If you’re able to lay down the literal groundwork for your home — and pick out new flooring — then you are truly blessed. Instead of having to work with whatever the previous homeowners considered to be the best for their needs, you have the opportunity to look at your design style and how you live, in order to pick a floor that will last a lifetime with you.
When we purchased our new home the main selling point was the location. You can only imagine what the inside looked like. Everything had to go — and not because it wasn't my taste — but because the house had not been maintained and we had to go down to the studs everywhere.
Having to spend money on things that go on behind the walls like plumbing and electrical isn't fun, but sometimes necessary. So, you can only imagine my excitement when it was time to figure out flooring! This design element was going to set the tone for the house and was something I could get behind and happily budget for. As a designer, I see all sorts of wood flooring in my clients' homes, and the stains run the gamut, from floors with a raw wood finish where there is only a clear coat, to the darkest of espresso. Every stain has its charm and works for the homeowner, but now I had to think about what was going to work with my design style.
Here are some tips I used to figure out what worked best for my home when it came to selecting my floor and the stain color:
Tip 1: Consider your ceiling height.
Do you have high ceilings? Or, are you in an older home, that at times can have ceilings that are less than 8 feet-high? I am in an older home, which I love, and is something that I wanted. A downside to that is that the ceilings are a bit lower; a very dark stain would make the room feel smaller. For me, that meant anything in the walnut stain family or darker was out.
Tip 2: What colors are your walls?
Do you like crisp white walls or do you go bold with your color choices?
I love both, but in my personal home, I lean more toward using colors and pattern-filled wallpapers on my walls. For me, having a darker stained floor would take away from the paint colors and wallpapers instead of being a plus. I need a floor that will be a perfect backdrop for my love of color and pattern instead of taking focus away from the wall.
Tip 3: Take your furniture into account.
Take an inventory of the pieces that you currently have and what you are drawn to. If you like darker wood tones in your furniture, then you need to think about how that will coordinate with your flooring. Do you like the idea of your flooring stain matching your furniture tones, or do you want it to be the opposite?
It's really a personal preference and you can't go wrong — if you love it then it will work. I will say that if your home decor furnishings lean more farmhouse or transitional, then I would stick with lighter cool wood tones that have a gray tone to them. If you lean more traditional in your design style then choosing dark or light is a personal preference, but I would stick with stains that have a warm tone to them.
When I was picking out flooring I loved so many options, but I did lean more toward the warmer tones.
While I love rich dark cherry or chocolate walnut tones I knew that with my furnishings and ceiling height that something lighter would help make my rooms feel larger. When I found LL Flooring’s Bellawood Character Grade White Oak it was love at first sight! It was the perfect middle ground. Not too light, not too dark.
Due to the character grade planks of this floor, there was a variety in the hues on the plank and depending on the sunlight, the wood went from cool to warm tones. Anyone can get a sample of it sent free here. It was the perfect chameleon floor that I knew would be able to grow old with me and stand up to all of my design whims!
We’d love to hear your story, and allow our floor love customers to learn from your experience.