There’s no getting away from the fact that dark wood flooring is hot at the moment. No matter whether you choose a species of wood that is naturally dark, like ebony, mahogany, walnut or one of the dark teaks, or a wood that has been coloured dark, it’s high fashion. That said, light, almost white wood is also stylish and fashionable. Once again, a light wood, or a wood that’s been whitewashed will create a superb backdrop in almost any room of the home.
So, if you’re debating light over dark wood how on earth do you make the choice?
Here are some of the main things you need to consider:
- The size of your room. In the same way that dark clothing will make ample bodies look slightly neater, dark flooring has a tendency to make big rooms look slightly smaller. While this isn’t an issue in a decent sized room, it might pose a problem in a smaller room, which could be made to look even smaller with dark flooring. The opposite is also true, whereby light flooring will have a tendency to make any room look bigger. So, when you’re making your choice between light and dark wood flooring it is really important to assess the pros and cons of the visual illusion of altered size your floor might create.
- The purpose of your room. It’s all too easy to browse through design magazines and fall in love the perfect photo of a kids playroom with a dark floor and brightly coloured toys and paint on the walls. Alternatively, that stunning hallway with a dark floor and bright white walls can look really tempting with the odd, strategically placed pink pair of wellies or a bright red brolly. However, what these types of image don’t show is the practicality of this notion. As we’ll discuss later, dark coloured flooring has a tendency to show up dust and grime stains much more clearly than light coloured flooring. If you’re someone who can live with this, or work around it by being really thorough with your cleaning, then that’s fine, but it’s best to go into dark coloured flooring in these settings knowing that you are likely to have your work cut out for you.
- The amount of natural light in your room. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a dark coloured floor will make your room look naturally darker than a light coloured floor. If you’re planning a cosy lounge where you’ll typically spend winter evenings by the fire, or a dining room where you plan to create an ambiance with candles, this won’t be an issue. However, if you’re planning a home study or a kitchen, the lack of natural light could wind up driving you mad and costing you more than you need to spend on artificial light. Of course you can counteract the darkening effect of a dark floor with light walls and light furnishings, but this needs to be planned carefully if you’re not going to end up disappointed. Inversely, in rooms where there’s an abundance of light, like conservatories, it’s light coloured flooring that could pose you a problem. Needless to say, again, you need to measure these considerations before making your final choice.
- The style of furnishing you either already have, or plan to buy. If you’re planning a complete room re-look whereby you’re replacing every piece of furniture and every accessory, you’ll be able to plan according to your floor choice, but if you already have your furniture, rugs, paintings and so on, you’d do well to really invest the time it takes to piece together the overall look of the room with both a dark and a light flooring option. To help you do this, you could try to create a mock-up of your room by either taking photos or by using one of the many online room planner tools that you can download free of charge. This exercise might seem over the top, but simply by pulling together the main elements of your room and exchanging light for dark flooring options, you’ll get a great idea of the impact of each.
- How well you tolerate dust. As we’ve mentioned already, there’s no getting away from the fact that dark coloured flooring shows up dust and grubby footprints much more clearly than light coloured flooring. If you’re not someone who’s obsessive about such things, that mightn’t bother you, but it’s best to take on dark flooring knowing that to keep it looking cutting edge, you’ll need to keep on top of your cleaning regime.
At Wood and Beyond you'll find a large range of white shade wood flooring options (here) as well as dark (here). Our customer service people are happy to help should you require more information on these options. Just call, email or chat online with us.