Malibu Wide Plank’s French Oak Pacific Grove Hardwood FLOORING; Home Depot, homedepot.ca.
You’ve got design questions. We’ve got the answers. Designer and Style at Home contributor Karl Lohnes solves your decorating challenges.
Q1. We will be installing wood floors in our home. Stain finishes, styles and plank sizes seem to be all over the map these days. What style of flooring would update the look of our home without being too trendy?
- Brian H., Toronto
S@H Wood floor styles tend to change every 10 to 15 years. That doesn’t mean the material itself goes out of style, but rather that the popularity of certain finishes and application styles – which are more susceptible to trends – ebbs and flows. For some time, we’ve seen a lot of pale, wide plank flooring. We’ve also seen the return of herringbone for a more classic European look. The most versatile wood floor (which also has longevity) is a medium plank oak in a walnut stain. Oak is an excellent and safe choice, as it has attractive graining and accepts stain well; and a walnut stain is one of the truest brown colours for wood flooring. If you’re looking for something a bit jazzier, consider a chevron floor. The planks don’t have an interlocking pattern as they do with herringbone. Instead, they butt up against each other in a true zigzag, giving contemporary flair to classic herringbone – perfect for a modern interior.
Power Dekor’s Weathered Oak Chevron Engineered Hardwood FLOORING; Home Depot, homedepot.ca.
Q2. I love a dark blue room but am afraid it will be too dark and masculine. How can I use this colour and keep the room fresh looking?
- Cheryl M., Fredericton
S@H If the room you are painting dark blue is big, add contrast with a lighter ceiling, floors and furniture. You don’t have to use white or off-white, which might create too much contrast, but do opt for a pale colour. Dark blue walls look exceptionally good with beige tones, pale terracotta or soft greens. If decorating a very small room with dark blue, consider painting the walls, ceiling and all trim in the same colour to reduce contrast. The monochromatic scheme will – contrary to your fears – make the small space seem larger. Opt for a darker wood floor or area rug to keep that “flow in the dark” feeling going.
Paint Colour on Wall: Moments CL24-4; Home Hardware, homehardware.ca.
BeautiTone PAINT (above, from left), Elise CC059-0, Pastel Peach B42-6-1007-0, Warm Bread B40-7-1013-0; Home Hardware, homehardware.ca.
Q3. We are about to take on many decorating projects around the house. We have two kids under eight years old and a medium-size dog. What finishes and decor considerations should we be planning for such an energetic house?
- Natalie S., East Gwillimbury, Ont.
S@H Having a busy household doesn’t mean doing without when it comes to style. For area rugs, choose synthetic fibres. They don’t stain, are washable and are a great way to keep wood floors protected. Also, rugs with patterns will help hide dirt and inevitable wear. If choosing draperies and upholstered fabrics, consider indoor/outdoor grade or performance fabrics. They are made from synthetic fibres, which are durable, stain resistant and easy to clean. Slipcovers are also a great option for the main pieces of furniture that will get used daily. Attractive, wipeable wallpaper will add style, and there are many designs, like textured seagrass and faux silk wallpapers, that give an on-trend look. To bring a casual vibe to a room, look at painted wall panelling (it’s not your granny’s basement panelling anymore!), which can easily be wiped clean and touched up when scuffs occur. Protect fine artwork with professional glass-fronted frames. To get the look for less, use large fine-art prints on canvas. They resemble paintings but are easier to clean and less precious. If you have a window seat in your living room or bedroom, get seat pads made of leather-look vinyl. It’ll be a favourite place for the pup and kids to curl up.
The Siena RUG in Taupe, NOA, noahome.com.
Luxurious velvet Euro CUSHIONS, Simons, simons.ca.