We're in the process of starting to build a house, and we're totally torn about the floors/kitchen cabinets. Our aesthetic is contemporary/Ikea-ish and we'd like to do wood on the whole first floor. In our current house we have wide-plank very light maple engineered hardwood in a glossy finish, and it makes all the rooms look very light and airy.
Our builder is offering prefinished red oak as the standard wood floor (Shaw floors Golden Opportunity), but the lightest color looks a bit dark (see attached), grainy, and traditional to us. The darker color looks more contemporary (it's called 'coffee bean', also attached), but we have young kids and a cat, and I'm wondering if it's going to be a nightmare to keep clean? Anyone want to weigh in on the light vs. dark dillema? Also, right now most of our furniture is dark, and we could get light rugs, but with kids those can also be a disaster. We'd like light maple again (ideally) or pickled oak/white oak/lighter color floors, but these are such a major upgrade that we can't really afford it.
The other issue is that the wood will be going in the kitchen too, and there's no option for white cabinets, so we can either do light wood cabinets with dark floors, or dark wood cabinets with light floors. So, which combo would look most contemporary, AND wear the best with kids?