Keke Palmer's dark hardwood floors make her home feel 'rich' and 'full of history' –interior designers explain why

Keke Palmer, lead actress in The Akeelah and the Bee, reveals the quiet luxury floors in her LA house

keke palmer hardwood floors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keke Palmer is an incredibly talented actress, singer, and television personality. She was named one of Time’s 2019 most influential people in the world, so it’s no surprise that her interior design follows suit. The Hustlers actress took to Instagram to show off her living room. Designers are obsessed with one unexpected detail: Keke’s dark-stained hardwood floors

The Nope actress shared a photo of her multi-patterned Dolce & Gabbana dress. Her chic living room is the stylish backdrop. In the images, light streams through Keke's open glass doors onto dark hardwood flooring, highlighting every beautiful grain of the natural wood. Behind her darker, walnut-colored decorated shelves showcase all of Keke’s keepsakes.

Interior design experts love the use of dark wood for living room floors. Camie Anderson, Seattle-based interior designer at ARDEN + SIENA says, ‘Dark wood floors in a living room evoke a feeling of richness and history.’ She adds, ‘As the color pairings that work well with a dark stain are rich and saturated colors, the flooring is best suited for historic homes or formal spaces.’ 

In this way, the dark floors elevate Keke’s otherwise casual space to look older, more historic, and more sophisticated. 

camie and bryan anderson interior designers at Arden and siena
Camie Anderson

Camie founded ARDEN + SIENA in 2014 with her contractor husband in Seattle, WA. Together, they run a full-service interior design firm run that brings a hands-on approach merging old world and new world rooted in our studies of the history of design and furniture to the incorporation of modern technology.

Martin O’Callaghan, interior designer and master carpenter at Munster Hardwood Flooring loves the practical aspects of Keke Palmer's flooring choice. Martin says: ‘Dark wooden floors are a great option for living rooms. For starters, dark hardwood flooring won't fade. This means that in the long term, it will require less retouching. There is also an undeniable beauty and pop of style. Since the grain of darker wood is typically far more visible than that of lighter shades, the natural tones and patterns in the wood shine through stronger.’ 

These benefits are certainly evident in Keke’s living room, where the stain emphasizes the beauty of the natural wood.

Martin O'Callaghan

Martin is a carpenter and interior designer for Munster Hardwood Flooring (MHF) where he has gained extensive experience specializing in floor design. The O'Callahan family has been involved in Ireland's wood floor business in both Cork and Dublin for almost two decades.

Martin O’Callaghan also emphasizes how contrast and lighting are crucial elements to why this design works. Keke’s flooring looks so beautiful because, ‘When used with light wall colors, dark hardwood flooring may actually give the appearance of larger space' he says. 

Martin continues, 'The contrast will also create a really compelling, straightforward tonal link in the area. This is a tremendously powerful trait to have since the area is already making a statement before you add any furniture or décor'. He adds, ‘Having lots of natural light ensures that the darker color doesn't overwhelm the room and creates a space that seems smaller and more enclosed.’

To emulate Keke’s look, we found the exact shelves and framed block print that the recent star of Usher’s Boyfriend music video uses in her home. We also found similar decorative books to those on Keke’s shelves to serve as a perfect accent. 

Whatever your decor style, decorating with unique flooring ideas is always smart.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

Sophie is a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens, where she works on the Celebrity Style team. She is fascinated by the intersection of design and popular culture and is particularly excited when researching trends or interior history. Sophie is an avid pop culture fan. As an H&G editor, she has interviewed the likes of Martha Stewart, Hilary Duff, and the casts of Queer Eye and Selling Sunset. Before joining Future Publishing, Sophie worked as the Head of Content and Communications at Fig Linens and Home, a boutique luxury linens and furniture brand. She has also written features on exciting developments in the design world for Westport Magazine. Sophie has an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology and a BA in Creative Writing and Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College.