A Rich Tradition: Historical Flooring for Today's Home
People have enjoyed wood floors for hundreds of years. While those first floors were a little rough and typically unfinished planks on wooden joists, they were the starting point for the beautiful wood floors we have today. Because of the vibrant European forests that offered an abundance of older trees, hardwoods became the flooring of choice in Europe’s most affluent homes and palaces in the 1600s. These floors were quickly refined during the Baroque Era and became beautiful expressions of artistic talent as the French techniques found in parquetry and marquetry were extended to flooring. In 17th century France, the herringbone pattern was developed and quickly become a favorite flooring technique for kings and nobles. Like the workmanship seen in the furniture of that era, these floors were made from hand-cut wood fitted together in three-dimensional designs. The wood was then scraped, rubbed with sand, stained, and polished to a glossy finish. It was the perfect flooring for a palace ballroom or throne room and, due to the amazing craftsmanship, some of these original floors still exist more than 400 years later.
The herringbone can be installed in several configurations and a popular variation on classic herringbone, the Chevron or French herringbone, is prominent in many prestigious European Chateaus. With the prominence of the chevron in interior design over the last few years and the demand for more interesting and high-end flooring options, this European tradition has become popular in homes across the country.
Because of it’s versatility, today herringbone or chevron patterns can be used in homes ranging from modern to traditional. The color you choose can alter the look and feel of your floors so work with your designer or someone in our showroom to make sure you are getting the right aesthetic through color. The movement in the pattern also means there will be a variation in how the colors appear so remember this is a very dynamic flooring choice as you select your color and finish. Some people really love to play up the movement and choose to mix boards of slightly different shades in the same color range to create a one-of-a-kind floor.
These floors can be bordered by coordinating planks to create an inlaid effect, or can be used on their own without a border in a special room you want to highlight. While you can use these patterns in more expansive spaces like living rooms and great rooms, most of the time this technique works best in a slightly smaller space as it can look busy on a larger scale. The foyer is an excellent space for herringbone and will set the tone for the design in the rest of your home.
Your master bath is also a great place to add a patterned floor. You may want this space to feel like a spa and this is a way to add visual interest in a unique area—the floor. And, since people have had these floors in their homes for hundreds years, you know this style isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!
If you’re looking for a way to spice up your floor, consider a hardwood herringbone or chevron pattern. The history and beauty of these floors will create a gorgeous foundation for the rest of your interior design choices and their versatility means they can work for any home, anywhere.
Cristian and Laurie Longo are the proud owners of Naples Flooring, the exclusive Legno Bastone Gallery. They are located at the corner of 5th Avenue South and US 41, in the heart of Downtown Naples. They are an incomparable designer showroom made for those who love quality living and look for excellence in their own home.
239.263.1213 | www.naplesflooring.com