Hardwood & Interior Design

Hardwood and interior design: Making the room stand out

Designers often use the battle cry, ?Design from the floor up!? but it can be a little confusing if you?re not that familiar with interior design.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you, so here are the answers to some common hardwood and design questions.

Q: My living and dining rooms are open and face each other. Do I need to use the same wood floors for both?

A: Not necessarily, although that may be the easier choice. It also works well if one of the rooms is small, because there?s no visual break-up to make it look even more cramped.

If you choose not to use the same floors in each room, just be sure they coordinate with other materials; for instance, if you have a mahogany hardwood floor in your dining room, maybe you?d want to use a carpet with the color chocolate brown.

Q: Do my hardwood floors need to match the other woods in the room, such as the coffee or end tables?

A: No, but the undertones do need to be balanced. Undertones are secondary colors mixed in with the base; hardwood can have warm tones, such as red, orange or yellow, or a cool one, like slate blue. If the floor undertone is warm, the other wood undertones should also be warm and vice versa.

Q: How do I find the undertone?

A: Sometimes undertones can be obvious and sometimes not.

This would be a good time to invest in an inexpensive color wheel. You can buy one for $20 or less, and place your color next to another one to see how it shifts. You may have to test it a few times; for instance, blue can have either green or red in it. Look at it next to each and see what happens.

Wherever it goes, the color wheel will tell you if it?s closer to the warm or cool side.

Q: Why are undertones so important?

A: Because you can easily highlight them with painted walls, wallpaper, accent walls, upholstery, art, area rugs and runners and even scenic views. For example, if your hardwood has an orange undertone, that color mingles well with blue, pink or Kelly green.

For inspiration, come into the Carpet Mart showroom in Benton Harbor, MI.