8 Ways Colored Floors Can Boost Your Design
Deep colors add height, white creates calm, and warm hues spark energy. Learn more ways to use floor color to enhance your home.
Walls and trim are most often finished and maintained using paint, so they are the place where homeowners first see potential for personalizing their house with a new palette. But people often overlook their floors, the color of which can greatly influence your decor scheme. If you’re looking for a seismic shift in your interior design, or are just looking for smart ways to add height or create energy or calm, try one of these grounding color concepts.
1. Go deep for more height. Successful architectural design always takes human scale into consideration. We want to fit the proportions of our home.
Color can help adjust the visual perception of the height of a space, especially in areas of the house not part of the original floor plan, like this sleeping loft under the eaves. Want to drop the floor? Take a cue from your favorite swimming hole and saturate the surface with dark blues or blue greens.
2. Use white to quiet a room. Visual distraction and clutter can take away from the calm you want in a room that will host music study, quiet contemplation or conversation. By selecting a white-finished floorboard, close in color to the walls, the perimeter of the room is diminished and the space opens up to present a feeling of stillness.
3. Let unusual colors become neutrals. In a small house, the floor is a good place to put saturated color. A hefty hue taken in from overhead is less dramatic than surrounding your peripheral vision with it. Strong color on walls will appear to come forward and diminish the space.
When flooring is stained or painted an unusual color and used throughout the home, as with the teal in this contemporary, it becomes a neutral. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you use an unexpected color, the less out of the ordinary it becomes.
4. Add energy with warm colors. A warm color, like this citron floor, can raise the temperature and energy in a room where you want a positive vibe. Because of its bold flooring installation, this ostensibly classic white kitchen radiates heat rather than cold.
5. Anchor vibrant artwork with bold colors. Like a landscape to be taken in and enjoyed, a well-thought-out interior of color and form can enhance the enjoyment of life at home. And the perfect rug can add interest and easily pull a room together.
Using the floor for a bold color statement is particularly effective in a “destination” room where you’ve arrived to enjoy artwork and fine furniture with friends and family. The one-of-a-kind rug design seen here puts soft green shadows at the base of fiery fuchsia, a color counterpoint that keeps the living room lively but visually balanced.
6. Play with patterns to visually expand a room. Superimposing a large, organic pattern in white over the clear-coated hardwood makes this kitchen floor appear expansive. Sticking to a simple white and orange color palette keeps the design from overpowering the space and drawing all of the attention.
The diagonal checkerboard shown here is another visual trick to open up the space and give the room breadth.
The canvas floor cloth that was used is a softer tone-on-tone installation. Painted, stretched canvas is an old-time floor covering popular before linoleum, with many of the advantages. Heavy canvas can be stretched, tacked to the perimeter and then painted or fashioned into a rug.
7. Introduce wallpaper and paint to highlight architecture. Stair treads and risers are often overlooked as design elements. These wallpapered risers add interest to a steep set of stairs.
Or try painting treads to set them apart and define the steps for easy transit.
8. Use soft, bright colors to bounce light around. The soft yellow deck of this side entrance welcomes with a sunny glow. The happy porch floor, which complements the purple gray of the home’s exterior wall color, provides a place to linger and sends light in through the interior windows all year long.