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I need to take out the carpet in our family room and need help deciding what to put down. I definitely do not want carpet. I would like hardwood but don't think I can afford it. That leaves me with laminate...hopefully this doesn't effect home value negatively?? The room has very dark barn wood on three walls (two half way up and one full wall). The fourth wall is half brick with a big woodstove. This is the only room I haven't done anything with. I am concerned about the color flooring to use. I don't care for the blond/light laminates. I like darker finishes but I am worried the room will be a cave! Maybe even with medium color...Any suggestions?? Any advice on laminate? better brands, looks, etc...? Whatever I choose I would like to put in the laundry room and bedroom on this level (the bottom floor of a raised ranch).
Also, I am unsure what to do with the paneling in the stairway, paint it white or take it down and put something else up?
Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

make sure to stain the staircase in the same tone as the laminate.

Check out your local laminate/wood stores to compare laminates and a coffee/walnut stain is always classic and beautiful.