Create Cohesion, or Distinction with Flooring Transitions

hardwood flooring in white kitchen with dark island and black windowYou’re all-in to knock down some walls to create that spacious, open floorplan you’ve been wanting for so long, but figuring out how to handle the different flooring options in the newly unified rooms wasn’t one of the hurdles you anticipated. There was carpet in the family room, tile in the entry and hardwood in the kitchen, so how do you make the transition from one room to the next while maintaining a pleasant aesthetic?

Normandy Designer Jackie Jensen shares that “determining your preferred flooring transition will either create cohesion across several rooms or make a distinction from one room to another, depending on the look you’re trying to achieve.” You can make either option work, as long as you keep in mind a few helpful design rules.

“I think one of the most common flooring options I see in the Chicago area has to be hardwood,” says Jackie. “The best way to handle hardwood that adjoins another type of flooring is to use a turnboard. This simple piece of wood turned at a 90 degree angle from the rest of the wood floor creates a subtle transition from hardwood flooring to carpet or tile and eases any height difference to prevent tripping hazards.”

Bonus room with french doors, hardwood leading to carpetChoosing to have multiple different types of flooring can help you define a space, but it can also create a patchwork look that may work against that sweeping, open floor plan you waited so long to implement. Using multiple different types of flooring works best when you have doorways or natural breaks in the space to make the change from one surface to another.

Even if you’ve opted for hardwood flooring throughout one entire level of your home, a transition may still be required, and there’s a structural purpose for this. “Hardwood flooring should run opposite the direction of floor joists for support, otherwise they could sag over time. Sometimes floor joists change direction in different rooms of your home, so you may need to adjust the direction of the hardwood flooring planks from room to room,” says Jackie. This type of transition is less obvious since the flooring type is the same, just the wood grain or pattern runs in a different direction.

modern glass and wood staircase overlooking foyer“When you want that cohesive look where the floor continues from room to room without separation, there are few guidelines to follow,” Jackie offers. “Doorways are the best location to make a transition. If there isn’t a natural doorway, as in an open floorplan where the kitchen flows into the dining room, you can use the location of where the cabinetry ends to create a flooring boundary and make a transition there.”

“One important suggestion I recommend when blending hardwood floors between rooms, is to have all flooring on the entire level refinished in the same stain. This will create that gorgeous, consistent look we all love in a hardwood floor,” suggests Jackie.

Working with a designer to handle flooring changes for your project is just a small part of the whole remodeling process. Reach out to Jackie to discuss ideas you’ve been contemplating and be sure to browse through the many completed projects we showcase on Facebook and Instagram for inspiration.


Blue and white kitchen with stained Alder island  Traditional kitchen dining area with arched doorway and hardwood flooring

MCM kitchen with large tiled floor that transitions to hardwood


A Modern Take on Vintage Bathroom

navy vanity with gold hardware and gold mirror with wall sconcesWhen you choose to live in a vintage home, it’s likely because you fell in love with the home’s character, so when it comes remodeling, you want to stay true to those roots. “It’s a careful balance to keep the home’s overall aesthetic intact, while adding functionality and a timeless feel to the design,” says Normandy Designer Becca Ruggiero. Becca partnered with this Glenview couple to create a modern take on their primary bathroom, and it all began with a vanity.

“My approach to remodeling a space within a vintage home is to try using hand crafted materials, smaller scale tiles, and lots of white to infuse that classic feeling. However, for this 1920s home, we stepped outside the realm of neutral colors and created a fresh perspective on vintage that was built around the navy blue vanity they fell in love with,” Becca says.

modern take on vintage shower with contrasting band of tile“This couple loves quirky touches and bold colors,” Becca says. “The deep cabinet color is what drove the decisions for the entire bathroom’s palette.” We balanced the bold vanity color with lots of white in the shower, but the design was anything but simple and standard. The small tiles used in the shower floor are a vintage inspired nod, but the walls are where we got creative. “The subway tile on the walls stay true to the home’s era, but that gorgeous band of accent tile is really what adds their personality to the design. It’s one of their favorite elements.” If you look closely, the trim piece outlining that band is a gold color which ties in with the gold veining in the bathroom floor tile. Little touches of glimmer in their choice of fixtures bring an upscale feel to this cozy space.

Just outside the bathroom is a dressing room for her, which includes a matching vanity with sink, and a custom wardrobe. “We added a built-in wardrobe that goes all the way up to the angled ceiling and looks as if it’s original to the home,” says Becca. “It’s a fantastic private area between the primary bedroom and bathroom where she can get ready for the day or prep for the night in a relaxing space.”

Whether you live in a vintage home or a more updated structure, Becca is here to help with your next remodeling project. Give her a call to set up an appointment. You can peruse a collection of our favorite projects in our photo gallery or on our Instagram or Facebook accounts.


navy vanity with gold hardware in primary vintage bathroom  before bathroom of 1920s home

close up of 1/3 offset subway tile in shower  matching navy vanity in adjacent dressing room  built in wardrobe left side


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