When I enter a space and feel the vibe and the energy the room transmits, I always look at the flooring.
For me as an interior designer, this is the most important part of a space.
It’s like the skin of a human being – the largest part of the body. I see flooring the same way. I see the beauty of a space in its naked glory; carried off the walls and the floor.
The floor gives a space its character, and it is crucial for determining what ‘feel’ we want to give a room.
But of course, there are many considerations to make when choosing which type of flooring to give a space. The use of the space, the character and location of the building, economically, health perspectives and environmental aspects.
Flooring through the ages
Since medieval times, we have used natural flooring starting with earthen floors from soil. We still use natural stones as they did for many centuries, like marble, granite, limestone, and slate. The Romans used concrete, which we see as a contemporary look today. Ceramic tiles made from clay are still used for kitchens and floors, and carpets have a long history; primarily first used as wall and table decorations.
Hardwood, my favourite type of flooring, started as unfinished planks but developed elegance during the Baroque era.
How flooring can affect health and wellbeing
As for our health, we can discuss options from various perspectives. Hardwood, if harvested in a sustainable way from FSC certified suppliers, is a beautiful, natural, and long-lasting flooring. The FSC certification (Forest Stewardship Council) ensures wood is harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.
Hardwood gives a space character and it is easy to keep clean, which is an advantage for preventing allergies.
If we look at carpets, which some people love for the warmth and comforting atmosphere carpets create, we can choose to go for natural wool, which is durable and naturally resists moisture and stains. Although it’s important to note that the soft fibres in a carpet can harbour allergens.
I often choose to work with sustainable certified hardwoods, and if possible, I keep the existing flooring. For a cosy feel and vibe, I add rugs woven by hand in natural materials, which can be cleaned easily.
I design with “to have and to hold” in mind, keeping existing materials wherever possible. For that clean, sophisticated, and elegant atmosphere, I would always choose hardwood over carpet.