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How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring Designing the Future: How to Make Traditional Cherry Wood Flooring Shine in a Modern Setting
How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


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How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

Designing the Future: How to Make Traditional Cherry Wood Flooring Shine in a Modern Setting 

The allure of interior design rests in its transformative power, the way it can turn a mere space into a place that feels like home. Among all interior design elements, one often overlooked but essential part is the floor, specifically hardwood flooring. 

In my years of practicing interior design, I’ve found that cherry wood flooring is one type of hardwood flooring that holds timeless charm. With their rich, warm hues and distinguished grain pattern, cherry floors bring an undeniable touch of elegance to any room. However, the classical look of cherry hardwood floors can sometimes feel outdated in contemporary settings. This post will guide you on how to make cherry wood floors look modern without losing their timeless appeal. 

Cherry hardwood floors are quite a sight to behold, and their rich and vibrant red tones create an inviting atmosphere that can make a house feel like a home. However, as trends evolve, you may find yourself questioning how to update these traditional floors for a more contemporary look. 

As an interior designer, I had a client with an old, cherry-floored house she inherited. She loved the memories attached to the cherry hardwood floors but wanted to renovate and modernize her home. Her challenge led me to research how to make her cherry wood floors look modern.

Through my research and personal experience, I discovered that the key lies in combining elements of color theory, manipulating artificial and natural light, and employing textures in interior design. By strategically using these design elements, it’s possible to give your cherry hardwood floors a fresh, modern appearance.

Color theory is essential to interior design. In our case, we can use it to contrast the red tones of cherry wood flooring. According to evidence-based design, contrasting colors can significantly impact perception, making spaces appear more modern and dynamic. For cherry floors, cooler wall colors like blues, grays, and whites can highlight the warmth of the floor while giving your room a contemporary edge.

Lighting also plays a crucial role in enhancing the modern look. Studies have shown that the manipulation of shadows and artificial light can change the mood of a space. For cherry hardwood floors, try utilizing LED lights that can brighten the room and accentuate the floor’s natural grain, lending a sleek, modern feel to your space.

Incorporating various textures is another way to add a modern touch to your cherry floors. Layering rugs, especially those with geometric patterns or monochromatic shades, can break the traditional aura associated with hardwood floors. Similarly, the use of natural materials in your furniture or decor can further enhance the contemporary ambiance.

It is important to remember that in interior design, as in life, the devil is in the details. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of expert advice, you can transform your cherry hardwood floors and create a living space that looks modern and feels like home.

Without further ado, here’s a step-by-step guide to making cherry wood floors look modern:

  1. Evaluate Your Space: Start by evaluating your room. Look at the layout, size, and natural light of the space. This evaluation will guide you on how to strategically employ the upcoming steps to achieve a modern look.
  2. Understand Color Theory: Familiarize yourself with the color wheel and understand the relationship between colors. Cherry wood floors usually have warm, red tones. Consider incorporating cooler hues, such as blues, grays, or whites, in your design scheme to contrast this.
  3. Choose Wall Colors: Paint your walls with a contrasting color to make the cherry floors stand out. Light colors can create a modern, airy feel and complement the richness of the cherry wood.
  4. Employ Light: Natural and artificial light can significantly affect the ambiance of a room. Install blinds or curtains that allow you to control the natural light. For artificial lighting, consider LED lights, which can highlight the grain of the wood and add a contemporary feel.
  5. Consider Floor Refinishing: If your floor looks worn, consider refinishing it. A satin or matte finish can give it a modern look compared to a high-gloss finish.
  6. Add Rugs: Layering rugs on hardwood flooring not only adds texture but also brings a modern vibe. Choose rugs in contemporary patterns or neutral, monochromatic colors. Consider pet-friendly rugs if you have pets in your home.
  7. Furniture Selection: Modernize your room by choosing furniture with clean lines and materials that contrast with cherry wood’s warm, rich tones. Glass, metal, and light-colored woods can offer a nice contrast.
  8. Play with Textures: Incorporating various textures through furniture, curtains, or decorations can elevate the modern look. For instance, a sleek leather sofa or metallic light fixtures can add to the contemporary feel.
  9. Use Focal Points: Create a focal point in your room. It could be a piece of artwork, a fireplace, or an accent wall. This draws attention and breaks the uniformity of the cherry wood floors.
  10. Incorporate Greenery: Indoor plants can bring a touch of freshness and modernity to your space. Opt for large, pet-friendly indoor trees or hanging gardens to create an inviting, contemporary atmosphere. 

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1.- Culinary Style Fusion: Integrating a Modern Cherry Wood Floor Kitchen

One may think that modernizing a kitchen with cherry wood floors can be a challenge, but let’s flip the script. Consider your beautiful cherry wood floors as a robust canvas waiting for your innovative touches. With a good understanding of color theory and natural light control, you can transform your kitchen into a modern haven while preserving the timeless beauty of cherry wood. Remember, our goal here is to make the cherry wood floor look modern, not alter its inherent charm.

