Though the shapes and textures and colors change, wood flooring never goes out of style. And because flooring is an investment, it’s important to choose a material that’s not only beautiful and stylish, but also timeless, says Andrew Denny of Textures Flooring. “Probably the easiest way to achieve this is combining a wide-width plank with a long-board look,” Andrew says, “and then combining color that is timeless with a very matte finish.”
Popular choices for wood species include European white oak, French oak, Northern Appalachian white oak and walnut. And in 2019, more homeowners are opting for lighter toned colors and matte finishes on the floor. “There is definitely a shift toward lighter hardwoods. Smooth in texture,” says Sara Ray of Sara Ray Interior Design. “Plank width of 4 inches to 5 inches seems to be very popular, and white oak is still a very popular choice due to its ability to stay true to the selected stain color.”
Not all flooring consumers are opting for traditional stain finishes, however. Says Andrew, “One thing that we’re doing is accentuating the natural beauty of the wood. We bring the wood through a reactive stain process, and what that means is we oxidize the wood with minerals that react with the tannins in the wood to create color. And that unique process highlights what nature has given us as opposed to conventional staining that is a pigmented dye that saturates the wood.”
Wire brushing is another technique Textures Flooring uses to remove the soft grain of the wood and allow a subtle reflection of light, highlighting the natural, hard grain of the floor – bringing the smooth texture Sara says homeowners are seeking.
As for plank width, wide plank is definitely all the rage, but homeowners are still opting for narrow, as well, adds designer Randi T. Stovesand of Savage Interior Design. And along with natural woods, some homeowners are taking a cool gray color palette from the walls onto the floor. “The introduction of great wood flooring has been all the rage, whether this be a wide plank or narrow,” Randi says. “And light gray or dark seems to be everywhere.”
Adds Beth Haley of Beth Haley Design, colors span a wide palette today based on clients’ tastes. “Colors vary from blond – think European oak – to driftwood, gray and finally a mix of colors to create a reclaimed look,” she says.
These European oak floors have a lighter color that we love!
The reactive stain process Andrew mentioned can bring a range of color choices, depending on the home. “When we do this, we can achieve color ranges from dark earth tones to light and weathered looks, or even cerused grain looks.” With a cerused finish, the grain of the wood is highlighted in a different color than the wood itself — typically white, he adds. “That’s very, very popular right now,” Andrew notes. “Especially in the lighter colorways, it really brings the grain of the wood to life.”
And through all of it, clients are seeking custom, custom, custom.
“I think we’ve swung back from an era of austerity to an era of a little bit of largesse, a little bit more luxury,” says interior designer Marcelle Guilbeau of Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design. “I think luxury is a really good word, but a lot of people are saying maximalism – more is more. I think people are finally kind of stretching out with the boom economy that we’ve been having and are starting to reward themselves again. There’s a lot of new, custom construction going on right now.”
Again when it comes to wood, many clients are opting for a “craft, wide-plank floor that is custom-made to their design vision,” Andrew says. However, Marcelle adds that concrete flooring is another custom option that’s making a major comeback. “It kind of is a continuation of that rustic-industrial phase we’ve been seeing,” she says. “That was very popular, obviously, when we were a little more into minimalism and austerity, but also it’s just a really cool material. To me it’s very earthy. It makes you feel the space. You can take it throughout the whole house, and carpets really pop off of it, so it can create some serious drama in that regard.”
Speaking of carpet, from stair runners to area rugs and even wall-to-wall carpeting, homeowners want custom choices that reflect their individuality. “The hot colors that we see right now are black – ranging from charcoal to steel to deep black – and jewel tones,” Andrew says. “We custom fabricate stair runners, area rugs and specialty installations, as in a high-end master bedroom or a theater.” Large-scale patterns, thick, knobby textures and undyed wools are very popular in today’s homes. “Anything lower profile, as opposed to shaggy,” Andrew adds.
Darker colors in carpeting are definitely “in,” as are customized approaches, such as a custom-fit runner on a wooden staircase.
And though carpet remains popular in cozy, less-trafficked spaces like bedrooms and upstairs areas, many homeowners, too, are opting for hard flooring throughout the house – even in kitchens and bathrooms. Yes, bathrooms.
Hardwoods offer a warm and cozy look and feel, so it’s easy to see why homeowners are choosing them in every room of their house,” Beth Haley says. “We advise our clients to keep tile in areas where puddles could form, such as in a kids’ bathroom, especially around the tub. Hardwoods make the most sense in master baths where splashes and drips will be quickly cleaned up.”
And when crafted with functionality and design in mind, hardwood in a bath can be spectacular, adds Andrew. “Think Blackberry Farm and Old Edwards Inn,” he says. “Antique woods in the bath are really quite pretty and warm up the space.”
Hardwoods in a bathroom? Absolutely! How warm and inviting does this space look with the hardwoods leading up to the tiled bath?
In short, the way to be on-trend with flooring in 2019 is to not succumb to the trends at all, but rather to do what speaks to you, in a way that suits your taste and your family’s lifestyle.
“It just goes back to craft and things being done well,” Andrew says. “Creating a timeless design, something that will live in the home and really be foundational for the home’s design. Small batch, craft made, high quality and made for each individual – that’s what we specialize in at Textures Nashville.”