Light vs. Dark Wood Flooring

After reading through a plethora of interior design magazines and our very own blog, you’ve probably come to realize that the type of flooring that you choose to install is extremely important. Way too many people make the mistake of thinking that the floor is less important because it is too low below the normal line of vision. They believe that time would be better spent focusing on wall colors. While this is, of course, very important, you also want to make sure that you are not neglecting your flooring.

As one of the most popular flooring materials across the world, we encourage all homeowners who are looking to renovate or to change up their décor a bit to educate themselves on the different types available to them. Instead of looking at wood flooring as one type of entity, learn about the different types of hardwood and softwood and more importantly to most, the different colors. With so many different shades available, how do you decide between light or dark?

Take a look at your current décor – For those who are interested to keep the majority of their décor and simply swap out the flooring, look to your current furniture, wall colors and finishes for inspiration and choose a wood that compliments them. Also keep in mind that lighter flooring will give a room the illusion of being bigger whereas a darker hue will create a more dramatic atmosphere and make the space appear smaller.

Choose your style – If you’ve been doing your research on wood floors for a while, you’ve probably come to notice that there is an endless amount of styles available. It’s up to you to determine whether you want to go with the contemporary look with sleep lines and architectural definition or if you’re going for the more rustic appearance with natural grain and knots showing through the finish. Once you figure this out, you can reiterate it to your wood specialist to point you in the direction of a wood that will give your home the character you’re interested in.

Complementing vs. contrasting – Deciding whether your floors will complement or contrast the color palette of the overall design theme in each room of your home is key. In an open floor plan where the kitchen, dining room and living room are connected, you may want to consider a wood that complements the current accent woods in those rooms to create a unified look. The only thing you will have to be conscious of is whether or not you are creating too much of a good thing. On the other side of the spectrum, contrasting colors help to create definition, but if used improperly, it can become too busy-looking with too many patterns or colors. Find the balance.

The most important thing to figure out is what you want your home to say with the new wood and what you want it to look like. From there, you can take your ideas to the experts at Keweenaw Specialty Woods; we’d be happy to help you bring your vision to life.

(Source: Decoist)

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Maple Hardwood: Knowing When It’s the Right Choice for Your Home

When it comes time to incorporate hardwood into your home, it can be difficult to make a decision when you consider the hundreds of options that you have. A lot of homeowners simply get frustrated and throw in the towel, opting to simply pick whichever hardwood gives them a color that they like. While it may seem like color is the only thing that’s really important with hardwood flooring, trust us when we say that there is so much more to consider.

Take maple hardwood for instance; while its light tones may be what attracts you to it initially, you’d be surprised to hear the number of reasons (other than color) why this particular hardwood may be ideal for some as opposed to others.

First of all, consider what you will be using the hardwood for. With its dense pore structure, maple is actually a pretty heavy wood, so if you are using it for furniture, it’s going to stay in place. Additionally, it will give you a solid, masterful swing if you’re making doors, and will be very resistant to dings, dents and scratches if you’re looking for something durable enough for millwork and cabinetry.

Maple is also extremely sustainable due to the fact that it has a short growing life. Reaching maturity much earlier than other species, the maple tree isn’t as endangered as slower-growing trees. Add this to the durability of maple wood and the fact that it doesn’t need to be replaced very often and you’re looking at a great hardwood choice all around. What’s even more, maple hardwood is relatively inexpensive when compared to a variety of other options.

With all of this being said, we think it’s safe to say that you now understand why it’s important to be picky and not to pick a hardwood solely based on its color. The last thing we want is for you to make this mistake and regret it five years down the road when you realize that your lifestyle and the amount of maintenance you would like to put into your investment don’t match well with your choice. If you have questions, remember that that’s what we are here for! Stop into Keweenaw Specialty Woods today and we’ll help you pick the hardwood that is right for you.

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Contractor Tips for Hardwood Flooring

With a sometimes overwhelming amount of hardwood to choose from, it can be easy to get flustered and confused when you enter a specialty hardwood shop. You know that you want to replace your tile or carpet floors with the timelessness or hardwood, but how are you ever supposed to figure out the details from there? The last thing that you want to do is make a big purchase and then realize you made the wrong choice when it’s much too late to do anything about it.

Luckily, we have a bit of information that may be able to help you sort out all of the madness. In a recent article from, professional contractor, Kenny Grono, offers up a few tips that may come in handy when you decide to start shopping around:

Location – It’s important to consider where you’ll be placing your new hardwood floor in your home – and this goes well beyond color scheme. Main living areas on the first floor, such as the living room or the kitchen, will benefit more from harder wood like oak or ask, whereas second floor rooms, such as bedrooms, are going to be better with softer woods like pine. Also keep in mind that the bathroom is probably not going to be a good choice for hardwood floors. A powder room may be just fine, but with the steam and water that comes along with a full bath, you risk damage to the wood.

