Month: March 2021

Will Hardwood Floors Darken Over Time?

The short answer is yes, your hardwood floors will darken over time. This is inevitable, although there are steps you can take to slow down this process. Have you ever moved a rug after a few months and noticed the flooring underneath the rug is lighter than the exposed part of the hardwood? You might think this is counterintuitive, as something exposed to direct sunlight usually lightens. Not the case with hardwood floors. 

Hardwood Floors Darken With Time

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Why Does Hardwood Darken?

Both direct and indirect sunlight will darken hardwood flooring over time. This is because of three factors: ultraviolet light (UV), visible light and infrared light (IR). Wood is inherently very photosensitive. The combination of these three types of light, when it reacts with hardwood finish, will slowly cause floors to change color. 

Of course, the degrees to which hardwood flooring will darken depends on the type of hardwood species. Some species, such as Tigerwood flooring, react quickly to UV rays and will turn much darker, much more quickly. Other hardwoods like Hickory and Red Oak will actually become lighter and bleach, but at a slower rate than Tigerwood. This is important to take note of when you’re in the consideration process of selecting a hardwood floor for your home. In general, however, most floors will start to change color as early as three weeks after installation.


While sunlight damage to hardwood floors is largely unavoidable, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate how much the color of your floors will change. 

1. The areas of your floor covered by furniture or rugs will darken less quickly than those areas exposed to direct sunlight. If your space allows, try switching up the positioning of rugs and furniture. This will help even out the floor coloring, creating a less spotty floor overall. 

2. Talk to your flooring manufacturer to see if a finish with UV inhibitors might work for your flooring type. While there is no finish that can stop the darkening process altogether, there are some finishes that will help slow the process down.

3. Try window treatments. This can be done either with window films or curtains and blinds. Again, while this won’t completely solve the problem, it can help mitigate some of the damage. 

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Final Thoughts 

You’re right to think about hardwood flooring changing over time. But instead of letting this cause you stress, try to embrace it – this is part of the beauty of having hardwood floors in the first place. While there are some preventative measures you can take, try to embrace the change. Also, talk with your flooring manufacturer beforehand to make sure you select the wood that’s right for your home – you want to know what you’re getting into before you install.

How To Spring Clean your Hardwood Floors

While it may be hard to think about spring with many parts of the country blanketed by snow at the moment, our clocks have officially been set ahead and spring is on the horizon. Like many people, you may be taking a look at your house and realizing that winter months haven’t been too kind to it. Maybe you’re spring cleaning your closet or maybe you realize your hardwood floors are in for a deep clean. In this article, we talk about all the ways you can safely treat and clean the hardwood floors in your home. 

First, it’s important to remember that every species of hardwood floors are different. Be sure to check with your manufacturer beforehand to ensure you’re cleaning your specific type of hardwood correctly. But for the most part, these tips are universal when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Before cleaning, dust or vacuum your hardwoods to pick up any stray dirt. If vacuuming, be sure you’re using the correct attachment so you don’t damage the floor, like the floor-brush attachment. While dusting or vacuuming can pick up stray pet hair, dust and more, it won’t deep clean months of buildup. 

For periodical (or a deep spring clean), you’ll want to use a commercial wood-cleaning liquid. There are a variety of liquid wood cleaners online, just make sure you read the instructions before treating your floor for the first time. Our highly-recommended hardwood floor cleaning products like the Easy Hardwood Floor Cleaner™ and the MacMop™ are specially formulated to safely and easily clean your floors without risk of damage to your polyurethane finished wood floor.

Whichever cleaner you choose, you’ll then want to wet and wring out a clean mop or rag and scrub your floors. Try not to saturate the floors with too much cleaner. Unlike tile, hardwood floors are porous and absorb and hold moisture easily. The greatest risk you run into here is water seeping down into the floors and causing warping, movement, or swelling. After the cleaning product is applied, you can rinse your mop with clean water and then lightly wash the cleaner off your floors. Make sure you dry any wet spots.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Removing Stains

If your spring cleaning includes removing persistent stains from your hardwoods in addition to a deep clean, you’re not alone. When water gets through the finish of the hardwood floors, it will then darken the actual wood. This means you’ll need to get through the finish layer. You can do this with a variety of tools such as steel wood, sandpaper, vinegar and even pastes. 

