A Karndean view on the rise in bespoke floor designs

A Karndean view on the rise in bespoke floor designs

Karndean Designflooring

With commercial environments continually evolving to offer users a unique ‘Instagram-worthy’ experience that keeps them coming back, there has been a significant change in the way architects, interior designers and contractors consider what to specify underfoot.

Whereas colour, texture and format have always been seen to take the lead when it comes to selecting the right floor, there’s now an expectation from all sectors to be able to design their own personal floor design with no limits. As well as increasing competition, the popular desire to share interiors on social media such as Instagram and Pinterest has also put extra pressure on all sectors, especially hospitality and leisure.

With the need to design Insta-worthy floors firmly on their mind, designers, architects and contractors have never needed the support of flooring manufacturers more, especially when it comes to educating them on what’s possible with both out of the ordinary designs and laying patterns – as both go hand-in-hand to fit the initial brief. Importantly, they should not be afraid to push the limits with flooring manufacturers. It’s our responsibility to deliver bespoke cuts, shapes and patterns to accommodate emerging trends and projects alike.

Bespoke floor designs

Storm Oak features in hotel lobby

Image features Storm Oak RL12 and AP07

Luxury vinyl flooring (LVT) is the go-to material for its flexibility. Although Karndean’s product portfolio already includes a wide mix of individual wood, stone and abstract designs in varying formats and specifications, we are in our element when it comes to creating bespoke floor designs.

Having the ability to provide laser cutting services on-site is now crucial for manufacturers, so they can deliver bespoke cuts on time and within budget. The industry can then react and respond quickly to bespoke demands and be able to cut designs in any shape or size. This can only be achieved by working closely with specifiers to create inspirational spaces that will ‘wow’, intrigue and inspire social sharing

Where to start

It can be difficult to consider where to start when specifying a bespoke floor. There’s so much pressure to get it right, therefore, the first thing to do is consider the environment and who’s using the space. What does the end user want to achieve? A bespoke floor design can either make a big, bold statement or take on a softer, more subtle approach.

For a deceptively subtle first impression, we recommend starting with a timeless herringbone or chevron in a mix of different contrasting wood and stone colourways. Contemporary furniture brand, Arlo & Jacob achieved this perfectly in their Bristol showroom. They display a herringbone floor with a combination of our Knight Tile planks, each custom cut to a 915 x 76mm plank. In a random pattern of wood and stone designs, the floor evokes a sense of interest and flow and creates a stunning foil for the contemporary furnishings on display.

Architects, interior designers and contractors can also consider adding in bespoke cuts of floor as lettering to title areas and direct users, such as where to eat, sleep or rest. This can be used on the floor or wall as part of the wider designs. We recently demonstrated this at Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) with our laser cut ‘Hello Clerkenwell’. It certainly was attention grabbing!

Charlton Hall

Bespoke Flooring at Charlton Hall

You would think a statement floor design would be easier to specify, but these types of floors no longer feature a simple (and still impactful) chequerboard. There’s increasing pressure to go to the next level and often it includes intricate and meticulous attention to detail. Charlton Hall, an exclusive speakeasy wedding and private party venue based in Northumberland, is the epitome of bespoke design at its finest with an art deco floor design made up of individually cut pieces of Opus tiles. The brief was to deliver both a luxurious and off-the-wall floor, and we certainly believe it fits the design criteria.

Statement designs don’t need to cover the entire floor, they can also be in small areas to blend, zone out or create a sense of direction. Lay tiles or planks at angles or patterns to identify zones and create walkways, as well as including feature borders or rug effects to delineate working areas. The on-going trend for polished and sealed concrete colourways can be used at its best here, as contrasting concretes can be laid alongside each other to distinguish separate areas. This is a preferred alternative to introducing additional materials such as carpet tiles.  

Likewise, impactful floors can be used wall to floor at specific points to elongate spaces or ensure a seamless flow. They can also be used alongside living walls. Ideal for hospitality and retail areas.

There are times when it may not be as simple as a subtle or statement choice, therefore, you may look to reflect the uniqueness of the local environment incorporating design references to the story of the locality. This not only adds a different type of bespoke finish, but also supports the conservation of regional history and culture to create an emotional connection with users.

Since the introduction of our successful Kaleidoscope and Heritage collections, we have seen geometric shapes and patterns dominate. As they are already arranged in a pre-assembled design with alternative colour options, they make coordinating bespoke designs easier for those working to challenging deadlines.

Our advice
There is so much potential to create bespoke floor designs. We see this trend as one set to continue for a long time, and our advice would be to embrace this challenge and don’t be limited by your own imagination.

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