Cottage Talk: First Floor Wood Debate

Hello friends!  I’ve missed you all.  Though I must admit this internet break has been just the R&R I’ve needed.  There is a possibility I won’t be a Christmas Grinch this year and that would be awesome.  I’m sadsies I can’t decorate my Cottage fireplace mantel (its currently covered in debris) or put up a tree (table saws and hvac ductwork crowding up the floors) but good things come to those who wait and I know that by this time next year Me and My Cottage will be in a whole different state.
The post today is focused on my current debate- Wood finish for the first floors.  For those of you who follow me on instagram or facebook, I apologize because this is old news.  But I know a lot of you check in via the blog (or subscribe to the RSS feed and get DM delivered to your email) and I wanted to share with you as well.
So the deal is that Dad says my original painted pined floors are too beat up and I need new wood.  I spent a few weeks being depressed about this,  but construction must go on, so now I want to choose a wood that I love and feels really fitting for my 100 year old cottage.
The top contenders are “Walnut” and “Espresso.”  Both are by Appalachian Woodand the species is Red Oak.  Appalachian doesn’t provide room views of their wood and only gave me a single board to use a reference which makes this process much more difficult.  Vendors, don’t you realize that provided samples results in sales?  So frustrating not being able to make an educated decision.  But the price is right, so I’m going to try.
(FYI- I’ve already tried discount places like Lowes and Lumber Liquidators and no one has anything I Like at the price-point I want to pay.)
Here is what the internet tells me Espresso and Walnut look like…
Based on this sampling alone, the walnut looks a little red and I prefer the neutral brown of the espresso.  
Then we factor in real life photos taken by me, against my rugs with my single board samples.  Don’t be fooled by the grain- it is the same wood, just different grain variations on each board.  This is typical of red oak.
(Above is my bedroom- the 2nd floor will maintain the original pine)
I love drama of darker floors, but they also feel a little modern to me.  My cottage is not modern and I want to keep the architectural elements in line with the cozy, traditional feel.  That being said, the darker looks much better against my blue kitchen cabinets.  (No picture, sorry- the doors need another coat.)
Then to confuse me further, I spy that Appalachian has another finish “Treebark” that looks really spiffy on the interwebs, but looks totally different in the sample version.  What the What?
I think I will need more boards of each sample before I am able to commit.  I sure do like the internet version of Treebark.
As is always important when planning a big purchase, I have looked to my inspiration for direction.  Here are some floors that inspire me…  (All taken from my pinterest “Wood Floors” board.)
dark wood floors white walls

medium dark wod floors

honey oak wood floors

dark 3in wood
medium dark wood with sisal
As you can see, I am drawn to both dark and medium tone woods.  Confusion!  I wish Santa would just deliver me a perfect surprise.

Are White floors an anti-depressant?

hello friends!  My goodness its dreary out here in Philadelphia and I’m craving creamy, dreamy white interiors.  Nothing lifts my spirits more than a clean, bright, cozy room that feels a bit like heaven on earth. 

The most important ingredient for an ethereal retreat?  White floors of course.

White Floors!  Perhaps not the practical choice for someone with a black dog and penchant for red wine drinking and chocolate eating, (Who me?) white floors constantly attract me, nonetheless.

nuevo estilo
There’s something about the way a white floor blends into a white wall that tricks the eye and makes one believe that the room goes on and on.  No boundaries here, and no limits to what you can design within the space.
I truly relish the way every detail and color pops in a white space.  The pattern of a rug, the curve of a wood chair, the edited use, or non-use of color, is all amplified.
justine hugh-jones via desire to inspire

It doesn’t matter if its polished concrete, or painted wood floors… each call my name.
 vicente wolf via veranda
Layered white, creamy neutrals….
The Milla Boutique, via the Right Bank
Or a white space peppered with color…
Don’t you dare make me choose!! 

And just like that… I feel better.  Do white floors make you happy too??

The Way Wood Floors should be

Before I get into this post I should say this- “To Each, Their Own.”  If your taste differs from mine, I’m still cool with you.  I hope you love your home, because everyone should; it is one’s sanctuary.