For more instructions, you can check out our other blog post which details how to remove every type of stain with ease. If you want to read about some of the common mistakes that happen when cleaning (and how to avoid them) check out this blog post

5 Interior and Flooring Trends for 2021 

thenIt’s 2021! Forget new year, new me. What about new year, new home? If you need some interior and flooring inspiration, or just want to try out a new trend, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be looking at some of this year’s interior and flooring trends to give you some inspiration when it comes to a renovation. 

  1. The Neutral minimalist – This look incorporates natural earthy tones, and thrives off natural light. Minimal furnishing and accessories coupled with a light coloured wood flooring finish off this look.
  2. Herringbone flooring – This style of flooring is available in a range of different types of wood to suit different budgets. It sees the planks positioned in a zig-zag pattern, in a timeless design. 
  3. Eco Chic – Using recycled materials to furnish your rooms can add more meaning to your home, providing you with not only an on trend style but a connection to sustainability 
  4. Cottage Core – Romanticizing the idea of a self-sufficient life. It sees the combination of agriculture, and traditional ways of living such as baking, pottery and crafts incorporated as a design feature. 
  5. Navy Colour – The result of a combination of deep blue and navy, this naval colour trend has seen a rise in kitchens in particular. 


1. The Neutral Minimalist – Interior Trend


You must have seen an abundance of beautifully styled rooms featuring pampas grass filling your Instagram and Pinterest feeds already this year, and we know you’re not mad about it. 


This 2021 interior trend strips back to minimal furniture, accessories and colours, to create a comfortable light and airy space in your home


Natural Minimalist
(Image Credit: Archziner)


To achieve this look, opt for warm earthy tones when considering paints. Light shades of browns, beiges and white are all great choices when it comes to brightening up your space. 

Natural Minimalist decor

These shades of colour on the wall will also compliment any light wood accessories and natural elements such as pampas grass that you wish to incorporate into your design. 


Rattan furniture is a popular style when aiming for the neutral minimalist interior trend. Rattan furniture is usually made from harvested palms. Because of this, the natural colours, tones and textures this provides when a piece of furniture is created, it makes the perfect addition to a neutral decor. 


Chairs, sideboards, coffee tables and dining tables are all common pieces found within this aesthetic. 


Flooring to Complement this Trend


When it comes to choosing the perfect flooring to fit your design, continuing with the lighter wooden tones is our suggestion. Of course opting for a colour still gives you free reign of a flooring type: Laminate, EvoCore, Engineered Wood, LVT and Solid Wood all offer a selection of lighter coloured flooring. 


Flooring trends Flooring Trends 2021 Engineered Wood Herringbone LVT flooring and interior trends

Loft Light Sand Oak Laminate

EvoCore Essentials Natural Almond Oak Trade Select 12mm x 127mm Gelato Oak Classic Herringbone Natural Oak LVT Park Avenue Herringbone Frosted Oak Solid Wood

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Herringbone Elegant Oak Laminate

Make sure that when choosing the perfect flooring, that you consider both your budget and room suitability. This will help you narrow down your choices, for you to then focus on which lighter toned flooring you prefer.


Top Tip: For more visually appealing results, a real wood flooring offering natural grains and knots throughout its design can help tie together the aesthetic as a whole, adding to the other natural textures within the room.


And there you have the neutral minimalist interior trend and how to achieve it. Love this look as much as we do? We thought you might! Our next trend is a 2021 flooring trend you will not want to miss!


2. Herringbone – Interior and Flooring Trend


We know you’re probably thinking you’ve seen quite a lot of this trend already. And you’re right. The herringbone interior and flooring trend began to soar into 2020 and is continuing to do so in 2021!


