With its deep brown swirls and lines, walnut is a distinctive wood. Its chocolate and fawn hues are dotted with knots and provide a beautiful stage for both contemporary and traditional decor. The character of walnut comes from its deep base colour that works well with shades of green or neutral coffee-and-cream tones. This dramatic, densely knotted wood can accommodate rich, dark hues, but it also has paler flecks and lines which sit happily alongside pink or grey walls.
Use traditional paint colours to complement the beautiful tones of your rich wood floor. The design archives of Morris & Co, Farrow and Ball or Sanderson provide inspiration from historic country houses that reflect English heritage. Opt for organic earthy hues with deep tones, such as those in Fired Earth's National Trust paint range. A flat sandy ochre will draw warmth from the wood, while a dusky rose pink will complement the chocolate tone of the walnut.
Take inspiration from nature. The forest-floor tones of dark walnut work well with cooler shades of green. Dulux recommend using soft olive with cream woodwork to create a tranquil environment. Botanical colours like cactus or fern match the depth of walnut and can make a strong style statement. Use pale grey to break up the intensity of this look. Avoid zesty limes or apple greens as they look harsh against woody tones.
Pale and interesting walls can lighten the intensity of your wood floor and create height in your room. For a touch of Parisian sophistication, team the walnut with chalky pinks and silvery greys. Remember that the quality of light changes throughout the day, so choose pale colours with a depth of tone that remains true all day long. For a night-time room, velvety colours like salmon or Wedgewood blue work best in artificial or candlelight.
"Homes & Gardens" magazine says that confident use of colour can add a new dimension to your room. Pare down the dimensions of a large space with the sumptuously moody qualities of aubergine or indigo, or be bold and use deep red to turn a small room into a seductive intimate space. Polish your walnut floor to a high gloss and inject some Hollywood glamour with exotic shades of peacock blue or magenta on the walls.