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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 2/28/2008

Wood Floors and Wine Country: A Natural Pair

(ARA) - When visiting wineries or traveling in wine country, there is definitely an organic feeling that is evident in all aspects of the region.

From the vines in the fields, to the barns where the wine is made, to the tasting house where it is sold, the historical presence is unmistakable and magnified through organic materials such as wood.

Wood and wine have a long and intertwined history. Wood is rooted in all aspects of wine making and in the history of vineyards. It was used for plant stakes, storage -- such as in Oak barrels -- and the construction of their buildings, barns and homes. Since their buildings were traditionally crafted by hand, they achieved a natural look through their use of textures, colors and materials.

This was especially evident in their floors.

Wood became a necessity in a vintners' day-to-day life and thus a part of the history of generations of families and master wine makers.

Just like secrets of crafting wine were passed down from father to son and mother to daughter, these wide plank wood floors captured the stories of numerous generations living upon them creating both delicious wine and memories.

Wine country interior styles tend to capture the simplicity of nature. Planks were cut as wide and as long as the tree, capturing the true characteristics of the tree.

Rustic tools, rolling barrels and wear from day to day work contributed to a more worn and aged look. Years of dirt from the field, crushing grapes and spilled wine all contributed to a darker floor.

Whether you are trying to achieve Old World, Rustic, Tuscan, Italian, Mediterranean, French Country or Spanish Villa, each has an underlying theme: simple, rustic features that embrace the history of the land.

To capture the traditional look and feel of a wine country floor, homeowners should consider the use of wide planks that are cut from trees at very long lengths.

Companies like Carlisle Wide Plank Floors in Stoddard, N.H. specialize in creating wide plank floors that preserve the historical aspect of the wood.

They start with sustainably grown, old growth trees and cut boards from the center to yield the widest and longest planks with the greatest grain density. The advantage of wide plank floors is the naturally occurring character that is grown into each plank.

"Pine and walnut are two floors that lend themselves to a Tuscan style and we have incorporated these particular floors to help complete the vision of several wineries and innumerable homes seeking to achieve this Mediterranean look," says Jason Wolfe, sales and design consultant at Carlisle's Denver showroom.

"Additionally, with its intimate historical relationship to storing and aging wine, White Oak also provides an authentic, viable option."

Here's how to get the "Old World Charm" look:

* Pick the right wood.

Old Growth Eastern White Pine in 13 to 20-inch random widths is a perfect example of a truly authentic, old-looking floors. Old Growth Walnut with its naturally dark tones and subtle grain creates a more formal look. Old Growth Oak stains and distresses beautifully to create a truly European feel.

* Mimic the history.

By using the same hand tools as they did hundreds years ago, a well-worn look could be replicated, including uneven surfaces, hand scraped edges and saw blade marks in the surface of the plank.

* Color and finish.

Custom blended stains help match the natural patina of an older floor. Finally, finishes protect unwanted spills and stains. High resin tung oil is designed to bring out the natural grain of the wood and gives the floor a beautiful luster with none of the maintenance issues associated with polyurethane.

"When constructing and designing to achieve the allure of a Wine Country style, be sure to remember one proven design rule: simpler is better. Wide plank floors and natural stone are timeless, fundamental design resources that introduce a beautiful, organic feeling into the home. Just like grapes are harvested with care from the local fields to create delicious wine," says Wolfe, "we work with the indigenous trees to craft solid wood floors bringing nature inside." Courtesy of ARAcontent



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