Kristi's Studio

Studio Hardwood Flooring: Stained Or Whitewashed?

I finished installing the unfinished red oak hardwood flooring in the studio! Those last few rows that have to be nailed down with a regular nail gun are always so challenging for me, and I can never get them to look as good as the rest of the flooring where I use the mallet and the flooring nailer, but at least there’s hardwood flooring all the way to the wall. Thank goodness for wood filler. ๐Ÿ˜€

red oak hardwood flooring installation - finished

If all goes as planned, I’ll do the wood filler on the rest of the floor today so that it’s dry by tomorrow, when I plan to rent the big sander. I’m hoping the sanding will be a one-day job, but if not, I’ll finish it up on Saturday. And then Sunday, I can start the staining process.

So naturally, this is the point where I start to question my decision. ๐Ÿ˜€ I mean, this is a big job — about 540 square feet of flooring. And while I know that I’m known as the person who doesn’t mind redoing projects if they don’t turn out just like I want them, and I’m generally okay with approaching things with that mindset, I really don’t want to have to re-sand and re-finish this much flooring. I want to make sure I get it right the first go around.

My plan has been to whitewash the floors in this whole area — studio, back entry, half bath and storage closet. I envision something like this…

Or like this, but perhaps not quite so rustic. Also, I think this is a wide wood-look tile, and mine is narrow hardwood. But the color is pretty much what I have in mind…

My thinking is that it would keep the studio, back entry and bathroom light and bright, and would look good with all of the color going into these areas. The bathroom is very colorful, the back entry is a very saturated green, and the studio will have a bold wallpaper on the front wall.

access panel with picture frame molding cut into wall behind toilet
Lots of color int he half bathroom
back entry with hardwood flooring installed
Green walls (Behr Hills of Ireland) in the back entry
Wallpaper for the front wall of the studio

So in my mind, a light and bright floor will look good with all of that color.

But I’ve had a few people lately urge me to reconsider, and to stain the floor to match the rest of the house. Here are the pictures I took of the floors in the other rooms right after I refinished them…

refinished red oak hardwood floors - entryway and music room
Stained red oak flooring in the entryway and music room
refinished red oak hardwood floors - entryway and living room
Stained red oak hardwood flooring in the living room

I’m still so pleased with how those floors look, and I really love the warmth that the dark color adds to the living areas of the house. And while I do love the idea of having one continuous flooring throughout the entire house (with the current exception of the hallway bathroom, and the future exceptions of the laundry room and master bathroom), I just can’t imagine a room so large and bright having such a dark floor, especially when I have no plans for area rugs to brighten things up in the studio. I want those areas to be rug-free.

If we were turning it into a huge family room where I’d be curling up on the sofa and watching TV, then it would be a no-brainer. I’d go with the dark stain to match the rest of the house, because I’d want the room to be cozy. But I just don’t know that “cozy” is a word that I’d want to describe the studio.

Plus, I imagine that a dark floor would be much harder to keep clean than a lighter floor. While this won’t be a room where I’ll be using saws and sanders and creating dust (I’ll use the carport for that stuff for now until I can build a workshop in the back), I will still be creating messes and working with fabric, so I’ll have lint and glitter and all the crafty stuff to contend with in here.

Anyway, if things go as planned, I have until Sunday to be sure about my decision. I really don’t want to regret my decision once I get started. As of this moment, I’m sticking with my whitewashed floor decision unless someone can convince me otherwise. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you think I’m making a huge mistake with that decision, let me hear your thoughts.

UPDATE:

As per the suggestion from a few of you, I did two mock ups showing the different floor colors in the studio. I took less than five minutes to do these, and they’re probably the worst mock ups I’ve ever done. ๐Ÿ˜€ But I still think we can get an idea of what each color would look like. The dark floor is actually a cut and paste from my living room picture, which is why the boards are going in the wrong direction. But we’re only looking at the color here.

mock up of whitewashed floors
Mock up of whitewashed floor
mock up of stained floors
Mock up of stained floor



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167 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    MP
    May 16, 2019 at 10:04 am

    One vote for whitewash here!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Kate S
      May 16, 2019 at 10:20 am

      Two votes ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        AnneSATX
        May 16, 2019 at 10:37 am

        Although I prefer the look of darker floors, and after having had both, I say go with the whitewashed. They will be so much easier as far as upkeep. My darker floors are beautiful, but they show all the dust, dog hair, and scratches. In fact, I kind of wish I still had my CLEAR matte finished red oak floors. But my honey wanted glossy deep dark brown floors (shudder), so we compromised with matte medium light brown floors. Compromise for the win!

        • Reply To This Comment โ†“
          Jamie
          May 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

          I agree that lighter is easier to live with! I think it looks great in the studio. A natural, matte finish is my favorite! I think the dark green is a little jarring and throws me a bit.

