One of the crucial design elements that sets the tone of a room, flooring should be a top consideration when planning a refurbishment or extension. Although functionality is a key component, flooring can be extremely evocative of a certain mood or culture; terracotta tiles form the perfect basis for a Mediterranean aesthetic, while reclaimed pine creates the impression of old-fashioned comfort.
When picking out new flooring for your property, consider how busy each particular room is likely to be, placing the most durable materials in the areas that will be most occupied. You should also think about lighting; the subtle differences between wood textures and stains may be more apparent under natural light than electric, so it's advisable to try installing a sample first to confirm that you're happy with the overall effect. Once you've seen exactly how the material appears in your home, you can progress to full installation or try an alternative option.
Painted hardwood first found popularity in 18th-century America, when people began painting their floors in elaborate designs, often mimicking parquetry or mosaic tiles. After falling out of fashion in the 20th century, this vintage-inspired look is enjoying a resurgence. Simple patterns such as checkerboards and thin stripes work well and prevent the look from becoming overpowering. Keep walls plain, and choose furnishings in co-ordination with an accent colour from the pattern.
Bold block colour
Treating your hardwood floor like a statement wall and painting it in your favourite eye-catching colour can add a touch of offbeat style to any room. Primary colours and saturated hues lend a sense of playfulness, perfect for children's bedrooms or to brighten up small spaces such as bathrooms and galley kitchens. Rich shades like burnt orange and midnight blue contribute to a romantic look, working well in living rooms and kitchens. Preserve a balance by painting the walls in a light, neutral shade.
Hardwood traditionally comes in natural tones such as mahogany, beech and pine, but can be stained to great effect; for example, ash-grey wood is an understated and stylish choice. The combination of traditional materials with futuristic colour furnishings works well in minimalist interior design, particularly in loft-style spaces. Pale wood reflects light beautifully, making small rooms appear larger and brightening dimly-lit spaces.
Parquet flooring uses different shades of wood to create texture and pattern. Often associated with palatial Edwardian homes, it can be employed to best effect in large rooms or in entryways. Bold parquet flooring has taken a back-seat to minimalist design influences in recent years, but like painted hardwood, is starting to make a comeback. If you feel that parquet throughout the room would be overwhelming, you can simply parquet a central section to create a natural focal point, where you might otherwise place an Oriental rug or coffee table. Geometric designs create a modern aesthetic, while ornate swirls and spirals pay homage to eastern woodworking traditions.
Explore a wide range of luxury homes featuring flawless flooring by visiting Engel & Völkers online or in-store. The international experts in high-end real estate, our portfolio covers historic homes, modern apartments and characterful villas in desirable locations worldwide.