Decorating & Design

December 8, 2008

How To Update Parquet Floors

Q. We are thinking of buying a home with an open concept kitchen/dining area and living room. But what is with the parquet floor trend? If we buy this home, our budget would be limited for the first year or so, therefore beyond using rugs to play down the floor, what else we can do to make this floor work with some kind of decor? Can it be painted or re-stained to a matte colour?

— Melanie

A. A foolproof way to bring parquet floors up to date is to strip and stain them a rich, dark walnut. Choose a satin finish for an in-between matte and gloss. Dark wood floors always create a sense of luxury in a space, and your idea to add area rugs is great for injecting interest and contrast. Persian or oriental rugs in warm reds are great additions, especially in winter, and airy, straw-coloured wool or natural sisals will lighten up the space and add style in the summer or year-round. Wood laminate flooring is another, less expensive alternative to real wood flooring and is available in many different finishes, like maple and cherry.