10 Tips How to Make Cherry Wood Furniture Look Modern 2024

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Transform your cherry wood furniture into modern statement pieces with simple yet effective updates. Discover how to blend the classic appeal of cherry wood with contemporary design elements for a fresh, modern aesthetic. Learn the secrets to modernizing cherry wood furniture with minimal effort, ensuring it complements the latest interior trends.

What Defines Modern Cherry Wood Furniture

Thinking about how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, we’re imagining pieces that blend timeless qualities with current trends. It’s all about creating a fresh look while retaining the classic beauty of cherry wood.


Color PaletteNeutral or bold shades that contrast with cherry wood’s natural warm tones.
HardwareUpdated metal finishes like brushed nickel or matte black.
Lines and FormClean, minimalist lines with less ornate details.
Accent PiecesContemporary art or textiles to complement the furniture’s design.
FinishMatte or satin rather than glossy to modernize the surface appeal.

Texture and Contrast

Incorporating different textures helps to modernize the furniture. Think velvet cushions on a smooth cherry wood frame. Additionally, contrast can be essential. Modern design often plays with the juxtaposition of different materials like metal with wood.

Accessories and Decor

It’s not just about the furniture itself. How we accessorize the room—using modern lamps, rugs, or even wall paint—can influence the overall modern feel of our cherry wood furniture.

 Modern Cherry Wood Furniture
by Pinterest

10 Tips How to Make Cherry Wood Furniture Look Modern

Revamping cherry wood furniture doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ve compiled 10 effective tactics that are sure to breathe new life into those classic pieces.

10. Paint or Refinish

Cherry Wood Furniture Paint or Refinish

Cherry wood can be modernized by applying a fresh coat of paint in a current hue or by refinishing it with a new stain. High-gloss finishes can add a contemporary touch.

9. Add Metal Accents

Cherry Wood Furniture Metal Accents

Infusing cherry wood furniture with modern flair is simple with metal accents. Replacing knobs with brushed nickel or chrome can act as a mini facelift for your furniture.

8. Mix with Modern Pieces

Cherry Wood Furniture Mix with Modern Pieces

Don’t hesitate to introduce modern items into a room with cherry wood. A sleek coffee table or a metal floor lamp can set a modern tone amidst traditional wood.

7. Update Upholstery

Cherry Wood Furniture Update Upholstery

If your cherry wood furniture has fabric elements, reupholstering with geometric or bold patterns can immediately give it a more current vibe.

6. Change Hardware

Cherry Wood Furniture Hardware

Switching out old hardware for something with a clean, minimal design is a quick fix. This small change can make a surprisingly big difference.

5. Add Glass

Cherry Wood Furniture Add Glass

Incorporate glass elements, such as a glass tabletop, which can lighten the look and feel of heavy cherry wood pieces, giving them a more modern aesthetic.

4. Mix with Lighter Woods

Cherry Wood Furniture Lighter Woods

Position cherry wood furniture alongside lighter wood varieties to contrast and lighten the overall look, promoting a more modern feel in your space.

3. Minimalist Styling

Cherry Wood Furniture Minimalist Styling

Keep the styling around your cherry wood minimal; use fewer, simpler accessories to let the beauty of the wood shine in a modern context.

2. Update Lighting

Cherry Wood Furniture Update Lighting

Modern lighting, whether it’s a pendant or a floor lamp, can alter the ambiance and complement the cherry wood’s richness.

1. Incorporate Contrasting Colors

Cherry Wood Furniture Contrasting Colors

Use contrasting colors around your cherry wood furniture to highlight its depth while adding a fresh and modern look to the room.

Understanding Cherry Wood Characteristics

To master how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, we need to appreciate the essence of cherry wood’s unique traits.

Identify Wood Grain Pattern

Cherry wood is celebrated for its smooth grain pattern, which can range from straight to wavy. This fine texture allows it to be sanded to a silky finish, ideal for modern aesthetics. The wood typically showcases intricate patterns that add depth and interest, enhancing the sleek, current designs we aim for.

Recognize Cherry Wood Durability

The durability of cherry wood is a significant factor in its timelessness. It has considerable strength, standing up to wear and tear while maintaining its beauty. With reddish-brown hues that deepen gracefully with age, cherry wood offers a robust foundation for furniture that remains stylish through various design trends.

Preparation and Cleaning Techniques

When we embark on the journey of figuring out how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, we must start with the essential first steps of preparation and cleaning to ensure a flawless, updated finish.

Sanding Cherry Wood Surfaces

Sanding is a critical step in modernizing cherry wood furniture. It not only smooths out imperfections but also prepares the surface for new finishes.

  • Choose fine-grit sandpaper: To start, we recommend using 220-grit sandpaper to gently scuff the surface of the furniture. This allows the new paint or stain to adhere better.
  • Sand evenly: Ensure you sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid any scratches that could show up after painting or staining.
  • Wipe clean: After sanding, take a tack cloth or a slightly damp rag to remove all dust from the surface.

Using Primer for Best Results

Before we add any modern colors or finishes, it’s crucial to apply a primer. This will help create an even base for paint and ensure long-lasting results.

  • Primer application: Use a high-quality primer suitable for cherry wood. Apply it evenly across the furniture, covering every nook and corner.
  • Drying time: Allow the primer to dry thoroughly, which may take a few hours, before moving on to painting.

Cleaning with Mineral Spirits

Using mineral spirits is great for cleaning the wood before we start the modernization process.

  • Application: Apply mineral spirits using a clean, soft cloth to wipe down the surface of the furniture.
  • Purpose: This will remove any grease, wax, or residue that may hinder the paint’s ability to adhere properly.

Our efforts in adequately preparing and cleaning the surfaces will be the foundation for a beautiful, modern update to our cherry wood furniture.

