Flooring Patterns Are In!
If you’ve been living with the minimalist neutral look for some time and are starting to find all those creams, tans and grays a bit jaded, or you’ve tried to lift things with a colored accent wall here and there, but still feel like you’re not really expressing your inner color-wheel diva to the max, then you’re in luck: according to House and Garden Magazine patterns are back in fashion and turning up in the most unusual of places – your flooring!
“Exciting things are under foot, as patterned floors make a comeback. Whether your penchant be for pretty tiles, striped carpets, or white and grey zigzag linoleum… this year is all about bolder flooring choices.”
The patterned floor trend has been gaining traction for quite some time now, as observed by Jane F on Atticmag back in 2012 who pointed out that whilst for most people the idea of a boldly patterned floor seemed a bit wrong, in fact if done well, treating a floor as an accent wall can have dramatic results:
“There’s something counter-intuitive about strong pattern on the floor – the kind that grabs your eye and keeps it down. But treating floor pattern like an accent wall (essentially the floor is the 5th wall) the effects can be stunning and effective.“
So, why is this trend suddenly surging now? It’s hard to know for sure, but it’s clear that design trends generally are favoring highly personalized spaces, a fact echoed by the design team at Decoist :
“2014 is all about creating dramatic spaces that make a statement! Do not be afraid to introduce that daring print that you always loved or a snazzy color that has always drawn your eye.”
To this end, adding pattern to your flooring is a seriously bold move! The great news is that there are no real hard-and-fast rules about what floor pattern to choose and there are degrees of boldness with this trend so that everyone can experiment. It’s entirely possible to contain your patterned floor to just one room – the bathroom or the kitchen for example – or to extend it throughout your home if you really, really love it!
If patterns scare you a bit, then sneak them in via eye-catching area rugs that match the accent colors of the other soft furnishings in your space. If you’re up for the full patterned floor effect, then go to town with either painted wood, ceramic tiles, wall-to-wall carpets or linoleum, whilst keeping the rest of the room fairly simple: the best looks often pair white walls and furnishings with boldly patterned floors. A floor pattern is a fantastic way to open yourself up to design creativity, so to get your creative juices going, here’s our round up of a few pattern floor design ideas we love!
Patterned Carpet and Rug Ideas
For those who prefer less permanent floor pattern ideas, area rugs and carpets are the perfect solution! I am particularly fond of patterned rugs as you can take them with you if you move or even change them bi-annually to complement the seasons. The biggest rug and textile designers are offering large-scale carpet patterns, tropical and geometric florals in bold colors or monochrome schemes – black and white is everywhere this year!
The thing to remember with carpet pattern is that really anything goes: it’s all about making a statement. Whatever takes your fancy is going to be great, as long as you bear in mind the one simple rule – less is more, so don’t overload your space with too many competing carpet patterns. Used sparingly, even retro design throwbacks can work in contemporary spaces, as designer Jessica Kelly stated on the Style at Home website earlier this year:
“don’t forget about the perennially chic animal prints like leopard and zebra… Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way.”
Wall-to-wall carpeting has been less favored by interior design trendsetters in recent years, but it hasn’t gone completely out of fashion and the best manufacturers are keeping up with trends and producing pretty patterned carpets that offer both comfort under foot and design kudos. The Taza Carpet (above right) from Shaw Floors in particular reinvents classic Moroccan Arabesque ceramic tile patterns in carpet form and screams elegance.
Wood Pattern Ideas
If you are more partial to wood flooring over tile, or if you’ve already installed wood floors and feel they need updating, then there’s lots of great wood patterns for inspiration. First, and both easiest and most cost effective, is stenciling a pattern onto an existing wood floor as seen in the elegant kitchen design above. There are already plenty of off-the-shelf stencil kits available in most DIY stores, but it is pretty easy to make your own stencil design to add to the uniqueness of your home – for a good starting point to create your own floor stencil patterns then check out this article.
Not quite as cost effective, but great for refreshing old wooden flooring, is to paint a wood pattern directly on to the floor. Painted zigzags and stripes are both huge trends for wood floor patterns at the moment, and are easily achieved by proficient DIYers. But if you’re installing wood flooring patterns from scratch, a very on-trend option is to use parquet flooring. As highlighted by Home and Garden Magazine.
“Perhaps following on from the patterned floor trend is the rise of parquet as a flooring of choice. Originally made famous by Louis XIV (who replaced all the marble floors in the Palace of Versailles with parquet), the geometrical style has a distinct elegance to it.“
There are several parquet patterns to choose from and exciting new contemporary parquet trends to explore – check out our parquet flooring article here; one of our favorite updates is to paint each parquet slat a different color within the same color group, as seen on this super cool herringbone pattern above.
Patterned Vinyl Flooring
With the ever-increasing popularity of luxury vinyl tiles showing no signs of abating, there are now numerous vinyl floor tile patterns that, just like regular ceramic tiles, can be set into endless pattern schemes. Grid, herringbone, checkerboard patterns with contrasting grout – all can be done in LVT.
The market in luxury vinyl tile is really exploding at the moment (see here), and new manufacturers are coming to our attention every day – I recently discovered an amazing range from a British company Harvey Maria Flooring who have teamed up with top designers to produce luxury vinyl tile featuring their signature patterns, like the delicate vintage Rose Sprig print by Cath Kidston in the bathroom pictured above.
Linoleum is also enjoying a resurgence at the moment, largely due to its “green” credentials but also due to its versatility. Linoleum patterns for residential purposes tend to be simple checkerboard or multicolored stripes, but paired with the right furnishings striped lino can be a stunning base for stylish design, as seen above. For something a little more classy check out the range of Marmoleum patterns from Forbo.
Floor Tile Pattern Ideas
Tile patterns are one of the most readily available ways of introducing patterned floors into your home, with almost endless possibilities at your disposal and lots of inspiration. The very nature of tiles is that they are small(ish) pieces that are laid out to form a whole floor, so that already means you are obliged to lay them in a pattern, even if your tile floor patterns are just in a basic grid formation. However by simply adding a contrasting grout you can enhance the grid pattern, and for extra emphasis you can use different sizes of the same color tile as in the cleverly laid kitchen floor above. This contrasting grout technique can also be used with hexagonal terracotta tiles to create one of the key Mediterranean tile styles that are so very popular now. Another easy way to create floor tile patterns is, of course, using different colored tiles; laying them in a checkerboard format is a very popular and classic look.
But for really interesting visual interest, my favorite type of tile is the encaustic tile which is inherently patterned. Encaustic tiles are very much en vogue now and there are tons of different designs to choose from (think Mexican and Moroccan tile patterns), which means you can really add your own personality to your space. Plus contemporary designers are bringing patterned tiles right up to date using unconventional color combinations and circular geometric patterns like the pretty blue and grey circles shown above from Lindsey Lang. Using patterned tile to create a patchwork style floor is a fantastically bold option, and especially good if you simply can’t decide which wonderful tile to choose!
By the way, installing a tile pattern on your floor can be as simple or as intricate as you choose. If you thought there were only a few basic patterns to choose from then think again. Take a look at this fantastic range of possibilities from tile specialists Crossville.
What are your favorite home flooring patterns? Please let us know what you love and what you’ve done in your home by dropping us a line in the comments below or contacting us direct here.
Finally, take a look and follow our Floor Pattern Trends Pinterest board to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not in patterned carpets, wood & tile patterns as well as Vinyl and Linoleum.