A well-designed room begins with the right flooring, and gray hardwood remains the perfect starting point for many home decors. We’ve received countless requests for this elegant option in recent years, and interest doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So, why are gray hardwood floors the foundation of choice for so many homeowners?
Gray: A Soothing Color Choice
For most, the home is a sanctuary. It’s where we go to relieve stress from the outside world and connect with the ones we love. Maybe that’s why so many of us crave the soothing look and feel of gray hardwood flooring. Its soft color works beautifully with mint green or sage, super-soft pink, pale yellow and other pastels for the ultimate in relaxing decor. Baseboards in cream create a natural, non-jarring transition from light-gray walls to slightly darker gray floors.
Lighten Up Your Home’s Interior
Gray wood flooring helps lighten any room. It can open up space visually, especially when paired with walls and furniture in shades of gray that are lighter than the flooring. The light color works wonders at creating an open feel in smaller living areas. And just as it makes a cramped room appear spacious and inviting, soft gray enhances the roomy feel of larger spaces.
The Influence of Scandinavian Design
Anyone who’s leafed through home decor magazines or browsed decorating websites has likely noticed a Scandinavian influence on interior design these days. Besides last year’s obsession with Hagge, a Danish concept roughly translated to coziness and an appreciation of life’s simple comforts, Scandinavian minimalism is still huge in American home design. The timeless appeal of Danish modern design helps explain why the streamlined, scaled-back look of mid-century interiors remains in-demand.
Gray Hardwood Flooring: a Versatile Choice
You don’t need a minimalist sensibility to fall in love with gray hardwood floors, though; their versatility is part of their charm. A gray hardwood floor looks just as much at home in a farmhouse-chic decor as it does in a contemporary or mid-century modern setting. Its color is reminiscent of metals, making it a good fit for industrial-style interiors. It also provides the perfect arena for playing with color in your accents and furniture. We’ve seen designs recently incorporating coral, orange, red and other bold color choices against a soft, airy backdrop of gray floors and walls.
The Natural Beauty of Gray Hardwood Flooring
Gray hardwood fits nicely into the architecture of older homes, but it also adds character to newer houses. Wide planks are a smart choice for this type of wood flooring. This style highlights the burls and other markings for a somewhat rustic appeal that brings warmth to any setting. These characteristics also make light scratches less noticeable — a boon to families with active households. Consider white oak in a gray-washed stain formulated for hardwoods, especially if your home has a vintage, rustic or shabby-chic aesthetic.
It’s easy to see why gray hardwood floors show no signs of waning in popularity. This type of flooring adapts to nearly any decorating style, from rustic and cozy to minimalist or industrial. It creates a sense of calm — something we seem to crave more than ever. As the new neutral of choice, it also gives you the freedom to express yourself through color and have fun with your decor. And its burls and markings bring the beauty of nature inside, adding character to cookie-cutter spaces or complementing a home’s existing charm. If you’re considering upgrading your home with this popular flooring choice, get expert guidance throughout the process from a company experienced in installing and maintaining these and other types of quality flooring.
Your home is so much more than where you drop your keys at the end of the day. It is a sanctuary of peace from outside-world distractions, it is the inspiration for family gatherings and when properly outfitted it reflects your own fashion-forward style. At Classic Home Design, we took a glimpse at what will be coming down the interior design catwalk in 2018 to offer you insight into the freshest home design trends for the soon-approaching new year. Here are our top six picks.
#1 Use of Natural Elements
If your home is like ours, its chock-full of the latest tech gadgets that promise to make our lives easier. While these tools allow us to speed up our days, natural home design features can help to bring us down to earth a bit. The incorporation of organic materials such as wood, stone, and linen into our homes can serve to soothe and relax us and our house guests. In 2018, these materials will show up in designer interiors as striking stone accent walls, sustainable seagrass rugs or simple yet attractive hewn wood pots and planters. It’s all about capturing the hues and textures of nature and bringing them indoors to complement your home’s unique vibe.
#2 Neutrals Paired With Intense Colors
We found that the upcoming year will bring greater dimension to neutrals. Go-to shades in beige, taupe and gray have traditionally served as backdrops for special architectural trim, pieces of art or other furnishings. In 2018, they are paired with intense colors that give interiors elements of surprise, contrast, and cheer. Top designers say that the saturated hues will show up on ceilings, furniture, and accessories. They recommend accents in vibrant jewel tones such as green, lapis blue and warm shades of red, gold and orange. The intense colors will primarily be found on accent pieces and ceilings that can be easily replaced or repainted if you ever grow weary of the color combinations.
