The Importance of Contrast / Pairing Hardwood with Paint Colors

So you are fortunate enough to have hardwood floors... And you realize that choosing the right color to contrast with the floors will make not only the floors pop, but the walls too. So what color do you go with? Let's find out...

The definition of "Contrast": Contrast simply means the difference between two colors. It is important to keep that in mind as we explore options for wall colors that pair well with hardwood floors. To give an example of perfect contrast I will use the example of black and white. Total opposites, black and white are the polar opposite and give the greatest sense of contrast. Think of the page you are reading this on.. The page is white, and the letters are black. This allows you to read the words of this blog easily. Say that the letters of this blog were yellow, you would probably be squinting a lot and have a hard time reading this. It is important to have contrast because this allows your eyes to easily see what you are looking at. Whether it is black on white or vice versa, the greater the contrast, the easier time you will have seeing what you are looking at. The moon at night looks so beautiful because of the deep, dark background that it floats on. The moon doesn't look as beautiful during the day, partly because of the lack on contrast between the sky and moon. Let's explore how we can apply this to painting your home to match the hardwood.

Let's say you have deep, rich, chocolate oak floors. The darkness and richness to them really make the white trim stand out, and the crisp, clean, white doors and trim really contrast nicely. Going with a color higher that exceeds 50% shading can be risky because it might end up seeming close to how dark the floors are. Sticking to a lighter tone will be a great fit to contrast the floors and the trim/baseboards as the lighter color will be a good transition from the dark (floors) to the light (trim). (Going with a dark color can also work well if you prefer darker colors in general but getting the advice of an interior designer is advised to really make sure you find a good balance between the two should you choose this route). Going with a green, gray, or beige always is a safe bet as greens are natural colors (think grass and trees) which pair well with the color of dark wood.. think forest. Gray's are perfect neutrals in the sens that gray pairs with everything. And beige is always a safe bet as beige's are light and warm, which can give the walls and home a warm, cozy feeling.

If you have lighter tones in your hardwood floor you also will find that many lighter colors pair really well such as "Buttery Rum (PPU4-03)", or "Artisan Crafts (N250-4)", or if you think you would prefer a more bold color, Behr offers several beautiful deep, rich colors that will pair well such as: Silken Pine (N430-7) or Chocolate Therapy (N150-7). I myself prefer darker colors so I am a big fan of these colors.. I even have my home office painted in Silken Pine. Let me know your thoughts and favorite colors that you would recommend!