Consider cooler shades like grays or whites to contrast the warm cherry floor when choosing wall colors. This contrast can help enhance the grain of the wood while lending a contemporary touch. Choosing the right window treatments will also let you control the amount of natural light in the kitchen, affecting the overall ambiance. Opt for pet-friendly rugs on the floor to add an extra layer of texture, creating a cozy yet modern look.

Incorporate furniture that contrasts with the cherry wood floor but complements the chosen wall colors and other fixtures. Glass or metal tables, white cabinetry, or even blue-toned cabinets can complement the floors beautifully, making your cherry wood floor kitchen look modern, fresh, and inviting.

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

2.- A Contemporary Twist: Staining Brazilian Cherry Floors Grey for a Modern Appeal

Dare to experiment with your Brazilian cherry floors? Consider staining them grey. This gives them a contemporary twist while retaining the quality and durability of hardwood flooring. It’s a bold choice, but when done right, it can make a world of difference to your living space.

Grey-stained floors create a neutral base, making playing with wall colors and furniture choices easier. You can choose a bold wall color or keep it neutral to let the grey-stained Brazilian cherry floors be the star of the show. Enhance the floors further with carefully chosen lighting – a mix of natural and artificial light sources can highlight your newly stained floors’ unique texture and color.

The entire process of staining the floors can feel like an art project. Involve your family, and make it a fun-filled DIY project. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing your Brazilian cherry floors take on a new personality, embodying a modern aesthetic that truly represents you.

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

3.- Harmony in Design: Selecting the Perfect Furniture that Goes with Cherry Wood Floors

Furniture selection can make or break the modern aesthetic you’re trying to achieve with your cherry wood floors. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – the right pieces will create a harmonious picture, while mismatched ones can disrupt the overall appeal.

Consider furniture with clean lines and contrasting materials. Metallic accents, glass coffee tables, or light-colored upholsteries can stand out against the rich cherry floors. You could even opt for a pop of color in your furniture to break the monotony and create focal points in your space.

Remember, choosing furniture isn’t just about how well it complements your cherry wood floors. It’s also about how it fits into your lifestyle. Got kids or pets? You’d want to opt for easy-to-clean and pet-friendly furniture. Consider your furniture as part of your story – it reflects your tastes, your lifestyle, and your love for modern design.

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

4.- Revitalizing Classics: The Art of Refinishing American Cherry Floors

Refinishing your American cherry floors can breathe new life into your space. It’s like giving a classic painting a fresh coat of varnish – the underlying artistry remains, but its beauty is enhanced for the modern viewer.

If your floor is starting to show signs of wear and tear, don’t panic. Refinishing is not just about repairing; it’s about reinventing. Opt for a satin or matte finish to replace the traditional high gloss, which can give your floors a contemporary, understated elegance. If you feel adventurous, you could even consider a whitewash or grey wash to mute the natural red tones of the wood, lending a more modern vibe.

Just like an artist cares for his brushes, maintaining your newly refinished floors is crucial. Learn how to properly clean and care for them to preserve their modern appeal for years to come. From using the right cleaning products to protecting your floors from scratches, proper floor care can ensure that your investment stands the test of time.

Refinishing your American cherry floors can be a wonderful journey of discovery. It’s a process that allows you to connect with the natural materials in your home and appreciate their potential for transformation. There’s a kind of magic in the process, a delightful transformation from old to new that echoes the evolving narratives of our lives.

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

5.- Painting the Perfect Picture: Discovering the Colors that Go Best with Cherry Wood Floors

Colors are powerful design elements that can create moods, attract attention, or even visually alter the size of a room. When paired with cherry wood floors, the right colors can paint the perfect picture of a modern, sophisticated home.

Understanding color theory can be your best ally in this endeavor. Cool tones like grays, blues, or even greens can complement the warm cherry wood floors and create a balanced, contemporary look. Try deep, rich colors like burgundy or navy for a bold approach. If you prefer a minimalist aesthetic, neutrals like beige, cream, or even pure white can provide a fresh, modern appeal.

Remember, choosing colors is not just about the paint on the walls. Your rug, curtains, furniture, and even the color of your curtain rod play a crucial role in the overall aesthetic. So, take a step back, look at your space as a whole, and let your creativity shine.

As an interior designer, I’ve found that cherry wood floors offer an exciting opportunity for reinvention. With the right techniques and a dash of creativity, they can be the star of a modern, inviting home. Whether it’s through refinishing, restaining, or simply finding the perfect furniture and colors to match, you can transform your living space into a beautiful fusion of classic and contemporary design. It’s all about seeing the potential in what you have and daring to reimagine it in new, exciting ways. 

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

Final Thoughts

Making your home the modern oasis you’ve always dreamed of is easy when you unlock the potential of cherry wood floors. With their warm tones and timeless appeal, these hardwood floors are the perfect canvas for a contemporary home makeover.

Begin by looking at the cherry floors underfoot. If they’re Brazilian cherry or American cherry, you’ll notice the rich red tones that bring warmth and charm to any room, be it the living room, kitchen, or bathroom. Yet, these characteristic hues need not confine your space to a traditional design aesthetic. There are numerous techniques and approaches to making your cherry hardwood floors look modern without losing their inherent beauty. 

