Take advantage of new technologies and more adventurous choices – the floor’s your oyster
Genuine Fake Bookshelf wallpaper $379 per drop from Paper Room; Tarkett Ecofloor laminate in Grey Mocha Sherwood oak $741.54/sqm from Jacobsen; Jonathan Adler vase (on books) $145 from Askew; Audrey footstool with cushion $543.48 and Park aluminium serving tray $430.44, both from Le Monde; on tray: Jonathan Adler vases $145 and $111, both from Askew; Aspen grey throw (on floor) $110 from Le Monde.
The selection of flooring options has never been broader. New technologies have improved the range of synthetic carpet available and digital photographs are bestowing wood-grain effects on a range of materials. Home owners are also becoming more adventurous with colour – not necessarily opting for the most subtle neutral floor available. And texture is at the forefront too, as we lean towards more interest and detail in all our home surfaces. Some floors are even being treated as a virtual canvas, incorporating intricate stencils or drawings. We’re mixing, matching and inlaying materials; perhaps wood laid within a concrete floor, or sisal on a wooden floor. Some of us are opting for a unified approach by laying a single flooring type throughout our entire home and others are room-specific in their approach. We’ve also seen a quiet resurgence in timeless, classic elements, such as well-crafted parquet floors and luxurious wool carpets.
We’ve also seen a quiet resurgence in timeless, classic elements
Moon Shadow rug by Easton Pearson $5650 from Designer Rugs; Bordeaux aluminium table $354.78 from Le Monde; Jonathan Adler vases $145 and $111, both from Askew; vintage bowl (upturned under vase) $69 from Republic. Swatches (from top) Mission Bay rug in Emerald, from $5650 from Designer Rugs. Nishijin rug in Stone, from $5650 from Designer Rugs. Grandma’s Closet rug in Charcoal, from $5650 made to measure from Designer Rugs.
Hard flooring surfaces, easily cleaned and able to withstand wear and tear, suit entrances well. Tiles, available in an ever-increasing range of colours, sizes, shapes and patterns, fit nicely here; square black and white tiles laid in a chequer-board pattern are a classic choice. Tile World, which has tessellated, vitrified porcelain tiles made in France, says that the larger the tiles and the fewer the grout lines (which should complement but not match the tile colour) the bigger an area looks. Natural stone is both luxurious and hard-wearing – and any waste from production is recycled, often for use in composite tiles.
Bamboo is “very, very dent-resistant… but not as hard or cold as tiles,” says Bamboo Flooring Systems’ Claudia Page, who recommends it for entrances as well as living, family, dining and kitchen zones. Made from renewable grass, it’s $87 to $94/sqm (supply only). Claudia says Compressed Coffee is the most popular colour, although red, blue and even emerald green floors are on show at the international trade fairs. There’s also a trend towards reproducing wood-grain prints on bamboo flooring.
Arredo sisal flooring POA from Artisan Flooring; Semi Drum Lamp wallpaper $379 per drop from Paper Room; Aimee chaise longue in Vulcan Black (comes with large black cushion) $2521.74 from
Le Monde; cushion $247.50 from Tessuti; beer crate table stylist’s own; ruffled napkin $50 for a set of four from French Country; large ceramic bowl $89 and vintage bowl $69, both from Republic.
Bremworth Collection Tussore in colour Cutch $300/linear metre from Carpet Court.
Homeowners around the world often opt for hard flooring in these areas but New Zealanders continue to crave comfort in their living spaces. Whether we’re sprawled on the floor to watch television or padding barefoot through our bedroom, warmth and softness are paramount. Wool carpet has long been a traditional choice, but Feltex’s Rochelle Flint says good-quality synthetic fibres now look more like wool than ever before. In March 2011, Feltex, with DuPont, launched a carpet derived from corn starch – a renewable resource with built-in stain resistance and reduced colour fading. Regardless of fibre, look for carpets that have been independently tested as residential extra heavy duty.
Cavalier Bremworth Velluto carpet in colour Chinchilla POA from Artisan Flooring; Brooks chair (left foreground) in Prescott Grey $817.39 from Le Monde; stool used as a bedside table $299 from Republic; on stool: lamp base $130 and shade $100, both from French Country; Apilco cow creamer $114.50 from Milly’s; Jonathan Adler Small Faces vase (on floor) $162 from Askew; Veronique day bed in Prescott Grey $2391.30 from Le Monde; on bed: pillowcases $410 for a pair, linen sheets $590 each and quilt $1220, all from Siena Society.
Swatches (clockwise from top left) 1- Chez Carpet in colour Solitude POA from Source Mondial. 2 - Victoria Carpets Lausanne $169/linear metre from Carpet Court.3 - Bremworth Collection Curlicue in colour So Cool $449/linear metre from Carpet Court. 4 - Moki 7453 carpet in colour Analine POA from Source Mondial.
Carpet can reduce energy bills by up to 12 per cent thanks to its thermal insulation effects, says Desiree Keown of Cavalier Bremworth. Prices range from $25/sqm for low-grade cut-pile to upwards of $100/sqm for premium carpet.
Add to that the cost of carpet underlay, $5 to $11/sqm, and carpet installation at $10/sqm.
