Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:02PM
Almost nothing is more important in a beautiful home than to start with beautiful flooring. This is a limiting factor in many cases. I will go to a client's home, and we can get new furniture, paint the walls, add great accessories, their house will look great- but unless their floors are beautiful- it will never look fantastic.
Rule #1- Go timeless. Flooring is expensive. That's WHY people have not-so-great flooring- so- when you do take the plunge- go timeless. Personally- my #1 picks are natural products, like hardwood and natural stone. (I am speaking specifically about all over flooring- for the living areas in the home.) These will not go out of style like ceramic or porcelain tile. They generally give you freedom to change your colors in the home also. I feel like the flooring should be a beautiful background. A pallet for you to decorate on. We all can picture ceramic tile from the 70's- hideous dark colors and ugly patterns. In the 80's they all had little peach flowers in the corners. In the 90's people looked at the previous two decades and decided plain white 12 x 12 tile is the way to go. But alas- we now think that is hideous also. Today, we can go to the tile store- and see so many beautiful tiles that sadly, will seem horrible to us in 15 years. Think about how long you need this investment to last- and make a selection that will still look good through that time. (A good classic hardwood floor should look good indefinitely.) Some people might not mind the inconvenience and expense of replacing flooring- others know they will only be in their home for a few years. In ceramic and porcelain tile- my personal pick is tile that looks A LOT like stone. There are some great faux travertines out there. Also- if your architecture will allow- saltilo tiles have made it into the timeless category.
Rule #2- Get the best flooring that you can afford. I remember a fellow interior designer, years ago, having carpet put on a wood staircase as a runner for a client. I was helping her figure her job out. It was custom cut and professionally installed with beautiful brass hardware. However- she selected average carpet. Carpet that, on a staircase, would probably be showing signs of wear in a year. I think of this as a key element to your home- the last one to scrimp on.
Rule #3- Don't chop it up. If your home is over 4000 square feet- I might give you different advice- but for the rest of you- have as few flooring changes as possible. Especially in the middle of a room. If you have a kitchen that is totally open to a family room- select one floor for the area. Cutting it in half, putting hard floor in the kitchen, and carpet in the family room, makes your room look smaller, and disturbs the "flow".
Thank you to Architectural Digest for the photo of Ryan Seacrest's Hollywood home