House Style: Common Steps | national post

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Herringbone or herringbone? Vinyl plank or classic hardwood? With renovation rates skyrocketing in the time of COVID, these are the questions homeowners across the city have been asking themselves before giving their flooring a facelift. Given the variety of options, narrowing down the right choice for each room can be overwhelming, so Post Homes asked designers what trends held, what to ignore and where to be cautious.

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BLOND HARDWOOD ALWAYS HAS IT

“Flooring is a huge investment for people, so trends really come in slow, long waves,” says Arren Williams, interior stylist and furniture designer. “But one trend we’re definitely seeing across the board is the same light-colored flooring throughout the house, usually oak.” Williams says hardwood floors installed in the living room or dining room should carry over to the kitchen, especially in an open concept interior. He says it’s also much warmer on the feet than cold porcelain tiles.

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He notes that many homeowners still seem drawn to herringbone and herringbone patterns in blond oak. However, he cautions that glamorous French-inspired patterns shouldn’t be used in every room. “You know what? We don’t all live in Paris,” Williams jokes. “These patterns can look out of place in an ultra-contemporary setting.” He finds they work best in a Victorian or turn-of-the-century setting.

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Michelle Hurley, owner of Michelle Hurley Design, agrees. “White oak is the hot wood right now and it’s a solid choice,” she says. “For open-plan spaces with modern architecture, a wide-plank blond oak gives the room a more spacious feel.” Hurley says it’s part of the modern farmhouse trend where floors have a Scandinavian-inspired look that reflects light and makes spaces look bigger and airier.

Yet, she says, “the pendulum is still swinging, so we will see it slowly return. For many customers with older homes, they don’t want to embrace trends and instead choose something more classic that mimics the period of the home. »

Some call for a richer wood like walnut – and even a narrower floor. “It really depends on the style of the house,” she says.

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When it comes to finishes, Whitby-based designer Orsi Panos says matte hardwood is the way to go as it’s pet and child friendly; it hides the imperfections of the wood over time. “It’s the same reason why people don’t go for a high gloss wall,” says Panos. “He shows every scratch.”

That said, Panos itself opted for porcelain tiles in its recent kitchen renovation. “I have two children and a husband who is not too careful,” laughs Panos. “And I also really like cleaning my kitchen floor.” She chose 30×30 inch tiles in a soft greige.

Another option for those worried about damaging their wood floors in the kitchen is to install a tile inlay in high traffic areas. “It looks like a runner,” says the designer, who works frequently with Toronto tile supplier Mettro Source. “But inlay isn’t for everyone. You can also simply put a mat in front of the stove or sink – which is washable and also extends the life of the wood.

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Then there is the vinyl plank. Because of its water resistance, it’s an ideal material for a particular area of ​​the home, according to Panos: “When I do basement renovations, I insist on high-quality vinyl,” says -she. “It’s just better for moisture and will hold up better than wood in flooding.”

Herringbone tiles lend visual impact and durability to the entrance of a century-old North Toronto home.
Herringbone tiles lend visual impact and durability to the entrance of a century-old North Toronto home. Photo by PICTURE BY LAUREN MILLER. COURTESY OF MICHELLE HURLEY DESIGN

THE TILE GETS BIGGER, SMALLER AND BOLDER

When it comes to tiles, anything in between is out of trend at the moment. Instead, interior stylists suggest going large or super small. While Williams notes that homeowners hit the “peak of terrazzo” a few years ago, a more contemporary large terrazzo tile is coming with larger and more dramatic stone patterns. “Terrazzo has great green credentials because it uses what would normally be waste, but in a super creative and dynamic way,” says Williams.

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Mini tiles, on the other hand, can have an equally big impact, especially in bathrooms. “We’re going back to small, traditional tile styles like the penny tile,” says Hurley, “a circular penny-shaped tile sold on a 1×1 foot sheet.” Popular nearly a century ago, mini-tile is perfect for remodeling a bathroom in an older home. The contrasting colors (black and white or other combinations), in addition to the textural impact that a high volume of minis can have, are where the boldness comes from.

For a high-impact statement in a more neutral palette, stone can be used. “We’re seeing the rise of high-contrast (shape and color) mixed stone tiles,” says Williams, used in rooms like the kitchen. “We’re even seeing floors with a brick (effect). Thickness is key and it looks good laid in a pattern.

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Along the same lines, cement tiles also come in “really solid patterns,” says Williams. Some of his local reference sources are Geotiles, Saltillo Tile, and Ciot.

According to Hurley, tiles can make a big impact – both visually and practically – in the entryway, where she has extended their footprint further into the home. “My big observation when entering clients’ homes is that there has been this way of tiling a small amount of square footage as you enter the front door – but it’s just not practical for the way which people live,” she said.

Instead, Hurley will often run tiles from the front door to the staircase. “That way people can come in with boots, coats and bags. I also do the same at the back door,” she explains. During a home renovation Hurley recently worked on in west Toronto, she used slate-like porcelain tiles in both the front entryway and the back mudroom of the house. “These are high traffic areas.”

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CARPETS ARE RAGING

While carpeting is largely out of fashion, area rugs are “very popular right now,” says Hurley. “The classic vintage ones, such as Persian or Moroccan rugs, are particularly warm. It’s this overall aesthetic that has become huge.

In an open plan home, rugs can define separate living areas. “Generally the trend is to keep the same flooring from room to room, but in the kitchen you could have a great rug,” says Williams, “And the dining room could have another rug. amazing.Defining through rugs – that’s the look.

Panos agrees that rugs provide the finishing touch to a room, but says choosing one can be tricky as it really comes down to personal space and individual taste. “Rugs have so many patterns and textures,” she says. “It depends on the style and design concept of the whole house.”

Even in the entrance hall, under the snowy boots. “There’s so much tech in hallway rugs now — this polyurethane you can hose down,” says Hurley. “They’re sleeker than your typical hall runner in black.”

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