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Flooring | Manolo for the Home - Part 2
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Even More Animal Magnetism

Who else wants a Hare mat? Because I can’t be the only one! The Hare mat, designed by Ed Annink for Droog, makes use of the fact that Gerd Arntz‘s amazing statistic pictograms are free of copyright and re-purposes the image of the hare and of the hippo.

Oddly, those two animals have appeared together before here at Manolo for the Home, which makes me wonder what their relationship really is.

(Short) Inspiration: Purple Underfoot

Painted floors are a dime a dozen (okay, not really – not at all, in fact) but purple painted floors are relatively rare. So much so that when I wanted to find a pretty picture of a purple painted floor my options were worse than limited.

So instead may I present a real purple painted floor. One that is not making its grand debut in a magazine, but rather one that started out as a kind of crummy wood floor topped by wall-to-wall carpeting. You can read a short tale of this purple painted floor’s evolution. If you’re considering embarking upon a floor-centric DIY project, it may just inspire you to take some risks!

NtB Loves: Checkerboard Floors

I’m a huge fan of hardwood floors for both their beauty and their durability, but I’ll admit that they can be pretty boring. Paint can do a lot to fix up a dull floor, but painted wood floors can be a little overwhelming if you’re not showcasing them as the focal point of the room.

Painted checkerboard floors that feature wood floors are a good compromise, as they’re not so in-your-face as, say, a bright blue floor or as blah as a plain white floor, but at the same time they appeal to the eye. Here are six examples:

checkerboard floor

A soft, low-contrast checkerboard floor doesn’t steal a room’s thunder.


This patterned floor adds a lot of oomph to what might otherwise be a fairly drab kitchen. (via)

red and white checkerboard floor

This red and white checkerboard floor is playful and fun. (via)

checkerboard painted floor

The border on this painted checkerboard floor gives the floor the finished look usually provided by a fine rug. (via)

green checkerboard floor

In a room with built-ins like cabinets, your checkerboard floor colors can match or not, depending on the sort of look and feel you want to achieve. (via)

And when I say you I mean *you* — as DIY projects for the home go, painting a floor is one of the easier ones. The Wood Floor Guide has a how-to that takes you through the floor painting process step-by-step, though I much prefer the how-to on the This Old House web site because it includes not only steps, but also a video.

See a Penny, You Can’t Pick It Up

Looking for something to do with those thousands of pennies you’ve been stashing in coffee cans since you were wee? Coinstar machines take a cut of your jingly change, and rolling pennies just plain sucks. And saving those pennies for a rainy day might not be the best of ideas when some people want to kill the humble one cent piece. So what’s a thrifty guy or gal to do with all that copper (and zinc… mostly zinc, actually)? Lay a floor, of course.

penny floor

penny tiles

This penny floor can be found in The Standard Grill in the Standard Hotel New York. I imagine that laying a penny floor could take a lot of work, but hey, at least the materials will be cheap. Think about $1.96 per square foot, i.e., a 14×14 grid as calculated by Bridge Designs. Don’t forget about glue and all the other costs, however.

penny floor 2

Here’s another sweet floor, as found in a certain Mark’s home. Note the scrabble tiles inlaid in the wall.

penny backsplash


Then there are penny backsplashes and walls lined with pennies, like this one in a French shop from RB Architects. Neat, yeah?

For the longest wear and the most natural aging of the copper in your penny floor or penny wall, look for pennies minted between 1962 and 1982 since during this period pennies were comprised of 95% copper and 5% zinc. After that, the composition became 97.5% zinc with a mere 2.5% copper.