#3 Modern Minimalism
We have a sneaking suspicion that the trend toward modern minimalism was inspired in part by the sluggish economy of the last decade. However, its popularity has even spilled over into luxury markets. Designers are challenged to optimize interior spaces at posh addresses with furnishings that are beautiful, functional and in some instances multi-purpose. Modern architectural design is known for its simple, elegant angles and curves, and top designers in 2018 will play up these features by giving the spaces that they create a pleasing sense of frugal sophistication. Incorporating storage space into decorative pillars and archways is just one example of how designers implement the concept of modern minimalism.
#4 Painting Interior Doors Dark
White walls and ceilings can give rooms a sense of purity, which is like a blank canvas that is ready for something inspiring. We believe that the inspiration can be found in something as simple as a painted interior door. An all-white space looks crisp, but sometimes the human eye needs to see boundaries in contrasting colors to show the space’s scale and depth. That is why many designers rush to add a vivid ceiling color or a splash of checkerboard flooring to an otherwise all-white room. An interior door that is painted in black, charcoal or another dark hue can offer a contrast that equates to instant sophistication as it enhances other contrasting accents in a room such as elegant black and white photographs.
#5 Maple, Pine and Hickory Flooring a Hit in 2018
A quality hardwood floor is a classic that seems to never go out of style. While homeowners love the durability, low-maintenance and hygienic nature of hardwood floors, designers are typically taken in by the material’s beauty and versatility. This is especially the case with growing trends toward maple, pine and hickory flooring. Maple hardwood flooring shows even grains, and most varieties are lighter in color than traditional oak flooring. The lighter shade of flooring often gives rooms an open, airy look that can enhance both contemporary and traditional decor. For homes that are inspired by the interiors of yesteryear, pine and hickory are excellent hardwood floor choices. These wood species offer enough grain variations, imperfections and knots to simulate the unrefined look of wood flooring in historic homes. Popular yet somewhat pricey finishes include wire-brushed and hand-scraped pine and hickory flooring.
#6 Use of Reclaimed Wood for Kitchen Island Kick-Plate
We know that the kitchen island is one of the busiest spots in many kitchens. It’s where spouses perch to communicate the highlights of their day and where little ones congregate to get help with homework while helping themselves to afternoon snacks. The material that covers the lower portion of the island must be durable enough to withstand countless kicks and scuffs. A top 2018 home interior trend is to use reclaimed wood to serve as a kitchen island kick plate. A wooden island kick plate can give your kitchen added warmth and character. Reclaimed wood that has a special story associated with it is not only an eco-friendly choice for your island, but it can also be an interesting conversation piece for guests.
Top 10 Myths About Hard Wood Flooring
Even though wood floors have gained in popularity over recent years due to their natural beauty and appeal, many people are still put off of considering them as a viable option due to many myths that abound about them. If you’ve been wondering whether some of the things you’ve heard about floors of this type are true or not, please consider the following list of the top ten myths associated with wood flooring.
*They are Expensive
While it’s true that there is usually more upfront costs associated with wood floors, they actually prove to be a low-cost flooring option. Because wood lasts for decades or longer when properly maintained, these types of floors can last a lifetime. This makes them rather cost-effective in the end. They also require less maintenance and fewer cleaning products and tools, reducing the lifetime cost associated with this type of flooring even more.
They Show Dust Easily
It is true that dust is a bit more visible on a sleek wood surface. However, this brings additional benefits with it. Dust and debris can be difficult to detect on carpeting and other popular floors. This means that it sticks around and poses an allergy risk to sensitive people. Dust on wood surfaces is usually more visible, but this allows for it to be noticed and properly removed promptly. This makes your home cleaner and your air quality better.
They Lack Warmth
Contrary to popular belief, a hardwood floor does not make a room appear cold. In fact, the opposite is true. The natural glow of a wood surface adds an element of warmth to the room in an aesthetic sense. However, it goes much deeper than appearances. Wood is also a natural insulator, making it easier to maintain warmer temperatures in your home during the winter.
They are Hard to Maintain
Wood is actually quite easy to care for, and flooring is no exception to this rule. A simple dust mop is often all that is needed to provide routine cleaning and removal of dust particles. If the floor has lost its shine, a high-quality cleaning product designed for wood surfaces can easily restore its luster.
They Deplete the Forests
Many flooring manufacturers use sustainable techniques that are designed to harvest wood in a manner that has the least environmental impact long-term. Since the floors last so long, they do not need to be replaced and end up costing less in terms of environmental impact than other flooring choices.
