Flooring is not something you think of as having a cult following, especially when its main purpose is sometimes to link airport terminals and be trod on every day by millions of travelers pulling overstuffed luggage wheelies. However, the unique geometrically patterned carpet at PDX airport in Portland, Oregon–a design that's said to represent the intersecting north-south runways as viewed from the control tower–was something of a celebrity before it was replaced in 2015. The iconic, 1980s design appeared on mugs, T-shirts, tote bags, and countless other merchandise. The carpet even had its own Twitter and Facebook pages!
"Seeing the carpet means I'm home," said many Portlanders. That's the same feeling you want the flooring in your own home to evoke. You want it to inspire. You want the functional fixture to be elevated to a thing of beauty. Patterned flooring is currently experiencing a revival. While the playful, hexagonal flooring motif you choose for your home isn't likely to find its way onto a T-shirt or coffee mug, it will add pizazz and graphic glamor to your interior. Below we’ll explore three design trends that are leading the revival of patterned flooring.
Decorative tile flooring is the perfect use of color and rhythmic patterns. It has global appeal and adds an exotic flair to any room or hallway, bringing to mind sun-soaked Mediterranean and Moroccan interiors. The "courtyard" design element has inspired architects and homeowners for centuries, and many continue to use the flooring patterns common in those types of houses. From black and white mosaics to tiles with traditional Indian leheriya patterns, you can add a graphic pop to your home, recreating the sun-soaked "courtyard" vibe even without living in a tropical climate.
In the 1990s, plain, solid-colored Berber carpets were all the rage. Today, many homeowners are opting for carpets with a combination of texture and pattern. Applied and woven patterns of leaves, trellises, flowers, and other organic shapes are popular. When done right, these patterns are soft without looking busy, as to not overwhelm a space. The last thing you want is for your carpet to resemble an optical illusion or kaleidoscope. However, a bold and vibrant pattern, such as a stripe motif, can juxtapose nicely against a white backdrop in your Portland or Vancouver home.
When it comes to the popularity of patterned flooring, parquet leads the way. Louis XIV made parquet famous. The French "Sun King" is said to have replaced the marble floors in the Palace of Versailles with parquet. Parquet flooring has a distinct, angular elegance. The geometric wooden flooring can be personalized with different types of wood, such as maple or oak, making a striking and contemporary statement.
Is patterned flooring right for you? Do you have questions about other flooring options? Give your local experts at Floor Coverings International® of Vancouver a call today, and schedule your free in-home design consultation! You never know, with the right patterned flooring, you might inspire a neighbor to emblazon the design on a T-shirt.
Photo: © Marko Poplasen