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Dark hardwood flooring: What color should walls be?

Dark hardwood flooring is an incredibly versatile flooring option, and it can be difficult to determine which color should the walls be.

When it comes to hardwood floors, there are more than enough options to choose from. However, adding dark hardwood floors to any or all rooms in your house can help to ground the space.

Darker hardwood floors can be the first step in designing a very elegant home, but it is important to examine the lighting in the room, as well as the undertones in your wooden floors before you settle on a paint color to complete this sleek design.

There are several lighter and darker wall color options that will work well when paired with darker hardwood flooring, regardless of the lighting and tone of the wood.

This means that the choice is really down to what color will suit your personal preference, although it never hurts to look at some popular suggestions.

All about dark hardwood floors

Darker hardwood floors have become a very popular choice for many homeowners and designers, and there is a good reason for this.

Hardwood flooring usually adds a touch of elegance to your space, but dark hardwood floors add an even more modern and sophisticated look to your space.

Dark hardwood floors are also a very versatile design choice, as they go with almost any wall and furniture colors.

Natural wood floors always have some warm undertones, but darker stained hardwood floors often lean more towards the cool side. This means that dark hardwood floors tend to work when paired with both cool and dark tones in your décor.

Solid hardwood floors can be manufactured from many different types of wood, as a dark stain is usually what provides the deep color, and the choice is really down to your budget, the other wood finishes in your house and the look that you want to achieve.

Red oak, white oak, maple, birch, hickory, mahogany and even ebony woods are all popular choices for dark hardwood floors.

Dark hardwood floors can make your bedroom, living room, study, kitchen, dining room or any other room in your house appear much sleeker.

Additionally, they are also an excellent option if you want to add a bit of drama and contrast into your home.

Dark hardwood flooring: What color should walls be?

If you already have dark hardwood flooring in your house, and just want to upgrade the look of your space or you are starting from scratch on a new design, it can be difficult to know where to start to find a wall color that looks good with your dark floors.

The first thing to note is that even though your floors do cover a large surface area in your house, they are often not directly in your line of sight.

This means that it is much more important that you like the color that you choose for your walls, because that is what your eyes will focus on most.

This being said, even if you like your wall color, if this color happens to clash with your floor color, the whole design might seem off-balance.

This is why it is important to examine your dark hardwood floors closely before you even start to consider which wall colors might work for your personal and design style.

Dark hardwood floors are a broad term, so it is important to really observe your dark wooden flooring in your actual rooms.

The lighting may affect how the color and undertones of this wood appears at different times during the day, which will be an important factor to consider when choosing your wall colors.

The undertones of your hardwood floors are another important factor to consider. It can be tricky to try and figure out the exact undertones of your wood.

Often, the best way to determine this undertone is to hold up different objects, paint swatches or other pieces of wood next to your wooden floors, to try and see if any of the undertones show up more prominently to you this way.

Red, orange and yellow hues would suggest that your wood is warm-toned, while blue and purple hues mean that your dark hardwood floors are cool-toned.

Although most dark wood floors do have both cool and warm undertones and are fairly versatile, chances are that the lighting direction of your room or other décor pieces that you already have will lean more to one side of the spectrum.

These undertones are important, because colors with the same undertones generally work well together. Therefore, warm wall colors will work best with red and orange toned floors and cool wall colors with more steely, blue floors.

Luckily, there are more than enough wall colors which will work well with your darker wood floors, no matter what the undertones are.

White and off-white color walls with dark hardwood flooring

White and off-white colors are always a popular choice for interior walls, as this gives a nice bright, neutral base for you to build the rest of your design on top of.

Notably, white and off-white colors work especially well if your room has exceptionally dark ebony or espresso floors, as this can create a high-contrast look, which will make for a graphic and visually striking design.

These lighter colors also ensure that your room does not end up feeling too dark and cavernous.

Some of these lighter and more airy colors include:

Shade Brand Color swatch
Cool December Dunn Edwards
Snowbound Sherwin Williams
Heirloom Shade Dunn Edwards
White Wisp Benjamin Moore

These colors work well in spaces where you would like the room to feel more open, like living rooms and kitchens.

A lighter, more neutral color is also a good option if you would like to use one color throughout your entire interior or in more than one room, as it is unlikely to clash with any other colors, which will give you some freedom to decorate each room slightly differently.

Dark blue and navy color walls with dark hardwood flooring

Moody and dark blue colors are also a good option to pair with your dark wood floors. The combination of two dark colors will give the room a sophisticated and serious look and feel.

Touches of lighter colors in your décor, like adding a lighter colored rug or adding a lot of light fixtures will help you to break up the dark colors and add some brightness back into the room, so that it does not feel overwhelmingly dark.

Some examples of these darker blue colors include:

Shade Brand Color swatch
Salamander Benjamin Moore
Night Flight Behr
Hague Blue Farrow and Ball

The cooler, more serious feeling that this combination can add to your interior design style, works well for an office or formal dining area.

These darker, cooler tones can also help you to create a more masculine design, which will work well to create an intriguing, yet sophisticated space for a bedroom or man-cave.

Gray color walls with dark hardwood flooring

Dark wood floors also tend to work well with gray wall colors. Gray interior walls can create a very modern and futuristic look, especially when these walls are paired with sophisticated dark wood floors.

Gray is also a very calming and neutral option for your space. This neutrality will allow you the space to add other pops of brighter colors into your room design with furniture, soft furnishings or even art.

If you want to modernize your space, some examples of gray wall colors which work well with dark hardwood floors, include:

Shade Brand Color
Wrought Iron Benjamin Moore
Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams
Iron Ore Sherwin Williams
Gray Screen Sherwin Williams
Edgecomb Gray Benjamin Moore
Stonington Gray Benjamin Moore

Gray wall colors come in a variety of different shades and hues, which makes it a very versatile choice, and this means that you can choose a lighter or darker shade depending on the design you envision for your space.

Gray walls and dark hardwood floors work particularly well in rooms where you want to create a relaxed feeling, such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

However, if you add pops of color and warmer elements through the other design elements in the room, this combination can work well in all the rooms of your home.

Final thoughts

The walls and floors make up most of the surface area in your house, which is why it is important to consider and carefully plan the color of these surfaces when you are designing or redesigning your home.

Dark hardwood floors are a very versatile and elegant choice. However, this versatility also means that it can sometimes be difficult to narrow down the other elements of your design, like your wall colors.

Once you have examined the lighting of your rooms, the undertones of your floors and the exact design style you want to create within your space, there are several wall colors you could choose from to round out this design. These colors include some white and off-white, dark blue and gray colors.