I'm new to the forum, so hopefully I'm posting this correctly and in the right place.
We are purchasing a brand new home this winter. The builder has installed select red oak and stained it very dark to match the kitchen cabinetry. Before moving in we want to do two things:
1. Add additional matching red oak in the living room /hallway/staircase
2. Have the existing red oak sanded and stained much lighter. We have kids and a dog and I believe the dark stain will show more dirt and scratches plus it simply isn't our personal taste.
My question for this post is what colors /finishes would people recommend that would be lighter, but wouldn't look out of place with the dark cabinets? One of the bids we received recommended finishing it completely natural with a water-based stain such as Bona Traffic. This sounds reasonable, but I'm hoping to get some other opinions. Please see the link to my album below to view the current floors and kitchen cabinets. Thank you! http://picasaweb.google.com/nmcapage/FloorsNewHome?authkey=Gv1sRgCNzolf6Ch6q2Tw&feat=directlink