Wood finishes are one of the hottest interior design trends of 2019, according to magazines like Real Simple and Remodelista. People are seeking more connections to nature in their homes and businesses, looking to lighter, airier palettes and interesting textures. While dark wood was all the rage for much of the early 2000s, experts say all that walnut and dark-stained oak is falling by the wayside in favor of paler woods like pine. Wide plank floors continue to be more attractive to consumers than the narrower boards that have been common for many decades.
Not only can darker floors make rooms feel much smaller than they really are, they tend to show every speck of dirt and pet hair. Lighter colored floors feel fresher and more modern, and are a lot more family-friendly when it comes to maintenance.
If you love the look of wide planks, Eastern White Pine is definitely the way to go. Used in most of the old homes found throughout New England, Eastern White Pine offers the widest planks of just about any species, particularly when you want boards that are 10” and above in width. Eastern White Pine wide planks are commonly used for historic restoration and reproduction projects, and they lend a beautiful sense of age and history to just about any interior, making them a great counterbalance for modern spaces, as well (image via William & Henry Wide Plank Floors.)
Eastern White Pine is a great choice for Scandinavian-style flooring, which is associated with a wider plank and a lighter finish while maintaining a natural, organic feel. This style also usually has a matte or satin finish achieved with oils or waxes, and a stain that’s translucent enough to let the grain of the wood shine through. Whitewashing can produce a similar effect.
A raw, unfinished look is also on trend, even when it comes to knotty pine, which was huge in the ‘80s and ‘90s. While there was considerable backlash against knotty pine when the craze crashed, people are now returning to it in droves for its warmth, character and nostalgic familiarity. Embrace those knots and the speckled patterns they bring, like these floors from AE Sampson & Son. Subtle oil finishes maintain the natural look of the wood without altering the color.