How To Decorate When You Have Dark Timber Floors

Dark timber floors can be incredibly elegant and sophisticated, bringing richness and polish to a space. But when paired with the wrong furnishings and colours, those floors run the risk of making the space feel dark and heavy. If you’ve been wondering what to team with your dark floors to bring out their best features, try these ideas.

White walls and light timber furniture
For the most harmonious look, choose timber furniture that matches the warmth of your floors but that’s a few shades lighter. For instance, pair greyish or black timber floors with pale, weathered woods; and pair warm, rich floors (like the ones shown here) with warm medium- to light-toned timbers. The lighter wooden furniture, fluffy white rugs, and crisp white walls here provide contrast to the dark wood floors without appearing stark and help brighten the interior.

Mixed woods and white
Echo the natural variety of trees in a forest with an organic look like this one. A dark wood table almost disappears against the dark floors, while the light wood chairs and pendant light stand out. Crisp white walls and plenty of indoor greenery complete the look.

Rich wall colour and neutral rug
If you crave colour, choose a hue you love in a rich, pigmented shade and paint the walls or the back of a bookcase with it. Complement the colour with a more subdued rug in similar tones. The combination of textiles, rich colour and dark floors creates a cosy and welcoming feel.

Dark rug, light walls
A patterned rug in a dark pattern will make your room look richer and more interesting without calling too much attention to itself. Give all those dark hues a lift by painting the walls and ceilings crisp, clean white. If you prefer a bit of colour, go with a whisper-light blue or lavender.

Marble, white, bronze and timber
Dark timber floors in the kitchen can be very chic. Keep the overall effect elegant and light by balancing the dark floors with white cabinetry and walls, warm bronze metals and timber accents just a few shades lighter than the floors.

Bright hue plus white
Celery green was used here, but nearly any bright hue would work. The key is to balance a big splash of colour (like this accent wall and rug) with plenty of white and keep other colours to a minimum.

Muddied hues and layered textures
For a sophisticated urban look, try mixing a range of textures like leather, hide and velvet in soft, muddied hues – think grey, beige, ‘greige,’ taupe and sage. For furniture go with dark woods and natural steel.

Greige walls and Moroccan rug
Shaggy Moroccan rugs go with nearly everything but look especially great atop dark timber floors. Pair yours with warm greige walls and neutral furniture for a sumptuous look.

Design dilemma: “My timber floors are too dark!”
Flooring too dark but you don’t want to redo it? One lovely option is to paint your walls pale grey with white trim, hang translucent shades, and keep the space open and bright with as much natural light as possible.

Another way to work around too-dark flooring is by covering up as much as possible, using room-sized area rugs. This works best in low-traffic areas such as formal dining rooms or the bedroom.