          • Reply To This Comment โ†“
            Jo
            May 16, 2019 at 11:20 am

            Whitewash!!

            • Kat
              May 17, 2019 at 5:30 pm

              100% white wash!

          • Reply To This Comment โ†“
            Sheila R Felix
            May 16, 2019 at 11:23 am

            Whitewash vote from me. I would also like to see you take a large piece of oil cloth ,and complete on of you beautiful art projects, to create a large floor cloth that you could use to protect your floor under you work table!๐Ÿ˜ The room is looking amazing and I think a whitewash floor in the bath will be perfect!
            Sheila F.

            • Peggy
              May 16, 2019 at 4:50 pm

              Whitewash!

          • Reply To This Comment โ†“
            Kourtney
            May 17, 2019 at 12:26 am

            I think itโ€™s the black door that throws me off. I like the green, but I think with whitewashed floors the door should be white. It would tie it all together cohesively.

        • Reply To This Comment โ†“
          Joni Barens
          May 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

          Whitewash!

        • Reply To This Comment โ†“
          Julie Bailey
          May 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm

          Whitewash!!!! I love the brighter clean look.

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        Kim
        May 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        Three votes!!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Carswell
      May 16, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Three.

      Last year when I decided to do the floors on my ground floor I finally had to come to terms with my own housecleaning propensities and my desire for a dark wood floor. (I also had the issue of an open stairwell with unstained maple treads.) After a lot of soul searching I finally went with a much lighter floor with more neutral tones and some darker knots and marks that didn’t require me stripping and staining my stair treads.

      It was the best decision I could have made even though I still feel an occasional twinge of wishing for something else. The lighter floor is much more forgiving of the detritus of daily living. It would have driven me crazy to have to sweep or vacuum the floors daily.

      As an added bonus the lighter floor looks fantastic with my newly black painted kitchen cabinetry.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Chris Gephart
      May 16, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Whitewash! Unless you want to be cleaning a lot๐Ÿ˜œ

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Martha
      May 16, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      I agree the whitewash flooring looks great against the studio and bathroom walls. However, Iโ€™m not a fan of the green and whitewash. The color seems out of keeping with the rest of the space.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Pam Pulkrabek
      May 16, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      Me too! I love the whitewashed with the wallpaper โค๏ธ

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Deborah Lounsberry
      May 16, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      As much as I ADORE dark wood, and love a cohesive look throughout the house, my vote is the whitewashed floor in this room. It’s brighter and energetic, and makes the colours of the back entry pop. Beautiful work!!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Patricia Hawkins
      May 17, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Agree

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Candace
      May 17, 2019 at 9:38 am

      How about a checkered pattern with white and stain to tie all rooms together?

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Nicole
    May 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Are you able to import a pic on your computer and then lighten or darken the floors digitally like you did when testing out paint colors for your bathroom? If so, that would help you to see the room with dark floors and also with light ones.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jennifer
    May 16, 2019 at 10:09 am

    One thing to consider is how the color of the floor affects whatever youโ€™re looking at in the room. When we painted my sisterโ€™s living room we went through four paints that looked soft buttery yellow in the store but when they went on the wall they looked garish orange. We finally figured out the floor was somehow reflecting orange light into the room. Donโ€™t know if that would happen here or matter to you, but something to weigh in your decision making.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Christine Meier
      May 16, 2019 at 10:38 am

      I agree. If it were my studio (if only I were so lucky), I’d want the walls and floors to be neutral. That way I’d have more accurate interpretations of colors in the projects being done there. You might find that temperature of reflected light could skew how you interpret the colors and things built in the studio might not look right in the rest of the house.

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        Bobbie
        May 16, 2019 at 10:59 am

        Oh my! On reading this post, I thought great dark stained floors finally.
        Then I saw the mock ups and really like the whitewash.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Coleen
    May 16, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I understand your indecision. Could you do a photoshop mockup to help you finalize your choice?

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Heather
    May 16, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Whitewash! It will look so amazing with the bold colors you have. Light and bright!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Camille Cohen
      May 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

      Whitewash for sure. Easier to maintain, less distracting visually over such a large area and a nice neutral that won’t throw any weird tones in the room.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Demelza
    May 16, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Whitewashed, for all the excellent reasons you stated.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jules
    May 16, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Whitewash all the way!!! It will look beautiful!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jen
    May 16, 2019 at 10:12 am

    My vote is to stay with your plan for light floors in here!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Dale
    May 16, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I am in the minority, I love the floors in your home and I would match them.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    sandra
    May 16, 2019 at 10:14 am

    i had a studio with dark flooring — it was a total headache. i sew and so every thread, every piece of lint showed up like a neon sign. we redid the floor with white tile and it did two things: it was more forgiving on the creative process but it also really helped with my eyes! i couldn’t believe how much light the dark floor sucked up! especially at night. that said, I know you’ll figure out the best solution for you. love your journey!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Marti
    May 16, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Kristi, I am thinking you are right about the whitewash on the floors for the studio. And for the same reasons you state. It is a work room and not a living room. Great work, I am so loving where this is going!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Karen
    May 16, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I think your choice to whitewash the floors is the right one; if the room was open to the rest of the house, the choice might be different. Good luck with your final decision!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Lynn
      May 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