Revitalizing with Color and Finish

To discover how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, we’re going to focus on the transformative power of color and finish. With the right techniques, we can bring a contemporary edge to even the most traditional pieces.

Selecting Paints and Stains

When selecting your materials, consider both paints and stains that will compliment the natural beauty of cherry wood. Light stains can enhance the wood’s grain, while white or grey paint offers a clean, modern feel. Our goal is to accentuate the furniture’s best features while giving it a fresh, updated look.

Incorporating Modern Color Schemes

We’re particularly fond of modern color schemes that emphasize cool hues like blue, which work splendidly with cherry wood’s warm tones. The juxtaposition between a warm hue of the wood and a cool color on the walls or accessories can create a captivating modern effect. To make a bold statement, consider adding accents in contemporary patterns or textures—this contrast is key in modern design.

Applying Matte Finishes

To finalize our modernization, let’s not overlook the impact of matte finishes. These finishes offer a subdued, sophisticated look that pairs well with cherry wood’s rich character. Apply a matte finish to your newly painted or stained cherry wood furniture to achieve that sleek, contemporary style. It’s these kinds of detail-oriented touches that will truly modernize your cherry wood furniture.

Updating Furniture Hardware

When we talk about how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, swapping out old hardware for new can make a world of difference. It’s an easy upgrade that adds a contemporary touch without the need for major renovations.

Choosing Contemporary Pulls and Knobs

  • Materials: We’re often drawn to sleek metal options like chrome and brushed nickel for their modern appeal.
  • Designs: Look for simple lines and minimalistic shapes to ensure they add a clean, updated look to your furniture.
  • Sizes: Make sure the new hardware will fit the existing holes, or be prepared to fill and drill new ones.

Modern Hardware Installation

  • Remove old hardware: Unscrew all pulls and knobs carefully. It’s a good chance to clean the areas that are usually covered.
  • Measure for new hardware: If the screw holes don’t align with your new hardware, mark where new holes need to be drilled.
  • Install new pulls and knobs: Secure your updated hardware in place, making sure each piece is straight and tight.

By focusing on details like the finish of your hardware and the simplicity of design, our furniture gets that sought-after modern vibe just through a hardware refresh.

Accessorizing for a Modern Look

When we talk about how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, it’s all about the accessories. The right choices can transform a classic piece into one that anchors a contemporary space.

Choosing Modern Decor Items

One way we can bring our cherry wood pieces into the present is by incorporating modern decor items. Think about sleek vases or planters that embody contemporary design—geometric shapes, minimalist lines, and monochromatic colors can substantially update the look. Moreover, adding a couple of table lamps with a modern flair not only provides lighting but also serves as a statement piece on a side table or desk.

Blending Traditional and Contemporary Art

Striking a balance between traditional and contemporary art can add a dynamic edge to our room. If we already have classic art pieces, we can introduce some bold and contemporary artwork that plays off the rich hues of the cherry wood. By juxtaposing modern accents, like abstract paintings or metal sculptures, with our traditional furniture, we create a curated, eclectic vibe that feels both fresh and timeless.

Furniture Styling in Spaces

When we explore how to make cherry wood furniture look modern, it’s all about the strategic placement and the harmonious blend of accessories that complement the furniture itself.

Arranging Furniture for Modern Appeal

In the Living Room:

  • Position your cherry wood furniture to create an open and inviting layout. For a modern twist, we can balance a traditional cherry wood sofa with a minimalist coffee table or metallic accent chairs.
  • Use an area rug to define the space and add a touch of contemporary style. A geometric pattern or a bold color works wonders here.

In the Bedroom:

  • Consider the arrangement of the bedroom set to maximize space and light. We can place the bed centrally and flank it with sleek side tables that contrast with the wood’s rich tones.
  • Opt for a simplified headboard design, or go without one entirely to give cherry wood bedroom furniture a modern edge.

Integrating Accessories in Living and Bedrooms

Living Room Accessories:

  • Throw pillows: Mix and match textures and patterns.
  • Wall art: Choose large-scale, abstract pieces.
  • Lighting: Install statement fixtures or use floor lamps with clean lines.

Bedroom Accessories:

  • Bedding: Select bedding with crisp lines and neutral hues.
  • Decor: Incorporate metallic or glass elements to reflect light.
  • Plants: Add greenery to invigorate the space and infuse freshness.

FAQ – How to Make Cherry Wood Furniture Look Modern

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To tone down cherry wood, use a neutral warm tan/beige color, which can help reduce the redness of the floors.

How to redo cherry wood furniture?

To redo cherry wood furniture, strip the old finish, sand the wood smooth, clean with mineral spirits, and then apply a new finish such as Danish or tung oil for a natural look.

Is cherry wood furniture dated?

Cherry wood furniture is considered timeless by many due to its durability and rich color, but its popularity can fluctuate with design trends. However, cherry wood has been noted as an emerging star, gaining popularity in certain furniture trends.

Can you lighten cherry wood furniture?

Yes, you can lighten cherry wood furniture by using a two-part wood bleach and lime wax, as demonstrated in a project for lightening a cherry wood desk. This process involves stripping the existing finish, applying the bleach, and then finishing with lime wax to achieve a lighter color.

If you enjoyed our blog post on “How to Make Cherry Wood Furniture Look Modern,” we’d love to hear from you! Please drop a comment below to share your thoughts and experiences.

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Carlo Hummel
Carlo Hummel

Greetings, I'm Carlo!

At the youthful age of 21, I've found my purpose in shedding light on the latest trends, innovative interior designs, influential artistic creations, and notable events within the dynamic landscape of contemporary culture. My passion for these aspects of life drives me to share my unique perspective with others, fostering a deeper connection to the ever-evolving world of culture and creativity. Modernity Rules!

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