Hardwood Floors, through the lens of 2018 is looking very good. Turn on and watch any cable channel, advertisements and editorials in magazines, images in social media posts, walk through any furniture or interiors show, and you’ll see spaces infiltrated with wood, wood looks, finishes, as well as nods and winks to wood. What everyone loves about the look of hardwood is its ability to morph and change depending on the style of its surroundings…as well as for its ability to immediately update and transform a space simply when installed.
What’s new in hardwood flooring is going to come as no surprise when I say it but you still need to hear it…can you say ”GRAY”?…while it’s not the only important color going into homes in 2018, it is still the most important color influencing what goes into homes, that is muted taupes, mushrooms, and of course warm taupe are the major players in the interiors world in the backdrop as the quiet blank canvas. This gray movement has been growing over the past ten years, making a steady climb into mainstream product development for runway, hospitality, contract and home fashions.
Barnwood grays, gray-beiges and taupes stretch from rustic to refined in appearance, making the color an ideal solution for bridging old to new and updating spaces.
Whites, off whites and blank canvas tans are all the rage today both in European design as well as USA. In recent trips to various design firms, many of their showroom spaces feature hardwood flooring that can be best described as “Belgian linen” in color, what I’ve stated in years past as the perfect blank canvas on which a great design plan can happen. These light pale neutrals are inspired from not only coastal design aesthetics but also from the Danish design trend known as “Hygge” which means “coziness and comfort”. In early 2016, I listed “Hygge” as a mega-trend for the year. Not only has “Hygge” been a mega trend, it’s also a concept everyone around the world can live with. Associated with “hygge” is another important but lesser-known concept, “lagom”, which means “not to much, not too little, but sufficient”. Both concepts are rooted in the Scandinavian design world and fall into the wants and desires we all have as consumers to be comforted but also not
Besides gray, there are some seriously exciting ingredients to consider for 2018 hardwood flooring. For example, technology and history are colliding in the field of hardwood floors in a way that is allowing and introduction and influx of floors that are continuing to be wider and longer than in the narrow strip orange-red prefinished engineered floors of twenty years ago. For 2018, look to see more options of these larger formats to accentuate the wide open spaces of homes. As we’ve witnessed the right-sizing of homes square footage over the past decade, homes with open layouts have also become one of the must haves, along with hardwood floors. Open layouts are nice until the homeowner tries to transition their flooring type from space to space, unless of course it’s hardwood floors, which flows seamlessly from front door to the back. What makes wide and long hardwood floors the most desired format is the fact that they essentially expand the spaces visually by reducing the number of joints, end to end and side to side. With larger boards, the human eye can see more of the beautiful part of the hardwood which is the wood grain and its natural appeal as a living thing. Whether the flooring is dark or light, heavily scraped, cracked or smooth and refined, the wood’s beauty lies also in its ever growing value over centuries.
Another important hardwood trend to expect to see in 2018 is more intricate installations such as herringbone. In recent trips to France, there was an abundance of vintage interiors with herringbone hardwood floors which have a mass appeal to American consumers due to the fact that they add “flair” and panache to an otherwise simple installation. As the economy continues to grow and housing market expands, we also know that homeowners are turning to the professionals for their expertise. Many times professionals, whether it’s installers or designers who work with installers, will put their “signature touch” on their projects, setting them apart so to speak, by doing what is difficult and outside the norm. Herringbone hardwood floors are not easy to make nor are they easy to install but the effect is grand.