Interview with a Designer ~ Wood Flooring Selection

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Interview with a Designer ~ Wood Flooring Selection

Designing a custom home requires a lot of time, patience and planning.

We know from our recent blog post, “What to Expect When Building a Custom Home – Hiring a designer“, that an interior designer can have a signifcant impact on the overall design and functionality of a home to increase the beauty and the homeowners long term satisfaction.  One of the most impactful decisions to the overall design is the wood floors that you choose.  After all, the wood floors are the primary backdrop to every room in which they are installed, and the most difficult to replace down the road.

This month we are highlighting a project on Lake Michigan and today we interviewed designer Tai Kojro-Badziak of roomTEN design to discuss the interior design process of the home, and how it relates to selecting the right wood floors.

How do you describe the style of this home?

The Lakeside Retreat is a comfortably refined yet casual home, inspired by a combination of Arts and Crafts, Asian influence and mid-century flair.

Were there particular things that inspired this home design?

The owner came to us with a seemingly conflicting brief: one likes modern, one likes traditional, they can agree on Prairie Style and Arts and Crafts, but she wants some Asian, and especially, she has deep memories of “grandma’s cabin by the lake” growing up – we were to infuse the home with the spirit of the late 60’s and early 70’s through a combination of millwork detailing (scalloped wood pulls, inlaid brass accents) and vintage furnishings.

Dark Wood Flooring and Distressed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors









The site was a significant player as well  – from the very start, it was apparent that the relationship of the home to the landscape would be important, resulting in fluid indoor-outdoor spaces that celebrate the natural beauty of the area.








What made your client choose Carlisle solid wood floors for their project?

Carlisle Flooring was present at our initial meeting – we knew we wanted wide plank hardwood flooring with radiant heat right off the bat, and we knew Carlisle could deliver!

(Note: For more information on installing Carlisle floors on radiant heat, click here)

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors for installing on radiant heat.






What made you/your client choose the distressed wood flooring?

The final species took longer to determine, and was a fluid component throughout the initial design process.  Oak floors would be the correct historical material for an Arts and Crafts style home, but the structure of oak was too rigid for the overall feel the interiors took on.  A dark wood floor like Walnut was the “want to be” winner – we kept wanting to push towards the depth of walnut, but it never quite fit with the mood we were going for – too refined for what was ultimately to be a casual lakeside home.


We finally determined that mixed width wide plank pine flooring, with hand scraped detail, would be the ideal floor, for a number of reasons.

Dark Wood Flooring and Distressed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

The widths had some great opportunities to shine throughout the house – the plan allows for almost 30 continuous feet in some areas.

The relative softness of pine was seen as a “plus” for a floor that would ultimately get beat up by sand and dirt – and by selecting hand scraped, we had “pre aged” the floor to a slight degree, minimizing the perception of future damage by sand or dirt.

After all – it’s a beach house.  Bare feet will bring in all kinds of materials – no sense in ignoring reality!


What role does the floor play in the overall design of the home?

It’s a critical component and was one of the main factors  we always considered when making big decisions (move a wall?  Fireplace finishes?  How does the floor want to play with that?)

In addition, once we had settled on a floor material and color, we then returned back to all the furniture and textile selections to make sure all the components would fit seamlessly together.

Pine Flooring and Distressed Wood Flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

What style flooring were you going for?


Did Carlisle floors help you overcome any design or installation “obstacles?

Installing solid wood flooring over radiant heat.  This was a requirement from the start, and Carlisle proved it could be done beautifully!  That’s actually a factor that gets noticed regularly by guests throughout the winter.

Hand planed pine flooring

Who are the professionals involved in the project?

Builder  Michael Noack, Noack Construction,, email:

Architect David Raino Ogden, Raino Ogden Architects, email:

Installer, Classic Hardwood Floors, Joe Boos email:  (Also a Carlisle Preferred Installer!)

Interior Designer,  Kitchen & Bath Designer  Tai Kojro-Badziak, roomTEN design, email:

Landscape designer: Carol Dillon, Dillon Garden Design email:


Visit the roomTEN design website and click here to view more project photos.

Thanks to Tai from roomTEN Design for sitting down us to tell us about the project and the process of designing the wide plank floors!

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