Staying on top of current trends in flooring is a good way of making an informed choice and avoiding buyer’s remorse. While the novelty of a bold style may strike you in the moment, no one wants their new floor to look dated in a year or two. Here are some of the trends we’ve seen at Oshkosh Designs over the past few years that show no signs of slowing down in 2017.
In general, colors are getting lighter. Tastes have moved away from dark, stately tones, which are sometimes forbidding. Lighter colors serve to brighten up a room and do a good job of reflecting natural light. Grays have been popular for several years now, as have blonde woods and whitewashes.
Another major trend in flooring and home décor today is a move away from uniformity. While wider, longer floor planks have recently become the norm, many are now also choosing to vary plank width or run planks diagonally. Others choose to forego strip flooring altogether and opt for parquet. Employing striking patterns, such as chevron and herringbone, can create a very dramatic effect. Neutral tones can be offset using colored borders and inlays, with pastels and various shades of blue growing in popularity. Incorporating a variety of materials – multiple wood species, stone, leather, or metal – is another good way to create sharp contrast.
High gloss finishes on an already light-colored floor can take a room from bright to blinding. So as tones get lighter, finishes have become more subdued. Many home- and business-owners are choosing more understated, less glossy finishes for a more natural look. Matte finishes tend to look less artificial and show off the natural beauty and character of the wood. For those who still prefer a bit of sheen, satin finishes remain popular and are a sensible middle ground.
Rustic décor and industrial chic continue to be popular, though these styles are becoming much more refined. Again, designers and homeowners are steering away from floors that appear artificial or mass-produced, seeking instead to emphasize the beauty of natural materials. This makes wood and stone floors an obvious choice over manufactured materials such as laminates.
To this end, subtle texturing is very much in vogue. Hand-scraping or wire-brushing creates a distressed, lived-in look while bringing out the unique character of each piece of wood. Textured floors also carry the added bonus of hiding scratches, dirt, and dust, making them an ideal choice for homeowners with children or pets. Oshkosh Designs does all its texturing by hand, ensuring that your floors and décor appear anything but mass-produced.
The desire for a natural, lived-in look has also given rise to a high demand for reclaimed wood. Naturally, the best way to achieve a vintage look is to use vintage materials. Lumber from old barns, abandoned factories, razed buildings, and even sunken ships is repurposed for floor planks, wood tile, and inlays. Some reclaimed wood even comes with original stamps from centuries-old lumber mills or certificates of origin and custody, tracing its history. Not only does this provide a great conversation piece, but few materials can match the beauty of aged and weathered wood. Oshkosh Designs does a lot of custom work with reclaimed materials from local sources.
Along those same lines, conscientious sourcing is becoming more important to consumers. While using recycled wood can create a marvelous effect, it often carries added cost. But minimizing your environmental footprint doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Ethically-sourced hardwoods are an ecologically sound choice. (All of the woods used by Oshkosh Designs are certified sustainably sourced from FSC-certified suppliers.) Sustainable alternatives to hardwood, such as bamboo and cork, are also growing in popularity. These materials have attractive natural grains but remain cost-effective.
While trends can help you to make informed choices, in the end it all comes down to individual taste. Working with experienced professionals to customize your floor ensures that you get a unique look, exactly the way you want it. All floors from Oshkosh Designs are completely customizable, so not only can you follow the trends – you can help set them.