About the Author: Mallory Recor is a Stuga blog contributor and former Design Consultant. A long time lover of all things design, she has lived all over the world and is building a cozy home in Northern Michigan. You can find her on Instagram at @malloryrecor.
We’re currently building a home in Northern Michigan, and before I knew what color the house was going to be, how many bedrooms it was going to have, or where my kitchen would be located in relation to my living room, I was ordering floor samples. I knew the power a floor had to set the tone of the home. Was our house going to be more “Rustic Farmhouse” or “Scandi Minimalist”? Our floors had a big part to play in defining our home.
The Comparison Game
The first thing anyone should do is order samples and follow Stuga’s advice on how to use them. I ordered a handful of samples and realized that what they looked like on the computer was slightly different from what I saw in my home. I knew I was headed in the right direction with my Shell, Fika, and Little Square Samples, but I wanted something just a little deeper in color, so I ordered a second round of samples.
Once I had all my samples, I set about moving them around the house to different corners, different light exposure, and next to different furniture. (I even compared them to my cat’s coats… that step is not necessary, though helpful!) As I moved them around, it became clear to me that there were two contenders: Shell and Harbor.
Selecting My Engineered Hardwood Floors
Both floors were the perfect amount of rustic for what was shaping up to be our minimal English farmhouse inspired home. They are both warm with a good handful of knots for character. As I explored the different flooring finishes Stuga offers, I really fell in love with the oil finish, which both floors had. So, I ordered large samples of each to get a good idea of what the floors would be like.
I moved the large samples around my house for a long time. I asked family and friends for their opinions. I even stood on the samples while working to feel what they would be like underfoot. I wanted to get a really good indication of not only what they would look like in a sun soaked kitchen, but also in our dark and moody library, on the stairs, down the hallway, and in my kids' rooms.
In all honesty, we were a split house–half of us absolutely loving the warmth of Shell, and the other half totally digging the richness of Harbor. This meant there was a lot of back and forth and many lively debates. Finally, we came to the conclusion that Harbor was going to provide a bit more of a slightly rustic, yet traditional English feel, and we put in our order.
Almost immediately, my son’s chant of “Shell! Shell! Shell!” had me questioning my certainty. Shell was the floor which originally introduced us to Stuga. It was the one we had all loved immediately. It was lighter, and wasn’t that what we needed for those Northern Michigan winters? I was second guessing.
Before pulling the plug on Harbor, though, I went through my inspiration and Pinterest boards. I pulled the samples of the kitchen island, cabinets, paint colors, and counters. I looked at both samples next to all of the other puzzle pieces of our home and I realized that my gut choice, Harbor, was going to fall in line with all the other pieces of my home to create the vibe I’m going for.
Would Shell have been great too? Honestly, that's the beauty of Stuga floors. I truly do think we could have chosen either floor and been entirely happy with it. If I’m being honest, many of the floors in Stuga’s line would work well with our future home’s aesthetic. But we went with the floor that made us feel happy and that set the stage for the other elements we were bringing in.I cannot wait to install the floors. As the skeleton of the house has gone up, and the walls have been framed in, I continue to make decisions for finishes based on our floors. Having the perfect floor picked out has been the frame we needed to see the rest of the picture come into focus. I’ll be back soon to report on the installation process, but if you just can’t wait, you can read about Stuga’s Social Media Manager, Haley’s, tips for install right here!