Step on it - ways to pep up your flooring

Interested in creative flooring solutions? Whether you opt for a pared-back, classic look or decide to add some drama, there are plenty of ways to pep up your scheme

From classic stone and modern geometrics to timeless black-and-white checks and painted floorboards, there are a host of options when it comes to giving your flooring an update. Here are some of our favourite schemes:

Classic but colourful entrance hall

entrance hall with plant

(Image credit: TBC)

For a modern take on the traditional encaustic tiles so popular in period hallways, try opting for Moorish-style tiles like these in a striking colourway. These Spanish-made porcelain tiles from Fired Earth strike an elegant note, laid in a random pattern for a more relaxed look. If you're planning a really eye-catching geometric floor, try complementing it with a relatively neutral palette and clean lines so that you don't have too many colours and shapes vying for attention and crowding the room. Think about unusual combinations such as tiles set into wooden floors, large-scale floor tiles set against small mosaics on the wall, and aged stone mixed with timber.

Durable designs

kitchen with rubber floor

(Image credit: TBC)

Don't discount hard flooring when it comes to hard-working areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. New developments in softer putty colours, including a grey like this one, means that rubber, poured resin and concrete are all chic and functional options. Make it work for you by choosing a flooring that can act as a great blank canvass for a colourful scheme - introducing pops of colour in soft furnishings is an easy way to pep up a simple rubber floor, like this. Soften the look with plenty of rugs and textured finishes.

Stone age

bathroom with windows

(Image credit: TBC)

Nothing adds timeless quality like an unusually veined marble, both striking and practical in a bathroom scheme. Carrying the look onto walls and windowsills creates a cohesive and luxurious effect. The key is to let a single finish dominate the scheme for maximum impact. ‘Keep it simple and don't use too many different tile formats, colours and finishes,' advises Dorothee Junkin of Dorothee Junkin Design Studio. 'Less is more when it comes to bold flooring so use pattern selectively. It loses its effect when there are other patterns competing for attention. Try a classic diagonal checkerboard or a very defined and crisp geometric so that the eye can catch the defining principle of the pattern with just one glance.'

Terrific textiles

living room with sofa and cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

For an instant and affordable update, try a rug. If you're going for a statement piece, lay it over neutral, simple flooring such as natural wood boards, like these, or a simple stone floor, but avoid too much clashing pattern. Remember that smaller rugs can look a little lost and ungenerous so opt for oversized pieces and tie in the colorway for a smart look. Here blue and white is picked out and repeated in the sofa and classic seating.

Back to basics

bathroom with bathtub

(Image credit: TBC)

Nothing beats a classic wood floor, and if you think wood is impractial for a bathroom scheme, think again. Teak is a resilient choice, and exposed wood flooring in general works well in schemes where there are not too many splashes, so a roll top bath pairs beautifully with wood. Just avoid it in heavy duty areas such as wetrooms and shower rooms. Herringbone, or parquet, styles are currently very popular and they're an ideal way of introducing subtle yet beautiful pattern and a welcome sense of texture into even the simplest floor, instantly making it a focal point.


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Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.