It’s barely been a month since we finished the renovation of our basement, but I’m already thinking about the next big project: our attic! Currently a completely unfinished space, we’re going to tackle this one in phases. First, the roof has to be replaced, which is happening in June. After that, we plan on adding the basics: new electrical, insulation, walls, and – my favorite bit – flooring.

When I think about our attic, all I can imagine up there is gorgeous, wide planks running the entire length of the space. So, I turned to Carlisle Wide Plank Floors for some direction and inspiration…

White Oak flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors in Heirloom grade with brushed texture. Designer: John Guidi | Photography: Gieves Anderson

White Oak flooring in Heirloom grade with brushed texture.

First let’s talk about what’s currently in our home. Most of our living space is filled with 2″ planks that are likely oak or pine. I’m not quite sure of the age, but they are definitely due for a refinishing (or possibly replacing!). When we did our kitchen remodel a few years back, we selected flooring to match the current tone, but a bit wider at 5″. I had really wanted to do wide plank then, but if felt like such a huge leap between the 2″ and the 8″ that I didn’t have the guts to take the risk.

But now, the attic gives us the opportunity to do whatever we want! And maybe set the tone for the future if and when we replace the hardwoods on the main floor someday. So let’s look at some options shall we??

My initial instinct when thinking about the flooring for upstairs was that I’d want to stick with the oak look, but with a more natural style, really similar to something like this home! Featuring a beautiful 8″ heirloom white oak, I love the matte finish and custom stain. You can see how it feels a bit warmer in the living room space, while here in the dining room it feels cooler compared to the chairs. As someone who likes to use a lot of natural wood in my decor, I enjoy a flooring that can complement other wood tones like this one does!

But when I started diving into all the gorgeous plank options offered at Carlisle, I realized that I was also drawn to some of the darker tones. Suddenly I found myself wondering… did I want something warmer or cooler? Lighter, or darker? What type of grain and how much variation am I into?

‘Regur’ from the newly launched Earthen Collection from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Carlisle floors are handcrafted, one board at a time, making their quality and finish unparalleled. And making me reconsider some woods and finishes that I hadn’t before, as I’ve never seen them done so well! 

A prime example? This flooring, which is actually a hickory and produces more variation, is part of the Earthen Collection, in ‘Regur’ finish. Typically, I don’t love too much variation in flooring, but in this slightly darker and cooler stain, the variations are not as pronounced and actually produce such a lovely organic feel.

Walnut flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Due to the grain variations, I’m not always a fan of walnut either. But I’ve also never seen it done in a wide plank like this. And WOW! I absolutely love it and the warmth it exudes in this home! Since I decorate with a lot of lighter wood furnishings, I could see how having a nice mid-tone wood with warmth can lend some grounding to a space.

Because Carlisle offers so many beautiful finishes, I thought it might be easier for me to pull out my favorites and start to see how they stack up!

Flooring shown in image at top is from the Urban Collection in ‘Granite Dream’

Because the rest of our home features warmer toned flooring, I hadn’t really explored the option of a cooler tone, and I have to say… I’m really loving some of these. Often we see ‘gray’ toned woods done in a way that feels quite fake, but these finishes feel incredibly natural. You can also see how the variation in the grain can play such a big part in the stain you are drawn to as it can feel more pronounced or subdued. Personally, I’ve noticed that when it comes to cooler wood tones, I’m much more drawn to the darker selections! Here I’m loving ‘Stone Hearth’ and ‘Marble Table’.

Flooring shown in image at top is ‘Forest Path’ from the Traditional Collection

Conversely, with the warmer tones, I’m drawn to lighter finishes! ‘Lenox Hill’ definitely has my vote, and I also love ‘Treehouse’.  These would compliment our current flooring on the main floor well. But, remember how I mentioned mid-tones earlier when talking about the walnut? Both ‘Winding Path’ and ‘Forest Path’ are in that same realm and ones that I normally wouldn’t have considered, but am now definitely drawn to as a way to mix things up a bit in the house!

Decisions, decisions!! What direction would you go now if you could select entirely new floors for your home?? It’s such a foundational piece to a room, but also something that we don’t often get to select! I’m really excited to consider some different possibilities for this project now that I’ve seen how beautiful they can be.

You can see more beautiful wide plank flooring options from Carlisle at  

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