This parquet design sees a traditional styling of the flooring planks being positioned in a zig-zag pattern that is repeated, filling your room. 


Herringbone Palazzo Oak - flooring and interior trends
Herringbone Palazzo Oak Laminate

This timeless design is available in a range of colours to suit your aesthetic, and flooring types to suit your needs and budget. Let’s take a look at some of these:


Herringbone Laminate


First let’s take a look at the Laminate option. Herringbone Laminate is a popular choice at the minute, offering that affluent parquet design at an affordable price. 


Not only that, as Laminate designs are printed within one of its four layers of its composition, there are a multitude of stunning colour and style options available to suit your taste.


This flooring option has a range of other practical benefits too. Laminate flooring is renowned for its practicality within the home.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Highly scratch-resistance 
  • Durable and hard wearing
  • Easy to install
  • High impact resistance 
  • Pet friendly
  • Child friendly
  • Long lasting


Laminate makes for a great option whether you’re looking for a flooring to meet the demands of a busy family home, or you’re just wanting a beautiful design for a fraction of the cost of Solid or Engineered Wood. There is something for you.


Herringbone Laminate Best Sellers


Herringbone Pearl Oak Laminate Flooring

Herringbone – Pearl Oak Laminate

Vintage Chateau Herringbone – Antique Brown Laminate Herringbone – Bayside Oak Laminate
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You can see why this flooring trend has really taken off!


Herringbone LVT


Another great option when it comes to choosing the type of flooring you’re wanting your herringbone design to reside in, is LVT. 


LVT is another amazing choice when it comes to flooring types. It is one of the most durable flooring materials out there whilst allowing you to achieve your interior dream with its stunning range of designs.


Herringbone Light Grey Oak LVT


LVT is a robust alternative to Solid or Engineered wood, still providing the luxurious wood effect that many desire, at a more budget friendly price. 


This flooring is extremely versatile and has made itself a stand-out performer in the flooring market. Which is why there is no surprise it is now available in the style of one of the latest flooring trends: Herringbone.


Let’s take a look at what makes this flooring so popular and versatile:


  • Durable and hard wearing
  • Affordable price
  • Waterproof
  • Slip resistant
  • Adds warmth underfoot
  • Insulates sound
  • Easy to maintain
  • Beautifully replicates real wood 
  • Easy to install
  • Long lifespan


As you can see, from its host of benefits, it is clear why this option is a great contender when it comes to flooring types. These practical benefits combined with the stunning Herringbone design options, is what makes this flooring a great choice in line with 2021 interior and flooring trends.


Herringbone LVT Best Sellers


Classic Herringbone – Washed Grey Oak LVT

Classic Herringbone – Country Oak LVT

Classic Herringbone – Ebony LVT

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Another fantastic choice when it comes to choosing the perfect flooring type for your herringbone design, right?


Herringbone Solid Wood


Solid Wood is also an option you have when it comes to choosing the flooring type you are wanting your Herringbone design in. 


Solid wood gives that added touch of elegance, exposing stunning natural grains and knots throughout the planks. 


Interior and flooring trends - solid wood
Unfinished Parquet Solid Wood Flooring

Solid Wood flooring is undoubtedly a beautiful choice, and an enhanced option for this 2021 flooring trend. Along with this, it offers a whole host of other benefits too:


  • Adds value to your home
  • Highly durable
  • Can be sanded down and refinished
  • Long lifespan
  • Adds warmth
  • Easy to maintain


Whilst this flooring trend may be a bit more pricey, it is the practical option when it comes to a flooring that will stand the test of time whilst looking amazing.


Herringbone Solid Wood Best Sellers


flooring trends - herringbone flooring trends - herringbone flooring trends - herringbone

Unfinished Parquet Solid Wood

Unfinished Luxury Parquet Oak Solid Wood

Luxury Parquet Brown Oiled Solid Wood

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Herringbone Engineered Wood


The last flooring type we’ll look at for this impeccable parquet design is Engineered Wood. Similar to Solid Wood, Engineered Wood is slightly higher up the scale where budget is concerned. 


