Softening the Look of a Checkerboard Floor

Our current kitchen is the first we've had with a black and white checkerboard floor. While the classic tiles have always been one of our favorites, we're finding it hard to soften the hard edge it gives the room. Especially a room with stainless-steel appliances. After collecting photos (like the one above) for inspiration, we found some key elements that add softness and warmth.

Since the style of our kitchen is industrial to begin with, and it's a room we spend a lot of time in, we'd like a room that's warm as well as classic . We've really struggled with ways to add softness, given the bold floor, so here are 10 ideas we've pulled from magazines and blogs with kitchens that strike a great balance.

Yellow In particular, we love how yellow pops against black and white. Other colors do too, but we think yellow also adds the most warmth.
Chandeliers We love the chandelier above the butcher block in the 4th photo. The antique crystals mixed with the wood butcher block and countertops really make us feel at home
Plants If you're lucky enough to have good sunlight exposure, plants can really add texture and pops of cheerfulness.
Original Art Several of these kitchens (in particular #2 and #5) have interesting artwork that looks like original oils and not prints. If you want to create warmth, photographs don't work as well as softer artwork in kitchens with this particular floor.
Soft Wallpaper We would have predicted it would look too busy, but we're liking the way the gentle branches in the 3rd photo soften the room.
Baroque We love the juxtaposition of the wonderfully textured baroque-framed mirror in the 2nd photo.
A Round Table You can see how the round table in the 2nd photo softens the hard lines in the floor.
Wood Countertops In our opinion, the countertops that work best with a checkerboard floor are wood. Granite or linoleum can look cold with this pattern floor.
Add Curves The sexy curved chairs in the 2nd photo, the rounded birdhouse in the 3rd photo — these both add roundness and counteract the geometric pattern on the floor.
Antiques With a black and white checkerboard floor, add antiques like the large cabinet in the 2nd photo to give a farmhouse look, rather than a bold graphic look.

Images: 1: Hello Tiger!, 2: LivingEtc magazine, 3: SarahLaird.com for Paul Costello, 4: BrownButton, 5: DecorPad

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