Consider the environment – Though you may not think so, installing hardwood floors is actually the greener choice, as it can easily last up to 200 years. Something that you may want to be on the lookout for when looking for environmentally responsible woods is a FSC or SFI label, which shows that it was harvested in a sustainable way. An example of this could be that as one tree was cut down, another was planted in its place.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions – If you’re planning to install the floors on your own, it is extremely important that you read the manufacturer’s instructions before doing anything. For instance, some manufacturers may recommend that you orient the flooring according to the dominant light source in the room. With such a huge investment that you are making in these new floors, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that they are installed in a way that is going to make them look as good as possible?

To take a look at a few more professional contractor tips for hardwood flooring, check out the full article on If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to stop on into Keweenaw Specialty Woods and ask – we’d be happy to help!


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Choosing a Paint Color to Complement the Wooden Details Throughout Your Home

Regardless of how you choose to use it, if you’ve committed to using wood around your home, it can be unclear as to how to design the rest of your home. From wood trim to hardwood floors, wooden features in any home have a sense of richness and warmth that command attention. That’s why we would suggest designing each room around its wooden details, instead of decorating a space with a bunch of loud colors and accent pieces and incorporating these features later.

According to, greens, grays, whites and beiges are ideal for natural wood details around the home. However, warmer colors, such as orange, brown rust and red act as great complements as well. If you’re hoping for a few concrete examples for your ideabook, here are a few footnotes to keep in mind:

Whites – White is a pretty obvious choice to match with wooden trim because it’s a color that goes with anything. However, you may want to stay clear of the bright whites and look for something that has a milkier undertone, like a creamy white. This is a great color for honey- and amber-toned trim, and its natural sheen will make cleaning minor wall scuffs much easier for you.

Green – Obviously you could guess that wood works very well with certain shades of green, seeing as most trees are accompanied by green leaves or bristles. When it comes to red, brown and blonde woods, suggests going with a nice olive-toned shade of green for your wall color to give your space a natural sense of sophistication.

Gray – Also a great choice for soft, blonde or weathered woods is the color gray. Additionally, much like the woods with brown undertones, gray is a great choice for the very dark, black trims and wooden cabinets. Colors such as these work very nicely together to create great contrast.

Oranges, Rust and Red – No, we’re not talking about the bright, in-your-face shades of these particular colors; when it comes to using these colors to compliment wooden details around the home, you want to work with earthier tones. Canyon-inspired shades and those with brown undertones would be perfect with a number of different wooden trim colors.

Whatever color you choose to design your home with, you’ll want to make sure that it only enhances the natural look of your wooden features. If you’ve already found yourself set on a particular wall color, ask a specialty wood expert, like those at Keweenaw Specialty Woods, to help you find a wood type to match. We’ll work with you to ensure that your home décor comes together beautifully at the end of the day.

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Choosing More than One Type of Hardwood for your Home

When it comes to picking out hardwood floors for your home, many homeowners generally search for one particular style to install throughout the entire home. While this is a fantastic option, what many don’t realize is that there are no rules limiting you to choose one type of hardwood. If you find yourself torn between two or more styles, that’s okay! You may not be a professional interior designer, but you can certainly find a way to make it work.

One of the main arguments one might hear when it comes to defending the use of one type of hardwood through the entire home is the fact that homeowners want that unified look. This is entirely understandable, but there are plenty of ways to make the floors of one room blend with another if you do choose to go with more than one style.

As we mentioned in our last post, you want to use your floor as a fifth wall, complementing the look of the furniture and decorative aspects of that specific room. Though they work together to create a cohesive atmosphere, it’s likely that each room has its own unique character. That is to say, one type of hardwood that works in your living room may not work in your master bedroom. If you’re worried about the way two separate types of hardwood will look next to each other, consider starting small; install oak hardwood on the first level of your home and maple on the second floor. Because of the fact that these floors are nowhere near each other, you and your house guests will hardly even notice a difference. If you aren’t afraid to show off your eclectic taste however, you most certainly can install the two woods in adjoining rooms – though we may suggest using a border or some sort of divider to make the transition smoother.

At the end of the day, this is your home and you can decorate it however you want regardless of the opinions of others. Plus, with the great selection of hardwoods available at Keweenaw Specialty Woods, how could you ever be expected to choose just one?

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