Interior Design Tips for Wood Floors: Creating a Stylish and Inviting Space

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Wood floors have been a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike, thanks to their timeless beauty, durability, and versatility. Whether you’re working with a new installation or looking to refresh your existing wood floors, understanding how to design around them is key to creating a cohesive and inviting space. In this article, we’ll explore various interior design tips for wood floors, covering furniture selection, lighting, wall colors, and more.

interior design tips for wood floors

Types of Wood Floors

Before diving into design tips, it’s essential to recognize the different types of wood floors available.


Hardwood floors are a classic choice known for their durability and elegance. They come in two main varieties:

1. Solid hardwood: These floors are made from a single piece of wood and can be sanded and refinished multiple times, making them a long-lasting investment.

2. Engineered hardwood: Consisting of a thin layer of hardwood veneer bonded to a plywood or MDF core, engineered hardwood offers stability and resistance to moisture, making it suitable for a wider range of environments.


Softwood floors, such as pine, offer a more rustic and cozy feel. They are often less expensive than hardwood but are more prone to dents and scratches.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood floors are sourced from old buildings or structures and bring character and history to a space. They offer a unique look and contribute to sustainable design practices.


Although not technically wood, bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly option that shares many similarities with hardwood. It is durable, stable, and comes in a variety of colors and styles.

Furniture Selection

When it comes to furniture selection, the key is to choose pieces that complement your wood floors without overwhelming them. 

Choosing Furniture that Complements Wood Floors

Consider the style and color of your wood floors when selecting furniture. For example, if you have dark, rich hardwood floors, you might opt for lighter-colored furniture to create contrast and balance. Conversely, if your floors are a lighter shade, darker furniture can add depth and sophistication to the room.

Balancing Wood Tones

To avoid a monotonous look, balance wood tones by incorporating furniture in different finishes or materials. This can include upholstered seating, metal accent pieces, or painted wood furniture. By mixing and matching materials, you create visual interest and prevent the space from feeling too matchy-matchy.

Incorporating Textiles and Rugs

Textiles, like area rugs and throw pillows, can add softness and visual interest while protecting your floors from scratches and wear. Choose rugs that complement your wood floors and furniture, and consider the size and placement of the rug in relation to the room’s layout. Throw pillows and blankets in coordinating colors and patterns can tie the look together and add a cozy touch.

Lighting Considerations

Lighting plays a crucial role in highlighting the beauty of wood floors and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Natural Light and Wood Floors

Natural light enhances the warmth and depth of wood tones, so make the most of windows and skylights when possible. Consider the orientation of your room and how the light changes throughout the day to optimize your design choices.

Artificial Lighting Options

When selecting artificial lighting, consider a layered approach that includes ambient, task, and accent lighting.

1. Ambient lighting, such as overhead fixtures or wall sconces, provides overall illumination and can help create a cozy atmosphere. Consider dimmer switches to adjust the mood and brightness as needed.

2. Task lighting, like table lamps or pendant lights, is essential for specific activities such as reading or working. Position task lighting strategically to avoid glare on your wood floors.

3. Accent lighting, such as recessed spotlights or track lighting, can be used to highlight artwork, architectural features, or the unique textures of your wood floors. Experiment with different angles and intensities to create visual interest and depth.

Highlighting Wood Floor Textures with Lighting

The right lighting can accentuate the natural grain and texture of your wood floors. Consider installing lights at floor level, such as recessed floor lights or low-profile track lighting, to create a dramatic effect and showcase the beauty of your floors.

Wall Color and Paint Selection

The choice of wall color and paint can significantly impact the overall look and feel of a room with wood floors.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors, such as white, beige, or gray, create a clean and versatile backdrop that allows your wood floors to take center stage. They also provide a blank canvas for incorporating colorful accents through artwork, textiles, and accessories.

Bold and Contrasting Colors

For a more dramatic look, consider bold and contrasting colors, like deep blues or emerald greens, when paired with the right wood tone. These colors can add depth and sophistication to a space, making your wood floors pop.

Considering Undertones in Wood Floors

When selecting paint colors, consider the undertones in your wood floors. Warm undertones, such as red or yellow, pair well with earthy hues like terracotta or olive green. Cool undertones, like gray or blue, complement colors in the same cool family, such as soft grays or muted blues.

Other Interior Design Elements

In addition to furniture, lighting, and wall color, other interior design elements can help tie your space together and showcase your personal style.

Artwork and Wall Decor

When hanging artwork, consider the scale and placement in relation to your wood floors and furniture. Choose pieces that complement the colors and textures in your room, and don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles for an eclectic look.

Window Treatments

Window treatments, like sheer curtains or woven shades, can filter natural light and add texture to the room. Choose materials and colors that complement your wood floors and overall design scheme.

Accessories and Plants

Accessories, such as vases, sculptures, or decorative objects, can introduce pops of color and visual interest. Plants, both real and artificial, can add organic elements and bring life to a space. Consider the scale and placement of accessories in relation to your wood floors and furniture to create a balanced and cohesive look.


Designing with wood floors offers endless possibilities for creating a warm, inviting, and stylish space. By carefully considering furniture selection, lighting, wall colors, and other design elements, you can enhance the inherent beauty of your wood floors and create a cohesive look that reflects your personal taste. 

Remember to experiment with different combinations and textures until you find the perfect balance for your home. With these interior design tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a space that showcases the timeless elegance of wood floors.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.