We love to push the boundaries of predictable when it comes to hardwood floors. We’ve been working on a number of projects lately with some fantastic hardwood floors. While classic and timeless, they are not your run of the mill (no pun intended) honey stained oak.
Working with Robert Lewis Renovations in a contemporary condo, we installed a spectacular chevron patterned white french oak floor with a custom glaze finish. The chevron is much more difficult to install than a regular herringbone, but the lines it creates are wonderful and the look is so much sleeker.
We are also in the midst of renovating a 19th century classic Pacific Heights Victorian, where we had intended to update the look of the floors by staining them a dark walnut. However, when the client and I walked into the house during the laborious sanding portion of the floor refinishing process, we both looked at each other and immediately had the same epiphany… let’s go extremely light instead of extremely dark with the hardwood stain.
The house gets limited natural light in certain areas due to the neighboring buildings. When the brown stain was taken off the floors, the rooms suddenly felt lighter and more airy. Of course, changing the floors so drastically inevitably changes the design intent. One thing I love about interior design is as much as you plan and plan, spontaneity always plays a critical role in the end. After many meetings with the floor refinishers and conference calls with the client, we came up with a custom formula of bleaching the pink out of the oak and then applying a custom mixed gray/white washed finish.
While dark floors did not end up being the right fit for the San Francisco Victorian, we do have a crush on super-ebonized walnut floors. Getting the color to come out right can be tricky– often taking five coats– so don’t expect a rich color after one or two coats.