Just because what? I guess I’m trying to use my powers of visualization to will my floors into being white, without Evan and I having to mutually make the decision to go ahead and paint them.
Maybe when I get home tonight they will have magically painted themselves.
(new york times)
I'm a book cover designer and art director based in New York and New Mexico. I've been blogging about home renovation, interiors, graphic design, DIY, food, cosmetics, dogs, art, music, books, and life in general since 1998. I could really use a cup of coffee right now.
I painted the floor white in one room upstairs last year. I told myself I was going to stop after that room. By the next weekend I had made the trip back to Benjamin Moore twice for more paint and had painted the entire upper floor of my house. Of course, some people felt the need to give their opinion and inform me of the “sacrilege” I’d commited, but I haven’t regretted it for even one second. I’d do it again.
I have to be honest, I personally love the warmth wooden floors give to a room, but these white floors have me sold. These rooms look amazing. The rooms feel light, airy and spacious. Now that you have your white floor, I want to ask, does it get dirty often?
I also would like to know if white floors are higher maintenance, do they show more dirt/dust and are scuff marks a problem?
I’m wondering if the allure of white floors would wear off if you did it to the whole house? Right now you have a special room that is exciting every time you enter it. Wouldn’t the white floors get boring after awhile if you had them in your whole house? Maybe not, but it is worth thinking about.
I think you are just having separation anxiety from paint. After you spend weeks and months painting, when its all over, you lose your sense of purpose. This is an intervention. Step away from the roller.
LOVE IT!!!! DO IT!!
Not to put words in her mouth, but I think I remember Anna saying she would only do it on the second floor. I think it’s such a perfect solution, especially since that would be the floor on the house that got less shoe-wear and more sock-wear. And the beauty and durability of the natural wood would still be showing downstairs.
We just began the process of painting our floors white..all of them…and this is just what I needed to keep the momentum! I awoke to dust and disorder and your post made me forget about all of it. Thanks so much for all of your white floor posts…love every one and have referenced them often while deciding if this is what we wanted to do.
Dawn- like Anna, I’ve done one room in our house so far, and it has convinced me that I really want the rest of our floors to be painted white. Interior designer Ilse Crawford has a theory that flooring should be the same throughout a home to create unity between separate spaces, which I totally agree with. Anna, if you’ve found a flooring option you love, the smartest thing to do is to go with it!
Lola- painted floors actually require way less maintenace than unpainted wooden floorboards in terms of cleaning and treating. Plus, while dust and dirt show up on a white floor, the sheen of a painted surface makes dust and dirt easier to remove than on a dull wooden surface.
siescierto & Lola: As Zee said, cleaning a painted floor really isn’t any more difficult than cleaning wood. If anything, it’s easier to see any dirt that might be left behind. I vacuum my floors once a week already, and in a normal household that really should be sufficient! Keep in mind that (a) we don’t wear shoes in our house, (b) we don’t have children, and (c) our dogs have a combined weight of less than 20 pounds. That said, any scuff marks come off easily with soap/water or a Magic Eraser, and if a serious touch-up is ever needed, well…that’s what paint is for. 🙂
To be honest, I’ve never understood the excuse of “it will get dirty” as an excuse to not make something white (or black, for that matter). I mean, it’s just as dirty regardless of the color, you just don’t know about it if the surface is neutral! (Isn’t that worse?) Then again, you’re talking to someone with black kitchen floors, glossy black kitchen cabinets and stainless steel countertops, so I’m obviously not concerned with trying to “disguise” dirt!!!
Dawn: I agree with Zee’s quote from Ilse Crawford (whom I admire greatly!) about flooring uniting a space. Right now, the second floor of my house has 3 different types of wood laid in 3 different styles (excluding the bathroom floor, which is white marble), and painting them would really help with visual continuity. For what it’s worth, though, the floors downstairs will NOT be painted — they are beautiful inlaid parquet, and I like them quite a bit as they are (though they could stand to be waxed!).