      Whitewash. I guess I look at this room as “Kristi’s Shop”. If you are thinking of running a business from this room down the road, it will be a totally separate part of your house, anyway, no need to match your living areas. You want to be happy at work so go with what makes you want to get up in the morning and create.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      BeckiB
      May 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      The whitewash mockup looks much brighter, but it makes the wall color looked washed out. Maybe it will look better in person, but the photo doesnโ€™t appear to work well with the wall color.

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        Kristi
        May 16, 2019 at 4:19 pm

        The wall with the side portico door hasn’t been painted yet, so it’s still the white primer. And the other wall (to the right of the cased opening) has a large area where I had to go back and use white primer on it as well. So these two walls aren’t really a good representation of what the light aqua color looks like.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Peggy
    May 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Whitewash.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Joan
    May 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I think you will be very happy with the light whitewashed floors. Like you said, this area
    is very different from the formal areas of your home. Why not make your work space a light and very neutral area for all your projects….and easier to clean. Not EVERY thread, fuzz, or sparkle will show every day. I am now a big believer in not making myself a slave to my house. Got rid of the things that show everything, and never look clean…glass table tops for example. I love them, but an hour after dusting, new dust settles. UGH. I’d rather have more time for fun projects!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Tracy
      May 16, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Exactly! Every thing that comes into my house( or that I get rid of) is judged by my dusting quotient๐Ÿ˜† if itโ€™s high on the scale of upkeep itโ€™s out! Pretty much every decorating decision I make is guided by โ€œhow easy will it be to keep cleanโ€

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        Joan
        May 17, 2019 at 10:58 am

        I just wish I had figured this out years ago! Glass tabletops, wicker, wrought iron, shiny tile floors, large glass shower enclosures, are just some that make me crazy cleaning all the time. I’d rather have time left for fun things like sewing, crafts, etc.
        You and I have figured this out – I hope it helps others. (unless they have a cleaning person!)

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Alyssa
    May 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

    I don’t think the “continuous flooring” really is a big deal, because it is a separated area of the house. Rooms get their own “personalities” all the time, and the floor is part of that. If you had to sit down and pick a finished flooring, which look would you jump to first? (don’t think about the work, just the finished product.)

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Carol Willis-Holden
    May 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

    I’m with the majority on this. . . . I’m a sucker for white-wash or “pickled” flooring (are they the same?), for all the reasons stated here. But remember, this is YOUR space; you have to live with it. I trust your judgement.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Kirsi
      May 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      Whitewashing gets my vote too. Could you also whitewash the fan blades, they would match the floor beautifully?

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Michelle
    May 16, 2019 at 10:19 am

    I love the floors in your home, but I have to vote for whitewash! Your studio vibe calls for light floors! โ˜บ๏ธ

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Shelley
    May 16, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I would ask, which shows the most project debris? My guess would be the dark floors and that would just bug me. I’d go with the whitewash. I also need light and bright.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Cheryl
    May 16, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I love the whitewash! Maybe do a mock up of the section by your breakfast room door area showing the whitewash floor where it meets the threshold for the darker flooring.
    You do you Kristi and don’t second guess yourself just because of reader opinions unless they make a strong, valid point.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Mary O.
      May 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

      In my experience light floors show every hair and speck of dirt. The example pics are beautiful in the all white rooms. Good job powering through this job.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Gayle
    May 16, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Stick to the vision in your head!! It will be so fun!! And your studio is designed to be fun!! Plus dark shows EVERYTHING!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Southern Susie
    May 16, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I think you’re right about the light floors. Dark floors, though beautiful, would be a huge pain to deal with in an area where projects and sewing will take place. Go with your gut my dear! It will be beautiful and most importantly, practical!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jean
    May 16, 2019 at 10:25 am

