Earlier this year professional photographer Olly Gordon and wife Clare decided that an interior overhaul was required. Living in Surrey with children Eva (5) and Isobel (3), there was no thought of leaving the family home, but it was time for a stylish facelift to the downstairs living space.
The house in question? A classic Edwardian 4-bedroom terrace boasting a fantastically practical open plan living room, kitchen and dining area. This had served the family well, but with the kids shooting up (and fast!) Olly and Clare thought it right to make changes, Olly deciding “a more grown up look was order of the day, somewhere which both ourselves and Eva and Isobel could enjoy for years to come”.
The family was after a living space that could be used for the children’s activities throughout the daytime, and then converted into a chilled, relaxing space for Olly and Clare to unwind in during the evenings. Of course, central to the success of this rejuvenation was flooring choice. “From when we first moved in we wanted to replace the old carpet with a wooden floor,” claims Olly. “Getting this right was the most important factor, then the furnishings and paint could be worked in at a later stage”.
A floor can so often make or break a room and the ambiance that it creates; the previously-fitted beige carpets had been nice whilst the children were very young but change was needed, with a solid wood option preferred.
Olly and Clare spent many an hour trawling the web and high street until they discovered UK Flooring Direct and its Home Choice European Oak Liquorice (see above). The aim was to achieve a seamless transition through both rooms of the open space, the flooring a striking fashion centerpiece in itself thanks to unique, authentic design in the richest of tones.
Olly had initially wanted to restore the original floorboards but upon lifting the carpet it soon proved to be a no-go. Enter Antique Oak, bringing beautifully consistent board shades and smart joins to boot, a distinctly warming feel that would maintain a certain level of cosiness when winter came knocking.
As ever, a careful eye needed to be kept on the practical aspects of the project, not just the aesthetics and ‘feel’ that we are all guilty of getting caught up in at times. Olly was particularly conscious of getting this right at the first attempt. “Once we discovered that restoring the old, damaged floor wasn’t an option, we called up the UKFD technical team who advised laying plywood over the top for insulation. This was a blessing in disguise, giving a solid base to lay the new planks on which look great!”.
The skirtings and edges were also shaved back to accommodate the widths of the planks, and matching trims were purchased from UK Flooring Direct to finish the areas where expansion gaps couldn’t be hidden. Olly continues, “we’re so happy with the finish that’s been achieved, I’ve got no regrets at all about going with Home Choice European Oak Liquorice and I’m loving spending time with the family here”.
So what’s next for Olly, Clare, Eva and Isobel? “We’re taking a little break from the whole interior design thing for the moment”, says Olly with a smile on his face, “but next on the horizon is definitely the home office – it could do with a lick of paint and a new floor!”.
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