The biggest trend across all areas of home renovation is the blending of interior and garden design. Opening up the backs of our homes with glass extensions and taking sofas and wicker furniture into the garden we are blurring the lines between our kitchens and living rooms and the room outside.
Our desire to create this seamless transition is driving innovations in flooring design. Porcelain tiles are increasingly popular in a wide range of styles that mimic natural wood and stone from limestone to marble. Available in large and small formats, with anti-slip qualities suitable for use in the kitchen and garden they lead the eye outside. Easy to clean and hard-wearing they work with underfloor heating making them one of the most practical choices and perfect for our unpredictable English climate.
Flooring trends evolve slowly, with natural wood and soft grey tones dominating in recent years, but we are becoming more adventurous and daring, choosing strong colour and pattern in every room. Monochromatic schemes and geometric shapes introduce personality in hallways. Patterned tiles taken from floor up the wall and even onto the ceiling in bathrooms create an impactful interior design. Pattern has extended into wooden flooring with parquet, herringbone and assorted plank shapes and sizes make a strong, cohesive style statement that flows throughout the home.
Long associated with the tatty tiles of the 70’s cork is making a come-back based on its environmentally friendly credentials, soft texture and insulating properties. Cut from the bark of the tree, it grows back each year. Combined with innovative technology a protective layer is added in the production process for improved durability, to avoid tiles peeling and maintain a clean finish.
Resin and rubber are also growing in popularity partly because of their green associations, both being pure plant-based products, and partly for their practical properties and aesthetic qualities. Rubber is relatively inexpensive, waterproof and great for people with allergies. It is also a good way of introducing a more flexible statement floor in kitchens and bathrooms where carpet isn’t an option. Rubber flooring is leading the way in the use of dark and bright colours. This season French Navy and China Blue, favourites in Autumn 2018, are being replaced with dark and powdery greens and even Tangerine.
Resin, an alternative to polished concrete, has been a popular flooring choice in commercial properties for some time and is beginning to seep into residential properties, typically new builds, basements and extensions. Associated with a minimalist aesthetic, resin is chosen to bring a seamless, quiet unity throughout the house. It also has the advantage of being available in limitless colours and stone effects.
At the other end of the spectrum Maximalism is the word being used in the world of interiors to describe the major shift away from Scandi grey towards a rich mix of colours, patterns and textures across all areas of interior design.
Encaustic tiles and patterned flooring across all materials is very much a part of this trend. Best known in SW London in the Victorian & Edwardian hallways and paths there has been an explosion in designs from Moroccan motifs to modern geometrics in a spectrum of colours, with pinks and greens being this seasons designers’ choice.
There is a resurgence in demand for reclaimed encaustic tiles and antique terracotta as people are drawn to the texture and varied patina which is not available in the modern equivalents. Antique terracotta has a rough finish created by the traditional production methodology used up to 250 years ago and these tiles are popular in bathrooms for their non-slip properties. All handmade from mud, tiles can be found in rectangular and square shapes and laid herringbone style, straight bricks or staggered and every batch of tiles contains a mix of colours to create a completely individual end effect.
And as if we needed any more proof that all trends are circular as they fade in and out of fashion over time, Tarrazzo is back. The original sustainable flooring material, Terrazzo is a composite of marble and cement that was popular with the Venetians in the sixteenth century as a decorative tile and brings together all of the trends we have been talking about; used inside and out it is sustainable, original, patterned and unquestionably in-keeping with the Maximalist trend.
Maitland & Poate
Martin Moore Stone
Anne-Marie Taylor Interior Design
The Coloured Flooring Company