    My vote is for whitewash. I understand the reasoning for continuing the dark floors that you have in the rest of the house, but the studio will be used for something totally different. I think the dark stain would show your craft “droppings” too much and never look clean.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    cyd
    May 16, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Whitewash! While I understand the desire to have the floor match your existing floor, it never actually will. It’s going to get harder use and will simply be dirtier. I think you’ll love walking into your room and flipping the switch into fun mode. You’ll love the brightness in your creative and hardworking space.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Missy
    May 16, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I vote whitewash. You’ve mentioned several times that your studio is the chance to do something more for you–like adding pink if you wanted to. Even though it is a part of your house, it is most definitely a separate space. If you entertained clients at some point, this is where they would come. I don’t think a continuity of flooring would matter as much since it’s more for your creative/working space, and the last thing you will want to do is be a slave to your floors. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Guerrina
    May 16, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Your stained flooring is stunning and brings warmth. The white wash will bring light. Both have pros and cons. I would go with what your gut tells you.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Dawn Caskie
    May 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Iโ€™m for whitewash – for all of your logical reasons. I adore matching floors, but this is different, and in your place, I would do the same. Your reasoning is sound, your vision is lovely, and I encourage you to move forward with it.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Caitlin
    May 16, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I love the stained look, the way it ties in the ceiling fan, and its warmth. However, it really sounds like your heart is wanting whitewash, so I say go for what you are envisioning!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Beverly M Hackenberg
    May 16, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Stick to your vision. Do not be swayed by a few comments. You have gone that route before and regretted it. Do what your heart and gut tell you.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Sandy
    May 16, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I say whichever stain you decide upon is great…but you are saying no rugs…but won’t you need a couple for under your feet if standing and for your chair if sitting? These could add some color on the floor for you and some much needed cushion especially if standing a while…just a thought!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Karen
    May 16, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Definitely whitewash – for so many reasons: it looks so very beautiful and will be perfect with all the colours you are bringing into this area. It will make these rooms light and bright and very cheerful. It shows less dirt and clutter from your projects. And (very selfish, I know) I would love to have you explain the how-to ๐Ÿ™‚
    I do not really think the argument for the dark floor – that it would be continuous throughout the house – is so very important, esp. in this case as to me your studio is a separate area anyway. I’m curious on how you decide, as you have managed to surprise me a couple of times so far, but this time I really keep my fingers crossed that you stick with whitewashed!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Theresa M
    May 16, 2019 at 10:46 am

    I think the whitewashed floors will make your colors pop! The dark floors are beautiful, but I think this space can be different than the rest of your house. This is your creative space, let it be light, bright, and fun.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Kate
    May 16, 2019 at 10:49 am

    I prefer whitewash for the studio. Somehow the darker wood seems too formal for such a space. And the upkeep would drive me bonkers.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Nicki J
    May 16, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I vote whitewashing!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Julie
    May 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

    House floors are gorgeous but for all reasons you and guests have described I would go with whitewashed.
    No matter what, that is going to be the most amazing studio.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Julie Reuter
    May 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Going with the majority on this one. I trust your judgement and if you are worried about debris showing, I think whitewashed is the way to go. It will be so light and bright!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Carla from Kansas
    May 16, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I thought you talked about painting the entry way. I think black and white? Anyway, I’m for whitewash in studio.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Kristi
      May 16, 2019 at 10:58 am

      I’m going to paint a black and white offset chevron design on the floor, but the walls are staying green. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I still need to add white trim around the doors and cased opening, so that will bright things up back there as well.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Cindyjean
    May 16, 2019 at 10:54 am

    I vote whitewash. Love them either way, but believe you’ll get the purer colour you love, with everything else in the room, with the whitewash. Plus, I admit it…. I love watching you do different things. I rent, so I live vicariously through your trials and even those errors! Love that you encourage and support trying out the different. One thing is for sure… you, girl, are not lazy!! Whatever you decide though, can’t wait to see it happen!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Angie
    May 16, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Whitewash all the way!!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Casey
    May 16, 2019 at 10:55 am

    I’d go with the whitewash. We bought an older home last year and it was covered in carpet. Once we removed the carpet, there was light pine hardwood underneath. When I hired the flooring guys to refinish the floors I asked for them to be stained dark. The guy asked me if I was really sure about that and to take a day or so to think about it. I went to visit a couple of friends that had the dark stained wood floors and both told me how much they disliked them. They didn’t like the constant upkeep and when a dark floor is scratched you notice it clear across the room. I went with natural stain on my light floors and have never regretted it.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Going resbyopic
    May 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I am so relieved to see all this support for light floors! I have an old house that needs the floors redone everywhere, and as my husband and I are always complaining about fetching glasses and turning on lights to see, I can’t help but think…choose lighter for the floors! Thanks, everyone!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Going Presbyopic
    May 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I am so relieved to see all this support for light floors! I have an old house that needs the floors redone everywhere, and as my husband and I are always complaining about fetching glasses and turning on lights to see, I can’t help but think…choose lighter for the floors! Thanks, everyone!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Tracy
    May 16, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Iโ€™m really late to the game…. youโ€™re sawing and sanding in the same room youโ€™re having the pretty wallpaper and… sewing and doing your crafts? Are you getting a dust collection system?

