Trends come and go, but wood floors will never go out of style. They can add warmth and character to just about any room in your house. The shade and pattern of the wood floor can easily dictate the style of the space and can either act as a point of contrast or seamlessly blend together an entire open floor plan.
Whether you have true hardwood floors, laminate, or even the new lookalike wood tiles, it can be tricky to choose a complementary shade of paint on the first try. Lighter colored wood floors are more commonly seen because they hide dirt well and make rooms look larger, but that doesn't mean dark wood floors can't be just as swoon-worthy. In fact, they can add instant depth and elegance to any room.
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Picking a complementary wall color can be made easier if you pay attention to undertones, in both your floor and your paint options. Most light wood floors, aside from those with a white wash, actually have warm yellow and orange undertones. Choosing a paint color with cool undertones can give the room a balanced look, while going with another warm shade can make the space feel cozy and inviting.
The same is true for dark wood floors, which tend to have a cool undertone. Paired with cool colors like white and navy blue, they look bold and crisp, while warm colors like taupe or greige create a softer feel.
Still feeling confused? Don't worry. We got you.
10 Colors That Go With Light Wood Floors
1. Light Wood and Black
This kitchen, put together by designer Steve Cordony, is the perfect balance of light and dark. The hardwood floors complement the bold black cabinetry, while the ample natural light and chic gold hardware keep everything airy and bright. This is one kitchen we wouldn't mind waking up to.
2. Light Wood and Bright White
If clean and minimal is what you're after, look no further. The folks behind The Tomkat Studio hit it out of the park with this one. The whitewashed wood floors and Shaker-style cabinets make for a classic look that you'll never get tired of seeing. Black accents (in the pattered backsplash, light fixtures, and drawer pulls) pop against the white paint, adding warmth and dimension.
3. Light Wood and Sage Green
Courtney from Girl & Grey highlights her light-colored wood floors by painting her lower cabinets a rich shade of sage green. The natural tones work well together, giving this space a fresh, modern twist. The patterned runner adds complexity to the color scheme and helps ground the space.
4. Light Wood and Salmon Pink
This cheerfully eclectic living room by Megan from TF Diaries showcases the light hardwood floors by pairing them with salmon pink walls. This particular shade of pink is on the warm end of the spectrum, and it works well with the warm floors thanks to the pops of white and the multi-colored rug and and artwork. The neutral tones of the floor, chairs, and brick accent wall anchor a bright and adventurous color palette.
5. Light Wood and Warm Yellow
Light wood flooring makes it easy to incorporate fun colors like the warm mustard yellow on display in this kitchen by Oakley Moore. The combination of the crosshatch pattern on the floor and the gold pendant lights adds some retro flair to this space. Keeping the island slim and sans bar stools makes the small kitchen appear large and open.
6. Light Wood and Light Blue
Copy this monochromatic look from Alisa of A Glass of Bovino and you'll end up with a room fit for royalty. The creamy shade of light blue pops against the hardwood floors. Simple white bedding add brightness and prevents the room from feeling too closed in.
7. Light Wood and Seafoam Green
Almost anything goes when it comes to light colored wood flooring, even seafoam green walls and a teal blue couch like in this living room by Lins from Boo & Maddie. This space is warm and welcoming thanks to the multiple layers of textures and complementary colors. Using a matching shade of wood in the planter legs and a few of the frames in the gallery wall gives the space a cohesive look despite all the eclectic elements.
8. Light Wood and Gray
This sophisticated home office designed by Oak & Olive is a prime example of successfully using multiple wood tones in the same room. Cool gray walls act as the perfect backdrop for the rich trim and warmer light wood floors. Basic black picture frames and white lampshades help break up the wood-on-wood look.
Complement the warm tones of your wood floor with a cool shade of navy blue. The team behind Devon Grace Interiors chose to do a wraparound navy accent wall with a pair of matching chairs under the window. Then, they echoed the warm yellow undertones of the wood floor in the camel leather couch and books on the built-in shelves for a perfect blend of style and sophistication.
10. Light Wood and Taupe
Paula of @homebypolly knows her way around a laid-back, bohemian design. The taupe accent wall in her living room is just the right focal point to tie the whole space together. Pops of black in the round mirror, rug, and picture frames provide contrast against the light wood floor and white walls. This one is all about balance.
5 Colors That Go With Dark Wood Floors
Don't be afraid to pair dark hardwood floors with dark walls. This living room from the Lace & Grace Interiors team accentuates the rich wood floor with a navy blue accent wall. The two dark tones complement each other, while the bright white walls make everything pop.
2. Dark Wood and White
The contrast between the chocolate brown floors and the white walls in this living room by Amy Peters shows that you can still achieve a minimalist vibe with dark elements. Just because your home has dark wood floors doesn't mean you're destined for drab, closed-in rooms. Between the white curtains, light rug, and white accessories, this living room is balanced and bright.
3. Dark Wood and Forest Green
Green is having a total moment right now. Take the leap and pair forest green with your dark wood floors like Jenna Sue Design did here. The dark cabinets accentuate the darker tones in the floor. The white upper cabinets blend right into the walls, making the kitchen appear larger.
4. Dark Wood and Gray
Go for a rich tone-on-tone look like Studio Lawahl did here. The gray cabinets, dark floor, and matching dark wood furniture make this kitchen cozy and classic. Keeping the ceiling and light fixtures white helps draw the eye upward, opening up the room.
5. Dark Wood and Black
Just because you have deep chocolate brown floors doesn't mean you can't jump on the black paint trend. This space by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design is proof that the two shades can co-mingle harmoniously. If the room is feeling too dark, consider adding a lighter-colored rug to help brighten the room.
Other Considerations for Pairing Color With Wood Floors
When choosing a paint color to go with your wood floors, remember to consider undertones. If your floor has a warm undertone, go with cool-colored walls for balance, or warm-colored ones for an especially cozy feel. The reverse is true for floors with cool tones: Choose warm-colored paint for balance, or cool for a stark, modern look.
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of your space. Dark colors can make a room feel smaller, but strategic painting choices (ex: painting upper cabinets white or using an accent wall) can let you use the bold colors you love while also keeping your space bright and airy.
Most importantly, though, remember that there are no wrong answers when it comes to painting your walls. Some of the best designs out there are ones that push limits. What matters is that you like your space. Besides, you can easily repaint your walls if you want to try another look in the future.
If you're on the fence about plunging into a bold shade, consider picking up a few samples to try. Just be sure to paint swatches of the same color in multiple areas so you can get a good look at it in every type of light.