That being said, this is my blog, and I get to decide what is good taste and what is bad taste.  As I type this out, my floors are being laid over at the new house, so it’s seems the appropriate to discuss Wood today.

This is how I like my wood floors: Light.  Salvaged.  A little knotty.  A hint of Scandinavian.  Wide planked.  Aged (but not damaged.)
Natural and Full of character.

This is Perfection:
kristen buckingham via desire to inspire

via Canadian House and Home, Photographed by Mark Olson

(frank features via indian summer)

Betsy Brown via House Beautiful

(Nina Kejser via Desire to Inspire)

 (Emily McCall)

I think wood looks best in its natural state- No stain tarnishing the color or grain.

In my opinion, wood floors should never ever be red. 

(via apartment therapy)
Sorry, but this just hurts my eyes.
It dominates the decor and really limits you.
It doesn’t mix well with brown or blue or orange or green.  I just hate it.
Note: naturally red floors (mahogany, etc) are less terrible than maple or oak stained red.

I also think that floors should never be glossy.
(via decorpad)
Some people might think gloss = modern.
Well it don’t, people.
Furnishings, art, and fabrics are what sway a room modern or traditional.
Gloss just looks tacky to me.  And it will look like shit once its touched.
And the crowd may disagree here, but I think ebony stained floors are a bit too trendy.
 (a lovely room by ruthie somers)

I’ve seen plenty of gorgeous rooms with dark, dark wood floors, BUT…
I think they’ll look real dated in a few years.

Nope, an antique pine is all I want.  Something with hint of rustic.  This doesn’t mean your home will be country.  In fact, I love modern furnishings paired with light rustic floors.  They are the perfect neutral base to build off of.
Alas, antique pine wasn’t in our budget.  So we went with white oak in a natural stain.  I am so nervous to get home and see them!!

elements of my dream home

I am continuing this week’s theme of slightly unrealistic things that make me happy.  Today, I plan to visually construct my dream home.  Unless you are very new to the blog, you probably know that my boyfriend and I are actually gutting and renovating a home.  This is very exciting, and I feel most fortunate for the opportunity, but I should be clear that this is not my dream home.  We are being constrained by budget, time and space. Budget being the biggest evil, of course.  Today I am forgetting the South Philly Rowhome, and living in dream land.  Join me, wont you?

Architectural Dream home requirements:

1.  High Ceilings, with Wood or Metal beams.  Or Both.  Because I love the character they bring to a space- slightly rustic, slightly industrial- not too clean or too new.

mariana coriasco via interior divine
(Hello Peacock Mirror… )
workshop apd via desire to inspire
yvone baker via interior divine
2. Iron Windows.  Lots of them.  If they are arched, even better.
 Jill Brinson Sharp via House Beautiful
2A.  If my windows can’t be iron, they should either be arched, or floor to ceiling.  Awesomeness is required.  And LIGHT.
 light locations
 living etc
 3.  Indoor/ Outdoor Space.   A must.  I want to move seamlessly from my kitchen to my patio.  An of course my outdoor space should be divine and filled with lots of plants.
 gary hutton via desire to inspire
 contemporain studio via Apartment Therapy
workshop apd via desire to inspire
4.  Herringbone Wood Floors.  All Over.  Because they invoke history, romance, subtle pattern and beauty.  And I smile Everytime I see them.
 lazaro rosa violan via desire to inspire
 erin featherston via Right Bank
robert gervais 
 ina garten
5.  Loads and Loads of White Bookshelves.  Because storing and arranging the pretties is fun and the clean white lines make me feel fresh and sane
 katie leed
elle decor
annsley interiors
6.  A fireplace.  For warmth- physical, emotional and spiritual.  And because its the perfect place to unwind… sipping wine, listening to music, and watching those flames…
 via living etc
Karl Anderson via desire to inspire 
Well that is just the tip of the iceberg.  I never realized how demanding I am!  But if you’re going to dream, dream hard, right?  Perhaps I’ll follow up with the decorative elements of my dream home.
What architectual elements did I miss?  What makes up your dream home?