As you can imagine, as wood finishing product experts we get a lot of questions about wood flooring, probably one of the most popular and enduring interior décor trends of our times, straddling hotel cool and shabby chic comfort with ease. Carpet has languished in second place for years now, a poor second when it comes to contemporary flooring. And our long love affair with wood floors shows no signs of slowing.
Creative wood flooring trends for 2015
Lots of people are coming up with new and creative ways to use wooden floor finishes, to transform old wooden floors into something that is new, unique and eye catching. So what are the latest wood flooring trends to watch out for?
1) Lime washed wood flooring – Cool, contemporary and fresh
Lime washing, AKA whitewashing, was originally used to protect wood. But today it’s used to make wooden floors and other wood items look weathered and bleached, a real shabby chic décor classic. It’s perfect for breathing fresh new life into a tired wood floor. It brings light into the space by highlighting the wood’s lovely natural grain. And it’s one of today’s hottest interior design trends.
Old-school lime wash was a mix of calcium hydroxide and chalk. Some people still use the traditional recipe but most use diluted paint, or a white pigmented wood oil which delivers exactly the same effect. Apply it to solid wood flooring to create an open-textured appearance and brighten the floor, either dramatically or subtly. It’s a matter of personal taste.
You don’t have to stick with a white wash, either. You can go for a grey wash, cream wash, a lavender, lemon or pale blue wash. In fact you can use any pale colour you like, i.e. any colour that has been made paler by adding white.
2) Black wooden flooring – Slick, sophisticated and chic
Hot on the heels of lime washing, black wooden floors are another relatively simple way to make a big design impact. Black flooring gives a room a warm, sophisticated edge and when you add a high gloss finish it looks simply spectacular, rich and satisfying.
The best thing about black is it complements every colour, shade and tone. Put a colourful painting on a white wall and it instantly loses its depth and vibrancy. Put the same picture on a dark wall and it springs into life. The same goes for floors. A black floor can transform an ordinary room into something quite extraordinary, whatever your decorative style and however you accessorise it.
Does a black floor make a room feel dark? Quite the opposite. Any interior design pro will tell you that darker colours, whether on the floor, ceiling, walls or all three, open a space right up.
3) Brightly coloured flooring – Boho styling meets shabby chic
Who says you can’t paint your wooden floor fuchsia pink, tangerine orange or a deep, rich aubergine? There’s no reason why your floor needn’t become the creative focus of your room, providing a beautiful, vibrant canvas on which to base your interior design. Add the right finishing product over the top and your floor will look amazing and last for ages, even in areas that get a lot of foot traffic and hard wear.
4) Patterned wood floors – Traditional charm with an edge
If you’re artistic or know someone with a creative streak, you can even paint designs on your floor. How about a faux rug painted in the centre, beautifully patterned in colours that complement the room’s contents? Or a centrepiece painted in canal boat style with bright flowers and fairy tale castles? Simple, crisp stripes in contrasting or toning shades. Even a stunning faux Roman mosaic.
Get the designer look by painting a pattern over the entire floor then finishing it to protect the surface. How about a black and white chequered look? Very French, cool and modern. Or take it a step further and use a soft lavender-grey and buttery cream colour scheme instead of stark black and white.
You could paint shapes or patterns all over the floor, in shades to match your soft furnishings, complement the colours of your walls or the wallpaper on your feature wall. Your pattern can be regular or random, abstract or figurative. If you want regularity and accuracy you can make a cut-out template or, for geometric designs, mask the areas you want to paint or stain with masking tape.
5) Beautiful borders for wood floors – Classic and grand
Painted wooden floors are nothing new. Over the centuries people have decorated their floors in all sorts of exciting ways. Take the border. You can leave most of your wood floor natural, simply finishing it with a suitable product designed to protect and enhance its beauty. But the border of the room is your creative space.
You might paint a foot-wide white, cream or black stripe around the edge to make the ceiling appear higher and brighten the space. Or choose a Japanese-style border for a simple yet extremely stylish decorative look. You can even get someone artistic to create a border of flowers, hearts, checks, butterflies, abstract shapes or any other pattern that resonates with you. Just make sure you apply the right wood finish to protect your masterpiece properly.
6) Reclaimed wood floors – Eco-responsible and naturally beautiful
There’s no need to buy new. If you’re replacing your wood floor why not track down some old floorboards and recycle them? It’ll almost always be cheaper than buying new wood and you’d probably have to pay a small fortune to get the same quality of wood brand new.
If you can pick up a batch of old parquet tiles you’re in clover, able to recreate a fabulous old floor in all its glory, a traditional style that’s very expensive to create from new as well as hugely popular right now.
7) No finish at all – Going naked!
Wood is beautiful, and the ‘used’ look is tremendously popular right now: just wood, on its own, with nothing added or taken away.
There’s no real reason why you can’t simply uncover your old floorboards, give them a good clean to get rid of dust and dirt then enjoy them exactly as they are. Over time you and your family will scuff the surface, drop things on it, spill stuff, dink it… and every time it suffers a bit of wear and tear the patina improves, directly reflecting the happy, busy lives being lived in your home.
8) Plain wood floors – But perfectly finished
Of course you don’t have to push the colour boat out or embellish your wood floor in any way at all. If it’s beautiful wood, you can bring out the very best in it by finishing it to perfection. It might mean boosting the original colour with a stain then waxing it to a high sheen. Or taking it back down to the bare wood and varnishing it so it absolutely gleams. We sell a vast range of stains, waxes, oil and varnishes… all you need to do is carry out the right amount of preparation, in the right way, and follow the instructions.
Can I paint wood laminate flooring?
It’s usually impossible to re-finish old, tired, damaged wood laminate flooring. But can you paint it? Yes, you can! You can achieve many of the paint effects and decorative ideas we’ve talked about on wood laminate floors, and it’s a great way to re-purpose a surface that has plenty of life left in it, even though it’s tatty.
Here’s a really good blog post from someone who has done exactly that: How to paint a wood laminate floor.
What’s hot for the future?
The shabby chic décor trend shows no signs of slowing, so anything along those lines should stand the test of time. The eclectic look is also a fast-growing trend, bringing unique and unusual objects, fabrics, colour schemes and decorative ideas into play to create a look that’s all your own, not to be found anywhere else.
Vintage and retro styling is huge and looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Upcycling is the new rock ‘n’ roll. And colour is back with a vengeance, whether it’s painted floors or feature walls, dramatic fabrics or vivid patterned curtains.
Last but far from least, minimalism and hotel-style décor seem to be as dead as a dodo, great news for interior décor creativity across the board. Go play!
Which floor finishing products do I need?
We sell a whole load of wood flooring finishes, from high-performing wood waxes and oils to a variety of excellent wooden floor varnish and wooden floor stain products. Suitable for most types of softwood, hardwood, solid and engineered wooden floors, these products will transform tired looking floors into something fresh and attention grabbing.
If you’d like to know which products we recommend for the projects above, give us a call and talk to one of our friendly experts to discuss which floor finish is right for you.