However, this is with good reason. A beautiful addition to any home replicating solid wood designs. It has a real wood top layer so you’re getting all the natural elements that gives wood flooring it’s reputable charm. 


Branscombe Natural Coastal Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood flooring is not only aesthetically pleasing, owning its natural appearance, fitting with a multitude of aesthetics, it proudly offers a wide range of benefits. 


  • Has a real layer of wood
  • Difficult to tell apart from solid wood
  • More resistant to temperature fluctuations
  • Compatible with underfloor heating
  • Highly durable and hardwearing
  • Easy to maintain
  • Available in stunning designs


Herringbone Engineered Wood Best Sellers


flooring trends - herringbone flooring trends - herringbone flooring trends - herringbone

Oxford Herringbone Golden Smoked Oak Engineered Wood

Oxford Herringbone Vintage Oak Engineered Wood Branscombe Whitewashed Coastal Herringbone Engineered Wood

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So there we have another 2021 flooring trend that is undeniably stunning and one to look out for! We don’t think this one will be going anywhere any time soon. 


3. Eco Chic – Interior Trend


Next up on the list is a sustainable trend that has taken 2021 by storm! Introducing: Eco Chic!


Eco Chic refers to using recycled materials to furnish your rooms and can add more meaning to your home, providing you with not only an on trend style but a connection to sustainability. 


This interior trend has seen a peak due to a global recognition and acceptance of environmental issues that need to be rectified. In light of this, this trend has been widely adopted with many upcycling furniture, and purchasing products that are made from recyclable materials or can be fully recycled once they’re finished with the product. 


This not only applies to your furniture items but your flooring too! The EvoCore range is 100% recyclable, with the 360 range being made from 80% recycled materials, and the Nature range having an in-built cork backing – adding that extra element of sustainability. 


EvoCore 360 – Best Sellers


Interior Trends - EvoCore Interior Trends EvoCore Interior trend EvoCore

EvoCore 360 Harvest Mouse Oak 

EvoCore 360 Tudor Oak

EvoCore 360 Tiles Light Cloud

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EvoCore Nature – Best Sellers


Interior Trends EvoCore Interior Trends EvoCore Interior Trends EvoCore

EvoCore Nature Antique Oak

EvoCore Nature Glacier Oak EvoCore Nature Golden Oak 
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And there we have the Eco Chic interior trend. This is perfect for the eco-conscious who want to create their dream aesthetic whilst having a positive effect on the environment. Amazing right?


4. Cottage Core – Interior Trend


Cottage Core is the next interior design we’ll look at. This trend incorporates the idea of a self-sufficient life. It sees the combination of agriculture, and traditional ways of living such as baking, pottery and crafts incorporated as a design feature.


This interior trend encourages a retrospective way of living, throwing back to a simpler time.


Rustic interiors, upcycled furniture, plant life, the use of open fires in your design, and incorporating natural materials is a great way of achieving this look. 


125mm Solid Wood Chocolate Oak


Flooring to Match This Trend


Given the organic nature of this interior trend, adding an element of wood is a great way to commit to the full aesthetic. You can introduce this via your flooring. 


A rustic appearance that comes with using wood flooring would make a great addition to the Cottage Core trend. Natural grains and knots that give wood flooring the charm it possesses, can elevate the essence of Cottage Core, adding more depth to the embracing of nature. 


flooring trends - solid wood flooring trends - solid wood Flooring trends solid wood

Deluxe Georgian Oak Solid Wood

Classic Espresso Oak Solid Wood

Deluxe Cinnamon Oak Solid Wood 

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Loving this 2021 interior trend? We’re not surprised! Start your 2021 transformation today with Cottage Core.


