Design Ideas: How to Design around Dark Wood

Design for Dark Wood



At the end of each trade show season, we take time to reflect on what we’ve seen. It’s clear that the dark wood trend continues to flourish.  Dark colors such as Red Oak Dark Gunstock to Vintage Hickory Cappuccino, across the board there is an interest in using bold, rich color.  Somerset and Amtico, added more styles and dark colors to their lines. Wide planks, longer planks, dark wood comes in every fathomable variety right now.

Harris Wood Vintage Maple Cappuccino


But many still fear going too dark or making a room look smaller or figuring out how to maintain balance in a room with dark wood floors.



Fear not.


There are a few simple rules to make designing with dark wood floors much easier.


Think Character. Darker wood floors add depth and warmth to any room. Contrast a library in Old World mansion with dark wood from ceilings to walls to floors creating a stately regal sense with a child’s bedroom where dark wood brings warmth to the bright colors and otherwise whimsical feel of the room. Regardless of the size of the room, you want to capture the proportion of character that you’re trying to achieve.


Black Furniture Blue Bedroom

Think Contrast. Where you see the darkest wood floors, you want to see the lightest wall colors. But you don’t have to confine yourself to bright white. Any color that reflects light works well. It all depends on the amount of light in the room and the sheen of the surfaces. High gloss dark woods in a well-lighted, larger room will support wall and accent colors that absorb light.




It’s All About the Eye. Where a dark hardwood floor is the only dark feature in the room, it will attract the eye and overpower lighter-colored objects. This upsets the sense of balance.


It’s the dream of any budget design show. One trip to a discount store for dark wood picture frames and shelves, accent pillows and lamps, the next thing you know you’ve created a dramatic reveal!


Harmony is easily restored by repeating the floor color (or one complimentary) and drawing the eye toward the mid-level of the room with pops of bolder colors.


So reorient your thinking away from concepts like too dark, too small or unbalanced. I can’t imagine how intimidating design would be if I thought I had to determine the precise proportions of each color in the room and exactly mete them out in perfect balance.


Try instead to achieve the resonance and sophistication you’re looking for with dark wood then use the contrast of lighter colors and lighting to showcase it. Finish off by harmonizing with accents to ensure the eye captures all of the features in your room.


To see how dark wood will work in your home, call 1.888.703.5667 or e-mail today to have one of our representatives walk you through turning this trend into a timeless addition to your living space.