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Wood floors and furnishings are among decor textures consumers rely on most

October 02, 2013

Hardwood FloorsInterior designer Jean Gallagher finds that many homeowners consider choosing colors the top factor in their home design. But she tells them that's just one part of designing rooms that look and function the way they want. Arranging furniture, reducing clutter and selecting features that have long-lasting appeal - like hardwood floors in Anderson's Urban Pioneer collection - are equally important in planning their home design.

"When decorating, don't be intimidated by the word design," said Gallagher, who owns Galla Studio in Pennsylvania. "Design simply means determining the most pleasing use of your belongings and suggesting additions to create a space that reflects your personality and serves your needs."

For instance, when homeowners are looking for ways to improve a room design, they might consider how color selection works with the wood floors installed in their dwellings. Other wood features, such as cabinetry in kitchens or valances over window treatments, can be a guide to the right finish for their flooring.

Homeowners should also consider how colors influence the atmosphere of a room. Their choice of hues can make a room look larger or smaller, create coziness or an open feel and focus attention on the best parts of a room and away from trouble spots.

Mixing styles and materials
Gallagher isn't alone in her assessment of what drives consumers' decorating plans. A nationwide survey by California Closets found that many Americans are looking for ways to add color and textures to their houses, and most rely on those ingredients to dominate in their home decor.

Usefulness is also at the top of the list of features that homeowners look for when they are buying furniture and accessories for their dwellings.

Half of the people polled brought texture into the design mix by finding unique wood grains in tables, finishes and accessories. But advised homeowners to introduce texture in their furniture selections by creating an eclectic mix of styles and materials, including using different chairs around a table instead of a matched set. Soft furnishings such as pillows, rugs and window coverings care also a good source for both color and texture.

Homeowners who were surveyed indicated they were most likely to choose hues in home design based on what the colors mean to them. Bright colors, for instance, represent happiness to 61 percent of the survey respondents. For 51 percent, neutrals suggest a feeling of luxury and muted hues have a calming influence.