bleach the wood, or look for ways to add small wood elements in different tones elsewhere. Some good examples include adding a wood shower shelf, bar soap holder, towel bar, woven baskets, or a bathroom chair. For a more dramatic change, another way to add different wood tones is with a faux wood beam, which Bromstad highly recommends for bathrooms with tall ceilings. 

Of course, the color expert also advises considering how the existing wood works with your wall colors first. "Dark woodwork can be incredible, but only if the wall color majorly contrasts with it; otherwise it'll look like a haunted house. That's why I would go with white [walls]," he opined in a Q&A with HGTV. "If you love color, choose a pale shade, like a gray-blue or muted green, which will freshen up the dark wood." 

Meanwhile, if you're dying for a bold wall color in the bathroom or any room, for that matter, the HGTV star's advice is to pair it with soft, natural wood tones and opt for neutral cream or white textiles — such as white towels and rugs — elsewhere to balance everything out.