For the floor. we chose a maple floor in natural stain finished on site. We love dark floors but decided against it for a couple of reasons.
- I strongly dislike oak and to do a dark stained floor in maple requires using an engineered wood floor. That's because maple does not accept stain evenly, so there could be a lot of variation in staining and the floor could end up looking terrible. In order to ensure a consistent quality of staining the only option is to use a factory stained engineered wood floor. While I like engineered wood floors, it would have cost about $10,000 more to put in such a floor.
- Walnut was not really an option for us either. While it is easily stained on site, it is much softer than maple. With two little kids in the house, it would not take long for the floor to have dents and grooves all over the place. Sure, you could argue that dents add to the "lived in" look of the house, but I think I'd rather have smooth floors
- Everyone we talked to who has had dark floors at some point in the past agreed that dark floors really show the dirt. Again, with two little kids, there is no shortage of dirt and crumbs constantly on our floors. On our current maple floor, that dirt is barely noticable. That's a look worth keeping.
We also picked a tile for the kitchen, powder room, mudroom and entrance. It's a 12" X 24" light grey tile with slight flecks in it. It has a look of natural stone, but it is also very simple and clean.
We were inspired by several kitchens including the one below:
For our kitchen, we picked a simple flat door stained in chocolate brown and we are pricing a white quartz countertop from cesarstone. The countertop we are looking at is not pure white, but rather white with with some flecks in it so that the crumbs and such don't show up so obviously. The flecks actually have some grey in them to pick up on the floor tile.
In a couple of weeks we will meet again with the designer to pick the upstairs finishes.