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Hardwood Flooring Installation Team Explains How to Decorate Rooms With Dark Floors


July 10, 2019

There’s no denying that beautiful hardwood flooring can make every living room look elevated and unique. Each piece features a different texture, grain, and appearance, making the room stand out. While the type of wood you choose at the hardwood floor showroom will largely set the tone for the room, the stain and color can make all the difference in how you choose to decorate the space. Dark stains are practically guaranteed to make the room more modern and sleek, but without the right décor in place, they can make the space feel small and claustrophobic. Here are a few easy ways to decorate dark-floored living rooms.

Opt for Lighter Walls

Dark walls have their place in interior design, but they’re not ideal for rooms with dark hardwood floors. The combination of dark wood stain and dark paint can make the room feel smaller and more closed in. With the living room, it’s important to make the space feel open and inviting, making the lighting stand out and truly brighten the space. Instead of dark walls, opt for a lighter color paint like eggshell white, cream, or even a light pastel. This will reflect both natural and artificial light throughout the room more effectively, thus making the room feel larger and more open.

Make Use of Accent Rugs

Open floorplans are wonderful, but when the flooring is identical throughout each room, it can quickly start to feel overwhelming and monochromatic. Instead of relying solely on the walls and ceiling to brighten the living room, make use of accent rugs. These rugs can be whatever color you want, highlighting or complementing existing colors and patterns in the other décor of the room. Lay them under the coffee table and sofa to create a well-framed look and use runners to draw the eye through the hallway or walkway.

Add Color With Curtains

Widows are one of the most underutilized parts of the living room. While they can bring in plenty of natural light during the day, they’re far more versatile than you might imagine. Instead of leaving them as bare openings in the wall, decorate them with curtains to accent both the walls and the rest of the décor. While the floor will still be dark, curtains draw the eye upward and away from the floor, helping to keep the dark floor from becoming overwhelming. Just remember, dark curtains on a light wall may tie the room together, but it they will block more light. When they’re drawn, they can make the room feel smaller, but by the same token, they’re ideal for blocking out neighborhood lights for movie night!

Incorporate Dark Wood Furniture Into the Space

It may seem counterintuitive to add dark wood furniture into a room with dark floors, doing so can actually make the room feel brighter. If you’re looking to refurnish the living room, consider incorporating pieces with wood accents that are close to the same color as the floors. This will make the upholstery and accent colors on the rest of the piece stand out and pop. Remember, dark on dark doesn’t have to be bad—you just have to take care to find pieces that have enough color and accent elements not to completely blend in with the hardwood flooring.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match Wood

When installing dark floors, contrast is the name of the game. Though dark wood furniture will work in the space, light wood can help create wonderful contrast. Look for furniture that uses pale woods like pine, birch, and unstained elm. The lighter color will break up the dark appearance of the floor while still showing off that unique wood grain you know and love. Best of all, if you ever decide to refinish the floors or install new hardwood with a lighter stain, your furniture will still work in the space.

Accent With Lighting

Light fixtures can change how a space looks and feels, even when the lights are off. With dark floors, it’s important to make sure the space is bright, but not washed out. When you incorporate brightly colored furniture and white walls, it’s easy to lose sight of the unique and cozy feel the floors bring to the space. Use your light fixtures to tie the room together, accentuating the dark floors without forcing the ceiling to become overwhelmingly dark or bold. Delicate wrought iron chandeliers and table lamps bring a touch of rustic charm—just keep things bright by using a light colored shade over the bulbs. If you want to create a modern look, opt for metal fixtures that reflect light naturally. Brushed stainless steel is an ideal option for both large and small rooms.

Don’t Neglect The Throw Pillows

Pops of color can go a long way towards brightening a space. While painting an entire wall a vibrant accent color can be overwhelming, it’s not your only option. In fact, adding throw pillows to the sofa and chairs will allow you to bring more life into the room without committing to a single large swath of color. The eye naturally seeks out these bits of brightness, drawing attention away from the dark floors and up towards the natural light of the space. The colors you choose are entirely up to you and can easily be mixed with darker accents to keep the room cozy.

Dark hardwood floors are a beautiful touch to add to any home, but they can make decorating the room a bit more of a challenge than a more neutral or lighter color. However, with a bit of imagination and a touch of your personal interior design flair, you’ll be able to create a comfortable and welcoming living room the entire family will love. If you’re ever ready to upgrade your hardwood flooring or simply want a second opinion on refinishing the planks you already have in place, contact Ward Hardwood Flooring. Our expert staff understand the care and maintenance hardwood requires in order to keep your home looking its best for years to come.