Our homes reflect our personal tastes and styles. From year to year and decade to decade our styles may change, but one thing is certain: hardwood is always a top flooring choice for homeowners. Hardwood is durable and can weather years of life (in all its glory, fun and messiness) as well as roll with years of design changes.
When it’s time to choose wood flooring for your home, we suggest you think like a designer. Consider your lifestyle, preferred colors, and design style as you make that final decision.
Here are 3 tips to help you narrow down your options for hardwood flooring that fulfills your personal design aesthetic.
What is your lifestyle?
Begin by considering your lifestyle and how you use your home. If you are single, you are well aware of your personal parameters and you likely put low stress on your floor. If your home is raucous with roommates or kids and pets, then you’ll need to be prepared for a durable flooring option that allows more wear and tear—provides more resistance to scratches and dings. Floors with factory-applied finishes offer more protection and typically a better warranty.
Since smooth surfaced floors and those with higher sheen finishes tend to highlight any wear & tear, flooring with low-luster finishes and more texture are better at hiding day to day wear.
We also recommend using the same species of hardwood flooring in your home. This consistency maintains a uniform (no, that is not code for boring!) look to your space.
Keep your area’s climate in mind when choosing your flooring. Humidity and moisture can cause alterations in your floor, such as cracking or buckling or just some real annoying squeaking. For tips on how to keep the right relative humidity in your home, read our blog about it.
What are your preferred colors?
When it comes to picking out the perfect hardwood floor, think about color. Designers will usually take inspiration from the homeowner’s environment and natural surroundings. A light and bright cabin in the high desert requires a much different interior look than a dark, city apartment. Ultimately, color choices are of course subjective because only you know what you like, but we’ll offer some suggestions if you need some help or a nudge.
Dark flooring often gives a timeless or traditional look that is flexible with many design styles. For instance, you can choose a dark floor with warm tones and pair it with wainscoting, or other old wood features or antique furniture. For a modern style, pick a dark floor and complement it with neutral or gray paint and equally neutral, sleek-lined furniture.
Light colors go well with design styles like coastal, beach and modern. If you want light flooring, then consider complementing with gray. Gray wood tones are the new light. Gray tones are neutral enough to work with most color palettes. Color tones in hardwood flooring are fast becoming the new norm since they can work just as well for a tailored traditional home as with a modern space.
What specific styles and patterns appeal to you?
Regarding style, you want your floors to match up with your personal aesthetic and preferences.
For example, if you are after a traditional look that features warmth, select a wood floor in a darker, warm stain like our Storehouse Plank Collection. For a farmhouse style with its rustic but vintage charm, you can blend old and new with a distressed or reclaimed look in dark grays or cool browns, which will contrast nicely with the clean and bright decor.
For an industrial style that is urban and edgy, focus on reclaimed pieces and metals. This look works well with a distressed wood floor. You can find great matches in the Vintage Loft Collection. For the popular Scandinavian style, you can go minimalist and showcase organization and simple elegance. Black, white, gray and neutral tones with bold pops of color are the signatures of this color palate. Choose a gray-toned floor such as one from our Silvian Collection, inspired by Nordic stylings.
For special patterns in hardwood, there are many classic and contemporary choices. If you wish to add flair to your space, this can be achieved by creating patterns on the floor. Inspired by his time in France, Thomas Jefferson used cherry and beech to craft parquet flooring in his parlor. Borders and herringbone tend to be used in more traditional spaces while chevron, honeycomb and diagonals find their way in modern homes. Remember, there can be too much of a good thing—don’t overuse pattern. It’s probably wise to save it for a single area of the house for dramatic impact.
As floor manufacturers, innovators and retailers, we’ve toured many homes, offices and buildings that have been around for generations. Hardwood flooring can and should last a lifetime. We hope these tips are helpful to you when making choices to match a great floor with your design style.
To learn more about our wood flooring options, please take a look at our collections.