Look in any interiors magazine today and you’ll find that white and neutral is the flavour of the month. Walls and ceilings are bright and fresh as they make a space feel bigger and much brighter.
Yet when it comes to floors fashions move more slowly. A new floor is a much bigger investment than a fresh coat of paint or papering a feature wall, both in terms of cash and permanence. It’s easy to freshen up a look when it’s just a case of stripping back some wallpaper, it’s a whole different story when it comes to tearing up a well laid floor.
Darker floors are becoming more popular with householders as they allow for a greater variety of tones in a greater degree of richness. And although your floor might be dark in colour, choosing a gloss or semigloss finish will send light back up into the room, which means that you get the richness without the room ever feeling gloomy.
Lighter colours do make a room feel bigger, and that sense of space also brings a feeling of freshness and air. Lighter colours also lend themselves far more easily to todays neutral colour schemes for decoration and furniture without making them look washed out or lacklustre. Finding lighter colours for your flooring is a lot more exciting than it used to be too. Rather than being limited to textures of light woods or stone, there are a number of limed and driftwood effects available in a number of materials and incredibly convincing stone effects available on vinyl floorings. They are actually warm and soft to the touch, making them a delight to walk on.
Darkness is Drama, Lightness is Freshness
Dark floors are better suited to larger rooms because they make a space feel smaller. If you’ve a room that feels a little sparse with a light floor, replacing it with a dark floor will make each item in the room feel like a feature. A few well chosen pieces of furniture on a dark floor will achieve a kind of cinematic atmosphere that brings drama to a space where a lighter floor will compliment the furnishings but without that ‘pop’.
There’s a conception that lighter floors are low maintenance compared to darker finishes. The durability of laminate and hardwood flooring has improved incredibly in recent years so either light or dark floors can be taken care of easily and quickly. Just give them a daily dust-mopping and, of course, cleaning any spills when they happen. It used to be true that scuffs would show up much more on a darker floor but with today’s products, the veneer is so durable that this rarely happens except in extreme circumstances that a floor of any colour would find it hard to withstand! And if such an accident does occur, repair is easier as finding a colour match between the replacement stock and the original flooring is easy thanks to the hardiness of the materials.