Back in May I shared a list of all the projects we wanted to have done before moving into our new house. At the top of that list?–replace all the flooring with stain in place white oak. The main level was wall-to-wall Brazilian cherry (the reddest of reds), and upstairs was all carpeted that needed replaced anyhow. To avoid living amongst contractors and sawdust indefinitely, we hired contractors to tackle that beast before moving in and it’s been the greatest gift to have such a clean slate right off the bat.
Getting to this point has come with its own set of hiccups, just like most projects amiright? In this blog post I shared all my inspiration and thoughts about selecting a stain for the floors. I envisioned a rich, medium, classic wood-tone–something that felt timeless and true to the house’s colonial style. Well, there was a bit of miscommunication with the color of stain we wanted, and how many samples we wanted to see. We went back and forth a few times until we finally landed on these two stain options.
I had selected what I thought was going to be the color of our floors (the bottom one above), but when I was shooting this campaign for spoonflower, everything changed. I brought all of my fabric and wallpaper swatches into the new house to start dreaming up a palette, imagining layers of textures and patterns — steeped in tradition. But next to all of these swatches, the “winner” was pulling too… red. And the grain was popping too much. I was sure it was THE ONE, but it was a good reminder to slow down and, pull in some patterns and color palettes you love before pulling the trigger.
As soon as I laid a few samples on the other floor color, everything felt really harmonious.
Honestly I couldn’t be happier with where we landed. I feel like these floors are timeless, yet effortless. The medium-light wood tone is striking all the right chords with warm undertones that don’t read too red or too yellow. And not gray at all, but definitely neutral. And the slightly smaller (than the modern cottage) 5¾-inch engineered white oak floor feels like it’s just always been this way.
Pulling in those fabric and wallpaper samples reminded me that I don’t want the floors to be the show-stopper in this house. I want the hardwood to be the Best Supporting Actor to all of the traditional, colonial design elements we’re leaning into in this house. I didn’t want them to stand out and distract from the patterns and textures that make my heart sing.
The floors are looking quite different than they do in these photos because they’re now holding our furniture and boxes (both empty and yet-to-be unpacked) and it’s really nice to see our floors already doing so well in their “Supporting Actor” role.
For those who will ask, our contractor used the Duraseal Weathered Oak Quick Coat Stain (2 coats!), finished with Bona Traffic HD Satin. Deciding on a satin finish vs. a matte finish is definitely contributing to these floors looking like they’ve always been here–the goal all along.
Still to come–the entryway herringbone flooring has yet to be installed, as well as the grand staircase in the entry. Peek our staircase inspo here and get ready for what’s to come.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
One of our biggest projects this year is building out an upstairs laundry room using borrowed space from the playroom. Chris and I have been drawing up and re-drawing floor plans and elevations that I can’t wait to share. The biggest hurdle we’re designing around is this great, big window which is a blessing and […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home