Most of my new home has now been re-decorated and refurbished and the decisions on paint colour, fabrics and furniture were relatively easy, especially given the huge choice available. I spent many evenings mulling over fabric patterns and textures and am really pleased with my choices. But the one thing I haven't yet decided on is the flooring so I am still living with bare pine floorboards downstairs and an old carpet on the stairs and in the bedrooms, which is rather ruining the look of the place.
I have been reading my favourite home interiors blog and asking friends for advice and these are my options for flooring – I just have to make up my mind:
Carpet is so cosy and warm underfoot so is particularly suited to the cold climate I live in, especially in the winter. I also like the way it mutes harsh sounds so I would definitely prefer it on the stairs rather than wood or tiling which can be so noisy. There are lots of colour and texture choices and also plenty of neutrals so I will be able to find a good match to my wall colours. I suppose the only disadvantage is it gets dirty easily and is difficult to clean but if I only have it upstairs and make sure everyone takes their shoes off if going upstairs then it should be OK.
The budget choice if you can't afford a real wood or engineered wood floor and it does look good when first laid. Certainly much more realistic in recent years than when it was first available. But I would still be worried about how long it would last so I'd rather save up for the real thing.
Wood has to be my top choice on the ground floor of my home – it looks fabulous with types to suite every sort of interior. And using engineered wooden floors mean they can also be used in areas of high humidity like the kitchen without worry of warping, splitting or cracking.
Natural Stone or Porcelain Floor Tiles
These are certainly not the cheapest option especially if you want a beautiful natural stone tile but they look gorgeous. I love the really large porcelain tiles now popular and have seen them in gloss white even here in my cold climate but I would have to have underfloor heating to make them comfortable and practical and I just don't think my budget will stretch that far.
I love the fact that cork is hypoallergenic and environmentally-friendly. It is also cheap, easy to lay (you can probably do it yourself); and it is hard-wearing.
You can follow the story of my home renovations and see some of the beautiful things I have bought for my home on my blog at www.impulseblogger.com – for my flooring I think I will end up with an engineered oak floor in a natural oiled finish downstairs running through from the hallway to my kitchen/diner and also in the living room. For the stairs and bedrooms I am tempted by a deep French grey carpet I have seen which is neutral but not too pale (so easy to keep clean).