They are Not Durable
Some types of wood are definitely more durable than others. If you have young children or active pets, you can choose a harder wood that has more durability over time.
They are Not Real Wood
Engineered wood is still real wood. It is simply manufactured in a way that allows for multiple layers to be placed on top of one another. The end result is called a wood composite, but it is still genuine wood, not a man-made substitute.
They Aren’t a Good Option if You Plan to Move
On the contrary, wood flooring will add value to your home that others will appreciate. In many cases, the beautiful addition of this type of flooring will appeal to home buyers or even bring more money from the sale of your home.
They Scratch Easily
Wood is essentially the only material that can be repaired to like-new status if it becomes scratched. Man-made flooring does not provide this convenient option. While it’s true that softer types of wood may develop scratches on the surface of the wood more easily, these are quite easy to buff out and repair.
Polyurethane Floors are More Durable
Polyurethane floors are cheaper to purchase and install initially. However, they can become dented and damaged easily. Unlike wood counterparts, this damage is not easy to repair. In fact, parts of the flooring may need to be replaced entirely. This actually leads to a greater expense in the end. Additionally, polyurethane can be much more expensive to care for in the long run as well, adding to the overall cost associated with this type of flooring.
While they may involve more of an upfront expense than some other flooring options, hard wood floors can add a touch of practical elegance to your home. Hardwood floors provide a durable and gorgeous flooring option that you can proud to show off to family and friends. With careful planning and a skilled team of professional installers, hardwood floors can become one of the most beloved features of your home.
Should you refinish the hardwood floors hiding under your carpet?
If you watch home-improvement shows, you’ve no doubt noticed that the first thing renovators look at is flooring. Most of them start tearing up the carpet to see if there’s wood underneath. Carpet isn’t necessarily inferior to hardwood floors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re facing this dilemma, our experts at Classic Floor Designs can help. Keep reading to learn more about your options before you decide between carpet or hardwoods.
Any remodel decision should start with your family’s living habits. Do you remove your shoes when you come in? Do you have a houseful of rambunctious kids? Are your pets house-trained? Do you eat dinner in your living area while watching TV?
If your family tends to track in dirt and frequently spill food or drinks, you’re probably better off with hardwood flooring. Spills wipe right up, so it’s almost impossible to stain.
One advantage to carpet, though, is the cushioning it provides. Parents of infants sometimes stick with carpet or buy plenty of rugs until their children are walking. Carpet muffles sound, so think about that if your upstairs bedrooms are occupied. Other noises, such as a dog’s bark or loud music, tend to reverberate from a wood floor. Too, carpet is warmer underfoot. That can be an advantage in cold climates.
Again, accessorizing wood with rugs resolves most of its drawbacks.
Many would argue that there’s nothing more beautiful than well-kept, gleaming hardwood floors. Wood does seem to be ever popular. Rarely has it gone in and out of vogue as some flooring materials have. For a classic look, it’s hard to beat. Carpet, on the other hand, comes in lovely colors, textures, and patterns. The right choice of carpet can anchor an entire room and lend an inviting warmth.
If your carpet has a plain pattern and is neutral in color, it won’t be difficult to redecorate rooms around it. A rich color or complex pattern, however, can pose problems when you want to buy new furniture or give the walls a fresh look. Carpet is somewhat limiting.
With hardwoods, depending on the finish, you typically have more freedom to change your color scheme or incorporate different patterns and textures into your decor. If you’re the type that quickly gets bored with the furniture arrangement, consider the ease with which felt-padded, heavy objects slide over hardwoods.
Quality carpets are made with better materials and last a lot longer than they used to, but the superior durability of wood cannot be denied. When properly maintained, hardwoods can take abuse for decades or even generations. Sanding down the surface erases any defects. Reapplying a stain or finish completely restores the wood to its original luster. This process can be periodically repeated for as long as you own your home.
Carpet, depending on the traffic at your house, must be replaced every five to seven years on average. The pile eventually wears down and stains inevitably mount up.
Some homeowners prefer carpet because it hides dirt. Others don’t like it for the very same reason.
Whether you go with carpet or wood, floors must be carefully maintained to preserve their appearance and prevent health hazards. Dust balls and pet hair are readily apparent on wood floors, so they require sweeping or dust-mopping at least every other day. Spills aren’t a problem, and even paint is easy to remove once it dries. Carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week to remove dirt and potentially harmful microorganisms. Spills should be promptly attended to, and professional cleaning is recommended at least once a year.
