When designing a room, many of us will agonize over the wall colors, the curtains, the furniture, and accessories but do we give enough thought to the floor?
Too often the humble floor is overlooked, perhaps because we deem the existing carpet or flooring ‘passable’, or think it’s going to be too expensive to change. However, the choice of flooring in a room can have the biggest impact. In a recent article for the Sunday Times, one of the country’s leading architects, Melanie Clear, said she would spend a £10k windfall on a really striking floor, then all you need are neutral walls!
Whether you favour carpet, wood flooring or stone, and ceramic tiles, the choices are endless but making the right choice can create ambiance and set the tone for the rest of the room.
Grey, grey, grey! As a nation, we are obsessed with the colour ‘grey’, and there are gallons of choices to go for, from super soft carpets to dyed natural wood, stone flagstones, and porcelain tiles, in a range of colour hues to suit all tastes.
But if you dare step away and go for a different colour, the rules are simple; choose the floor first and decide whether it is to be the standout feature or a neutral backdrop, then build up the rest of the scheme around it. For example, if you long for a black slate floor, the material choice will provide the backdrop and impact for the design of the rest of the room. However, if your penchant is for paler tones you can go for stronger wall colour, though do consider adding interest to the floor through texture, design or pattern to create an impression.
The texture of a floor is an emotive subject that has more to do with an individuals lifestyle and preferences. Velvety soft carpets are gorgeous underfoot and create a feeling of warmth particularly in bedrooms, whereas sleek porcelain tiles with their uniformity of texture and colour are ideal for stylish and contemporary designs and very easy to maintain.
For period homes or areas where practicality is key, consider the beautiful variance in texture of stone flagstones or the natural grain of wood which are durable and long-lasting.
Patterned floors are really beautiful if done in the right way. Think timeless herringbone tiles or oak flooring, black & white Palladian hallways, tiled borders, softly patterned carpets, and vibrant rugs – pattern can be elegant, bohemian, wacky, classic, dramatic, subtle – but ultimately it can be interesting!
With the rise of bi-fold doors, having a seamless floor that runs indoors and out is desirable and can be very practical, especially if you lay underfloor heating to the internal spaces. Stone floors and tiles work very well in this situation and there is a lot of choice depending on your style and taste, you may also want to consider porcelain as it is low maintenance, easy to lay and comes in some super ranges including stone and wood effect.
For hallways, kitchens, and areas of heavy duty, practical, robust floors are critical, so avoid carpet and go for hardwearing stone or wood flooring – there’s a reason the Victorians favored flagstone flooring – it’s durable!
Don’t let your floors be the forgotten item – make them the main event!