How Can I Accent My Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood flooring makes a beautiful addition to any home. For rooms that need a little more style than even the most exotic hardwood can bring, though, there are several ways that you can accent the floor to highlight the space.

Contrasting Wood Tones

One way you can boost the appeal of your flooring and highlight the shape of your room at the same time is to outline your space with a single line of contrasting wood running through the home. Pick a dark-colored or stained hardwood that will stand out against the rest of the wood and install it a few rows in from the edges of the walls, outlining the room or rooms of your home. This subtle accent highlights the shape of the rooms without adding any extra pattern or design.

Use a Hardwood Floor Accent

Did you know that there are accents out there made just for hardwood floors? These decorative border pieces are the same thickness and width as your floor boards and are designed to be installed with a field of plain hardwood for a more prominent accent. They often come in repeating patterns and may be made out of water-jet cut wood or stone that has been pieced together in a unique way.

Change Your Pattern

If you want to emphasize a certain area of a room, such as the space where your dining room table goes, consider just changing the pattern your hardwood is laid in. For example, you can lay the wood straight until it reaches the designated area, then lay a single row as a border and fill in the interior with a herringbone pattern to offset it from the rest of the room.

Install a Medallion

If you really want to make a statement in a room such as a foyer or entryway, consider installing a medallion in your hardwood floor. Floor medallions are large murals made of stone or wood that has been pieced together into patterns. With new water-jet technologies, medallions can now be produced in nearly any pattern or design from a coat-of-arms to silhouettes.

Update Your Floor

With just a little imagination, you can update and transform your hardwood flooring into something amazing. All you may need is a little accent.

International Flair

This room takes advantage of a number of international elements while still providing a comfortable contemporary space. If you’re fortunate enough to have travelled and collected art and other items from a number of countries, take the opportunity to use them to add personality and your own touch to your home.

The wood floor and cream walls provide a good base for the variety of colors and textures featured in this room. Simple architectural elements such as the black molding and the wood surround on the door provide additional charm without distracting from the rich selection of international elements. The straightforward sofa, coffee table and ottoman also work well as a backdrop to the more design-rich pieces.

Let’s start with the light fixture. Most people wouldn’t think of buying a light as a souvenir from another country, but this unique look helps to set the stage for the room’s design.

Give up the idea of having elements match each other. When you purchase international goods, everything will be different, so celebrate that. Take a look at the two candlesticks on the coffee table. On the left an old carved wood carries a red taper that sets off the rich patina of weathered wood. On the right an intricate brass candlestick carries a warm cream candle. Similarities come from the rounded shapes and heights, but the differences work.

The throw pillows are in basic domestic fabrics, but they provide an opportunity to bring in textiles from other countries in the future. A rich area rug could be purchased here in the U.S. or possibly selected from a Turkish bazaar. When you begin with a good basic look of wood floor and earth-tone furniture, you can add those exciting international elements and make your home intriguingly yours.

Dress Up a Neutral Room with Pattern

Neutral rooms are popular for many reasons. For renters, neutral walls and floors are a fact of life. For home owners trying to sell their homes, neutral rooms can help buyers imagine themselves in the room. For people who love greys and tans or are afraid of color, neutral rooms are comfortable. There are so many reasons why we are continually drawn to neutral colors for our floors, walls and furniture.

In a neutral room like this living room, pattern and texture are so important to add interest. Because of the lack of bright colors, accents should bring texture and pattern to liven up the space. The area rug in this beautiful grey living room does both of those things. It adds texture by being woven; it adds pattern with the stripes.  Neither the texture nor the pattern is too strong for the room.  The rug’s pattern catches the eye, but isn’t shocking or overwhelming.

The stripes on the floor pick up the texture of the upholstery on the sofa, tying these two design elements together.  The subtle burgundy of the rug ties in with the arm chair by the window. The burgundy color is close in tone to the grey of the walls and sofa so that the color blends more than it pops in the space.  Keeping the color palette to two colors keeps the room feeling neutral. The chair or the rug, or both, could be switched out to introduce another color or shade of grey.  It is easy to make these changes in a neutral space.