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Maryann P
    May 16, 2019 at 11:06 am

    I know I’m in the minority-but I love how the stained floor warms up your studio and think
    it would look so pretty with your cabinets and the light trim…hope you love what you do the first time and I’m loving the process!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Cela Wood
    May 16, 2019 at 11:15 am

    I love your blog! Iโ€™ve been following for a few years, but have never commented. I love the whitewash and think it will be both stunning and forgiving of all the activities youโ€™re planning in this space. Thanks for sharing your talents!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Nadine
    May 16, 2019 at 11:18 am

    How you want the room to feel should be the most important factor. 100% with the whitewash. It will make the entire room light and bright instead of warm and cozy.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Qusie
    May 16, 2019 at 11:23 am

    You don’t need another opinion, but I think the whitewash will look best, as well. And that is unusual for me, because I generally don’t care for anything whitewashed, having lived in the Phoenix area in the early 90s when literally everything was whitewashed or *shudder* pickled – floors, cabinets, all wood surfaces – and being so happy to see that trend die. I think a light, bright studio will be beautiful, and dark wood floors, although beautiful throughout the rest of your home, are the wrong note there.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Judy
    May 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Whitewash for a studio/workroom for all the reasons mentioned above, and because I think your heart wants it ๐Ÿ™‚ The dark, although grounding, just seems to suck the light down in this space.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Brenda Pawloski
    May 16, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I’m also in favor of light floors in your creative space. It’s continuous because it is all red oak. I hope that eventually you can share how much you have to buy to get enough good pieces for the space because I’m selling this flooring to my husband for a house we’re demo-ing right now.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Marla
    May 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Whitewash ! I am by nature drWn to medium tone woods. I have dark florrs, antique woods, chinese wood cabinets etc. How ever, I hate seeing the wool fibers, my grey hairs, all the dust rolling around the floor just after I few days. IGNORANCE IS BLISS! This is your work room, you know the debris is there but ya just donโ€™t feel as guilty about cleaning is up ask quickly. Go for the whitewash it brightens and compliments your space better IMO. You inspire me !

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Laura
    May 16, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I like them both, but I think you’re right about the lighter floor hiding the kind of messes you’ll be making in here. Go with your gut feelings and stop second guessing. Either will be fine.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Barb
    May 16, 2019 at 11:33 am

    A really good friend of mine bought an older small building for an art studio. I was shocked she repainted the walls white (the floors had white tiles). When I asked her why she used white paint when her home is beautifully drenched in color, she explained to me that she needs the colorless walls so that they don’t compete with her work. She doesn’t want a “color glare” to bounce off her paintings. Does that make sense? I’m clueless, but after she explained it to me in layman’s terms, I’d go all in on the whitewash floors ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Kathie
    May 16, 2019 at 11:35 am

    My question would be if you would like the transition from the breakfast room to the studio. I put in threshol d’s where my flooring changes but you wouldn’t like those for few wheelchair. Wondering if your eye would be happy with a big contrast like that. You do wonderful work!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Kathy Sturgeon
    May 16, 2019 at 11:38 am

    We had a dining room without a lot of natural light. The chandelier just didnโ€™t project enough light, even in the daytime. I toyed with the idea of adding recessed lighting but since it was a 2-story house, it was going to be a headache and expensive to add lights. One day I decided to paint the dining table white, and Bobs your Uncle! The white table reflected enough light that I never considered recessed lights again! Go with whitewashed floors. You wonโ€™t be disappointed.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Lena
    May 16, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Another who prefers the lighter color for hard working areas. It just shows less. And if you change your mind you can always go dark later. Much more work to go light later.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Julie
    May 16, 2019 at 11:39 am

    This may be answered in your next “floor” post if so will watch for that but I’m trying to understand finishing oak on a deeper level. Will you be applying some kind of filler to the WHOLE floor, not just seams, to even out the floor and avoid “pore” holes of grain, so the end result is smooth top finish? What is that filler? Then sand the whole floor??
    Is it necessary to prestain condition an oak floor? Or is that necessary only for furniture or if you choose darker stain color so one area does not get darker while still applying to the rest?
    When finishing oak floors are there multiple top finish coats? Any light sanding between?
    Will it be polyurethane? Understand that is harder then urethane.

    Thanks. Wood finishing has way more to it then I once thought. You always have incredible knowledge, do things the top drawer with best practices for wonderful results.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Robin
    May 16, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Whitewash! Absolutely.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Kelly
    May 16, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I vote for the whitewashing, although both look fantastic, for me the lighter color would be more neutral/soothing while working on project.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jeanne Antha
    May 16, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Remember … this is a studio, not a living room, so it doesn’t seem necessary to have it match the actual house floors. You’ll be sawing, cutting, etc. and making messes on this floor. A dark floor will show every speck of sawdust. Just a thought … why do anything to it? You could just seal it’s natural color in and the room would still be light and bright. Good job getting this space ready to use, it will be a great place for you to create in.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Linda
      May 16, 2019 at 10:48 pm

      No. She has said NO cutting and sawing in there. She’ll use carport for that until she gets a shed built.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Deb
    May 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Always thought I preferred darker floors, but the house we have now has maple (light) and I just put a color of Pergo very close to what you are considering in our rental and I LOVE IT. I say go for the lighter, but complimenting the green entry is going to be challenging. I’m betting you change that color before it is all said and done….

