Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’ve all been spending more time in our homes than ever before.
After a while, you start to become hyper-aware of perhaps the little nagging problems you’ve wanted to tackle for years – That shade of white on the walls, the outdated kitchen cupboards, the beaten wooden flooring.
More and more people are deciding now is the time to renovate, re-design and re-purpose and they want to do so with sustainability in mind. Here at Wood Flooring Ireland, we reached out to experts in Ireland and around the world to see what the top design trends were for 2021.
Many people globally have been working from home for the past 18 months or so, which has played a significant role in people’s renovation thoughts. Your home now has to operate as a multi-functional space so expect to see a shift away from the open plan living spaces that have dominated the field in recent years with homeowners now favouring rooms that offer privacy and multi-functionality.
“The Pandemic of 2020 and 2021 has really taught us that when we stay home for long periods of time, we need privacy! With this in mind, more interior designers will be moving away from open plan living spaces we have seen for many years now and moving to segment space off further.” – Ryan Jones, Land of Rugs.
This desire to create workable living spaces in the home will also reflect the colours and patterns that are being incorporated in the home, according to Luxaflex’s Neale Whitaker – “Having spent a lot of 2020 staring at neutral walls, we will begin to see a palette of soft browns and beiges, from sand through to caramel as well as strong patterns,” Earthy, wholistic tones will champion 2021, have a look at our Herringbone patterns for an example of a bold, striking design.
Practicality VS Style
This trend doesn’t just apply to living spaces, as Interior Stylist Carmen Strong notes that large pantries are fast becoming commonplace – “Pantries are becoming hugely popular in many homes now, they are not only aesthetically pleasing but highly practical as well. The wooden aesthetic in the pantries is also very on-trend right now, it follows the interior trend which is Scandinavian inspired. This will tie in well with a home that has wooden floors and follows the trends of a scandi inspired home.” For a strong wooden presence in a pantry or kitchen, long plank wood flooring is a great choice, it gives a beautiful sense of space and expanse, really opening up an area.
“Children’s retreats are also popular. Having the kid’s bedrooms centred around a retreat room, keeping them separate from the adults so they can watch their TV in their room away from the adults. Study nooks or a study room are popular more so in these times with people wanting to work from home and my clients are wanting to put in shelving and data connections and extra power points and have tiling instead of carpet to cope with the desks and filing cabinets better.” States Kerri-Ann Hooper, Director of building broker firm Carnelian Projects.
New Builds & Longevity
Those within the construction trade have also noted a shift away from open plan in favour of specialized spaces and elements that will last – “Open plan is still a strong favourite of those undergoing a new build, but definitely the pandemic has changed peoples thought process. Having designated, specialised spaces is something we’re going to see a lot more. In terms of longevity also, people want value for money. There’s been a shift away from laminate flooring in kitchens and other areas as people are now going back to basics if you will by exploring other options like parquet wood floors flooring, it’s hard-wearing, and it’ll effectively last a lifetime if you maintain it right.” – Ray Brosnan, Brosnan Property Solutions.
It’s important when either renovating or entering into a new build to choose a product that lasts. With our bespoke, engineered wood flooring you can sand the surface when needs be, leaving you with a brand new platform to work with. This enables you to bring a floor back to life when it’s looking tired or worn – These floors are for life, with a lifespan of up to 50 years, unlike laminates and lower quality woods. Engineered wood flooring also allows you to install under wood floor heating, engineered wooden floors expand and contract far less than solid woods due to their construction. This also makes it ideal for areas where you traditionally would not place a wooden floor, like a bathroom or kitchen where you’re constantly dealing with fluctuating moisture and temperature levels. Engineered wood flooring can withstand the punishment.
“People now want to ensure what they’re putting in their homes is of a good quality and more importantly, is something that will stand the test of time. These engineered wood floors are incredibly tough and they have to be. You’re always better off to go with quality products from a reliable and trustworthy supplier. Even if you look at the current situation in Donegal with the mica block scandal, there’s homes literally falling apart due to faulty bricks so now more than ever it’s important to be hugely aware of what you’re actually putting in your home, where it has come from and who’s hands it has passed through to get to yours.” Notes building contractor Aaron Donovan of AD Services, Cork.