Regkins: Oh, I wish it were “over”! We’ve been renovating for three YEARS now, with many more years of it to come. No worries about losing my sense of purpose! I was obviously put on Earth to renovate this house until the day I die.
I absolutely love painted floors, they are so much easier to maintain than their wooden (or carpeted) counterparts. I have two very fluffy persian cats and I find that the painted areas are the ones that are the easiest to clean and remove marks from.
Excellent selection of inspiration photos the thorough research suggests that this is not something that you will tire of. I love this blog. It keeps me motivated to continue (or at the very least start) the hard work in my own house.
In that case, you should paint away and be happy!
Those floors are awesome. I also have a question, which you sort of answered already: would you paint the floors if they were really, really nice wood? Like random-length plank? Just wondering.
Cross your arms across your chest and blink your eyes REALLY hard…good luck!
I never understood the folks who think it is a sacrilege to paint wood floors white. Wood is wood. Some is special. Some is not. If it is not paint it. And, by the way, painting a bad wood floor is more ecologically friendly than ripping it out and buying green flooring–which many of my friends have done.
We painted our floors white (same color as you) and love them. Only difference–we put down a very thin (non yellowing satin finish). We have two dogs and they are a terror.
Why not treat yourself? Having floors painted is not that expensive–usually half the cost of having walls painted. Move all of your stuff out of the upstairs and hire someone to come in and finish those floors in two days. I’ve worked as a contractor and have renovated my own places and there is nothing like that great lift you get when you hire someone to do a job you could do yourself but just seems like a lot of work (it is the anticipation of the work that kills…). Do it once and you won’t regret it. How much could it cost? My guess would be $200 per room if you found the right folks.
Just a thought. 🙂
Love the pictures of you in Brooklyn. So very Siouxie!
Let me know if this works for you. I want my floors to be white too, and I am LAZY! And oh yeah, I live in a rental.
Marin: If I liked the floors, I would not paint them. If I did not like them, I would. I don’t know if it’s any more complex than that unless you’re dealing with an historic property with valuable original flooring or a similar situation (which I am not).
SoC: I don’t trust anyone else to paint my floors! I don’t mind doing it, actually, I just want the decision to do it (or not do it) to be made.
I love the way painted floors look and feel, we have gray floors in a few rooms in our house. But I have to say white is a little scary to me, I mean there is no leeway for not sweeping, dust bunnies, even very young ones would be easy to spot. So I guess I’ll leave white floors for you people with more cleaning genes than I.
I say do it.
Everything looks so clean and new when it’s white.
Paint those floors!
I’ve lived in two different apartments with painted white floors.
One was a big ugly kitchen I slathered in white paint over everything, made wiping up coffee spills easier.
I did tend to spot clean more often with a sponge or wet paper towel.
Not exactly a hardship.
I am happy to make the decision for you. DO IT! It will look amazing and you are obviously lusting after white floors, so follow your heart.
Is Evan keen?
I get it… but really a few of these examples are bordering on uninviting sterile rooms that are only white boxes to present a few colorful pieces. I think it’s just hard for me to imagine living in a “look” no matter what the taste is. But that is only my opinion 🙂
I vote to do it! It clearly inspires you!
We have just painted the original, pristine condition, hardwood floors in our house all white (the house isn’t that old though…about 50 years. 3 bedrooms, dining room, lounge, hallway, and the kitchen (which still needs to be done) with white floors, white walls and white trims. It looks phenomenal, we absolutely love it. Yes, it gets grubby (we have only been living on it for about 4 days, and its been raining for half of those days!), but so does any floor…you just can’t see it!
Photos will hopefully be on my blog in the next week or so!
Not that you’re likely to let some weirdos on the internet decide for you, but I totally vote yes for white floors.
Yes please let me know if this method works because I’m desperate to paint our floors white and feel I’ll be waiting sometime if I go by the traditional way.