5. Navy Blue – Interior Trend


Last but certainly not least of designs among our interior and flooring trends for 2021 is the navy blue trend. The navy trend is the result of a combination of deep blue and navy shade incorporated into your home. This year, the naval colour trend has seen a rise in kitchens in particular. 

EvoCore Premium Herringbone Crafted Georgian Oak


This use of navy blue in this interior trend provides a calming vibe, also adding warmth and depth, working as an alternative to darker colours such as grey or black. 


The placement of the colour can be fluid, with the ability to use this navy tone on walls, accessories and furnishings. 


There are multiple contrasting colours that fit with this design, white being one of them. However, for those who want to live their life in colour. Adding a mustard shade in soft furnishings and accessories is  a great way of adding a burst of colour and personality.


Flooring to Match This Trend


Where flooring is concerned, your options are unlimited as you are working with a fairly forgiving shade when it comes to matching it with your floor.


Lighter Flooring Options to Match This Trend


Flooring and interior trends

Loft Sand Light Oak Laminate

EvoCore Premium Arctic Oak

Studio Vanilla Brushed Oak Engineered Wood

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Darker Flooring Options to Match This Trend


interior and flooring trends - laminate interior and flooring trends - evocore interior and flooring trends - engineered wood
Villa Harbour Oak Laminate

EvoCore Origins Bear

Loft Vintage Oak Engineered Wood

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Depending on whether you’re looking to contrast the darker tones within the navy and brighten up your space with a lighter flooring, or embrace the darker calming essence this interior trend provides. Your flooring options aren’t limited. 



All that’s left for you to do is decide your budget and vibe and narrow down your options. 


And there we have it! Some of our favourite interior and flooring trends for 2021. So if you’re planning on updating your home, then hopefully some of these trends have offered you a touch of inspiration when it comes to deciding on your interior and flooring trends. 


If you have any questions regarding flooring, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our flooring experts who will be more than happy to assist you. 

The post 5 Interior and Flooring Trends for 2021  appeared first on Direct Wood Flooring Blog.

White oak

White oaks (Quercus genus) are a plentiful hardwood in our Eastern and Southern forests. There are eight major species of oak trees that produce the lumber we call white oak, plus another 12 minor species. White oak trees have round ends on the leaves and sweet acorns that make excellent flour when dried.
White oak group
Bur oak Quercus macrocarpa
Chestnut oak Q. primus
Chinkapin oak Q. muehlenbergii
Overcup oak Q. lyrata
Post oak Q. stellata
Swamp chestnut oak Q. michanxii
Swamp white oak Q. bicolor
White oak Q. alba
Overcup and swamp chestnut oaks are typically lowland oaks, growing in wet warm sites. Annual rings are at least 1/4-inch wide. These lowland species dry and machine with greater difficulty than the other species. They often are bacterially infected.
White oak wood has many desirable properties, including natural decay resistance, very high strength, and is impervious to liquids (except for chestnut oak). As a result, white oak has been used for railroad ties, ship building (especially the keel and ribs), bridges, fences, barrels for liquids (wine and whiskey), and mine timbers.
Compared to red oak, on the average, white oak is heavier, stronger, and frequently darker in color. White oak has much larger (longer and wider) ray cells (½ inch long in red and 1-1/2 inches or longer in white), giving white oak a very strong ray fleck pattern on the quartersawn surfaces. Today, the heavy grain, high figure, and dramatic ray fleck patterns of white oak make it highly desirable for Mission-style furniture and cabinets. Much of the native white oak lumber is exported to Japan and Europe. When properly aged, white oak makes excellent barrels for wine–probably the best oak wine barrels in the world. Whiskey barrels are another excellent use for oak.
Processing suggestions and characteristics
Density. The density of white oak averages about 46 pounds per cubic foot at 8 peercent MC. A piece of white oak lumber, 15/16” x 6” x 12’ weighs about 22 pounds.
Drying. White oak is very difficult to dry–harder than red oak in many cases. Surface checking, end checking, and honeycomb are the most common drying defects. As these defects develop very early in drying, close control of initial drying environments is required. End coating of all thicknesses is prudent. Warehouse predryers are probably the best option for 4/4 and 5/4; second best would be open sheds. Shrinkage in drying is around 8 to 10 percent.
Final moisture contents for white oak should be between 6.5 and 7.0 percent MC. Higher MCs cannot be accepted due to white oak’s high shrinkage; lower MCs result in excessive chipped grain.
Gluing and Machining. White oak is very unforgiving when gluing due to its high density. Surfaces must be flat, smooth, and freshly prepared. Clamp carriers are probably best for this wood. Any good woodworking adhesive can be used with excellent results.
Machining of oak is difficult due to its density unless machines and knives are precisely set. Chipped grain is common if knives are not sharp. Dull knives also result in a rough flatsawn surface where the large vessel cells are located. Correct MC is critical. With proper knives and machines, the surface is excellent in quality, however. Usually, machine tools need to have a larger tool (or sharpness) angle, thereby increasing the amount of metal in the tool. Sharpening may have to be more frequent. Slow feed rates or small depth of cuts will result in rapid dulling.
Stability. White oak moves quite a bit when the MC changes. Although it varies depending on species, the change is about 1 percent in size for each 3 percent MC change running across the grain parallel to the rings (tangentially), and about 1 percent size change for each 6 percent MC change across the rings (radially). The high tangential to radial difference means that lumber from near the center of the tree (usually the lower grade material) is prone to cupping.
Strength. The white oaks are one of the strongest native hardwoods. Bending strength (MOR) averages 13,000 psi. Hardness averages 1360 pounds. Stiffness (MOE) averages 1.6 million psi.
Color and Grain. White oak is typically a dingy white to light tan to dark brown, depending on the species. The annual ring patterns gives white oak a heavy grain appearance. The heavy ray fleck adds character to the wood. The large pores in oak will present some of the same finishing problems that red oak, hickory, hackberry, and ash do.