Sustainability Is Key
According to a recent survey undertaken by The Blue Space, 37% per cent of homeowners are looking to renovate in 2021, with 86% of those surveyed expressing that taking care of the environment was significant to them. Eco-friendly practices are now an absolute must, that’s why we offer only the finest European oak product whilst ensuring all of our finishing is VOC and Formaldehyde free.
“With wood products, in particular, I think more people are becoming concerned with how the wood is sourced. Was it sourced from sustainable woodland for example. Was it a local woodland or has it been shipped all across the world to get here.” – Martin Forshaw, DIY Fix It.
Our European Oak is ethically sourced, quality and traceability are a massive part of our ethos at Wood Flooring Ireland and we’re seeing these thoughts and mindsets echoed not just by our clients, but by colleagues across the world.
Anesley Clarke of B2C Furniture notes the hugely damaging practices of purchasing cheaper & more brittle home interior items that are not intended to last – “Many large furniture manufacturers and retailers actively promote passing trends to create continuous turnover and revenue for their businesses. They urge customers to redecorate their home every season with low-quality goods that are supposedly “on trend” – only to be replaced with even more items the next season.” Flooring fashions may come and go, but quality, sustainably sourced, hand-crafted timber flooring Is an item of lasting value.
Amy Hillary of Wallsauce.com notes the importance of sustainable choices throughout the home, even when it comes to paint choice & wallpaper – “Living sustainably through your décor choices is a huge trend in the current interiors’ climate. One of the biggest moves towards this trend is thinking carefully before buying. Will that paint colour you like need to be updated in a few years’ time because it is too out there and on-trend? If so, choose a neutral shade instead: one that will look stylish for years to come. Greys, off-whites and light nutty browns are the best paint choices if you want a tone with longevity. For those who love wallpaper, then choose ones that have low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. Wallsauce.com’s custom-made wallpaper murals use water-based wallpaper inks. These have much lower VOCs than paints that are used in other wallpapers. What’s more, their wallpapers last for 15 years or more and are all made-to-measure to fit your wall perfectly – this means less paper waste and it won’t need to be replaced in a few years’ time.”
It’s very important to retain balance in a home, especially if you choose a strong flooring pattern like a chevron or Versailles design. When it comes to furniture, paint and décor to pair with your new floors, you need to be highly aware of what’s around you, these ideals are expertly outlined by Tracie Ellis, Founder & CEO of Renovators Directory –
“A room completely bombarded in wood flooring and furnishings may appear too heavy and dull. Balancing the look by incorporating a variety of materials within your furniture and accessories will bring life to your space. Wood floors pair beautifully with a variety of other textures, including woven fabrics, leather, metal, concrete and painted surfaces, which you can coordinate through upholstered seating, accent furniture, and wall art. Layering wood accents with finesse, such as the legs of furniture or with accessories like timber décor items, will tie the room together.“
Here are the essential points you should keep in mind about contrasts:
- Light furniture upholstery and frame materials pair beautifully with dark wooden floors.
- Dark furniture pieces such as a leather sofa work wonders in taming a vibrant light wooden floor.
- Be consistent. If the floor is dark, then your furniture should be light and vivacious.
- Trying to mix contrasts between similar pieces might not work out – like a light armchair and a dark leather sofa.
By following a few simple design tips, you can enhance the timeless appeal of your wood flooring while incorporating your personal style.
Hand Crafted, Bespoke Wood Flooring
Whether or not you’re looking for plank flooring, Versailles panels, chevron flooring, herringbone flooring or any type of parquet flooring be sure you know where your Oak is coming from. For a beautiful, hand crafted product that will give your home a truly luxurious feel, be sure to check out our full range at Wood Flooring Ireland.
Call into our Cork and Dublin showrooms today, or contact us by phone or email, and let’s talk.