Grandma’s Closet rug in Mauve, prices start from $5650 for made to measure from Designer Rugs; Dress wallpaper $379 per drop from Paper Room; Brooks chair $817.39 from Le Monde; linen sheet (on chair) $590 from Siena Society; cushion $247.50 and slippers $79.90, both from Tessuti; cakestand (comes with dome) $100.90 from Le Monde.
Available in a variety of colours and weaves, natural fibres such as sisal and coir also provide richly textured flooring.
Engineered wood floors have an upper hard-wood face on a plantation-grown wood backing. Pre-finished engineered floors, such as Ekowood, are very stable and cost $90 to $260/sqm plus installation, according to Dominion Flooring’s Kevin Dore. Imported from Germany by Eco-Floors, Classen laminate flooring, available in finishes such as oak, rimu, leather and stone, ranges from $67 to $71/sqm plus $29/sqm to install. Laminate floors usually have a plantation wood backing topped by a photographic reproduction of the chosen finish.
Hard-working service areas need a sturdy floor to match
Villa Noce semi-polished porcelain tiles $125/sqm from Heritage Tiles; Rousillon console table $913 from Le Monde; on console: scalloped plates $14 each, oval plate $12 and cups $6 each, all from Le Monde; aqua cup stylist’s own; tea towel $23 from Askew; on floor: scalloped bowls $8-$12 each and ceramic cakestand (comes with dome) $100.90, all from Le Monde; cutlery canister stylist’s own; black Fleur de Lys cutlery (set of six) $54.79, scalloped plate $14 and oval plates $12 each, all from Le Monde.
Swatches (from top) Graphic cork $200/sqm from Cork Concepts. Custom-coloured cork $154/sqm from Cork Concepts. Venis Ferroker tile in Aluminio $122.62/sqm from Jacobsen.
These hard-working service areas need a sturdy floor to match. Versatile tiles are a solid option. Though 600mm square is a popular size, tiles of up to 1sqm are gaining in popularity. Natalie Rogers of Jacobsen Creative Surfaces says boldly patterned tiles were in vogue in 2010 but this year is all about subtle texture instead. Tiles cost around $80/sqm plus $50/sqm to install; stone, which must always be sealed, is about $110/sqm and $60/sqm for installation.
Tarkett Ecofloor laminate in Woodstock $741.54/sqm from Jacobsen; chair $149 from Republic; bowls $12 each, jug $21.47 and cutlery $54.79 for a set of six, all from Le Monde; Arcanum tea towel $23 from Askew; Dualit two-slice toaster $499 from Milly’s; Spoon wallpaper $335 per drop from Paper Room.
Cost-effective, low-maintenance vinyl is also suitable for utility rooms. Dominion Flooring’s Kevin Dore says that sheet vinyl, with a wood-plank look, ranges from $10 to $100/sqm and vinyl planks, some with a textured wood-grain surface, are $45 to $100/sqm.
Whole house solutions
Cork is practical, soft underfoot, non-toxic and non-allergenic. It’s also impervious to water and environmentally sustainable, says Toni Hadlee of Cork Supplies, who adds that cork, which is available in four tile sizes and any colour, can be laid and finished for $160 to $200/sqm. For up-to-the minute hues, she suggests a look at Mossy Path, a blond, textured cork, and bronzy Metallica. Top-of-the-line “graphic cork”, $250/sqm, can have any image – whether a repeat pattern or a mural effect – digitally printed onto it.
Swatches (clockwise from top left) 1 - Venis Silk tile in Verde $122.62/sqm from Jacobsen.2 - Tarkett Ecofloor laminate in Grey Mocha Sherwood Oak $741.54/sqm from Jacobsen. 3 - Gibraltar vinyl $79/linear metre from Carpet Court. 4 - Ebony cork planks $136/sqm from Cork Concepts. 5 - Aqua Step laminate in Antique White $109/sqm from Carpet Court.
Freedom Flooring’s Brenda Boyer says solid timber flooring is an option for all rooms of the home – and great for allergy and asthma sufferers. Look for wood that is Forest Stewardship Council-approved. Timber floors, which are available in narrow or wide boards and may be finished in oil or polyurethane, cost from $55 to $120/sqm plus $80 to $150/sqm for installation. Rustic, distressed, farmhouse-style flooring complete with visible bandsaw marks is right on trend. Watch also for parquet, wood-washes, coloured oils and tattooed or stencilled patterns between layers of polyurethane.
Cameron Greig of Peter Fell says that the thermal mass of concrete, which comes in more than 60 colours, aids heating in winter and cooling in summer. Finishes include smooth, honed, textured, etched, polished, dyed and stained. Colouring, cutting, grouting and sealing can be done for $50/sqm over and above the price of the concrete.
Artisan Flooring, (09) 302 2499
Askew, (09) 378 1414
Carpet Court, 0800 787 777
Cork Concepts, (09) 443 3134
Designer Rugs, (09) 300 6116
French Country, 0800 503 500
Heritage Tiles, (09) 270 8796
Jacobsen, (09) 522 5560
Le Monde, (09) 377 9518
Milly’s, 0800 200 123
Paper Room, (09) 376 5675
Republic, (09) 361 1137
Siena Society, (09) 377 7555
Source Mondial, (09) 377 3068
Tessuti, (09) 378 8490
Story: Shelley Bridgeman
Photographs: Melanie Jenkins
Stylist: Claudia Kozub