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Solid Wood Floor in Our Open Plan Room: A Case Study

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 20 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Solid Wood Floor In Our Open Plan Room: A Case Study

When the Williams family opened up their living room they knew they would need a new floor for the extended space. Eventually they settled on Solid Wood - and they haven’t regretted it.

Mary said:“We used to have three reception rooms on the ground floor of our house - a sitting room, a dining room and the kitchen/breakfast room. The rooms weren’t huge and as our family grew, we found it increasingly uncomfortable to use the sitting room.

“The five of us filled the space up and if we ever had friends over, people had to squeeze in and sit on the floor. The solution seemed to be to take down the wall between the sitting room and the dining room, to make one larger space.

“Our house is Victorian and we have lots of lovely period features. Both the sitting room and dining room had a fireplace in and the rooms had dado rails, picture rails, skirting boards, coving and ceiling roses.

“In both rooms, we had exposed Pine Floorboards. These we had stripped ourselves we when first bought the house. The boards in the sitting room weren’t too bad but those in the dining room were very damaged.

“At some point before our time, a previous homeowner had also replaced some of them. This had been done very badly, using boards that were not particularly attractive. Our solution had been to hide them with Rugs.

“Before the wall came down, we spent a lot of time deliberating about the décor for the new room. We decided that as the open plan space would be much brighter than either of the rooms had been before, we would go for a very neutral colour scheme to make the most of the natural light.

“We also decided to enhance the period features in the room - to create a look that was elegant and modern but that also worked for a building of this age.

Time for a Floor Change

“When it came to the floor, we realised that it was time for a change here too. The old floor would simply let the new, open plan space down. While it was sad to take up what remained of the original boards, it was important to remember that houses evolve.

“We decided to save as many of the ‘good’ boards as we could. Out in the hall and on the landing we also had a stripped floor. Any original boards that could be rescued would be used to replace those elsewhere that were splitting or damaged.

“We briefly considered carpeting the new open plan space but quickly realised we wanted a harder, more contemporary look. We wanted to give the room an edge, yet it also needed to be warm and inviting.

“After numerous visits to flooring specialists, we opted for a solid French oak floor. The rich honey colour of the wood softened the ambience of the room while its smooth surface gave us the contemporary look we were seeking.

“The beautiful grain, brought out by the Danish oil we rubbed in, now works beautifully with the period features of the space, and the flat boards, running the expanse of our new, large space, provide the perfect backdrop for our sofas, chairs and rugs.

“The room is now not only more open and more stylish, but it is also warmer. The solid wood boards on the new floor lock together, keeping the draught out.

“Our new floor has undoubtedly improved the interior design of our home. It has also been a practical choice and has provided the perfect flooring solution for our new open plan sitting room.”

*Names have been changed

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