The term "parquet floors" sends shivers down the spine. Memories of dank, wood paneled walls mixed with thin, cheap, fake patterned wood floors, topped with sofas draped in orange and avocado green afghans. Too many of us have been scarred our own decorating sins or those of our parents and grandparents.
Photo: Architectural Digest
But parquet floors don't have to be that way; they've been around long before Starsky & Hutch started tackling would-be criminals and are currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts. It helps that most of the pictures of parquet flooring on Pinterest are found in Parisian apartments, because who doesn't want to copy that?
Real parquet floors, as opposed to the cheap fake stuff, originated in the 17th century and are designed with many different pieces of wood to create geometrical patterns. (Creating a floor with curved or rounded edges is called marquetry. Another blog post on that another time.) They can be made up of one type of wood for a monochromatic effect or can incorporate different spiecies and colors for a more dramatic look.
The first parquet floor was installed in the Palace of Versailles in the 1680s and the pattern remains one of the most popular flooring designs nearly 350 years after its creation. While parquet flooring was originally only installed in the most important European structures, today they're as fitting in a small, chic apartment as they are in countryside villas. We especially love the example of Parquet de Versailles found on the cover of Architectural Digest.
One of the most important aspects of creating an elegant parquet floor rather than a 1970s throwback is choosing the proper wood to work with. You should think about texture, color, as well as the overall aesthetic. The parquet floor in this hallway is the focal point of the room. No art on the walls, no rugs to cover up the pattern. It's simple and stunning.
Herringbone is probably the most well-known and popular parquet pattern. It's always a winner (when installed correctly) but paired with a painted center piece it becomes a showstopper. Again, who needs an area rug when you have a floor that looks this good?
This design, known as Parquet d' Aremberg, is quite intricate. Although sometimes installed with a mixture of light and dark woods, I prefer the balance of lighter monochromatic tones with such a heavily detailed pattern. Parquet d'Aremberg, along with Parque de Versailles and other intricate designs can be pieced together completely by hand or installed in square panels. Installing parquet flooring by hand allows the client to create a truly custom floor, but it can be quite expensive.
There are several reputable manufacturers who produce the panels, which are basically fitted together like a puzzle piece. It makes parquet flooring more affordable but clients are limited to the colors and patterns produced by the companies.
On a completely different note, there's this absolutely gorgeous and simple basketweave parquet. It's such a straightforward design that it could come off as boring, but it's perfect paired with ornate moulding and embellishments and sky-high ceilings. Notice that the wood itself is a medium brown with a good bit of texture and variation. I swoon!
You want to know the best part about parquet flooring? We know how to create it for you! If you live in Nashville, Brentwood, or the surrounding areas, and you'd like to give your hardwood floors a special touch, we'd love you to contact us! We're happy to discuss the many parquet flooring designs available, as well as wood species, colors, and all other details related to creating a beautiful custom floor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-416-9039 any time!