A couple of months ago I shared with you the news that I had designed a floral carpet with Alternative Flooring and, as it formally launches at Decorex this week, I’m excited to tell you that such was the amazing response from retailers that it has moved from being an online exclusive to one that will be in shops around the country with 120 of them having samples for you to try out so you will need to check with your local retailer to see if they have it in store.
If you want to buy online then samples can be bought for £8 and measure 30cm by 30cm so they’re a proper size and enough to really see the pattern. I’ve lost count of the number of times I ordered a wallpaper sample to end up with a tiny patch that doesn’t show the pattern at all. I’m currently using my sample under a plant pot so it’s protecting the wooden boards from any water as well as scratches from the bottom of the pot. It’s a like a giant soft carpet coaster if you like.
Bloom comes in six colours. I have Tirasmisu on my stairs as the soft chocolate, ivory and plaster pink is the perfect complement to my colour palette. But she also comes in Polenta – a gorgeous golden yellow with pink and cream daisies, Gelato, which is pink with blue and cream flowers, Pitted Olive with yellow centres, Cavolo – a sort of sage green and Pizzelle which is navy blue and the name of a daisy-shaped Italian biscuit.
The samples have to be specially woven which means setting up the factory with all the right colours but as soon as that has been done, and all the edges hemmed and they are ready to hit the stores I will let you know. In the meantime you can see it here and also the stand at Decorex earlier this week.
Now some of you might be thinking this is a bit of a departure for me and it’s true I don’t use a huge amount of pattern but what I love about this design (if I say so myself!) is that the pattern is quite graphic and contemporary but the colours are very soft and muted so for me it’s the perfect solution to someone who doesn’t want a full on floral riot.
I deliberately chose to go full width across the stairs and landing in what also might be seen as a controversial move, so let me explain. If you have a runner you have to prepare the sides of the stairs pulling old gripper rods and nails and then sanding, prepping and painting the edges which will still be visible when the runner goes on. Anyone who has followed the renovation of this house from the start will know that the stairs were in a terrible stat and it would have added considerably to time and budget to do this.
But actually there was another reason. A runner focuses the eye on a narrow part of the stairs. In a small house with an already narrow staircase you are highlighting the issue. When we first viewed the house the stairs were covered in a full width grey carpet. We kept remarking on the fact that although the house was around 40 per cent smaller than the last house (and about a foot narrower) the stairs were so much wider. On our second visit we brought a tape measure and realised that it was an optical illusion. Full width carpet makes stairs look wider – even if there’s a crazy pattern.
So for that reason we decided that full width was a better solution. Not to mention it really celebrates the design in all its floral glory. We did the same thing on the landings – which really are narrow. The boards weren’t good enough to expose (and we were rather liking the feel of soft carpet underfoot by this stage) so rather than emphasise the small spaces we filled it with flowers. And it’s joyful.
The bedrooms leading off are in sisal – desert bubble weave – while the bathroom has chocolate terracotta tiles, which complement the carpet perfectly and the third bedroom has a dark cork floor. So it’s all natural materials that allow the exuberance of Bloom to shine.