BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

We here at BuildDirect are honored to have our first of hopefully many guest blog posts right here on this humble blog of ours.

Today’s guest post is by Dan Gregory,  Editor-in-Chief of houseplans.com, a sales and resource site for property owners, decorators, and builders looking to build a home from the ground up.  Houseplans.com source house plans from respected architects  from all over the United States and have been doing so since 1946.

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It pays to look down when you enter a room, not only to see where you’re going but also to appreciate how floors can establish an interior’s character and patterns of use. Think honey-toned wood for casual warmth; darker wood for greater formality; stone for a rustic look; ceramic tile for something in-between that’s also water resistant.

And don’t forget the potential for a floor’s ornamental features, or how changes in materials — from wood to stone, for example — can help define key spots within a larger space or separate circulation areas like hallways from destination zones like the great room or kitchen. Here are some historical and contemporary “floor samples” to inspire your own installations.

A magic carpet of ornamental tile furnishes the entry hall in the Adamson house at Malibu. Now a California state park.  The house was built in 1930 by the owners of  the Malibu Tile Company as a tile showcase.

adamson house hallway parksca gov Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

Photo courtesy Adamson House. Click to view full size.

A recent variation on the permanent area rug idea is this “bamboo runner” set into a floor of slate tile in a contemporary bathroom.

mih 18 l bamboo rug insert sunset monterey tom story Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

Photo by Thomas J. Story, courtesy Sunset. Click to view full size.

It’s from Sunset Magazine’s Monterey Bay Idea House, designed by architect Thomas Bateman Hood with Joseph Hittinger Interior Design.

What could be warmer than this wood floor in the dining area of a house designed by Turnbull, Griffin, Haesloop Architects?

photo8 tgh carmel dining room Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

Image courtesy of tgharchitects.com

It catches and reflects the light, making the room glow.

A dramatic transition between main living area and hallway is achieved by contrasting stone and wood, as shown here in Sunset‘s Tahoe Idea House by Faulkner Architects with Spirit Interior Design.

tahoe house floor boundry l photo by tom story kelly barthelemy 300x300 Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

Photo by Thomas J. Story, courtesy Sunset Magazine. Click image to view full size.

Or, here’s an example from our Plan 449-9.

449 8mf 4032 Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

The foyer floor is stone, while the adjacent dining room has a wood floor.  The change in material between foyer and dining room separates the two spaces without confining either one — so both feel expansive.

449 8p3 4032 entry slate floor 300x200 Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

The master bath and dressing area in this house take a similar approach:  the wood floor changes to tile for the raised tub and shower platform.

449 8p1 4032 tub platform 300x200 Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

The change in material (and level) is practical and esthetic, helping to set off the bathing area as a special wet zone within a larger space.

Painting a floor is another way to go. In the following example, the geometric pattern is both formal and warm. And it leads the eye into the next room.

painted floors m southern accents Inspiration Under Foot: Floor Ideas

Photo courtesy Southern Accents. Click to view full size

But you get the idea: floors aren’t just for walking! Find the floor that fits the way you want to live.

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Dan Gregory is a respected voice when it comes to design trends in the house building industry.  He authors his own blog on houseplans.com, Eye on Design by Dan Gregory.

You can also follow Houseplans.com on Twitter.

Thanks for your post here, Dan.

Cheers,

Rob

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Rob Jones

I am the content and social media manager at BuildDirect, and Editor-in-chief of the BuildDirect blogs. I am also a writer, father, and music fan. Contact me on Google Plus.

4 Comments

  1. The bathroom with the bamboo runner is absolutely ingenious! I never would have thought of that design. It looks fabulous. When it comes time to redo our bathroom floors I will keep that in mind. Right now we are working on the walls. I love the small tiles on the wall, in that same photo. It is colorful and exiting and quite beautiful. I have been looking into mosaic tiles. But so far I have found they are quite small and I think this would leave more room for error as opposed to the larger tiles used in that bathroom set up. I am still a bit indifferent on the matter. I was reading an article on Dal-Tile’s new mosaic tiles. They come is so many colors it would really open my options for a pattern. The article I was reading is here: http://floortalk.wfca.org/2009/07/06/candy-for-your-floors-walls-counters Being a crafty person I really think I’s like an intricate design…not sure if that would look as pretty if I used the larger tiles. Hmm…

    Any ideas or tips would be appreciated.

    Great article by the way! Very informative. :)

    Dora

  2. Floor Builders Reply to Floor

    The floors in this blog were gorgeous! Residential flooring is so important. It can completely change the look of a room. A good flooring contractor is a must. Replacing floors is no easy feat.

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