Underfoot: Using Pattern on the Floor

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Design: Joseph Dirand, Image: Simon Watson for The New York Times

I always love it when I feel like I’ve just discovered something new. Of course, usually my latest discovery is only new to me and is old hat to many others. But that seldom matters in the long run since I’m still energized by whatever the finding is. Today I’m taking a look at using pattern on the floor—not something that in and of itself is new to me, but I’ve begun to view this as a kind of “secret sauce” of interior design, the extra something that can set a room apart.

Wood in a Chevron Pattern

I don’t know of anyone who isn’t taken by the above kitchen with its marble and bronze finishes and minimalist simplicity. But for me the crowning glory is the simple, but so stylish, chevron pattern used in the flooring. Without that floor, it’s a beautiful space, but with this pattern, it becomes elevated to timeless.

Alternating Tile

Underfoot: Using Pattern on the Floor

Design: Sandra Behaumou, Image: Montse Garriga for Elle Décor España

This is another terrific kitchen, but on a larger scale. It can be argued that, once again, the patterned floor of alternating white and graphic tiles is what makes this special. But for me, these tiles impart a sense of history and longevity to the space.

Graphic Tiles

Underfoot: Using Pattern on the Floor

Styling and Image: Anette Nilsson, via iiiinspired

This graphic black and white pattern turns a plain and utilitarian bathroom space into a standout. With this floor, I doubt you’d want much else in the way of bold decoration in the room—the pattern is enough.

Box it Up

Underfoot: Using Pattern on the Floor

Design and Image: Karen Akers

Wondering how to add pattern to the floors in your own home? Well, you don’t have to lay a bunch of tile—patterned rugs have done the trick for centuries. The simple stripes in this rug bring pattern and life to this space; you could do the same in yours.

What’s your favorite kind of patterned flooring?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.