One of the things I miss most about our old house is the wooden floors, which ran from the living room through the dining room to the extension at the other end of the house. Laid by John and my father in law while I was pregnant with Bella, they were wide French oak planks, full of burrs and knots which had the most wonderful texture. They gave the downstairs such an open feel and bounced the light around beautifully. (I also miss the abundant natural light in that house, and the internal doors, original to when the house was built in the forties. The doors in our new house are rubbish.)
But I don't know that I ever really noticed the colour of those wooden floorboards, more the way they made the room feel. They were a sort of honey colour, pale but not bleached, more golden, sandy. A very natural colour really, as they only had clear varnish on them in these photos, but they made the room feel so warm, like it was always bathed in sunshine.
This is the flooring in the living room in our new house. It's a laminate floor, dark brown and very smooth and shiny. I find the lack of texture annoying as it shows every single scuff and speck of dust and, when mopped, must be buffed or else horrible water marks are left behind. It is, however, quick and easy to clean (a steam cleaner does the job nicely without water marks) and in good condition, so we have no plans to rip out a perfectly good floor just because it's not quite to our liking.
But I find the dark colour of the floor quite oppressive. Our charcoal grey sofa and chunky oak coffee table look heavy against it. It needs some light relief, and I think a rug would help a lot here. Something large and pale or perhaps colourful, to balance out all that rich wood-effect flooring. I know the room looks light in these photos, but they were taken on a sunny August day. On a wet, gloomy November afternoon this room needs all the light in can get.
Do you worry about wood tones matching in a room? I know some people like the dining table to match the chairs, or the coffee table to match the sideboard. Personally, I prefer a little variation - different types of wood, some painted, some not, all mixed up together.
There is such a lot of wood in our house when I look around, all of it different, none of it matching. Fake wooden flooring, white painted IKEA plywood flat pack, yes. But there are lovely pieces too, like the pine chest of drawers above or the teak 1960s G-Plan dining table, below.
And the walnut rocking horse my father-in-law made for the children.
Things we treasure. I love wood, love the breadth of tone and depth of colour it offers, from warm pink-red hard woods to walnut which almost has a hint of grey, from caramel oak and pine through to the palest ash. Like house plants and flowers, they bring warmth and a natural quality to a home.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. I wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday.
Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.