Every home has one thing that sets the motion for the rest of the design process. It could be a fireplace, a piece of furniture, or the setting. For a house in Chatham, New Jersey, however, the design foundation was the white oak flooring.
Oak & Broad recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Trish Lynn of Colette Interiors to create the perfect wide plank flooring for her clients’ home. We worked together from start to finish to create made-to-order floors that achieved the desired look. The journey resulted in a stunning, rustic-farmhouse look that centered around our white oak floors.
The Home – 51 Linden Lane
The original owners built the Chatham home in 1952, but the most previous owners added a substantial addition about 15 years ago. The project transformed 51 Linden Lane into a 5,000 square-feet house with a great room and plenty of extra space.
The two-story estate currently sits on about one acre of land in New Jersey suburbia. The neighborhood already has a rustic feel, so the property’s features only add to the charm. In fact, a gorgeous pond shares space with both a fire pit and treehouse in the backyard. At the time that the previous addition had finished, the Craftsman-style home kept with current design trends. However, much has changed since 2005.
Using the Plank Flooring as the Foundation for Renovations
Trish’s clients are the new owners of the house, which they purchased in January of 2020. The buyers had big plans to update the home, and they chose Trish to help bring their dreams to life. They wanted to create the same farmhouse, rustic look that the rest of the neighborhood had. Together, Trish and her clients decided that the floors were one of the biggest things that would need to change.
When the new buyers purchased 51 Linden Lane, the home had traditional wood flooring through most of the first and second floors. The dark, narrow planks didn’t convey the overall look the new owners had hoped to achieve. Therefore, they needed to remove the original flooring from the entire house.
In order to channel the farmhouse-feel, almost all of the floors in the home needed updated with the same wide light plank flooring that would brighten the rooms. The family also wanted a hardwood that showed off the natural wood knotting because they desired a lot of character and personality in the house.
Since they planned to build every other design decision upon the foundation of their hardwood floors, Trish needed to find the exact floor her clients envisioned. However, finding just the right flooring proved to be more difficult than expected.
Choosing Oak & Broad as the Hardwood Flooring Company
Before selecting the wood flooring, work had already begun on other parts of the house, so the flooring needed to tie in cohesively with the other elements. For example, they already gutted the heart of the home, the mudroom and powder room off the kitchen. Trish planned to complete the rooms with a brick floor, shiplap, custom paneling, and a handmade barn wood vanity. With all of these unique elements, it would take a special foundation to tie everything together.
Once Trish knew that the home’s entire design depended on the flooring, she set out to gather various wood samples. She ended up ordering close to 100 samples from about 15-20 different sources, including a local wood floor business she had worked with previously. After comparing all of them, Trish continued to go back to Oak and Broad’s wide plank white oak flooring. It was the only sample they had found that truly represented what her clients wanted.
Though she loved that floor, she had already developed a relationship with the local business as her preferred vendor. She had taken Oak & Broad’s samples to him to see if he could find her something similar, but he simply couldn’t. Oak & Broad was offering a one-of-a-kind product that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Selecting the Right Wood for the Project
At Oak & Broad, we offer various flooring options from natural character grade white oak to black walnut with a natural finish. Therefore, the decision wasn’t easy, but we were able to work with Trish to make sure she found the exact white oak flooring she needed for her clients’ home. We walked her through the process of choosing the species, construction, dimensions, color, and finish type.
We explained that while hickory, walnut, and red oak are good choices, our white oak is a uniquely beautiful selection with its tight grain and gorgeous light color. Discerning customers also love the naturally-occurring “rays” and “flecks” that add to the flooring’s charm. Not to mention, white oak will last for decades because it is naturally hard and durable.
It is also incredibly versatile, which means customers can finish it in a variety of colors to achieve their ideal look. For Trish, this was a key factor, and we were happy to guide her in the process of selecting our 7.5-inch wide, live sawn white oak with an oil finish. Our bespoke wood flooring experts even helped her customize the product with a beveled edge for more character.
What is Live Sawn White Oak Flooring?
Among our different white oak flooring options, the live sawn floor stands out with remarkable grain patterns. In order to produce a live sawn wood floor, the planks must be cut using a particular method of straight sawing.
What does that mean?
Exactly what it sounds like! The logs are cut straight down from the outside diameter through the heartwood without changing the orientation of the wood. Other sawing methods cut the logs in a variety of more complex patterns. Some form a cross (quarter sawn), and others fit together like a puzzle (plain sawn).
As a result of the unique sawing method, the wood plans have much more interesting grain patterns. The board features a full range of the log’s ring angles and includes the tight rings of the highly sought-after heartwood. When you look at a live sawn floor, you should see grains common among rift and quarter sawn wood. The center of the live sawn boards will showcase traditional cathedrals.
Regardless of how it was cut, all of Oak & Broad’s solid wood flooring is a full ¾” thick. Not only does that mean your floor is going to be more durable, but it also means that you can sand and refinish any boards that may sustain damage.
Creating a Dream Floor with Oak & Broad
At Oak and Broad, we always tell our customers to expect dozens of emails and phone calls because we truly seek to build relationships with them over the course of their project. Our family-owned business isn’t just a hardwood flooring company. It is our goal to be an ally in helping our customers bring their dreams to life.
Our project with Trish Lynn was no exception. From our initial consultation, we spoke extensively to make her clients’ dream floor a reality. Trish had sent us plenty of inspiration photos, so we had a clear idea of what flooring they needed.
When asked about her experience with Oak & Broad, Trish says that Joel was “so collaborative.” She went on to say that “he was really able to hone in on exactly what we were looking for” and that “he was a total professional.” She especially appreciated that she could always rely on Joel to respond to her right away. More importantly, he went above and beyond to get her aggressive pricing, which was crucial in maintaining her clients’ budget. Overall, she says it was a pleasure to work with Oak & Broad, and we certainly share those sentiments.
Building Upon the White Oak Floor
Even after the installation, the floors impacted every design decision. Trish says that the white oak flooring is truly the foundation of the home. She built everything from the décor to the furnishings upon the style of the floor. For that reason, it was all the more important that they were able to find their ideal hardwood.
The floors will continue to influence many decisions in the home’s design. It currently is serving as a guide for a new Dutch door that Trish’s clients requested. The goal is that the doors will tie in nicely with the floors and all of the other rustic farmhouse elements.
Choose Your Made-to-Order White Oak Flooring
If your home’s flooring serves as the foundation of all of your design decisions, don’t settle for anything less than your dream floor. Instead, come to Oak & Broad. Whether you want white oak hardwood flooring or something else, our design experts would be more than happy to collaborate with you. We are here to serve all of your made-to-order flooring needs—no matter the size of your project.
To start your renovation, we recommend that you schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You can do so by filling out our simple contact form with the details of your project. If you’re not sure where to start, no problem, we can walk you through it all! You can also contact our professionals by phone, so call us today.