Style & Design


Armstrong products deliver style to interiors

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A reclaimed wood-look accent wall gives the tasting room a rustic, textured feel. 
Designer: Lauren Pique Designs Photographer: Matt Sartain
Hard surface flooring is riding a wave of success right now, and because of its popularity designers are getting creative with wood and wood-look products.

“From industrial to transitional to eclectic, design options are virtually limitless and a floor can serve as the focal point of a room,” said Sara Babinski, design manager, hardwood, Armstrong Flooring.

In terms of colors, Babinski revealed that popular hardwood hues include: natural tones; blonde woods; whitewashed woods; bold, darker colors; and, sandy neutrals. “And gray,” she added, “is here to stay.”

In regards to other hardwood trends, Babinski explained that authentic texturing, domestic products, wider and longer planks and knotted wood are all popular with consumers and interior designers alike. 

So, with such prominent trends emerging, FCW is taking a look at how designers are using Armstrong’s hardwood products in real life spaces.

Liana-Estates Winery, Napa, Calif. 
Lauren Tapper, interior designer and owner of Lauren Pique Designs, was one of 15 designers who worked on the redesign of Liana-Estates Winery in Napa, Calif., Traditional Home’s Napa Valley Showhouse — which, as Tapper described, sits on a “stunning piece of property with views of the San Pablo Bay and rolling hills of grapevines.” The winery was bought by the Peju family, who understood the property was in need of a makeover.

“We wanted to create an environment where there was opportunity to feel different experiences throughout the property,” Tapper revealed.

On the second floor of the main building, the original floorplan held cubicles for employees. While the room seemed architecturally bland, Tapper saw its potential. 

“The ceiling had big beams that were beautiful, but not very noticeable,” Tapper said. “So, I used some of Armstrong’s engineered hickory flooring on the ceilings in a herringbone pattern to really make architectural features stand out. The beauty of the texture is seen in the design.” 

In the winery’s redesigned tasting room, Tapper also opted to use Armstrong products, choosing Surfside Laminate in Azure Mist to create a wood-look feature wall that served as a backdrop to a tasting bar. “We also added an antique mirror, bottles and lights,” she said.

When asked about hardwood trends, Tapper responded unexpectedly: “What we’re seeing more of now is designers applying the principles of design — it’s almost like breaking the rules. Designers are going for texture instead of subscribing to a set of guidelines,” she explained, adding in the case of the Liana-Estates, she wanted to utilize focal points — such as the walls — to make the rooms feel warm. 

“I chose Armstrong because it has a wide breadth of offerings and a wide variety of products,” Tapper said.

/Uploads/Public/Matt Sartain TRH Napa Showhouse1.jpg
Tapper used Armstrong engineered hickory flooring on the ceilings in a herringbone pattern.
Photographer: Matt Sartain

Coastal Living 2017 Idea House, Newport, R.I.
Built by Newport-based builder Mark Horan and architect Alec R. Tesa, and designed by Mark D. Sikes, the 2017 Coastal Living Idea House in Newport, R.I. is a mix of traditional and contemporary. And, similar to any well-decorated space, its design blossomed from the floor up.

“Our designer, Mark D. Sikes, chose Armstrong TimberBrushed White Oak engineered hardwood,” said Ellen McGauley, home editor, Coastal Living. “It’s [engineered] wood, so it’s super hearty and is going to hold up to lots of traffic.”

McGauley revealed that Sikes was in search of something strong, since beach houses are known to be havens for foot traffic. “This particular finish — Limed Beach Getaway — has a whitewashed look to it, so it almost looks like you’re walking on sun-bleached sand,” she said.

While whitewashed wood keeps a room feeling light and airy, McGauly revealed that the ultimate “forever trend” is authenticity.

“I think everyone is looking for materials that will always look and feel like they belong,” she said. 

Sikes chose Armstrong TimberBrushed White Oak in the kitchen and breakfast nook:
/Uploads/Public/Coastal Living Show Home dining-673_final.jpg
Credit: Courtesy of Coastal Living, a division of Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, photography by Amy Neunsinger. Coastal Living is a registered trademark of Time Inc. Lifestyle group and this is used with permission. Designer: Mark D. Sikes


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