Michelle: I did already paint the floor in one room. You can see the process and result here. I love it!
Wow! I just found your blog and I’m blown away. Thank you for sharing such inspirational photos and stories!
I also am a fan of the white flooring. It’s becoming a big trend here in Minneapolis.
Cheers! and here’s to my continued reading! 🙂
you should just do it! you know you want to! 😉
I love white floors. I have white floors in my current home and next week I’ll be moving to a teeny tiny 22 square meter apartment that also has white floors.
I have big(-ish) dogs that often have dirty paws because I’m too lazy to clean them up everytime we get in. You can see that by looking at my floor.
BUT the light white floors bring in to a small apartment is so fantastic I don’t even care about some muddy paw prints or the damage nails do to a painted surface!
I can always paint the floors again and it’s much more easier and cheaper than re-do parquet floors.
i like regular wooden floors, although looking at these white floors IS super refreshing! i just can’t imagine how dirty they would get…it adds character, right?
The white floors are fabulous, particularly if they are done properly and in the right space. My wood floors aren’t anything fancy to look at and will need some care when I get to that part of my very, very long list. I would imagine that white floors also great a sense of space that that would work in smaller rooms.
I love the stairs with the blue risers, I’m thinking of painting my stairs this summer!
Here’s more beautiful white floors — in live action video: The New H&M Spot with Vincent Gallo and Eva Herzigova.
Vincent Gallo is repellant, but hooray for Eva Herzigova, Grace Jones, and white floors!!
Why is Vincent Gallo repellant? just curious
p.s. More pretty white floors here;
The first photo has some damage on the floor and it looks fine. I kind of like the idea of having some traffic marks. (Except on my garage floor where it looks dirty)
Kim, start Googling Vincent Gallo and reading interviews with him (try throwing in the words “underage” or “politics” when you search for extra fun), and it’ll be clear pretty quickly!! I loved Buffalo 66, but the interest (for me) ends there.
Thank you for that link! And yes, the first photo is great – perfectly worn. 🙂
Our floors are already stained and damaged in the original house, so no concerns about covering them up. My one hesitation is, we went through a great deal of trouble to pick out wood floors for our addition that would match the rest of the (one level) house to help with the flow. Those floors are new, and in great shape. I would hate to paint those !!!!!!!! I am afraid that if I left them natural wood, it would draw attention to the fact that the addition is “new” and different. (sigh) These are good problems to have – but problems nonetheless.
Sorry, follow up question – with just one room having white floors, how did you handle the transition to the rest of the flooring ? Is there a door sill, or just a clean line ?
Let me know how the “willing” things works out. I’d like to try it here.
Love white floors–and not only for wood. We have 70s textured linoleum at the cottage and are thinking of painting them glossy white. I envision the same look as the photos you posted…but we’ll see…
Daffodil: You can kind of see the transition in this picture. The floor in the room I painted is actually the original pink plank floor, and the strip flooring in the hallway and other bedrooms was laid on top of it. I have no idea why the strip floor wasn’t continued into the back of the house, but I suspect it was installed during the house’s brief life as a 2-family (because the outlets were in the middle of the walls and there were a few linoleum remnants in the closet, we assume that room was an upstairs kitchen once upon a time).
Anyway, the last piece of the strip flooring in the hallway is slightly beveled, making a smooth transition to the back room. I have no idea why that area is stained darker than the rest of the floor — I didn’t do that! There’s also paint splattered all over place — again, not from me! 🙂
Juli: Hey, take a look at this link! You might find it useful. 🙂
i am from Brasil, i love you site!
i just posted some pictures from your site in my blog!
i want to know if you mind, or it is OK??
have a look on it.
hmmm? you don’t think my landlord would mind if I did this right? …. if only!
Love this look!
I want to paint my floors white too. My husband says he’s on board. Let’s do it!
I really love the look of the white floors – they just brighten up the rooms so much.