Help selecting hardwood floors
I'm getting hardwood floors on the first and second floor of my townhouse, along with the stairs between the floors. There's a foyer, bar, living room w/ dining area, kitchen, and 2 bathrooms (~1000 sq ft + stairs). I'm having trouble deciding on the flooring to use.
Price is a concern. It's a lot of space and I'm trying to stay on the $5k side of things versus the $10k side. Also, it has to be engineered hardwood since the first floor is on concrete.
A hardwood installer I have several recommendations on has recommended Shaw Epic 3.25" Red Oak engineered hardwood - mostly because of price, I think - apparently he can get a good deal from his supplier. He quoted me ~$6900 for everything, which seems like a pretty good deal.
I had initially thought I wanted butterscotch, but looking at the samples in my house, I was leaning toward natural. But then I started to think that all of the walls are darker than natural wood, which might look odd.
I should note that I am definitely going to do something with the cabinets (paint white, or refinish) since they're pretty grungy and I'm open to changing paint/furniture to accomodate the wood color (couches+chairs are ikea and can be easily recovered, rest isn't expensive furniture, and I actually like painting).
With all that said, does anyone have any thoughts on what color fits best? I'm going for sort of a semi-modern or contemporary look, but not too Kubrick-y (e.g. no all white everything, still some touches of traditionalism). If I leave things as-is I feel like I'll have to go natural and just have the walls be darker. But, I have this alternate side that thinks I should get something dark (like an ebony or chocolate color), since that seems to be the trendy thing, and change out the wall colors and furniture around that.
Or should I be looking at a different wood/brand altogether? As you can see, I'm better at thinking of options than making decisions. :) Thanks in advance for any opinions, advice, etc anyone can give me.
Here are some pictures: