After my visit to Grand Designs Live last weekend, I’ve been spending time researching the new interior trends, building materials and home design ideas that I spotted at the event. With sections on building, interiors, tech, gardens, kitchens, bathrooms and life-in-general, the exhibition was packed full of inspiration and I’d love to share some of the ideas I noted down with you today. In particular, I’d like to discuss Summer 2016 interior design trends and today I’m focusing on flooring. Wait – it’s more interesting than you think!
I come bearing great news about a new type of flooring; laminate tiles. No longer is laminate flooring the reserve of rental properties; it’s now stronger, better and more on-trend than ever. And the growth of in the trend for laminate flooring designs is thanks to the introduction of laminate tiles. Rather than using cold hard stone on your kitchen floor, you can now enjoy flooring that runs seamlessly throughout your property and will be suitable for all kinds of uses. These tiles have a high-resolution photographic top layer – where you’d expect to find a wood-grain effect in traditional laminate floor planks – but this time, the image is of beautiful sandstone, slate or marble. So you can have almost any tiled effect you wish, without the massive expense of tiling a great expanse of floor. I love any money-saving ways of ‘getting the look for less’ and these tiles definitely achieve the desired effect without costing the earth.
I first spotted the trend for feature floors a little while ago on A Beautiful Mess.com. This project was the first time I’d seen a coloured stain on floors but, ever since then, I’ve seen a massive increase in coloured flooring options. Bright golden hues, deep inky blues, fresh whites and everything in between seem to be available now. This trend is based around making the floor the main feature of the room, so you must keep walls and decor neutral so that the floor really stands out.
If you don’t fancy taking on a DIY project (just the mess associated with stripping floorboards and staining them can be enough to put you off!) why not turn to vinyl? It’s easy to find luxury vinyl flooring (often called LVT flooring) in plenty of different colours and designs. From classic oak tones that look like real wood flooring to dark moody greys with wood-grain texture, you’ll probably be able to find the right shade for your home. This type of vinyl flooring is much stronger and sturdier than traditional vinyl and is available in tiles or wood-effect planks to get that genuine ‘feature floor’ effect.
One of the main principles of modernist design that has stuck with me over the years (ever since studying spatial design back at university) is “form follows function”. The principle is simply that the design of an object (or even architecture) should be primarily based on its intended function. That way, at least the item will ‘work’, no matter what it looks like. I’ve seen a massive shift in interior design towards choosing materials that will function well and flooring plays a big part in getting a well-functioning home ‘right’. It’s especially important to choose the suitable floor in high-traffic areas of your home so making ‘function’ your first port of call when choosing a floor is just common sense. Of course, there’s no reason why your floor can’t look beautiful too, but what’s the point of having a gorgeous design when it’ll get ruined by muddy paw-prints, stained by spilled drinks or broken by rambunctious children?
Here are my tips for picking a sustainable floor:
- Easy to clean: It must be wipeable, sweepable and non-staining so that you can keep it looking as good as new.
- Simple to replace: If one part of the floor gets ruined, chipped or broken, how easy will it be to repair that area? Can you lift and replace just one part of it or will you have to take up the whole floor?
- High traffic: Can it withstand lots of use without wearing out? It must not wear out, wear down or start coming away at the edges so think of an alternative to carpet and use this in high-traffic areas.
I hope that my tips have helped you if you’re planning to redecorate this year. Perhaps you’ll be inspired by the interior design trends that I spotted at Grand Designs Live and include some of these new materials in your own home. I think these three trends will continue to be big news throughout 2016 and beyond, but what do you think of these flooring solutions? Will you be making any changes to your home this summer? And have you already added colour to your home with a ‘feature floor’?? Let me know by leaving me a comment below or tweet me a photo to @Cassiefairy.