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Choosing the right flooring for the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house and is where many of us spend the majority of our time. It sees more stains, spills, and wear and tear than any other room, which is why it needs a high-quality, reliable floor. Here are our recommendations for finding the perfect fit for your kitchen.

(Painswick Swift Oak)

Engineered Wood Flooring

Many homeowners love the feel of a real wood floor. Natural materials like wood regulate the air climate and promote a healthy and fresh living space. Wood is also extremely versatile and will suit any interior or furnishing style.

Unlike solid wood, engineered wood is composed of various layers of timber which lend it great strength and stability. This makes it highly resistant to heavy loads and foot traffic, which is beneficial if you live in a particularly busy household. Underfloor heating is also very popular in the kitchen, and thanks to its multi-layer construction, engineered wood flooring can be installed over it without a problem.

So, if you’re looking for a floor that boasts both stunning aesthetics and practical benefits, then engineered wood is the one for you. Still unsure? Take a look at our range of engineered wood flooring and order a free sample before you buy!

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another great choice for the kitchen. Not only are our laminate floors long-lasting and robust, but they are also extremely low maintenance and easy to clean. We’d definitely recommend laminate for busier households with children or pets, where accidents are more likely to happen. Any spillages can be easily wiped away with a damp mop or cloth. It’s as easy as that!

Are you in love with the unique look of herringbone, but want to keep things a bit more affordable? Our laminate products are available in a wide range of designs, including the much-loved herringbone, which has made its comeback in recent years. Have a browse through our laminate products here.

(Nest Rigid Core Greige Herringbone)

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Our Luxury Vinyl Tiles have a much higher resistance to moisture and spillages than engineered wood and laminate floors, making them one of the most popular choices for the kitchen. What’s more, you can purchase our vinyl floors in a range of realistic designs, from stone tiles to authentic wood planks. There’s something for everyone.

Vinyl flooring is family and pet-friendly. Its smooth surface makes it very easy to sweep, mop and vacuum so that your kitchen always remains in tip-top condition. Vinyl is also waterproof and stain-resistant, meaning that any accidents can be wiped away without worry. Many of our vinyl floors are also fitted with a handy click system and can be installed without a fitter. What’s not to love?

