Living Room Flooring Ideas

Hardwood floors are distinct and one-of-a-kind in their shades and textures, but this uniqueness requires careful consideration when choosing your interior colour palette. Personal taste is one thing, but choosing colours that complement your wood flooring is more about creating a balanced and visually appealing space. 

In this guide, we will explore how to make the best colour choices to enhance the natural beauty of your wooden floors, ensuring your home looks cohesive and thoughtfully designed.


Understanding Your Wood Floor’s Undertone

All types of wood flooring exhibit either warm or cool undertones. Warm undertones typically have hints of yellow, orange, or red, creating a cosy and inviting feel. In contrast, cool undertones feature shades of grey or blue, offering a sleek and modern appearance.

Identifying these undertones is crucial for a cohesive interior design, and should be your first step. But how can you be sure?

The Paper Trick

A simple and effective way to determine the undertone of your wooden flooring is by using a white sheet of paper. Place the paper on the floor and observe how the wood colour compares. Does it lean towards a yellowish or reddish hue, indicating a warm undertone? Or does it appear more greyish or bluish, suggesting a cool undertone? This comparison against a neutral white backdrop will make the undertone much more apparent.

Whether you are working with the natural warmth of European oak or the cool elegance of American walnut, this knowledge will be your foundation for creating a beautifully coordinated space.


Colour Schemes for Different Undertones

When selecting colours for any of the following undertones, it is important to consider the room’s natural light – as this can affect how colours appear throughout the day. Test your chosen paint colours in different lighting conditions to ensure they work well at all times.

Warm Undertones

Floors with warm undertones, such as those with hints of yellow, orange, or red, bring a sense of warmth and cosiness to any room. These undertones pair well with a range of colours. 

Consider soft, earthy hues like olive green, muted clay, or a gentle beige. These colours complement the warmth of the floor without overpowering it. If you’re feeling more adventurous, contrasting colours like cool blues or crisp greens can create a vibrant, eye-catching space. 

The key is to choose colours that balance the warmth of the floor without clashing.

Cool Undertones

Floors with cool undertones, often characterised by shades of grey or taupe, offer a modern and sophisticated feel. To complement these floors, opt for colours that maintain a cool, contemporary vibe. 

Soft greys, subtle lavenders, or even muted blues work well. These colours enhance the sleek nature of the flooring. For a bolder contrast, warm, rich colours like burnt orange or deep red can create an inviting contrast against the cool floor. 

This approach is ideal for adding a splash of colour without overwhelming the room’s aesthetic.

Neutral Tones

For floors with neutral tones such as white, off-white, or light grey, you have a versatile base to work with. Neutral floors pair well with almost any colour, offering the freedom to experiment with different palettes. 

Soft pastels like baby blue, pale pink, or light yellow can create a serene, airy feel. For a more dramatic effect, deeper shades like navy blue, forest green, or burgundy add depth and character to the space. 

With neutral floors, you can easily switch up decor elements to refresh the room’s look over time.


Balancing Light and Dark Tones

The interplay between light and dark tones in a room is essential for achieving a visually appealing balance. When pairing wall colours with your wood floors, whether they are light or dark, consider the overall impact on the room’s atmosphere.

Dark Wood Floors

Dark wood floors provide a rich, elegant base – but they can make a room feel smaller if not balanced correctly. To offset this, choose lighter wall colours. Soft creams, pale greys, or pastels can add a sense of space and airiness, and the contrast between the dark floor and lighter walls harmonises the overall effect. 

If you prefer darker walls for a more dramatic effect, ensure your room gets plenty of natural light to avoid a cramped feel.

Light Wood Floors

Light wood floors have a fresh, open feel and are more forgiving with colour choices. Darker wall colours can add depth and sophistication without the risk of making the space feel enclosed. 

Colours like deep blue, emerald green, or even charcoal can create an elegant contrast. However, if you prefer a more minimalistic interior design style, sticking to lighter or neutral wall colours can enhance the spacious feel provided by lighter wood flooring.

In both scenarios, it is vital to maintain a balance. Too much of either light or dark can overwhelm or underwhelm the space. Using accessories and soft furnishings can also help in achieving the right equilibrium, adding layers of colour and texture to the room and easing the transition between wall and floor.


Matching Wood Floors with Furniture and Accessories

Selecting the right pieces to work in unison with your wood flooring of choice is vital. Here are some tips to guide you in making the best choices:

  • Complementary Furniture Colours: For warm-toned floors, furniture in earthy or rich hues like tan, cream, or burgundy can enhance the room’s warmth. With cool-toned floors, consider furniture in shades of grey, navy, or even subtle greens. For neutral-toned floors, you’ll have the flexibility to choose a wide range of colours, though you should ensure they tie in well with the wall colour for a unified look.
  • Contrasting Textures: Introducing different textures can add depth and interest to your room. For glossy or polished wood floors, consider furniture or rugs with a matte finish or softer texture, like wool or cotton. If your floors have a matte or rustic finish, shinier or smoother textures in furniture or decor can provide an appealing contrast.
  • Material Selection: For a more traditional or rustic setting, wooden furniture that either matches or pleasantly contrasts with your floor can work well. In modern settings, materials like metal, glass, or leather can offer a sophisticated contrast.
  • Accessorising Wisely: Cushions, throws, and curtains in colours that contrast or complement the primary colour scheme can tie the room together. Consider metal finishes, glass elements, or ceramics to introduce different textures and reflect light in various ways.

Remember, the goal is to create a space that feels balanced and harmonious. Mixing and matching different elements thoughtfully will lead to a space that is both visually appealing and comfortably liveable.


Some Common Mistakes to Avoid

When selecting colours to complement your wooden floors, it is easy to fall into a few common traps. Being aware of these can help you steer clear of potential design missteps:

  • Ignoring Undertones: One of the most common mistakes is not considering the undertone of your wood flooring. Warm, cool, or neutral undertones significantly influence which colours will work or clash with your floors.
  • Overwhelming with Dark Colours: While dark colours can add depth and sophistication, using them excessively, especially with dark wood floors, can make a room feel smaller and claustrophobic. Balance is key.
  • Playing It Too Safe with Neutrals: While neutrals are a safe choice, relying too heavily on them can result in a bland, uninspiring space. Try not to be afraid to introduce some colour to liven up your room.
  • Mismatching Wood Tones: While mixing wood tones is perfectly acceptable, doing so without a plan can lead to a disjointed aesthetic. Aim for a deliberate mix that complements rather than competes.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure your space looks cohesive and well thought out, whilst also better reflecting a sense of your style.


Wood Floors That Match You and Your Home

While it is important to keep the fundamentals we have discussed in mind, remember that experimenting with different colours and textures can lead to more striking and truly personal interior designs.

Are you updating a single room? Or revamping your entire home? Either way, our team is here to help you select the best flooring and colour schemes to suit your style and needs. If you are still in the process of selecting wood floors for your home, we invite you to browse our range of engineered wood floors for a high-quality and eco-friendly alternative to solid wood. 


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