NZ House & Garden - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

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. >


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