Why are humans so attracted to hardwood flooring? Why do Coloradans make it their number one flooring choice again and again? Why do you consistently see hardwood flooring in the top homes in the region?
It might be because of biophilic design.
What biophilic design is … and isn’t
Biophilic design connects you to nature. It’s the art of using things that naturally occur in nature, and work to build them into the overall architecture of your residence.
Biophilic design has five distinctive characteristics:
1. An emphasis on adaptation to the natural world. Items that over time have been proven as instrumental in helping people’s overall health, fitness, and well being.
2. It’s not the inclusion of just one thing. Instead, biophilic design depends on repeated and sustained connections with nature.
3. The elements woven throughout a residence will comprise of various complementary elements, reinforced throughout the design, and interconnected as a whole. This isn’t about inserting a plant and having it exist out of context.
4. It fosters emotional attachment to the surroundings. By creating a calming effect, you’re more likely to feel motivated, satisfied, and have overall better performance.
5. If you use biophilic design well, it creates connections and positive interaction between people and their environment. It enhances the surroundings, and gives a sense of membership to the community.
Why does all this matter? Because it creates a more calming, more effective place to live.
Growing evidence shows that patients go home faster if their hospital rooms are designed with biophilic characteristics. Children can boost concentration simply by walking and being in nature. And spending time in natural settings can lower stress and blood pressure while boosting immune function.
We’re spending as much as 90 percent of our time indoors. Shouldn’t we make the spaces we live in better places to live?
How wood floors can help us return to nature
Coloradans understand the beauty of hardwood floors. Maybe it’s because we live in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Maybe it’s because we have this innate sense of wanting to be out in nature. Skiing, biking, hiking – it’s a way of life for many of us who choose to call Colorado home. And because of that, we want to bring some of that back indoors.
Hardwood floors literally allow you to do that. When you select hardwood for your flooring, you’re bringing nature back in.
Yet most of us rarely think about just how much space the flooring takes. It’s the foundation of your design. You use it to plan the decor of the rest of your home.
Choose a light oak? The rest of your home might be bright and airy.
Choose a dark walnut? Your home might focus on dramatic, sophisticated design.
And that’s the goal. You’re using hardwood flooring to bring nature in, and use it to connect with nature for years to come.
Hardwood flooring – start by selecting the right color
So you want new hardwood flooring. Where do you start?
If you walk into our design center, you’ll find one of the first choices you’ll have to make is the color. Color is important; you want a flooring you’ll love for years to come. Select the room color, and you’ll have to refinish it sooner.
Color for hardwood flooring isn’t about red, blue, and green. Instead, it’s about light to dark. Each hardwood flooring color provides you with a different experience. This is how they compare with maintenance and cleaning.
Dark wood flooring – dark wood flooring has been a popular choice for several years. That’s because it works well in a variety of situations.
Have bright furnishings or a strong sense of modern design? Dark wood works well. Want neutral surroundings? Starting with dark wood on the floor is the best way to set it off.
While many assume dark wood equals formal, that’s not the case. It can create a rustic, aged look that’s perfect for country charm or a mountain retreat.
Dark wood will show more than lighter choices. If you have pets, kids, and a busy household, expect to see signs of wear earlier. But for some, that’s part of its charm. You might have to dust more frequently to pick up pet hair and crumbs, but the dark wood allows you to see where to swiff your broom more easily.
We’ve found a couple of places we don’t recommend using dark wood. In tiny rooms, it can make the room look even smaller. And when selecting dark wood planks, wider is better. Fewer seams mean a more continuous look, which is something you’ll enjoy for years inside your home.
Light wood flooring – light wood has been popular for decades. And in some cases, the lightness has only intensified as we bring more options to market. Like the whitewash look? You’ll find choices. Want something more exotic, something you won’t find in your neighbor’s home? You’ll find that too.
With custom solutions and finishes, you can go as light as you desire. But keep in mind, just like extreme dark wood, light wood has it’s problems too.
To create a light, almost white look, takes special processing. A contractor may have to combine stain and paint to lighten up the flooring. To seal it in means adding a clear finish, and that might be required regularly to keep its light, good looks.
The finish you select is equally important. Oil based finishes might be clear going on, but they can yellow over time. Talk in detail with your flooring contractor to learn how well your choices will stand the test of time.
Light hardwood flooring choices are almost always a good choice for every room in your home. They hide dust and dirt well, and can even mask surface level scratches.
How are you going to bring the outside in?
No matter what color you choose, by selecting hardwood flooring, you’ll be bringing nature in. With a little thought and planning, biophilic design can help your home be a more relaxing, calm, and beautiful place to live.
And isn’t that what we all want anyway?