Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Flooring’s an investment, there’s no getting around it unless you’re lucky enough to uncover something reclaimable or opt for a vinyl…. sound of the design police!

Much like anything that’s an investment, you’re best taking your time and considering exactly what it is that you want. I’m a firm believer of quality over quantity, and would rather wait until I can have exactly what I desire than buy a cheap alternative. Why? Because quality pays for itself, there’s the saying, ‘If you don’t understand the price of something, it’s probably not meant for you’, which most of the time (there are exceptions of course), I feel this is the case. So with anything in the home that’s almost-permanent, like flooring, invest in something that’s well made and timeless.

A short video at the Woodpecker Flooring HQ where I was asked to talk about parquet flooring and how to apply it into your home.

I can’t stress this enough with flooring, the last thing you want is to choose something that’s in vogue, then to discover in 3 years that it’s dated. Trends can be tricky to determine, they draw you in like a magpie, which I’ve been fully of guilty in the past! The issue though, is that trends are becoming switched up at such a vast pace that it’s impossible to know how long they will last. It could be seasonal, or if you’re lucky, you could be buying into a trend that’s here to stay, either way, it’s a risk I’d rather advise my clients not to take. The same applies to fashion, our ecological crisis is crying for us to buy quality over quantity, throw away fashion much like throwaway interior trends are killing our planet. Ignorance isn’t exactly bliss anymore, so conscious buying needs to be thought out, with all aspects of design.

When it comes to flooring I would either go for something very contemporary and simplistic, like gloss painted boards, marble tiles, woollen or silk carpet, or I would opt for something more classic in style, like a parquet, natural floorboard or stone slab (area permitted). Opting for a flooring style that’s been around for years is trustworthy enough to know it's going to age well.

I have always loved old and new, classic and contemporary, it’s in my blood to design this way. My parents have a very heritage style, which is engrained in me to a certain extent, and then my years of discovering my own contemporary taste has allowed these styles to merge.

Combining old and new isn’t unique though, so why not mix old and new in your flooring, I don't feel like I see this done enough. Borders of resin merging onto a centre of parquet, or marble stairs falling onto a solid wooden floor is something you don’t often see, yet can have a huge impact on a room if designed right. Or adding brass inlay to flooring to give a gentle luxurious touch, a detail I swoon over!

I spent the day with Woodpecker Flooring at the start of the year to go through their new designs and talk about some examples of how to use these in your home.

They produce a really high standard of ethically sourced wood floorings that are exactly what I mean when I talk about choosing quality. I particularly love their use of parquets and chevrons. They range from lime wash to deep charred mahogany. Think Parisian apartment vibes!!

What gets me with a natural flooring like the sort that woodpecker produce, is it's timeless qualities. Often when I begin a design I take inspiration from past generations that have aged gracefully. This way you know you're investing in a style that will hold its value.

Wooden parquet, for instance, has been used since the 16th century. If you look back in history at design classics like this, you know that you're buying into something that will keep true to itself.

Unlike their competitors, many of Woodpecker’s floors are smoked to bring out natural colours and textures that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Designs such as The Barn and Charred Oak are then hand distressed, capturing the worn surface character. These details sound small, but in time and comparison, this is what ages well and sets them above the rest. You’re buying something that has been skilfully crafted and perfected over decades.