Above: Wood floors lend elegance and functionality to this Seattle-area kitchen.




Flooring As A Design Element

What’s one of the largest surfaces in your home? Flooring. While homeowners and designers spend untold hours agonizing over wall treatments and colors, in many cases flooring has as much impact on the overall look and feel of a space as the walls.

“Flooring is what we call a major surface,” says Neil Kelly Design Consultant Anna Lovell. “It takes up a lot of square footage in the home and it’s an important design element to pay attention to because it will set the tone for everything.”

When starting a new remodel project, flooring considerations should not only address colors, styles and materials, but upkeep and gradual wear-and-tear as well. As a major component of a living space, floors absorb everything from everyday foot traffic to dancing and pawprints.

Above: Graphic lines in the flooring help to visually separate elements in this charming Alameda kitchen.

Flooring Design Trends

“Overall, carpet is on its way out,” says Lovell. “Due to wear-and-tear, cleaning purposes and allergies, it’s simply healthier to avoid carpet altogether. While it’s still popular for noise control and it’s softer on your toes — especially in bedrooms — homeowners are opting for simplified, hard surface flooring with rugs.”

Commonly, carpet is replaced by wood flooring, tile or designer plank flooring. Popular design trends include tile floors that look like wood planks and large panel, big format tile.

“Materials will set the tone of the home, whether it’s traditional, transitional, modern or midcentury,” says Lovell. “All of these styles have special materials and patterns associated with them that you can enhance with flooring.”

Once the overarching style of your home is considered, ask yourself, ‘do you want to make a statement with the flooring or do you want it to blend in and be a good backdrop?’ The two most common areas to make a bold statement with flooring are in the entryway and in bathrooms.

Flooring To Enhance Space & Traffic

While patterns, color and texture can serve as a design focal point to make a big splash, these elements can also help direct the flow of traffic and make a small or unusual room feel more spacious.

“How you lay out the pattern on the floor has a big impact on how you visually see the space,” says Lovell. “For example, if you have a small galley kitchen you can create patterns within the tile or hardwood floor that work in the opposite direction of the space itself. The pattern and direction of materials can help enlarge the room or downplay elongated features.”

Finally, when considerations for style, durability and space enhancement have been made, you should address floor transitioning and consistency throughout the home. Unless you’re building a custom home or redoing all the surfaces, it’s important to examine how materials meet between rooms, door frames and more.

Certain materials like stone or wood set and move differently, which makes it crucial to get the correct transition between the two to ensure it not only matches aesthetically, but will withstand the test of time.

Ready to make a big impact on your home? Schedule a consultation with our Design/Build Remodeling team today!