Moving house is an interesting journey that I recently experienced. I walked through the door for the first time since viewing the property six months earlier and it’s the time you get to see what you bought, warts and all. There’s no hiding that underneath that rug, or behind the sofa was a terrible floor.
The carpet was glued down which took one entire day to scrape off the floor, and level ready for a new floor. Thankfully underneath was a solid concrete floor and in great condition, so it was clear what I needed to do to bring this room up to scratch.
My research started online, looking through many options and taking inspiration from some great modernist buildings. My home is in a converted Victorian schoolhouse, renovated ten years ago without any of the original features, so it is a confusing mix of a contemporary framework within a traditional exterior.
I’ve always wanted to create an interior which takes inspiration from it’s surrounding, so I couldn’t fully commit to the modernist agenda but neither could I fake traditional styles. Instead, I looked at the view, and perched 200m from the sea it felt appropriate to think about the natural materials and colours that you would find in towns like Margate.
“Evoking the wave-beaten and sun-bleached look of seaside timber, Coastal Oak brings a beautifully unrefined feel to the home. Each board is beveled on all edges for great definition throughout the floor and captures the authentic feel of real wood with its embossed grain texture.”
Woodpecker Flooring is a well-respected flooring company with a catalogue of options that you can sink all afternoon in to. Wood flooring felt very appropriate for the living room, providing a warm feeling underfoot, with the ease of care and upkeep needed for a well-trodden room.
I fell in love with the Wembury Coastal Oak Laminate flooring for its grain and tones – so warm, inviting and feeling of the beach boardwalks.
This became the starting point for the room, building from the ground up and adding furniture and pictures to inject more of my personality into the room.
Laying the floor was left to the professionals, as this is something which needs the skills required by a tradesman. My room is almost perfectly square so this was a dream. Laying underlay underneath and the planks straight down on top made easy work thanks to the quality of Woodpecker Flooing, or so my builder tells me as I watched with intrigue.
The planks are laid lengthways to draw the eye down into the room, especially towards the french doors which look down towards the seafront. However, I had to consider this carefully for the next part, as I was keen to make this feel like a well-rounded room and not a long corridor.
The walls were refreshed in Valspar’s white paint so that the focus is all on the flooring and the accessories around it. LED wall lights were installed to move away from the traditional style they replaced and the Ercol Studio Couch I had previously considered selling was brought in to the room to test it out against the wood. The light and dark matched so well that the sofa had to stay in place. The photographic tripod lamp matched the tones and began to bring in the extra warmth needed.
I tried a monochrome rug against the floor but it looked terrible and made the room look very washed out, especially when combined with a plastic coffee table. I soon realised that the room was light enough and it was time to bring in deeper colours and tones to make the room feel more inviting.
It was clear to me that I needed to bring a strong colour into the room. The pictures I had selected for the room were mostly a blue tone. These were posters from the 1972 Munich Olympics and the exhibition I worked on celebrating this. I was really keen to start showing these as they are memories as well as a strong graphic design that I really like wanted to express in my home.
This helped with another decision…a rug was needed to pull the sofa and table in to a central part of the room and define that area from the dining table I will add next year. I wanted the Purlin rug from Case Furniture for this as the lines were horizontal, the colour matched well and the style fits with the period of the furniture.
The G-Plan and Ercol furniture have deep wood tones which juxtapose really well against the light grain of the Woodpecker Wembury Coastal Oak laminate flooring. The rug pulled the room together, added further warmth and depth and when twinned with the flooring really raised the quality of the room.
Having gone from a terrible state, a cold room, an empty shell, a blank canvas, I realised that the key to a room always starts with the flooring. You really need to consider this before anything else as it is a dominant feature in the room and sets the benchmark for everything else you do in the room.
For all of the knowledge I have about design, my interior design skills are still very amateur but when you go through the process yourself it’s crucial to put your own personality into the room, and consider how textures, patterns, colours, tones, and shape will all work together in one space. You cannot throw any items together without consideration, it all requires thought and care. Start with the flooring and the rest will follow.
Woodpecker Flooring offer free samples, so if you’re looking to upgrade your floor then take a look at their samples.