One such approach is staining your floors. With the right stain, you can mute the red tones in your cherry hardwood, creating a unique aesthetic that balances the warmth of cherry with a more neutral palette. You could go for a gray stain to give your cherry wood a modern edge or even bleach your hardwood floor for an appealing whitewashed look.

Refinishing is another creative solution for updating your cherry floors. From basic coatings to hyper tone stains, endless refinishing options can transform your floor’s look. A well-executed refinishing job can bring out the best in your hardwood flooring, highlighting the natural beauty of the wood while infusing it with a fresh, modern feel.

But your cherry floors aren’t an island. To truly make them shine in a modern setting, you need to consider the rest of your interior design. Your furniture choices, wall color, and lighting can influence your floor look. Select furniture that complements your floors and enhances the modern appeal of your space. Opt for colors on your walls that contrast with the red hues of your cherry wood, perhaps a cool shade of blue or gray.

And let’s not forget about lighting. Both natural and artificial light can dramatically alter the look of your cherry floors. Use this to your advantage. Strategically position lights to create shadows that add depth to your space, or make use of natural light to highlight the vibrant tones in your wood floors.

At the end of the day, making your cherry wood floors look modern is about understanding the rules of interior design and knowing when to break them. It’s about embracing the warmth and richness of your cherry wood while also daring to push the envelope, experiment, and create something uniquely yours. It’s about turning your house into a home that reflects who you are and how you live.

With creativity, a solid grasp of design principles, and a dash of courage, you can transform your cherry wood floors and entire space into a modern masterpiece. And isn’t that the ultimate goal? To create a home that looks stunning and feels like an authentic expression of yourself. And in the process, you might just find that your cherry wood floors are the most versatile, stylish, and impressive design element in your modern home.

Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern – FAQ

1. How can I make my cherry wood floors look modern without losing their natural appeal?

You can easily modernize your cherry wood floors by utilizing contemporary furniture and decor. Pick pieces with sleek lines and cool colors like blues and greys to offset the red tones of the wood. Use a combination of different lighting styles to create a modern ambiance that enhances the natural appeal of your floors.

2. What are some easy ways to change the look of my hardwood flooring while maintaining its integrity?

Refinishing your hardwood flooring is an easy and effective method of altering its appearance. By choosing a modern stain color, you can completely transform the look of your floors. Alternatively, update your room’s color scheme and furnishings to create a modern look that complements your existing flooring.

3. How can I reduce the red tones in my Brazilian red cherry floors for a more contemporary aesthetic?

Using hyper tone stains or basic coatings can help to balance the strong red tones of Brazilian red cherry floors. Additionally, using furniture and wall colors that complement the red tones of the floor (think cool blues and greens) can create a contemporary aesthetic.

4. I’ve just moved into a house with cherry hardwood floors; how can I integrate them into a modern design scheme?

Cherry hardwood floors can be integrated into a modern design scheme by using a complementary color palette. Light-toned furniture contrasts the floors’ rich color, and a minimalistic decor style adds a contemporary touch. Modern lighting also works wonders to create a sleek and updated look.

5. Are there specific stain options that work best when attempting to modernize cherry wood flooring?

Absolutely! Grey and white stains are currently popular for achieving a modern look, and a darker stain could also provide a dramatic contrast in a minimalist, modern space.

6. Can I use decking techniques to give my cherry floors a unique, modern twist?

Yes, decking techniques, such as painting or staining in bold colors, can add a unique, modern twist to your cherry floors. Just be sure to follow proper floor care routines to maintain their appearance.

7. What’s the easiest way to transition my traditional cherry wood floors into a more modern, minimalistic style?

A simple method to transition traditional cherry wood floors into a more modern, minimalistic style is to incorporate modern decor elements and lighter wall colors. Large, geometric area rugs can also help break up the floor’s expanse, adding an additional layer of modern design.

8. How can I maintain the beauty of my red cherry floors while making them look more contemporary?

Choose furniture and wall colors that offset the red tones to maintain the beauty of your red cherry floors while also adding a contemporary look. Neutrals like greys, whites, and beiges can create a modern palette that accentuates the natural beauty of your floors.

9. What should I consider when choosing furniture and decor to make my cherry hardwood floors fit a modern aesthetic?

When selecting furniture and decor for your room with cherry hardwood floors, opt for pieces with clean, minimalistic lines in neutral or cool colors. Metallic accents also add a modern touch.

10. How can I use lighting to highlight the modern aspects of my cherry wood flooring?

Effective lighting can bring out the modern aspects of your cherry wood flooring. Consider a variety of light sources, like floor lamps, overhead lights, and table lamps, to create a balanced, modern ambiance. Strategically placed mirrors can reflect light onto the floor, further enhancing its beauty. 

How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring
How to Make Cherry Wood Floors Look Modern: Designer Transformations for Timeless Hardwood Flooring

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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