Read more about LVT here.

Have your Say

What would be your flooring of choice for the kitchen? Let us know in the comments.

Remember to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for the latest news and discussions. We’re always finding new ways to improve our stock, so keep up to date!

The post Choosing the right flooring for the kitchen appeared first on Blog & Advice Centre – Luxury Flooring & Furnishings.

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6 Living Room Decor Tips to Inspire You

Looking for some living room decor tips to inspire you? Good news – you don’t have to duplicate a magazine or online image to create a living room befitting of a magazine spread. Throw caution and “can’t” to the wind, and create a living room that is meaningful and personal to your family. Carefully consider the following questions, and you will be ready to decorate your living room:

1) Examine the room, does it have any outstanding characteristics

2) How will your family be using the living room?

3) Is there a natural focal point in the room?

4) What is your decor style?

5) How are you going to frame the room with the walls and the flooring?

6) How can you make use of the natural light in the room?

7) What prints and patterns will you be using?

8) How can you mix color?

9) How should you place furniture to facilitate the traffic flow?

10) How can you do all of this within your budget?

As you answer these questions using the following expanded suggestions, visualize a living room worthy of a magazine spread, but one that is uniquely yours. Then use these living room decor tips to make your vision a reality.

Does the Living Room Have Any Characteristics That Need to be Deemphasized?

Are you lucky enough to have a perfectly sized and proportioned living room, or does it have features that you need to accommodate? Some common issues are small, large, and long and narrow rooms.

You can create the illusion of a larger room by using carefully placed mirrors, lighter colors, furniture that is less massive, lighter-toned wood, and drawing the eye up with items such as floor-to-ceiling drapes. Painting the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls also adds height. Do not crowd too much furniture, accessories, or visual highlights into a small room.

Larger living rooms can be made to feel less massive by creating multiple furniture groupings and using area rugs. Make sure only one area is dominant while the other areas serve to draw your eye around the room without being stopped by a heavily competing area. High ceilings can seem lower if you paint the lower part of the walls a darker color and the upper part a lighter color. Larger, heavier furniture in darker woods also fills space.

For a long narrow room, start by creating a path, preferably a straight path, to one side of the room, allowing furniture to be arranged on the other side into two groups occupying two-thirds and one-third of the room. Arrange the main conversation setting around a round coffee table or hassock. Create a table and chair area, reading area, or a desk area in the other third of the room. Just as you do for small rooms, draw the eye up with items such as floor-to-ceiling drapes, and use light colors and lightweight furniture. Don’t clutter the room with too many items or accessories.

What Is the Intended Use for Your Living Room?

Will your living room be a place where your family will gather, or will it just be used for entertaining while your family favors another room? If the family is going to use it as a gathering and activity center, then you need to make a list of the items that need to be included in the room, such as a television and a games area, and find room for them. If it is just going to be used for guests, then you can concentrate on aesthetics and not on the utilitarian aspects.

What will the Focal Point be in Your Living Room?

Some rooms have natural focal points. Do you want to emphasize any natural focal points or create your own? If you want to emphasize a natural focal point, carefully build items around it that support it without overpowering it. For a window, create a window treatment that helps draw your eye there.

Fireplaces require adding items on the mantel and on both sides of it that support but don’t overpower it. Built-in bookcases – add displays to the bookcase that create interest without being cluttered. Place furniture so that it faces your focal point or set a larger piece of furniture, such as a sofa, in front of the focal point to help draw your eye to it.

To deemphasize a focal point, use neutral colors and create a monotone area, such as deemphasizing a window using drapes that are the same color as the wall. Monotone doesn’t mean boring. It means that the area blends in and complements the room without drawing attention.

To create your own focal point, use an item such as wall art or a piece of furniture that is special to your family as your center of interest. Support the attention that you are trying to draw to it by doing things such as creating an accent wall behind it, arranging the furniture to face it, or sitting furniture in front of it. This will make your room magazine-layout-ready and yet personalize it.

