The importance of a good looking floor
The colour and design of your floor boils down to personal taste, but is no less important to your long term satisfaction with your floor than how comfortable it is underfoot. Your floor is the foundation colour of each room, forming the basis of your colour palette. You'll need to choose carefully to create the look you want to achieve. Natural materials such as wood and stone give tried and tested 'warmth' and texture, but offer less variation in pattern and design than carpet and vinyl, the latter of which can even mimic natural materials if desired.
How to choose floor colours
When choosing your floor, think about the colour palette of the room it will be going into. Smaller rooms benefit more from soft, light colours to enhance the feeling of space, while large rooms can benefit from darker, more vivid colours to create an intimate feel. Think about the colour of any permanent fixtures such as countertops and cabinets as well as the furniture that will eventually be occupying the room. If you have a lot of wooden cabinetry for example, you will want the tones of your floor to match well with the natural wood tones, enhancing and highlighting the effect rather than clashing with it.
Remember too that certain areas of your house can broadcast a ‘message’ that delineates a room’s purpose, such as black and white floor tiling, which is very often found in kitchens, and white floors in bathrooms. Different flooring types will often meet at the edge of rooms, such as a floorboard lined hallway leading off to carpeted bedrooms. The edge where one flooring type meets another can be used in this way to create a border for your rooms without walls, preserving the feeling of space and openness.
Choose flooring to suit the house
Where possible, try to keep in mind the period of the home when choosing your floor finish. An art deco style residence will benefit from a different colour scheme and pattern range than an Edwardian home. Particular features of the period of architecture such as exposed brickwork walls and rounded or flourished corners will either be enhanced by or clash with your chosen flooring. This is mainly a concern for existing homes and apartments, but a recently designed home will have its own flavour that you’ll need to cater for.