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3 Bright & Beautiful Ways to Design with White Wood Floors
The inclusion of white wood floors in an interior design plan appeals to a large demographic for a variety of reasons. Whatever your reason for considering a white wood floor, these helpful tips and inspiring designs can help you find and create just the right look.
1. Create a Neutral Palette
If you’ve opened any interior design magazine lately there is no shortage of upscale interiors with the simple, white backdrop. People like the idea of creating a neutral palette against which (almost) anything will match. Whether your love prints, patterns, pastels or bold solid colors — or if you take a more eclectic approach with a combination of it all — white wood floors provide the perfect foundation for any design, making it easy to dress up, dress down, or change up your decor with ease.
This Boston penthouse is a great example of wide plank Hickory floors with a white wash finish.
As you move through the rooms you see how things like the woodwork, wood color, decorative accents, wall colors and wall paneling change, but the wide plank flooring remains the same.
This home is also a great example of using a wide plank floor with some natural color variation that still shows through the stain. In this case, wide plank Hickory flooring has a range of natural white, blonde and cocoa tones throughout the flooring.
This style floor helped tie together all the different components and colors of the decor — modern lighting, grey reclaimed barnwood on the walls, different color walls from room to room, stark white cabinets and the variety of color tones used on the furniture — they all blend perfectly with the white, cream and light and dark brown colors tones that come through the wood.
Unless the finish process is specifically designed to mask the natural variation of the wood, a white wash finish will allow the variation and character to come through in the floor. When selecting a wood floor it is important to understand the natural appearance of the wood and how it will appear once the white wash style finish is applied.
2. Keep it Clean & Modern
White wood floors are the quintessential choice for interior designs that want to be clean and in many cases more modern.
There is a strong resemblance to the iconic look of Scandanavian design, the intent of which is to create a brighter interior in a place where darkness descends quickly on the home and lasts much longer. White wood floors make a room feel bigger and bright.
This is especially helpful if you are trying to create a minimalist design or if you are trying to brighten up a smaller interior, like a narrow, galley style kitchen. (Photo Credit: Geoffrey Hodgen)
It is important to note here, the ideal white wood floor design is one featuring wider plank boards, especially if the intent is to create a cleaner overall appearance. Wide plank floors are 6-8″ or wider — at Carlisle we craft floors up to 19″ wide, but the width each clients chooses will depend on the overall look they are trying to achieve. This design detail if often overlooked, especially if people are more focused on color alone. Wide plank floors minimize the number of seams in your floor which helps create a cleaner, less busy appearance.
3. Authentic Design & Details
In some cases, clients use white wood flooring for reproduction projects, which would replicate the original wide plank pine flooring finished with “milk paint”, a type of finish that has been used on interiors and exteriors for thousands of years, with white wash being a common color.
A white wash style finish can give the floor a primitive, organic appearance that goes perfect in a restoration project, especially when paired with authentic antique cut nails.
If you are trying to create an authentic appearance, you can take this one step further, like in the industrial style bedroom below, and add in hand-scraped, or hand-distressed edges. When combined with the white wash finish, cut nails and wide boards the floor will make a very convincing replica of a centuries old floor.
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