WHY ARE DARK WOOD FLOORS A GOOD IDEA? Most of us are aware of the benefits of hardwood flooring: – great durability, – spacious effect, – adds value, – timeless style – health benefits for those of us with allergies.

But why should you care for dark hardwood? Especially because of the design risk involved - is it really worth it? The short answer is yes, absolutely. You just have to be confident in your design and interior choices. If you are unsure and lack the confidence and knowledge to back up your decision, you might get the “dark wood placebo effect”.

DARK WOOD FLOOR PROS AND CONS So what are these benefits? Well, for one, dark hardwood flooring doesn’t fade. It is exceptionally light absorbent and therefore far less prone to colour change, meaning you can worry less about retouching your floor. There is then the obvious elegance and pop of its aesthetics. The grain is often far more visible than that of lighter hardwoods, allowing the natural grooves of this living material to really grab the attention of the room.

Of course, there are also certain cons associated with using dark wood flooring that is equally important to bring up. Perhaps the most obvious is visible scratching. Naturally, scratches show up more easily due to the fact that most dark wood floors have a surface stain. Scratching through this stain can reveal the lighter wood beneath. These scratches are easily avoidable however and repairable too. The second con is that dark wood flooring often shows dust or pet hair more easily (unless your pet has dark hair of course).

DARK WOOD FLOOR, LIGHT WALLS At first glance, dark hardwood floors can seem very overpowering. If you have darker shades of paint or wallpaper at home it’s very hard to imagine a pleasant, airy interior with a dark wood floor. But the trick is contrast. If you combine it with light wall colours you can actually create a greater illusion of spaciousness. The contrast will also add a very interesting, fundamental tonal relationship to the room. Even before you add any furniture or decor the room is making a statement - and this is a very powerful attribute to have.

WHAT ABOUT THE FURNITURE? As mentioned above, light pastel furniture is definitely recommended for dark wood flooring. Think of a well-balanced room as containing an ideal, finite amount of darkness. If you tip over you are in danger of your room becoming too dark, tip under and a room can look too plain and lacking in contrast.

BRING THE LIGHT WITH A RUG But say your efforts to lighten up a dark-floored room still seems in vain (perhaps it is a particularly dark room with little natural light) - a fantastic option is to invest in a light rug! Not only will such a rug add extra contrast and provide an inviting lounging area, it will also dramatically lighten up the entire room. Even if the room was light enough without it, adding a cream rug can allow for additional dark furniture or decor without tipping your light/ dark balance. Using these rugs are also an excellent way to subtly segment a large living room and create a natural flow that divides furniture and walking space.

HOW DARK SHOULD THE FLOOR BE? This is another way to really own that light/ dark balance. If you really want to include darker furniture or other darker elements in your room then you might want to consider opting for a dark hardwood floor that sits on the lighter end of the spectrum - this is certainly achievable if carefully considered.

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