Carpet fibers, carpet padding, adhesives, wood sealants and wood finishes have all been made safer for families and pets in recent years. If you’re concerned about your family’s health, research flooring manufacturers to make sure that they comply with indoor air-quality requirements. Some carpets do contain allergens. Unlike carpet, which is made largely of petroleum, wood is a natural, sustainable, renewable material.
Carpet is undeniably less expensive than real wood. However, given the cost of replacing it every few years, wood might be a better long-term investment. Refinishing wood doesn’t cost as much as replacing carpet.
Do hardwoods add resale value to your home? Figures are hard to confirm, but many surveys of real estate agents indicate that they do. Also, in a poll conducted by USA Today, more than half of the potential home buyers surveyed expressed willingness to pay more for a house with hardwoods.
With any remodel, decisions about flooring are often the toughest. We hope that we’ve given you plenty to go on and we are happy to help.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market soon and want to increase its value, the key is to pick home improvement, remodeling projects that give you the best return on investment. As a rule, aim for projects that earn back at least 90 percent of your investment but preferably 100 percent or more. These are some of the top recommendations for the best ROI.
Along with bathrooms, kitchens are the most expensive rooms from a structural perspective. When inspectors come to assess your home’s value, they can tell when money is invested and when cheap fixes are used. For the fairest ROI, don’t spend more than 10 percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodeling project.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing in high-end designer wood cabinets. Tearing out and hanging new cabinets is a costly home improvement project. If your cabinets aren’t severely warped or damaged, you can refinish them and install new hardware. Granite countertops add value to a home. Appliances are also important. Ask a real estate agent about which appliances are better for your area. Some brands may raise a value more than others in a certain area. Some less expensive additions that add value are under-cabinet lights and pull-out pantries. Installing recessed lighting is also a good inexpensive way to add value.
When you live in a popular area, like Washington, D.C., a smartly planned bathroom renovation can earn back more than 100 percent of your investment. In today’s fast-paced world, fewer people have time to take baths. Install a glass walk-in shower instead of a prefabricated standard combination unit. Low-flush toilets are also a smart purchase.
Adding a second bathroom may be wise in some cases. If your home has more than two bedrooms and only one bathroom, opt to add an efficient second bathroom instead of renovating the current one. In some cases, it can increase the home’s overall value by five percent or more, which is a better average value than creating an additional bedroom.
Add A Bedroom
In a hot housing market, you may be able to top your investment by adding a bedroom. There are several ways to do this. You can make an attic bedroom or loft. Or, you can put a bedroom in your basement. If your basement and attic need a considerable amount of expensive work such as HVAC and wiring, an addition may only be a cost burden. However, you can turn a finished den or office into a bedroom. The presence of a closet is what distinguishes a regular room from a bedroom. Explore cost-saving options for adding a closet. Bedrooms add more resale value than all-purpose rooms without closets.
Install New Flooring
Although floors collect dirt and germs, they shouldn’t look dingy. If you have old carpeting, cracked tiles, or discolored and warped laminate flooring, upgrading your floor is an excellent investment when it’s time to sell. Hardwood flooring offers the biggest payoff. Check to see if there is existing hardwood flooring exposed or hiding under old carpeting, and consider having the wood refinished and adding a dustless finish to entice more buyers. Stone floors also add value to your home and are a coveted feature among many buyers. If you have a large budget, some exotic flooring options add a considerable amount of value as well.
When you have other areas of the home that need attention and you can’t afford a high-end stone or hardwood floor, consider ceramic tile or engineered hardwood. Both home improvement options are more affordable and add value.
Prioritize Home Improvement
While adding a bathroom or converting a den to a bedroom may be the best investments for some people, others would be better off avoiding such projects to address more serious issues. For buyers and inspectors, updated plumbing, roofing, heating, cooling and wiring are more important than an extra bedroom or a bathroom with a glass shower. If the roof needs to be replaced, make that a priority. Fix any serious problems or structural issues that are lowering your home’s value before you start thinking about remodeling the interior.
The best way to approach a pre-sale renovation is to inspect your home or have it professionally inspected. Make a list of what must be done, such as treating a termite problem or patching a newer but damaged roof. Next, make a list of prioritized home improvement tasks, and decide which ones fit your budget and offers the biggest payout.
Laundry rooms have been coming into their own in recent years, with more thought and design savvy being put into this workhorse space than ever. From farmhouse style to patterned tile, here are the top 10 trending features of the year so far, as measured by the number of people saving photos of them to their Houzz ideabooks. Are any of these in your own collection?
Tell us: What’s on your dream laundry room wish list?