Every home has its unique charms, but did you know that the orientation of your home can impact the lighting effects of your choices in flooring?

Many home buyers specifically look for a home where the bedroom window faces east to the morning sunlight, to awaken with the light of dawn. Those in snowy climates may seek a home where the driveway receives the most sunlight and heat to help melt away accumulating ice and snow. Here in Portland, we have many days when light is filtered through gray clouds, plus a winter where the sun rarely reaches its zenith directly overhead. Did you know that our unique Northwest location can impact the color and/or effect of your home flooring decor? It’s true!


Sunlight and Wood Flooring

Depending on the wood material and finish, wood flooring can be a reflective surface, much like tile. While most customers are aware of matte vs bright finishes and have a personal preference, there may be more to that choice. In rooms with large windows and plenty of bright morning sunlight, a light maple laminate wood floor, for example, might virtually disappear as a color base for that room. The honey finish in that flooring can appear to be a yellow or a bright reflective butter depending on how strongly and directly it is touched by light. If your dining room furniture is also light in color, the room may wash out completely to the eye.

A shiny, reflective dark cherry wood floor may again have spots of bright reflection near a light source, yet be more light-absorbing in darker areas, diminishing the color impact that was desired. Consideration of unfiltered and filtered natural light is one way to make a room “pop” in a remodel or home design. A more absorbent matte espresso wood floor can give a good basis for brightly colored room accents, especially if you are seeking to avoid large rugs that can cover up your beautiful new flooring. An exotic or handscraped hardwood floor can be a perfect solution, as the natural variations in the wood finish allow light to move as the eye scans the room.

Lighting and Flooring

A problem with a different solution, a room with little natural light can be brightened with full-spectrum light fixtures and a lighter flooring selection with depth, like a varied color tile or a light-colored sustainably sourced bamboo wood floor. It adds just enough low-level light reflection to brighten the look of the room without overwhelming the eye. Avoiding accent rugs or carpeting with dark saturated color or thick textures is also best, perhaps a pastel Berber style, or an area rug with metallic accent threads in silver or light gold or copper.

If relying on artificial light, such as full-spectrum bulbs, be aware if your fixtures can filter that light. A yellow shade, a frosted glass globe, a large fixture in a small room can create a radiating central light source. Materials and color that naturally distribute light to the eye throughout a room, such as acacia wood flooring, a patterned Berber style carpet, or a travertine tile would be a good suggestion.

Home Design Using Wood Flooring and Lighting

Customers looking to implement glass tiling, reclaimed wood and other modern options for a truly custom look should also be aware of orientation and lighting. Reclaimed wood flooring can bring a rustic elegance to a room, or a coziness for family gatherings. Plenty of natural light brings out the best in reclaimed wood, particularly darker shades which can dominate a room.

Look to accent colors which complement rather than compete, allowing the wood floor to be a focal in the light. In darker corners, don’t be afraid to experiment with lighting at varying heights, which can bring out the beauty in the wood flooring while accommodating a desire for more muted cozy effects on a rainy evening.

Tile And Lighting Make An Impact

Glass tile by design intends for the play of lighting to bring out the beauty. Light hitting from many angles works beautifully, be it natural light from windows on 2 or more walls, or artfully placed full spectrum light fixtures or mirrors creating that sparkle and pop of color. Again, look for accent colors that complement rather than compete, allowing the lighting to make your room a joyful place of color and light for your family to spend their time. Metallics work well, like brushed aluminum, titanium, or gold.

Remember, light is an input to your home design every bit as much as samples of textures, materials, and color. When you are shopping for the perfect flooring, bring photos showing the lighting in your home, note where and when sunlight or artificial light strikes your flooring, as you consider the renewed beauty you are bringing to your home. Don’t be afraid to change out lighting fixtures, blinds or curtains if you have your heart set on a certain look. The outcome can create lasting beauty for years, increasing the comfort and value of your home.

Simple Floors PDX specializes in the best flooring materials, styles, and colors for your Portland home and lifestyle. Their experts can help you understand how the spectrum of lighting within your home works with or in contrast to your new flooring, to bring out a balanced beauty. SimpleFloors Portland can help you with the flooring solutions for every lighting situation, allowing you to customize your wood flooring and tile flooring choices as much as desired to take advantage of the light in your home.