It’s obvious that dark wooden floors are a hot trend these days, with an abundance of various options. You can plumb for a species of wood which is naturally dark, such as mahogany, ebony, walnut or one of the dark teaks. You can also pick wood which has been coloured dark. It’s extremely popular among homeowners all around the globe. At the same time, light, almost white wood, is also considered very chic and fashionable. If you’re a lover of bright colours and interiors, a light species of wood, or a wood that’s been whitewashed will constitute a great backdrop in almost any interior in your house or flat. So, if you’re facing a choice: light or dark wood, and can’t make up your mind, we want to give you a helpful hand and present you with the main aspects you will need to take into account.
Firstly, think about the purpose of a given interior. It’s way too easy to go through design magazines and choose a impeccable photo of a kids playroom with dark coloured flooring and bright paint on the walls. You may also feel tempted to make your hallway look like one presented in such a magazine, with white walls and amazing dark flooring. But, such magazines rarely focus on one thing which is crucial for homeowners, namely on how practical a given solution is. As we’ve already mentioned in our articles about floor maintenance, on dark coloured floors dust and dirt is usually much more visible than on light coloured floors. If that’s not an issue for you, or you can cope with that by implementing a strict floor cleaning regime, then the problem is solved. But when choosing dark coloured flooring for such interiors, you need to remember what it entails.
Also, bear in mind the size of the room. Think about dark clothing and how it has a slimming effect – the same applies to dark flooring, which tends to make interiors look a bit smaller. This may not constitute a problem in large rooms, but it might be an issue in smaller interiors, as such a floor can make them look even tinier. This also works the other way round – light flooring usually makes any room look larger. And that’s why it’s crucial to weigh up the advantages and drawbacks of the visual illusion of altered size the floor may create, when making a choice between a light and a dark wooden floor.
The next factor you need to consider is the amount of natural light in a given interior. Obviously, dark coloured flooring makes every room look naturally darker as compared to light coloured flooring. It won’t be a problem if you’re going to use the room as a cosy lounge where you’ll usually spend cold winter days by the fire, or as a dining room where you will use candles to create special ambience. But, if the room is supposed to be a home study or a kitchen, you can find the lack of natural light problematic later on and you may need to spend additional money on artificial light to make the room look brighter. Certainly, the choice of white walls and light furniture may counteract the darkening effect of dark flooring, but you should always plan it carefully in advance, or else you may end up disappointed. On the other hand, in rooms with a lot of light, like conservatories, light coloured flooring might constitute a problem. It goes without saying that you need to weigh up all of these aspects before making the final choice.
Moreover, think about the style of your existing furnishing and the furniture you’re planning to buy. If you’re going to make a total room re-look, by replacing all furnishings and all accessories, it will be easier to plan everything in line with your flooring choice. However, if you’re going to use some of the existing furnishings, rugs, paintings, etc., then it’s advisable to invest the time it takes to think about the overall look of the room with both a dark and a light flooring option. To do that, you can try creating a mock-up of a room by either taking photos or by choosing one out of various online room planner tools available for download for free. You may think it’s an exaggeration, but by getting together the crucial elements of a room and swapping light for dark flooring options, you’ll be able to assess the impact each of them has on the interior.
And last, but not least, think about how well you tolerate dust. As we’ve already discussed, dust, and grime are much more visible on a dark coloured floor than on a light coloured one. If you don’t overly focus on such things, you shouldn’t be bothered. But it’s best to plumb for dark flooring being fully aware that you’ll need to stick to a strict cleaning regime, to keep it looking great.