Light or dark floor for a home?
Light or dark flooring provides completely different looks and you should consider carefully before selecting the right or wrong flooring for a home. While dark flooring offers a dramatic contrast with light interiors, these floors show the dirt, while a light flooring may not be your cup of tea. Ultimately, the decision is completely in your hands, although a professional can always help to point you in the right direction.
When to choose dark floors
If you’re not afraid to experiment with a dark coloured floor you may consider the classic look that teams very dark floors and even pitch black wooden floors with light-coloured or neutral walls. For a trendy and more colourful atmosphere mix these floors with intense wall colours - think butter yellow or ruby red - combined with dark skirting boards and dado rails.
Dark floors also work well to create a rustic feel where the grain of the floor can be replicated by using textured décor accessories such as bulky furniture and chunky woven rugs.
Genuine wooden floors are not your only option as today's modern floor designs - whether bamboo, laminate or luxury vinyl - emulate the grooves and knots of real wooden flooring making it difficult to notice that these boards aren’t really made from solid wood, and these flooring options allow the convenience of being extremely easy to clean and maintain.
However, dark floors can make a room appear darker than it really is, especially if the room is naturally dark or south-facing. If this is the case, consider teaming up the wooden flooring with light-coloured walls to prevent the room from appearing too gloomy, or choose a medium-tint board that will still provide a natural finish to the floor without darkening the room so much.
ABOVE: A country kitchen with cream painted cabinets and light granite tops contrasts with the dark floor.
A living or family room can be transformed into a cosy relaxation area where dark wood floors are complemented by a warm colour palette. Texture is important and the grain of the floor can be repeated in décor accessories such as suede ottomans, woollen blanket, faux-fur throws and an array of scatter cushions.
Dark wooden flooring works just as well in the bedroom where a beautiful quilt and embroidered pillows in plush purples or walls painted in romantic mauve will create an opulent room to which you can escape.
If you’re not bothered by dust bunnies and are after a classic vintage look or a trendy room filled with character, dark wooden flooring will definitely help you achieve the effect.
ABOVE: If you are unsure about whether to install light or dark flooring, look carefully at the rooms in your home. Both light and dark floors have their pros and cons. In this open plan living and dining space the light coloured furniture and walls stand out against the medium-dark floor.
ABOVE: If you are still unsure about the choice between light or dark floors, you could always play it safe and choose a medium-colour floor.
When to choose light floors
For those that are cautious about using dark flooring in their homes, but still like the look and feel of brownish flooring, semi-dark or multi-toned boards are an option.
While most people who have dark hardwood flooring installed in their home will tell you they love the way it looks, they may also mention that it has the potential to show all the dust, dirt and pet hair in your home. For those who love a home that appears immaculate, this may cause an issue. Light flooring, on the other hand, will open up a room, giving the room - or a home - a much more spacious and modern appeal. It's also ideal for dark rooms that receive little natural light.
But more than that, the right flooring choice depends on the look you want for a home.
ABOVE: Buttery yellow and white walls with dark upholstered and wood furniture allow the light floor to be the centre of attraction in this modern living space.
ABOVE and BELOW: The choice of flooring in both these rooms was determined by existing architectural details. Taking colour cues from brick and stone work, the flooring complements the style of the room.
BELOW: The way that you have decorated your home also plays an important role in deciding what colour flooring to install. In this traditional living room the rich colour of the floor adds warmth and texture.
ABOVE: Exuding classic elegance, this open plan living and dining space is light and airy with its creamy upholstered furniture, taupe drapes and dark-wood furniture, all of which are further highlighted with a light floor.