A Puzzle Ready to Be Solved

colorful flooring

Sometimes working with color can take major cajones, especially when it’s not paint or a new couch you’re talking about. When it’s the floor that’s colorful, you can’t just slap on a coat or throw a rug over it when you get a little bored. You’re in it for the long haul. Colorful flooring can be anything from painted wood to linoleum . In this case, I am pretty sure designers Tham and Videgard Hansson used tinted hardwood to create rooms that flow into one another like seasons.

colorful floor

White furniture is used throughout the house, which makes a lot of sense since each individual room reflects some of the color scheme of the surrounding rooms. It’s harmonious as a whole, meaning that working with individual rooms would be difficult, if not nightmarish. Plus, white furniture lets the flooring (and walls, in case you hadn’t noticed) take center stage.

colorful floor

I think I’m in love!

Here’s the floorplan, in case you’re wondering how it all fits together:

patterned floor design


Paint a Canvas Floorcloth

Let’s say you don’t have a thousand or so bucks lying around to spend on the perfect rug. You can forget all about it or lust after the rug from afar. You can look high and low for a cheaper version of the rug you really want. Or you can approach your little rug funding problem with the DIY spirit.

canvas floor covering

While I don’t know how feasible it is to dye a rug or draw on a rug, an artfully painted canvas floorcloth can stand in for other kinds of floor covering and are easy for the novice to tackle. So, floorcloths… right now you may be saying “Huh?” Which is okay, because I wasn’t aware that floorcloths existed either. Here’s the skinny:

The floorcloth originated in France and became popular in American in the early 1700s. At that time the floorcloth was made from recycled ships sails and the use was utilitarian. In early American colonies they were used to cover bare wooden floors or sometimes dirt floors. After being used for so long as a necessity, they eventually lost their popularity with the arrival of linoleum flooring.

The floorcloth eventually made a comeback but with a revamped attitude. Today’s floorcloth is not for necessity, but rather as a piece of artwork for the floor. The design is only limited by the imagination. Floorcloths are usually made from a heavyweight cotton duck canvas. Despite the fact their beauty comes from water-based paints, floorcloths are durable. The paint is sealed with several layers of water-based varnish so the floorcloth can just be wiped clean.

How’s it done? First, you need to acquire a piece of canvas — it is possible to buy pre-cut rug sizes that are already primed. If it’s unprimed, you’ll have to hit it with a layer of gesso and then a layer of latex paint, allowing for a 2-inch hem all around. Note that you’ll still need to apply the latex layer even if you buy pre-primed canvas. The next step is painting your canvas floorcloth with whatever design you like. You can rock ‘n’ roll freehand, use a stencil, or have someone who’s a better artist than yourself sketch out a design before you paint. Then you’ll need to seal your canvas floorcloth with a few layers of acrylic (non-yellowing) matte varnish. Finally, apply paste wax for a nice soft sheen.

Descriptions of canvas floorcloths don’t do justice to them. Check out this gallery of stenciled floorcloths for ideas and inspiration!

(Again, via Sterlingspider, who is awesome.)

The Monsters Under the Bed

The stylish Sterlingspider wrote to point this totally sweet rug out to me. Monsters in the bed? Monsters under the bed? Tentacles, claws, and paws? What’s not to like?

Boogieman rug

Unfortunately, my dreams of owning it were crushed before I even saw it as she mentioned the price in her e-mail. How much are we talking here? A cool $1,400 will buy this 8′ x 10′ Boogie Man Rug, which is a tribute to all things that creep and lurk under the beds of wee ones. Jellio recommends placing it underneath your child’s bed, an idea that I imagine may lead to sleepless evenings and overnight luminosity. Of course, if you don’t have a kidlet who’s of the impressionable age where the Boogieman seems oh-so-real, you could display this scarily awesome rug right in your living room.

Creativity Underfoot

Tile floor? Nope. Painted floor? Nope. Tinted floor by PG MODEL? Oh yeah.

blue hardwood floor

Now I love painted hardwood floors — I’ve even considered them for my own house. But the thought of having hardwood flooring installed that is already tinted in one of any number of beautiful bright colors is just too tempting. Why should I do all the work when I can just let someone more qualified lay my floor?

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