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Kristi C
    May 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Please whitewash it! No-brainer after seeing the mock ups in my mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Darlene
    May 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Studio = light, bright and airy. Whitewashed! There will be enough cabinets and work space colors that will pop with the whitewashed floors. ๐Ÿค— As always, great work Kristi.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    AliceB
    May 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I wouldnโ€™t want the messes to be hidden because if they are, theyโ€™ll get tracked into the rest of the house. I vote stain them or paint them white.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Alta Craig
    May 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I love the natural wood tones of the floors in the rest of the house, but agree with others here that the whitewash would be much better for your studio. Didn’t you say that you wanted to do a black and white floor design in the back foyer area? I think the whitewash would be a continuation of the white in your back foyer design and tie it in much better than the wood tone.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Mary Ellen
    May 16, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I love your stained floors! You’ve done a beautiful job!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Eileen
    May 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Whitewash is the only way to go, not a pure white. Dark will show everything, just everything.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Heather Gillett
    May 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Whitewash!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Renee
    May 16, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Whitewash! It will be way easier to keep it looking cleaner!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Karen
    May 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Whitewash is my voteโฃ๏ธโฃ๏ธโฃ๏ธ
    Dark flooring would take daily maintenance….shows dust, everything! You have enough to do than take care of your floor daily…or more, as clients visits!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    MissElaineous
    May 16, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Since this is your studio–the place where you’re working and running a business–I think having a clearly defined space that is disconnected from the main house (visually if not physically) would give you the mental mindset of being at work instead of home (even if it is steps away).

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    KathieB
    May 16, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Kristi, I painted my living room floor white (not hardwood) quite a few years ago and have never regretted it. In the winter, I have 2 or 3 area rugs on the floor and they come up just about this time each year.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    MissElaineous
    May 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    So I think whitewash is the way to go ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Mary
    May 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I’m not much help. I like them both.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Judy
    May 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Whitewash!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    stephanie n
    May 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    I like them both but the white seems more “studio” and creative and the dark more living and relaxing.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      SusanP.
      May 16, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      This wasn’t a choice but I like the tone of the natural floors.

      • Reply To This Comment โ†“
        stephanie
        May 16, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        Umm, the stained floors are quite dark to me. Opinions, we all have one. Why do you feel the need to comment on my opinion?

        • Reply To This Comment โ†“
          Kristi
          May 16, 2019 at 7:39 pm

          I don’t think that was intentional. For some reason, ever since I switched to this new blog design, the “reply to” button confuses people. People often click it to leave a general comment, even when they don’t mean to reply to a specific person. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Laurie
    May 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    With all the bold colors in here, the whitewash is better. It is closed off and separate from the rest of the house so it will not matter that it doesn’t match. Plus, glitter and dust will definitely show more on the darker stain.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Melissa
    May 16, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Whitewash! The mock up looks great and makes the room seem so airy and bright! I don’t think you’ll regret it. I love the warmth of the darker stain in the rest of the house but this area is all about work. It will be easier to keep clean.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Lisa
    May 16, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I can understand the thought of something light in there, with all the color going on…but you’ve got real oak wood floors in there. They are gorgeous. Don’t do something – dare I say trendy – in there that would diminish the beauty of those floors. A whitewashed floor….is going to look…sort of artificial, like Pergo. Please think about the actual materials you’ve used…and bring out the complete beauty of the floors with a matching stain, like the rest of your house.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    samantha
    May 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I go to a beach house every year with whitewashed floors and they show everything. Every brown hair, every crumb, every piece of not-white dust and every scratch that the owner’s dog makes. They are beautiful but damn if I spend a large chunk of my weekend away sweeping so that the floors don’t scratch. I have dark floors like yours at home. They show some scratches but it’s honestly much easier to ignore with the variation of the wood tones.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jenna
    May 16, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Whitewash!

