The Most Unique Dining Tables You’ve Ever Seen: Custom Mixed Wood Options

by Erik Organic on June 13, 2012

Our craftsman, Eli, has been making dining tables for over 30 years, and can do amazing things with hardwood. His talents really come into focus when you look at some of the mixed wood designs he’s created.

What is Mixed Wood?

Mixed wood is when we take 2 or more different species of wood, and combine them together to create a piece of furniture.

We use a clear wood finish, allowing the contrast between the two wood species to emerge naturally in the design.

These are the three most commonly-employed combinations:

Hickory and Walnut Mixed Wood Table

Hickory and Walnut

Walnut and Hard Maple Mixed Wood Table

Walnut and Hard Maple

Cherry and Hard Maple Mixed Wood Table

Cherry and Hard Maple

What are Inlays?

Eli can also create inlays, which embed a second hardwood into another wood—creating a beautiful contrasting effect.

Inlays can be created in simple geometric shapes. They are most commonly created as rectangles, squares or diamonds.

Walnut Inlay in Oak

Walnut Inlay in Oak

Cherry Inlay in Hard Maple

Cherry Inlay in Hard Maple



It’s important to note that we cannot finish the inlay a different stain color than the rest of the table, that would create the potential for runs and streaks to emerge over time. The contrast of color and grain in an inlay comes from the natural features of the hardwood the inlay is created from.

What is Fluting?

Fluting is an alternating ‘raised and lowered’ pattern in hardwood, it is generally done on the legs or skirt of a dining table.

Fluting in Walnut (on the skirt of the table, and the chairs)

Fluting in Walnut (on the skirt of the table, and the chairs)

Fluting in Walnut and Oak (on the skirt and legs of the table)

Fluting in Walnut and Oak (on the skirt and legs of the table)



Fluting can be done in either a single hardwood, or in mixed wood. Fluting cannot be done with two different wood stain colors.

What are Border Tables?

Border tables are a mixed wood design where the tabletop is created from two different hardwoods, creating a dramatic contrast.
The most popular combination for border tables is walnut and hickory. Border Tables are often combined with a Timber Edge.

'Double Border' Table in Walnut and Hickory, with Timber Edge

'Double Border' Table in Walnut and Hickory, with Timber Edge

'Double Border' Table in Walnut and Hickory, with Timber Edge

'Double Border' Table in Walnut and Hickory, with Timber Edge



What is a Timber Edge?

A Timber Edge isn’t a mixed wood design, it is a custom table edge that creates an extra-large end cap all around the tabletop. The timber edge replaces the typical table skirt, and serves to hide the leaf storage mechanism and hardware connections in the base of the table.

Timber Edge Table in Unfinished Oak

Timber Edge Table in Unfinished Oak



What Else Can Eli Make?

We can also create mixed wood designs in three or more hardwoods, such as these beautiful mixed wood tables:

Mixed Wood Table in Walnut, Cedar and Cherry

Mixed Wood Table in Walnut, Cedar and Cherry

Mixed Wood Table in Oak, Cherry and Walnut

Gail’s table, created from Oak, Cherry and Walnut



What About Two Different Wood Stains?

Unfortunately, utilizing two or more wood stains on a dining table is much more limited than utilizing two different wood species.

Staining different parts of a table in two different colors requires that those table parts be physically separated while they’re being stained. This generally limits us to staining the tabletop, table skirt, and table base in different wood stains.

Here are some examples of what we can do with two different wood stains:

Medium Oak and Midnight Oak

Medium Oak and Midnight Oak

Peppercorn Cherry and Natural Cherry

Peppercorn Cherry and Natural Cherry

Ruby Walnut and Midnight Oak

Ruby Walnut and Midnight Oak



Where to Learn More

If you have any questions about our mixed wood tables, please email us or call us at 1-888-900-5235. John or Gail will be happy to help!

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