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Dark floors vs light floors – How to choose

Published on 09/10/2019, by Roy Akirov
dark floors vs light floors how to choose

Dark Floors vs Light Floors – How to choose

Dark floors vs light floors. How do you know which to choose? What will suit your home and furniture? What about if you’re going for a whole new, fresh look? Here are some different ways to think about your floor and what will suit your home the best.

What color wood floor with dark furniture?

It depends on how dark your furniture is and what color it is. Black is timeless and very popular for sofas and easy chairs. A black living room suite can be beautifully offset with a warm, tan color, such as the Oak Old Gray

Another way to complement dark furniture is with a warm, dark flooring such as Oak Chocolate. Your first instinct might be that this will make the room seem too dark, but it really depends on the room. White or cream walls with a few pieces of striking artwork, dark, wooden furniture and a dark floor create a really classic look. A dark floor can also pull a room together that has dark accents high up or across the ceiling. These might be wooden ceiling fans or dark lampshades.

Dark or light floors can both suit your dark furniture, so it’s worth thinking about what feel you want for your room. Do you want it to feel bright and open, or warm and intimate? Vintage, or modern? This will give you some steer when choosing dark vs light wood flooring.

Dark floors vs light floors - How to choose

Dark floors vs light floors – How to choose


Light hardwood floors with dark furniture

Light floors with dark furniture often lend a feeling of nostalgia to the room. Big pieces of wooden furniture like old chests or bureaus sitting snugly across seemingly whitewashed floorboards; that’s a scene straight out of an old, favorite movie or TV show.

Rich mahogany furniture with a dark yet warm tone can work with either light or dark flooring, with different effects from each. Using a very pale wood floor makes the furniture really pop out and draws the eye, and compliments, of guests. Matterhorn White Oak is a simple, rustic style that often complements vintage or “shabby chic furniture”. The contrast of the simple, pale planks with darker furniture is a timeless way to not only make a room seem more spacious, but more welcoming as well.

A light floor also counters any psychological effect of the dark furniture making the room seem small or crowded. A dark suite in a small room can seem a little overbearing, depending on the style of the furniture. Off-setting this with a paler floor rebalances the interior and soothes the mind, making your home seem calmer.

Dark wood floors

Dark wood floors have always been very popular for a variety of reasons. They’re usually easy to clean, and if you have kids or pets, dark floors don’t show up the mud or dirt straight away. This is great when you could have guests drop in at any moment and the kids just trekked half the garden through the house. Darker colors are also seen as having a touch of sophistication, so it’s an easy way to class up any room in the house.

Dark flooring isn’t just limited to dark brown, either. For a thoroughly contemporary look, why not consider something like our Beethoven Black? The grain in the wood shines through superbly with a hint of the metallic, and the black color is sure to add character, whether that’s in the living room, dining room or hallway. A reflective black works well with reds, oranges and even other darker colors as it moves light around the room. 

Do dark floors make a room look smaller?

Rooms look bigger or smaller than they are due to the use of light and color. Color is important because it reflects light in different ways. Pale colors reflect more light, which is why they can make a room seem larger and more open. So, following this line of thinking, it stands to reason that dark floors should make a room seem smaller, right?

Well, it’s not actually that simple. If the room is dark all the way around- dark walls, dark furniture, dark curtains, then the dark floor is not actually going to make that much difference as there is already a pretty constant light level in the room. The dark floor will just complement and continue the existing decor theme.

In a room that is very bright or light, the dark floor can actually make the lighter shades stand out, and even make the room seem bigger.

The only time it definitely makes the room seem smaller is in small, dim rooms, particularly those without natural light. Dark wood floors are great for larger spaces and for contrasting with whites, creams or bold and brash tones.

dark wood floor for large spaces

Dark wood floor for large spaces


Light and dark mixed hardwood flooring

There are various flooring types that combine dark and light tones to great effect. The Bruges Brown French Oak is a rich, warm shade at base and not too dark. But the knot holes are much darker, giving a superb vintage look that really draws the eye.

Light or dark wood floors with white cabinets

Homes with white cabinets can choose light or dark wood floors and wither will look great. Darker tones make the cupboards stand out, and can give the illusion of a more intimate space. Light wood floors complement the white cabinets and make the whole room seem unified and delightfully simplistic. Make this style your own with artwork, ornaments or a bright color on the walls.

So, when it comes to dark vs light wood flooring, it’s all about what’s going to suit your existing home décor. Take inspiration from other beautiful homes you’ve visited, or take a visit to some show homes. They’re a great way to see how professional interior designers use the color and tone of different flooring to create ambiance.

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