What is Your Style?

Do you favor traditional, modern, minimalist, or rustic decor? Defining your style helps you set boundaries that create a unified look. However, you can blend in items that are outside the style you are featuring to create interest and personalize your living room, such as a few steampunk items in a traditional room.

Living Room Decor Tip #1: Use Your Walls and Flooring to Frame Your Room

If you think of your room as a piece of artwork, then your walls and flooring are the frames. Frames aren’t always plain. They can have accents without competing with the artwork that they are framing. You can do the same with your walls and flooring.

As already mentioned, you can paint three of your walls one color and use the fourth wall to create a different color accent wall. You can also wallpaper one wall, paint it with a design using multiple colors, or give it any other treatment to make it the focal point of your room.

The same idea can be applied to your flooring. Many flooring companies have designs that range from parquet to medallions and other true focal point designs. If you want the room to look bigger, maybe you want to extend your flooring between rooms to create a more cohesive look. So browse and see what is available and consider these options.

Living Room Decor Tip #2: Make Use of Natural Lighting

Light colors make a room brighter and shades of white help reflect the natural light while giving a warm feel. Use satin paints instead of matte paints to also reflect natural light. Mirrors, glass, metals, and the shiny wood surfaces from furniture and wood floors also help reflect the natural light.

Try to arrange the furniture in the room so that the natural light is located in the areas that need it the most, such as reading areas. In addition, custom window treatments can help you enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your room while leveraging natural sunlight to brighten your room.

Living Room Decor Tip #3: Mix Wood Tones

Don’t be afraid to use and mix. These days, it’s not uncommon to mix various shades of wood in one room. This more modern approach allows you to blend rustic style wood with various stains and grains, creating a look that is diverse. 

You can achieve this by purchasing wood flooring that compliments your flooring without being exactly the same. One way to still make the look cohesive sit to keep similar undertones of the wood similar.

Living Room Decor Tip #4: Balance Color and Texture 

Gone are the days where you need to match everything to your hardwood floors. Now, it’s easier to see hardwood flooring as a base or neutral, allowing you to build the room from there. Don’t feel like you need to pick wall colors or art that perfectly match your floors. Bring in bright colors and allow yourself to get creative. 

Also consider adding texture in your accent pieces to balance out the hardwood floors. This can be done with plush rugs, airy window treatments and even softer sofas. 

Living Room Decor Tip #5: Place Your Furniture to Create a Smooth Traffic Flow

Now you are ready to decide where to place your furniture. As we have already discussed, furniture placement is affected by the size and shape of the room, your focal point, and the natural lighting. You should also consider the traffic pattern. Consider how people will move between doorways in the room, and don’t block that flow. Then, try to create 3-foot, easy-to-maneuver paths between the furniture. Finally, consider the overall look of the room and make adjustments.

Living Room Decor Tip #6: Learn to Decorate on a Budget

Decorating or redecorating a room can be expensive, but there are ways to cut the cost. First, do a little at a time. Of course, you want to have the new look immediately, but sometimes it is necessary to do the project in small steps. Look for found items or items that you can repurpose and use them. If you see someone throwing out something that you can use, ask them for it. Look for items in other rooms or items that have been stored away in your home and use them.

Shop for items on Craigslist, at second-hand stores, and check out garage sales. Let your family and friends know what is on your wish list so that they might be able to get it for a gift-giving occasion. Finally, see how many of your friends might be interested in participating in a home decor exchange. All of you can bring items or pictures of items that you no longer want and select items that others have contributed that fit your new look.


It might help you to use a spiral notebook to record your ideas and organize your plan as you work through the various aspects of decorating your living room. As you read through your notes, you will probably find additional ideas and inspiration. This will also help you edit ideas and control your budget. In the end, you will have a room that will look as editorial as any living room seen in a magazine, but it will be your own unique and personalized living room.

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