I thought I would kick off with floors. Floors are a large investment and the base of your scheme, they need to be right. This is the place to invest in good quality finishes that won't date and will wear well.
Smoked and Black Oak by Royal Oak Floors.
If I had to choose one luxe item to spend money on it would be these wooden floors. They set the tone of our home, they feel lovely underfoot, and they are the single most commented on item when people come around for the first time.
The smoked and black colour is fabulous, very good at hiding sand and muddy little footprints. Not that my floor is dirty, but I don't want to notice every leaf that blows in. In a previous house we had polished walnut stained floors which showed every spec of dust, never again.
The soft tone adds instant texture to our room, especially the large open spaces, and it works as well with cooler grey tones as it does with warmer colours.
In the image above you can see how beautifully the wood tones in with bedroom carpets and the bathroom tiles.
Cavalier Bremworth pure wool carpet - in overtones buckskin
These carpets were a great value buy. Wool comes in a wide price range, I adored the top end of the Cavalier Bremworth range but they were just to far out of my budget. What I specifically like about the Overtones range is they are not a flat colour. Flat colour carpets can be quite dominating, or very bland. Overtones as a small variation in its weave, just enough to be easy on the eye. The variation also means that any little marks and spills are hard to see.
The best reason to choose wool is how easy it is to clean, much easier than sisal or synthetics. We had a large accident in one of the bedrooms and it cleaned right away. It took a lot of Mr Nifty and elbow grease but it is totally gone. Fab for homes with children and pets!
Originally I wanted sisal in the bedrooms, but sisal has issues with water marks and staining, something to consider when you are designing a family home. I had a sisal sample and Miss E said "please don't get that one mummy, I need something soft to sit on when I play". Good point and I am glad I went with wool.
In the image above the Overtones carpet is in the centre and you can see how well it works with the Pietra Grey tiles in the en suite bathroom, and the linen curtains in the master bedroom.
Tips and tricks:
- If you lay carpet pay up to get the best quality thickest underlay you can afford. You will have this carpet a long time and it makes a huge difference to the feel under foot.
- Get samples of your floor finishes and carry them around with you when you are choosing all your other finishes. Everything needs to work with your floors from paint colours, to furniture fabrics, to your bathroom fittings.
- Limit the floor finishes you choose to create a harmonious visual flow between your rooms. In our Sydney home we have wood in the living areas, and the same carpet in all the bedrooms.
- Check that finishes read well together so areas where they are adjoining look good eg where the wooden floor stops and carpet begins, and where the carpet meets the bathroom tiles.
For more advice on building see the rest of the Build 101 series here, where I share my experience to make your build experience that little bit easier.