Flooring Inspiration

Flooring. That essential element of any home. Without it, we'd be down to the bare bones of the house, literally. Now, in many cases this is the preferred (and often more beautiful) option. Stripped back floorboards painted in a soft, chalky hue. Just throw on a rug and you've got yourself a Pinterest dream scene. But this perfect set up is not a given in any home. Our own Victorian terrace does of course have wooden floor boards (we'd be in trouble if not) but they are beyond help - no amount of stripping, painting or waxing will make them work. So, as we plan for a fairly large-scale renovation (hello new kitchen, and knocked down wall between the living and dining room) a main concern of mine is the flooring we go for. Currently, there is carpet (horrible, beige carpet) in the living room and a light wood effect laminate that flows from the hallway into the dining room. The laminate looks perfectly fine, but it makes sense that once we have one big room we rethink the whole space in a new way. It's all about finding the balance between the pretty and the practical - since the floors need to last, to look good (especially if our house goes on the market next year) and ideally will be easy to clean too. We could of course carpet the entire space, but while I love the soft, cosy aspect I find them terribly difficult to keep looking fresh and clean. Happily with hardwood floors and laminates you have the option of adding lots of lovely rugs (which are easier to maintain) for added texture and warmth.

Flooring inspiration | Gathered Cheer blog

Beautiful, reclaimed whitewashed hardwood floors. Too gorgeous. As seen at the Makelight weekend away. 

All that said, cost is a major factor for us. We really don't have the budget to install hardwood floorboards - reclaimed or otherwise - especially since there are so many other projects at home we need to tackle. Looking around I've been so impressed with many of the laminates that are available now. They look pretty authentic, are easy to clean and are durable - all of which makes them a winner in my book. To get some more flooring inspiration, I of course turned to Pinterest to see what other clever people have done in their homes...

PAINTED WHITE WOOD

Flooring Inspiration | Gathered Cheer blog (Image via alvhemmakleri.se)

These stripped white wooden boards look beautiful and bright, allowing the other elements of the room to shine. While installing proper wooden boards might be pricey, I could achieve a similar look with a laminate, such as this one from Carpetright.

SOFT GREY BOARDS

Flooring Inspiration | Gathered Cheer blog (Image by Katharina Berggreen on createcph.blogspot.co.uk)

As with the painted white floor boards, these soft grey boards are minimal and the perfect base for a Scandinavian-inspired space. Being soft grey, rather than white, I'm also assuming that they'd be a whole lot more practical too! The beautiful element of these boards is that while they are grey, you can still see the knots and natural marks of the wood. The result is much more effortless and informal, rather than overdone and fussy. This grey laminate flooring is textured to make it look true to life and it's also super practical and hardwearing. Genius.

NATURAL STRIPPED WOOD

Flooring Inspiration | Gathered Cheer blog (Image via alvhemmakleri.se)

Oh my. This room is a total dream. Just look at that fireplace. But back to the topic at hand - floors. Here, the wood is kept it's natural shade and the room is all the better for it. Happily matching the greens, greys and blues of the space the wooden floor whispers rather than shouts. This is the exact feeling I'm hoping to conjure up in our open plan living and dining room - informal and relaxed without compromising on style. As my current favourite colour combo involves grey, white and soft pink, perhaps a light, natural wood effect laminate is the way to go?

What do you think? What sort of flooring would you go for in an open plan living and dining area? I'd love to hear your thoughts or tips - just leave a comment below or tweet me

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Photo Credits: 1 shot by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer | 2 and 4 via Alvhem | 3 via CreateCPH (photo by Katharina Berggreen)

This post was written in collaboration with Carpetright, but all product picks and opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Gathered Cheer going!