Surfaces such as concrete screed have been the flooring of choice for a few years now. While there’s no denying their practicality and minimalistic appeal, there’s a rising trend in interiors to eschew the industrial and focus on soft floor treatments instead. This doesn’t mean wall-to-wall carpeting is the answer, but that natural (and sometimes very old-school) materials are back in focus.
The swing back to natural, softer flooring ties in with broader social trends towards people seeking to create living spaces that feel more grounded and connected. The sentiment is that the trend towards minimal spaces has left us with homes that are often aesthetically appealing but alienating and cold. As a response, we’ve seen more and more designers increasingly using materials like wood, cork and leather in product design for a few seasons.
Now, however, this is going beyond individual decor pieces to become part of the space itself, bringing a new element of tactility into homes. Importantly for designers, these materials offer functional benefits such as sound insulation and warmth too, making the spaces both appealing and liveable.
The biggest obstacle designers have to overcome with these flooring choices is their association with retro interiors. So, at construction stage, we’re seeing a more technical, experimental take on old-school options, particularly cork and carpeting, with 3-D texturing adding depth and graphic appeal to surfaces. This updated view on the materials gives them a contemporary twist and broadens their appeal for a new generation of homeowners.
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Words: Chris Reid
Images: Amorim Cork South Africa and Kasthall