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Linda
      May 16, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      Whitewash! Your studio is actually separate from your house even though it’s just one door away! I so agree with the light and bright.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Cindy
    May 16, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Iโ€™m definitely for the whitewashed which surprises me because I am usually against paint on wood floors but that looks beautiful in there with what you have planned!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Linda
    May 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I vote Whitewash!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Rebecca Francis
    May 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Light color floors do not show dirt and especially lint like dark floors. I have dark walnut floors and they are always dusty! I vote for whitewash. Go with your gut!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Heidi
    May 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Whitewash all the way. It’s so nice and bright! We put in really dark laminate floors a couple of years ago, and I’m starting to deeply regret that decision, haha. Every bit of dirt and dust shows up, and there’s PLENTY of that around here with four kids and a shedding dog. Our floors hardly ever look good.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Ann
    May 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I like a light floor, but not whitewashed. I think a pale blond Scandinavian vibe in your studio would be dynamite, and that would allow you to darken or whitewash at some later time if you decided that’s what you wanted. I think the light, natural wood color would look awesome with all your previous choices. The stained look you have in the rest of the house is too intense for the studio.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Sue
    May 16, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    While I love the rich color of the rest of the floors in your home, this is YOUR studio. What you want in your space is the most important thing. I think a whitewashed floor will keep that room light and bright and is a good look with all the colorful areas. You can still see that it is wood flooring but it’ll be lighter, easier to keep looking clean.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Debs
    May 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I love the beautiful dark flooring that’s used in your home. But I think for your studio, whitewashed is clearly the winner here. In the mockups, notice how large & open your studio looks with whitewashed floors. Then notice the studio with dark floors…it makes the studio look smaller than it is & even makes the ceiling look lower.
    So whitewashed it is! (I hope!)

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Rebecca Neustel
    May 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Iโ€™m definitely for whitewashed floors in your studioโ€”or painted white. All my reasons have already been covered, and it didnโ€™t take me one second to choose!!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Erin P
    May 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    If you plan on selling the house anytime in the next 5 years, then go dark to match the house. If youโ€™re staying put for a long time, then do what you want: whitewash! The whitewash is definitely light and bright and good for a studio. I also think itโ€™s a nice balance for the color going on in the room (which you will always have, because color is your trademark)!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Mark Tisdale
    May 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Ultimately you need to settle on what makes you happiest, but if we’re voting, I vote whitewash. I love the dark wood stained floors in the rest of your house. They look great, but in that huge open studio, it looks so much more airy with the light floors.

    My two cents if indeed it’s worth that much.

    Mark

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Justin
    May 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    “But Iโ€™ve had a few people lately urge me to reconsider, and to stain the floor to match the rest of the house.”

    That’s your answer right there. Every time you let “us” change your mind, you regret it. Stick with the white. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Aside from that, here’s my two cents. I think you’re right about it being easier to keep clean (or more specifically, won’t look as dirty as it is). I also think the white floor will go better (and be more flexible) with all the color you want to put in that room. And all the colorful things you want to DO in that room. This is your creative space. I think it should resemble a blank slate.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Janet M
    May 16, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Whitewash!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Marigene
    May 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Definitely dark, it would look better flowing with the rest of the floors in the house.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Laura
    May 16, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Stick with the white. It will be energizing, light and bright for all your creativity. Curl up on the couch with the dark floors when you convert your sunroom!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    SheilaG- PlumDoodles
    May 16, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    I love the whitewashed, but I’m wondering if you would regret it, only because I remember that you didn’t like the ceruse tabletop. I wanted stained hardwood in our house, but we ended up doing no stain with a satin clearcoat. I thought it would be too yellow or too pink, but it actually looks pretty neutral.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    janice dinse
    May 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I love the light wood, makes the room brighter and lighter.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Marianne in Mo.
    May 16, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    I go with the majority here and say whitewashed. But I REALLY like the natural tone of the floor in it’s natural state. However, the whitewashed will not compete at all with the colors you plan to use for cabinets and the wallpaper. ( I also think you should “whitewash” the cabinets, ) We made a headboard out of MDF, then painted it light gray and I dry brushed white over it to look like barn wood. It came out great!!! But I know you plan on painting your cabinets light Coral and I just hope it doesn’t affect the work you do in there!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jayne
    May 16, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    The color of the wood right now in its current state is kinda nice. What would it be like with just a clear coat over it? Is it too orange?

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Kristi
      May 16, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      Yes, in person, it is. It’s red oak, which has a pink undertone to it, and not a good kind of pink. ๐Ÿ˜€ One reason I want to do the whitewash is so that I can put just the tiniest touch of green in the first coat of stain to counter the pink undertone in the wood. Then I plan to do a second coat on top of that in just plain white so that (hopefully) I’ll end up with a floor that doesn’t have any pink or orange undertones in it.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Athena
    May 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    You do what you love but I LOVE the darker stained floor that matches the rest of your home. It literally makes me feel calmer when I see it!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Phoebe
    May 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    This is not the rest of the house, this is your studio! And it’s going to look like it. In fact, I’m not even sure it’s a good idea, to make a space that’s full of projects-in-process (and their mess) “register” as part of your home; isn’t the whole idea of making a studio to separate craft space from living space?

    Besides, you had a pretty good idea of what you wanted, and if memory serves me well, every time you knew what you wanted and then got swayed away because everyone said something different, you regretted it.

