Look down. What do you see? Your floors may shine, but do they dazzle? All too often, we limit our inspiration to the walls of our homes and overlook the spectacular blank canvas right under our feet. You’re standing on a treasure trove of design opportunity!
Photo: West Elm
Here are five ways to put your foot down on floor décor:
1. Stencils. Whether shabby or spotless, wood floors can get a major design boost with painted stencils. Just add equal parts inspiration and elbow grease, making sure to plan your design (and its spacing!) carefully in advance. Create your own stencil using corrugated cardboard like Remodelista or choose from the many stencil options available online.
2. Paint. Few design tweaks can reinvent a room like a coat of paint, and floors are no exception. Consider upgrading your ground with a bold hue that complements the surrounding space. Wood floors are best for painting, but some cement surfaces can handle it, too. Laminate flooring is hit or miss. No matter what type of floor you have, test a small area first to ensure that the paint adheres to the surface. Also, be sure to use paint that is able to withstand foot traffic (usually oil-based or latex).
3. Area rugs. For the commitment- and DIY-phobic, area rugs are a no-brainer. The key is to be thoughtful in selecting and arranging them. First and foremost, always consider your cleaning needs: Go with sizes that fit your furniture but leave at least a foot or two of floor visible. If you have kids or pets, consider wool rugs (they’ll hide spills). And don’t be afraid to play around with smaller rugs in larger rooms to divide the space.
4. Wood stains. Applying finish to your wood floors is necessary to protect them from stains, damage and moisture penetration. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Today, wood floor finishes come in a wide array of sheens (from matte to super glossy) and colors. Take advantage of the options available and stain your floor with an eye for design.
5. Baseboard molding. Though technically floor-adjacent, baseboard molding is another way to revive a room from the ground up. Adding it or updating your existing molding can lend instant polish and sophistication to rooms with hard flooring surfaces such as tile, stone, wood and laminate. Unlike paint and rugs, baseboard molding is less about making a statement and more about tying a room together so the entire aesthetic “just works.”