Design dilemma: Setting the ground rules for flooring

Medy Navani explains why it is best not to rush when it comes to decisions about your flooring

A wooden floor by Germany-based company Havwoods. Courtesy Havwoods
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How important is flooring to a design scheme? What advice would you offer when it comes to all things underfoot?

Flooring is a very important part of any space – it's the foundation upon which we build and place all functional elements and furnishings. Selecting the right flooring can be quite a challenge if it's done at the early stages of a project.
I always select the flooring at quite a late stage in the process, although you may wonder why. The texture, colour and material of the flooring will strongly influence everything, from furniture and wall colours, to interior door colours and finishings.

Therefore, selecting flooring without considering all other details in your interior will limit your options when it comes to those other elements. Let's say we choose dark wood flooring with a reddish nuance for our living room, and later we fall in love with a beautiful wooden table that is light brown with a greyish tone. Suddenly, we have a clash of the same material because of the colour variants.

There are some materials and colours that make life much easier. A light off-white marble flooring will go with almost any material placed on top of it; the same goes for a light white-grey oak floor. As designers, we always seek out a seamless, uniform flooring look. Unfortunately, we can only achieve that with an epoxy resin floor or a perfect zero-joint marble floor, and both options are quite costly. Therefore, my tip is to select tiles or even wooden flooring in big sizes, while carpeting should be always used and installed in rolls not tiles.

A fantastic, cost-effective way to hide an unpleasant old floor is to top it with a good-quality laminate. Pay attention to getting a large skirting in the same finish, which can be fixed on top of your existing skirting. It saves a lot of time. The other advantage is you can also run some lighting or speaker cables behind the skirting and hide them altogether. In bedrooms, there is always the option of a cosy carpet – there is no better feeling than waking up and stepping on a warm carpet instead of a cold tile floor.

Please do not forget the bath mat/rug. My tip is to try out memory foam options. And, if money isn't an issue, combine real marble, ideally bookmatched [the process of matching two or more surfaces so that they mirror each other] with a solid wood floor. There are many combinations possible and the finished product is simply outstanding.

Medy Navani is creative director and founder of Design Haus Medy,; Instagram:

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