Tag Archives: Home Renovations Minneapolis

Wood, Wood and More Wood. But Should They Match?

In the 80’s and 90’s the trend was for all woods to match. Your floors matched your trim, which matched your doors which matched your kitchen cabinets and even went as far as having all the wood pieces in your furniture being the same color.

 

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At that time Honey Oak or Golden Oak was the big deal and there really was a sea of oak when you walked into homes from that era. You still see a lot of these oak stains in cabinetry and trim but many people are tired of it and it is considered very dated.

What you want to see in a home now is contrast. So if you have two wood pieces next to each other one would be darker than another.

For example:

If you want a dark stained island, make sure your floors are lighter.

 

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If you want wood cabinets, make sure your floors are lighter or darker than your cabinets.

 

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It’s okay to mix in painted pieces as well. A white kitchen, gray island, and dark floors.

 

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The same rule applies to your furniture. If things don’t match they add character, interest and bring depth to a home. It makes it feel like it has been acquired over time rather than purchased all in the same section of a furniture store. Note the dining table above contrasts with the floor.

 

Below, the cabinets don’t match the island, which doesn’t match the floor, which doesn’t match the kitchen table, which doesn’t match the locker system way in the back and so on.

 

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It is difficult for some to get past the rule that all the woods should match. I get that. But start slow and practice. Perhaps it is as simple as adding an end table that is different in stain color or is painted. If a couple things match that’s okay. Just try to have the larger pieces show a contrast, each piece standing out instead of blending in.

 

Whether selling or dwelling, if you need assistance in making new wood selections call in a professional designer or home stager to walk  you through the process.

 

The All Important Flooring Question

It’s bound to come up….

“I’m selling my home and I know I need to refinish these floors. What stain color should I pick?”

“I am updating my home and want to get rid of these honey oak floors, what color is in?”

“I’m replacing all my flooring and upgrading to hardwood, what color should I be looking at?”

I get that question many times a week and what I tell you today, wasn’t what I would have told you two years ago and it more than likely won’t be what I will tell you two years from now.

That’s just the thing…..trends change but the good news is there are some things that have not changed in the last decade. That lasting componet is that the floor should be in contrast with your wood work and kitchen cabinets.

 

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A few years ago very dark espresso floors were all the rage. They were stunning and still are but people quickly realized  how tough it was to keep them looking clean. You saw every little spec of dust.

Flooring then became lighter, first to a medium walnut, and now to the current floor trend which is very light. These photos are of a luxury home I staged for the Parade of Homes Fall of 2019.

 

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How long will this current trend last? Who knows!

If you are refinishing your floors for selling purposes, go with what is on trend.

If you are refinishing your floors and plan to live in your home many years, go with what you like but still contrasts with the wood elsewhere in the home. You can enjoy the beauty of the color and down the road at resell time, refinish them in the color that is current at the time.

Refinishing hardward floors is not cheap and it is a messy process. If you are unsure about stain colors be sure to hire a professional home stager to assist you.

 

How High Should I Hang A Dining Room Light Fixture?

Many times when I am in a client’s home I notice a few things about the dining room. One of those things is the height that their light fixture is hung above the table. Most of the time it is too high.  In the photo to the right I feel the light is too high but it also is too large for the table.dining-room light too high

I think many times what happens is when people are moving in or out they clip the light fixture up so they won’t hit their heads when the table is gone and then it never gets lowered again. Or people just don’t know how to hang it so I’m here to help!

A general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the light should be about 30-34 inches above the table. Most table heights are 30″ so you are looking at approximately 62″ off the floor if your table isn’t in the room yet.

The dining room light fixture is normally the primary architectural feature of the room besides being the main source of light. So function as well as overall room decor is key.

The general rule I listed above is for an 8 foot ceiling. For every additional foot of ceiling height your light fixture may need to be raised 3 inches. The key word in that sentence is “may”. A lot is determined by the overall size of your light fixture, the size of your table and the size of your room. If you have an overly large chandelier you may need to raise it slightly higher.

In the photo below I feel the light is not only too small for the room it is too small for the table.

 

Light too small

 

The size of your fixture should be a half to two-thirds the width of the table; or one foot smaller than the table width is another way people determine the size. You just don’t want a fixture that is overpowering the table or the room. Likewise you don’t want it to look dwarfed in the space.

I am going to use my own dining room as an example:

My ceiling height is 9 feet, the diameter of the light fixture is 22″ and my table is 44″ wide and 78″ long. It is an open concept home so the height also needs to be adjusted with the overall scope of the area. But although my ceilings are a foot taller than the general rule of 8 feet, I did not adjust my light upwards. I just didn’t feel that was necessary with this pendant light.

 

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My light is 33″above the table. This height provides light down on the table where it is needed and really draws focus on the dining area itself. If this fixture was higher ……it would totally lose the intimate feeling you want in the dining room and feel like a hallway or foyer light.

 

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My recommendation is to use these general rules but then to hold up the light fixture and eye ball it as well. If necessary bring in a trained professional to assist you as once that wire is cut and the light is installed…..you can’t take it back!