Selecting a hardwood floor involves more than just choosing a floor covering. You need to decide what style you are trying to achieve, coordinate cabinetry, paint and furniture and how to pull the whole picture together. Here are five steps to take to help make the choices easier.
1. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to pick everything at once.
Take time to understand the style of what you're trying to achieve. You can use magazines and books to help determine what you love and what you don't. Get an idea of a theme and style before hitting the stores.
2. Look at the space as a whole when making each decision.
We have all loved something in a store, then brought it home to find it just didn't work. Think about your furniture, the qualities of the space you are working with, and how the light moves through this space.
3. Simplify your space.
If you use a very bold floor, cabinet, and paint, they will compete with one another. Instead, find a balance; choose one element to be the bold statement and use the other pieces to support it.
4. Complement rather than match
Similar tones on the floor and walls can flatten out the space. Pull out highlights or undertones of the floor to create more depth in the room. If you have a light floor with a bold, dark grain, for example, choose a cabinet that picks up the dark grain, so that the flooring and cabinets complement one another rather than compete or mismatch.
5. Borrow samples to take them home to see in the real light of the room.
You can do the same thing with cabinets and paint samples; move the pieces around to different walls so you can see how they change in different light. Remember, your cabinets are in a vertical orientation, and the floor is horizontal. You'll experience them differently, partly because the light will hit them in different ways.