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Looking at home decor magazines, you may have noticed that floors are going back to light colors: beachy whites and pale birch golds, even greys and beiges. The pale floors are here for a while, so if you’re looking to change the floors anywhere in your home, you might want to look at this possibility.

Why light floors?

It’s easy to see why light-colored flooring is attractive: it opens and lightens a space by reflecting more light. This trend takes advantage of natural wood shades like birch and light oak. It’s also a great way to use reclaimed wood (old wood planks, re-treated for use). Pale and neutral-colored tiles are also fashionable, especially for the bathroom.

Light-colored floor have one major advantage over dark shades: maintenance. Think of how the dust settles and shows a lot more on your dark furniture. It’s the same for floors. There’s also the issue of scratches: they are much more obvious on a dark floor. So unless you’re willing to broom and vacuum every second day and to obsessively look for scratches, light wood floors are the way to go.

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Hickory hardwood flooring; light-colored flooring that is also the hardest North American domestic species you can buy.

Look and feel

Light floors give a unique look and feel to a room. It goes from luxurious to casual, but always light-hearted and informal. Light and airy, rooms with light floors are instantly welcoming and promote comfort and connection. As a contrast, dark floors tend to be serious and formal.

Light floors give you the possibility to play with whites and neutrals, but also with light and dark. A splash of saturated color will pop much more in a room with light floors and walls than in a darker space, too.

Design ideas for light floors

Light floors open up many interesting design possibilities. Here are just a few ideas to get you started!

In the kitchen

If you want a country-home style kitchen, light floors are perfect. Try using reclaimed or artificially stressed wood for a well-worn, heirloom look. Pair with cupboards painted in a light color (pale blue or green will do perfectly) and use slightly darker moldings for accent.

kitchen dining room light wood flooring

If your style is more modern, pair your light floor with dark cabinets or cupboards. Keep your countertops in the same light hue as your floor, and you have a stunning modern effect that’s not too formal, but not too casual either.

In the hallway

If there is one perfect spot for light floors, it’s in the hallway. By nature, hallways tend to be dark because of the tight space, but a light floor paired with light walls can easily lighten it up. Add some interesting lighting, and here you go!

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In the living room

A living room with light floors is warm and inviting. It has a “beach house” effect that will make you think of summer all year long–even during the cold winter months.

living room light wood flooring

Narrow strip hardwood flooring.

Add some neutral-colored seating (wicker is a great choice), some house plants, white furniture and neutral accessories (light grey, beige, taupe work really well here) to get a light, casual yet luxurious effect. Bring visual interest through texture rather than color to preserve the airy feel of the room.

In the bathroom

Here, the use of neutral/pale tiles will give your room light and space.

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Marble tile flooring.

Many natural stone tiles come in a variety of suitable colors, so you can pick and choose your personal mix of shades here. Keep the cabinets light (the same color as one of the tiles works well) and your bathroom will instantly open up.

In the bedroom

In the bedroom, light flooring truly shines. If you like comfortable, airy and luxurious, then light flooring is a major step to building your perfect bedroom.

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High-quality laminate flooring

 

Like in the kitchen, you can have two styles: traditional and more modern.

For the traditional look, use lots of organic materials all in white or neutral: wood, wicker, cotton and wool. Keep the bed frame minimal and avoid dark metal; I’ve seen some great fabric- or wicker-covered headboards that would fit great here. Again, playing with textures balances the all-white look.

It’s still possible to have a modern bedroom in pale colors as well. Just focus on shape and shine by using metals and geometrical shapes. A dash of black or gunmetal as an accent color will bring out just the right amount of visual interest.

Have you thought about using light flooring in your home? Where would you install it? Share your thoughts and ideas for light flooring design with us!

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.