White kitchen with wood floors and center island

Interior Design: Exploring Wood Floors

Flooring is equal to foundation where the interior design world is concerned. Today we’re exploring some of the opportunities within the world of wood floors.


A Brief History
According to “THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE” encyclopedia, a majority of European homes had a beaten or impacted earth floor until the early 1600’s. By mid-century of this time period, a second flooring made of wood became more commonplace…if you could afford it. These wood floors consisted of joists and plank flooring often made of elm or oak. A simple pattern meant solely for function and cleanliness.

Enter the Barouque Era (1625-1714) which introduced elegance and style to wood flooring options. Patterns such as French parquetry and marquetry were brought to into the spotlight presenting illusion with varying arrangement to compliment the decorative sense of the inhabitants.

Now set sail for a moment to North America within that same time period, where wood was in abundance and new Americans could enjoy the cleanliness, warmth, and durability of solid wood flooring.

Modern Day Concepts and Options
Today, wood flooring is a staple in majority of homes through out the world. Many have found it ideal to lay wood floors through out their homes in place of carpet as they offer the advantage of easy clean-up without residue left behind, especially if you have pets. While wood floors do require some maintenance, a lot of proponents would tell you it’s worth it.

The options for wood flooring are endless, and so are the design concepts. There’s quite an availability  to truly suit an array of desired tastes – from modern, to traditional, vintage shabby-chic, Americana, Asian-inspired, and even classical European styles.

Lighter Tones
The lighter the grain, the larger the room feels or looks. Keep this in mind. Depending on the desired effect for the room, this can be a benefit in small spaces, or even within larger spaces to make them appear even more grand. Lighter toned woods present the added bonus of creating  brightness to spaces where natural light may be lacking.

Popular woods that fair on the lighter side are oak, maple, beech, pine and ash.

Colors are abundant within this schematic and the beauty is that if you prefer the natural look of the original wood color, this can be kept in tact with a simple finish. No need to stain or paint. Consider whether you’re looking for a real woodsy look, or prefer something sleek and simple, as some woodgrains showcase more “knots” than others.

If you’d like to add some artistry to your wood flooring, whitewashing is a popular trend that presents a worn-in vintage look for a shabby-chic aesthetic. The grayish tone this treatment offers cool neutrality without losing warmth.

Darker Tones
Dark rich tones in wood flooring can start from a medium brown and fair all the way to black.

Something rather fun to remember about going dark with your wood flooring is that nearly any appropriate wood choice can be stained as dark as you like to accommodate your taste.

This can be an advantage if you like the look of a certain wood grain or pattern of a lighter color wood. For example, a popular wood choice is bamboo, chosen not only for it’s simple design, but it’s durability and eco-friendly properties. The natural color of this wood is medium to light, but can easily be stained darker. 

Simple Layouts vs. Ornate Layouts
Another aspect to consider is the layout of your flooring. Simple layouts will suit almost any decor, while ornate choices tend to accommodate a more niche look fairing on the classic European side.

For the simple layout, you can choose to have the planks perfectly in-line with each other for a linear effect, or you can off-set them to create some movement and contrast.

The niche look mentioned above tends to appeal to a specific eye who has appreciation for decor senses from a certain time period, or simply prefers pattern or even an artistic design implemented into their flooring. French parquet wood flooring falls into this category and can be created in a beautiful variety of different geometric patterns.

Wood flooring choices are endless, and while it can be fun to explore, it can also be overwhelming. Working with an interior designer can be an enormous help. Their expertise can guide you on the right path based on your style preference, home location and lifestyle.

Smith Bros. is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or info@smithbrothersconstruction.com.


White kitchen with wood floors and center island

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