How to Decorate with a Dark Wood Floor

Written by nina makofsky
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How to Decorate with a Dark Wood Floor
Balance dark wood tones with lighter hues. (texture of wooden floor - can be used as background image by Elnur from

Dark wood floors can make a room feel smaller and darker. However, with appropriate decorating colours, lighting and textiles, you can give your room a brighter, more open feeling. Dark wood floors work in many decorating schemes, among them contemporary, tropical, Spanish hacienda, Tuscan, Asian fusion, farmhouse and mid-century modern.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Paint
  • Wallpaper mural or wall decals
  • Furniture
  • Textiles
  • Lighting
  • Artwork
  • Plants

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  1. 1

    Paint your room a light hue to make it look more open. Cool colours such as stone grey, steel blue, robin's egg blue, lavender and pale cornflower make walls appear to recede. A white with a blue or grey tint provides welcome contrast in a room with a dark wood floor.

  2. 2

    Use paint with a semigloss or satin finish on the ceiling and any sloping walls, built-in shelves and window and door frames. A touch of gloss in the paint reflects light around the room.

  3. 3

    Open up the space by adding a wallpaper mural or wall decals on an accent wall. A nature scene of a forest picks up the dark wood tone of the floor but also brightens the interior and creates a focal point.

  4. 4

    Furnish the room with lighter-toned pieces. Don't worry about matching the dark wooden tone of your floor, which only makes the room feel more weighted down. Instead, evoke a breezy interior with pieces in lighter wood frames, either in medium and light stains or painted pale shades of white, cream, grey or barely blue. Vary the pale hues you use to create contrast and depth in the room.

  5. 5

    Soften the space with textiles. Nubby woollen rugs in rich jewel tones bring out rosy undertones in dark wood, while a lightweight sisal or bamboo floormat gives the space texture. Lightweight sheer panels on windows ensure that natural light picks up the contrasts of colours and textures in your home decor.

  6. 6

    Illuminate your interior design well. Fluorescent lighting looks too brash in a room with dark wood floors. Instead, create ambient lighting with pendant lights, a striking chandelier, wall sconces, table lamps and floor lamps.

  7. 7

    Integrate leafy green plants into your room. The natural colours of dark green, mossy green, grass green and spring green combine well with a dark wood floor.

Tips and warnings

  • Hang artwork in lightweight, unadorned frames to keep the space looking streamlined.
  • If possible, keep pets away from dark wood floors. Light-coloured pet hair shows up instantly on the dark surface.

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