it comes to flooring selection, our heads tend to rule our hearts. But isn’t it time we put a little feeling into the process? Whether you’re hanging out for an uplifting fix of colour, lusting after some unadulterated luxury or simply anxious to do your bit for the planet, there’s a flooring type to match your mood. When the future King Charles II was f leeing the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War in 1651, he hid inside the trunk of an English oak. Henceforth that species of tree was known as the “royal oak”. Perhaps this association with monarchs is one reason why oak has long been synonymous with pure luxury. The textural appeal of this timber flooring ticks the box for visual comfort and, since wood is not a conductor of heat or cold, oak has a “neutral” feel year round. If it’s possible to improve on nature, engineered oak flooring does it. Ecodure oak boards, for example, are made from premiumgrade oak and their multi-directional construction counteracts the effects of humidity. The generous dimensions of the planks – 189mm wide – lend a feeling of substance and sumptuousness to any space.
For decades, felt-making, a craft that is older than spinning or weaving, had a kind of down-home image. Now it has leapt into the lap of luxury (see David Trubridge’s felt Hush light, for instance) and carpeting has picked up on the trend. The Astoria, a felted-wool carpet from Cavalier Bremworth, has a gorgeous chunky texture to its loop-pile – subtle yet scrumptious underfoot.
In the minds of many New Zealanders, mosaics are meant for the walls, but live a little (like the Italians do) and consider them also for the floor. With jewel-like tones and arranged in pretty patterns, authentic glass mosaics can transform an everyday bathroom into a five-star spa. The Hanami range by Bisazza (see above), from Tile Space, brings European opulence to walls but can be continued to the floor, wrapping the room in elegance. >