Interior design elements go through trends that tend to be somewhat cyclical, much like fashion. Currently, the fashion of the 1990s is making a resurgence; that fashion was a response to a lot of what was happening in the 1960s. The trend moves in cycles like that. Interior design, and specifically hardwood flooring, moves in similar trends. Currently, the hardwood designs of the 1940s are growing in popularity again. Those trends were a response to the economic hard times of the 1930s. So, what are those trends?
The Farmhouse Trends
Many homes are moving away from the aesthetics of linoleum, vinyl, and other processed materials. They’re going back to the natural hardwoods of previous decades. Even more than that, they’re looking to capture the look of aging that has come to signify antique construction. There are several different ways to do that.
The most authentic way to capture the look of antique wood is by using antique wood. Some people source their wood themselves; they visit old barns, sugar mills, railroad depots, and antique homes to find aged hardwood floors. Others buy their hardwood floors from a supplier who has aged hardwood. This is the way to get the most authentic hardwood floor, but it’s also the more expensive option.
Other options include hand-scraped hardwood flooring or brushed hardwood flooring. Hand-scraped hardwood flooring is floors that are made in a much older style. Mass-produced sandpaper was not available until the 1920s, and even then, it was mostly used for automotive finishes. Therefore, to get the wood smooth before the widespread use of sandpaper, a carpenter would use a knife to scrape the surface smooth. The uneven gouges through the wood are iconic of farmhouse styles. Brushed hardwood floor is flooring that has been brushed with a stiff wire brush to create thin gouges all over the wood. The gouged lines hold oil and finish differently, creating a textured finish.
Varied Plank Widths
The final element of the farmhouse trend is the varied-width hardwood plank. Modern hardwood floors are made with planks that are all the same width and length. That’s because wood can be sourced from all over the world and cut with a precise machine. When wood had to be sourced from nearby and cut by hand, the entire tree was used to make planks of varying widths and lengths. It’s a subtle difference but it lends a lot of the charm to a farmhouse or antique home.