    For what it’s worth, since you asked for opinions, I’m all for the whitewashed. First of all because you said you are going to use the studio to do everything that is “forbidden” in the house – so why suddenly go the conservative route on the floor? Second, I think it matches all the colour much better. And third, it will give you more light, which is something you need in this space.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Sharon W.
    May 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Whitewash! Isn’t this similar to the countertops in the pantry? I loved those with all the bright colors.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Kristi
      May 16, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Yes, I will probably end up with a very similar look on the floors. I’ll be using whitewash stain, but just a different brand.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Crystal
    May 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Apparently the consensus is whitewash. Both look nice. Whichever you do, get a Roomba for the floor as well! Personally, I do not care for dark anything because living in the South makes one susceptible to Palmetto bugs, AKA humongous flying roaches. A can of wasp & hornet spray solves the problem but you gotta see them first!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Regi
    May 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Whitewash, for sure!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    lyn
    May 16, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I say whitewash because it could provide the feel that you are transitioning away from home into a “world that opens up into your creative space both physically and mentally. I think everyone needs a special space to “escape” and allow the mind and spirit to flow or soar like you’re in the clouds and around rainbows. That’s what I see when I see whitewashed floors with all the colors you like around you.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Pamela
    May 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I’m a seamstress and a maker and if that were my studio I’d do the whitwash

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Crystal
    May 16, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    I would choose whitewash for a light and airy studio. It feels like a whole separate space from the rest of the living areas of the house, so I donโ€™t think the transition would be bad.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Tirsa
    May 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Whitewash for sure! It truly looks best with all your gorgeous colors. It lets them shine.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Annie
    May 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    For practical reasons I would do whitewash. I’m a professional quilter and have lots of fabric dust, batting, thread and cut offs in my sewing room.. The darker the floor, the more it shows. Also I find a lighter brighter space more creative.

    The floor looks great. Can’t wait to see what you choose

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jennifer
    May 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I’m in the minority, but I vote for staying them dark. I feel like the design of that end of the house is disconnected from the rest of the house already. I think the same floor throughout will help tie things together a little bit.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Elaine Ness
    May 16, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Whitewash, yes!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Linda
    May 16, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Whitewash for sure! It’s a separate room from your house, that is divided by a door! This is your creative space! Light and bright all the way ๐Ÿ˜‹

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Jan M Brunette-Hunyady
    May 17, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Whitewash the floors. A dark floor will show every speck of sawdust.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Lindia
    May 17, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Martha, I agree with your statement. And, although I love black doors, this is also bothering me. I just think the saturation of the green walls and black door is too much for the “light and bright” you are hoping to achieve. The bathroom is very colorful but it’s still bright. If you whitewash the floors (yay!) and use the bright and colorful wallpaper, then I think that back end is going to come across as too dark. I would paint the doors and trim white and the walls coral or the doors coral and the walls another, brighter color that compliments the bath and pics up something in the wallpaper. Just my $.02. I usually love whatever you do.

    • Reply To This Comment โ†“
      Lindia
      May 17, 2019 at 3:29 am

      Ooops. I just read where you plan to do a chevron design on the back entry floors and to paint the door trim white. That might be the bright spot I am looking for back there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    LindaO
    May 17, 2019 at 5:13 am

    I think the floors are gorgeous as they are. How about no stain just seal them. If you really need to do the whitewash thing just keep it in the entrance area or the bathroom.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    HeatherB
    May 17, 2019 at 7:55 am

    I love your dark floors, but for this space I am a vote for whitewashed all the way!

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Cindy
    May 17, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Whitewash! I love he dark in the rest of the house, but like you said, you don’t need your studio to be “cozy” the whitewash will hold up better to the wear and tear of glitter and fabric scraps ๐Ÿ™‚ and it will look great if you are still planning to do the black and white in the entryway.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Shauna Steadman
    May 17, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Like you need another comment. However, I just did my 80 year old maple floors in a bleached (many animal stains to remove), whitewashed/walnut checkered pattern (alternating whitewash versus ‘special walnut’ stain) and it gets powerful positive comments when someone sees it for the first time. I did it mostly to camouflage the floor in my kitchen that I discovered had flooring going both directions when I removed five coats of old lino, matrix and felt. There had been an old porch in one corner of the room. Even my daughter who is an interior designer and prefers a minimalist approach loved it. Originally she said it would look too 80s ish! Kristie, you asked me to post a picture and I would love to, but I am 80 years old and not technically savvy. It was a big job taping off the 8 inch squares, but well worth the trouble. It matched my other special walnut floors which I have painted an art deco rug pattern on. Floor design is my ‘signature’ when I restore an historic home.

  • Reply To This Comment โ†“
    Tina from Sweden
    May 18, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    We have white waxed flooring in our Scandinavian home and everything darker than the actual tone of the floor will show up v e r y c l e a r l y. Lighter floors will give more light in your space though. I vote for the darker flooring., looks really beautiful in your mockups!

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