Some of you commented yesterday that you really liked the dark wood floors on the stairs and in the family room and that I should just replace the ceramic tiles with dark wood to match and call it a day.

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That was definitely my Plan B. My problem with this flooring is that it's engineered wood and for some reason it has that sort of swishy, sticky, hollow sound to it when you walk (drives me nuts). Also, it's made to look hand-scraped, which can be really pretty when done subtly, but ends up being a bit too much texture I think in a large space.

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Also, I really, really dislike the way they did the stairs, where you can see the individual pieces of wood instead of cut-to-fit planks. Even if we were going to keep the dark wood floors, I'd pull those off the wood on the treads and risers and have new planks cut. This look is not my favorite.

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For the record, I still really like the look of dark stained floors. I think it's classic and the contrast against light color walls is so pretty! My mom has really dark floors in her house and they're lovely. The stain shade on the wood in this house is almost the same as my mom's and I really like it.

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I actually spent a few days at the new house recently working on a pre-closing project (photos coming soon! Can't wait to share.) and the dust on the floors ended up being a daily chore to tackle. The footprints!! They were everywhere. I was practically married to my swiffer when we lived at the loft with the white epoxy floors, and the idea of having endless years ahead of me wiping up the dark floors every time the kids come in from playing in the backyard sounded like a nightmare.

And while it would be less than half as expensive to replace the tile with the same dark engineered wood (assuming we could buy more of the same wood), I feel like it would be a little like throwing good money after bad. Since there's a good chance we'll live in this home for a long time, I'd rather put a bigger chunk of my renovating budget toward doing the floors right from the get go.

So what am I envisioning? A light golden gray. Basically the color of dust and kid smudges. :) This first photo here is my inspiration.

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I'm shooting for a more classic "Paris apartment" color on the stain, which I think might be a little more trend-resistant than the really light grays (which are so, so gorgeous).

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World of Interiors (I think? Dang Tumblr!)

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Arch Digest

We're putting in an order for 3.5" unfinished white oak. The bulk of the order will be sent in random lengths for all the straight-laying we'll do in most of the house. But in the library (which I'll show you next) I want to lay the wood in a herringbone pattern.

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above and below via
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The floor in the library is sunken about 8", which is not my favorite look normally, but it works pretty well to define the three different spaces we have going on in the front part of the house. It was going to cost thousands and thousands to fill in the step-down and we would have had to wait for 60 days for the concrete to cure before laying flooring down on top of the fill. I was on the fence about filling it anyway, so problem solved!

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Doing a herringbone will make the step down look more intentional I think. And actually, it's really a chevron pattern we're doing, where the planks aren't offset, but meet at an angle - just like in all the example photos above. I'm sort of getting ahead of myself though. More plans for the library and the parquetry in a bit.

What do you think of our stain choice? We need to test some more samples, but it's looking like three parts golden oak to one part gray stain is just about right.