Don’t be afraid to spice up flooring with colour and texture

I follow an Instagram account called ‘I have this thing with floors’. It is mostly just a feet selfie with a gal in fabulous shoes standing on wildly patterned flooring which is usually tile and sometimes motif carpet.

I admit this person’s photographs are very interesting and entertaining for me because due to my long career as an interior designer, I too have a thing with floors.

The sad thing is, most floors in residential homes are safe and sort of boring.

When you get more into the hospitality and retail world then you can see some interesting types of floor coverings. If you are fortunate enough to travel to other parts of the world, then you will see a wide horizon of pattern and designs which aren’t afraid of colour and shape.

When did this happen to us Canadians? When did we become so safe in our interior choices?

For a cold climate, you would expect that people would choose bright colours and warm accents to raise the visual temperatures in our homes.

Colour and texture have such a way of wrapping its arms around us and making us feel insulated from the cold harshness but more and more Canadian interiors are going white and grey and chilly.

The design trend towards minimalist interiors is one which works well and looks sharp but if you try to imagine inhabiting a cold space looking out on a cold landscape it can be a very long winter up ahead.

It is exactly the reason ski lodges are warm and woody because they want visual warmth to envelop you when you come in after a long day of cruising on cold white snow. I think that a lodge with a cold and hard contemporary interior would not appeal as much as a log and stone chalet with a roaring fire.

Colour is your friend!

The more pattern and variance you can get in a flooring, the less it will show its age and the more dirt it will hide.

This is why commercial interiors use busy and bright patterns – for longevity. Have you ever stopped to notice the arrangement of flooring and accessories in a Vegas strip hotel? Believe me, when you have a thing with floors you walk around a lot of the time with your head down staring at the creativity.

Hotels use these large scale patterns and mind zapping colours to increase your blood flow and to cause your eyes to dart from feature to feature which keeps you sharp and alert. This in turn causes you to get excited, for adrenaline to flow and hopefully the end result is that you spend more time and money in their casinos.

If colour and pattern can have this much effect on our neurology and biology – imagine the results of living daily in bold pattern and warm colour as you gaze out onto a winter scape.

A home draped in rich jewel tones or wood-themed accents will hold you tighter than a white flat wall. Curves and edges are cozier than hard corners and flat lines.

Your thing with floors may have just begun, careful not to bump into anything if you find yourself walking with your head down!

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.

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