How to Choose the Right Shade of Hardwood to Match Your Interior Design

One of the biggest trends in the world of DIY is stripping back furniture and redoing the finish. While in the past the go-to was to simply paint the wood, increasingly people are looking to remove the stain and redo it in the trending styles of the day. Currently, you’ll see many people strip back the orange finish that was popular in the 90s and early 00s and whitewash the finish so it’s a pale neutral shade.


The key takeaway of this is that wood shade matters. The finish of the wood also follows trends, which means your hardwood floors can end up looking dated. The hardwood themselves is going to endure, yes, but will the finish? Finishes come and go. That’s why you need to really think hard about what your design tastes are so that you can choose a hardwood floor finish that appeals to your interior design tastes best.

Warm, Cool, or Neutral?


A great way to start your journey is to just look at what shades of exposed wood you currently have in your home. If you have a statement coffee table that you love, for example, consider what it is about that shade of finish that appeals the most to you. Is it cool-toned, almost greyish? Is it a pale yellow? Dark orange? Warm honey? If in doubt, take a picture of your favourite wood pieces in your home in bright, natural light. Use this when you visit our Balham flooring specialists to help you pick out a complimentary wood floor that suits your taste in wood.


For most, that taste will either lean towards warm, meaning honey or orange tones; cool, meaning grey or even ash floors; and neutral, which sits somewhere in between. If you have a mix of high-contract items like blacks and honey woods in your home, you’ll want to opt for the neutral floor to tie it all together.

Bring Home a Shortlist

Don’t make a big decision like floor tone right away. Instead, put together a shortlist and bring home samples. Compare those samples directly to your furniture and décor, and make a list. You can even write those points on the back of the sample. An easy way to do this is to go through different sections of your home and put a tick on the back of the sample if it works. The piece that has the most ticks naturally works best in your home.


Compare Your Options in All Lighting Conditions


Give yourself a week or so to get used to the shades and tones of each sample in all lighting conditions. The wood is going to look different in sunshine, on cloudy days, and even under artificial light. How you like the flooring in each of these lighting conditions will change. What you may love in daylight, you won’t like under lamplight. Choose the floor that looks best in all conditions so you can love your flooring choice all day, every day, no matter the season.