Photo by Spacecrafting
Choosing wood tones that complement the many colors and styles found throughout a home can be challenging. But for Sarah Londerville, the owner of Manomin Resawn Timbers in Hugo, the versatility of these wood tones is both fascinating and freeing. “We can take the same wood and create five different looks,” says Londerville. The same exact material can elevate a traditional farmhouse-style abode, timber-framed cabin, or contemporary-style home. After all, as Londerville says, “The floor becomes the basic palette to start with, and the client builds off that palette.”
So, which materials should make up that foundation? Recent years have seen the rise in popularity of light-colored, natural wood tones. Ten years ago, popular wood styles and tones reflected the trends of gray and white colors in interior design. Although Londerville foresees blonde and mid-toned browns continuing to trend for the next five years, she appreciates wood’s flexibility to become whatever it needs to. “I think everybody has their own taste of what they like,” she says. “We’ve even done plain oak in a midcentury-modern home. That’s something that might not have been done back in the day, but now you can pull it off with the right color.”
For Londerville, it’s all about personal preference when choosing between light, natural, and darker tones. “Lighter tones can bring warmth to a space,” she says. But darker tones “can bring rich contrast between the dark and light colors of walls and furnishings.” Londerville also sees the appeal of mixing wood tones and muses that it’s popular to mix at least two types in the home.
Londerville is also a respected expert in reclaimed wood. The reclamation process is often intensive, requiring a meticulous curation of wood from century-old barns, bridges, and industrial buildings. And although having reclaimed wood flooring may seem contradictory for clients looking to include modern elements in their home, Londerville says reclaimed wood can actually balance these contemporary themes.
Hoping to achieve a more vintage look? Londerville recommends selecting antique oak. This wood has a rich patina—a natural finish—creating a unique, weathered look. If you’re aiming for a more modern aesthetic, antique elm can give your flooring an alluring sheen. Antique ash and maple also lend themselves well to the contemporary vibe, often flaunting gorgeous warm brown hues.