5 of the best ideas for colourful floors

If, in renovating or refreshing your home, you feel the choice for your floors is between floorboards or a carpet then take note, there’s a clutch of other interesting ideas out there that are particularly good to know about if you’re a colour lover. We’ve gathered together five favourites, covering both ends of the economic spectrum and gathered from all types of interiors from shops and restaurants to private bathrooms.

1. Linoleum

Image Martino Gamper

Designer Martino Gamper used sustainable linoleum in his own home before using the same material in an even more experimental way in Hackney pub The Marksman. Different colours fan out from a central spot to create a colourful kaleidoscope that uplifts the room from being standard to special. You could use offcuts of a material like this to similar effect, or check out the marmoleum collections offered by Forbo for more colourful and pattern-heavy ideas that are a one-fit solution.

2. Terrazo

Image from Dzek

A collaboration between designer Max Lamb and stone specialist Dzek resulted in this sort of updated terrazzo, in which Lamb chose to use much bigger rocks of stone in place of the smaller shards found in traditional terrazzo. This is a blow-the-budget sort of finish, but there are also more standard ideas from the same manufacturer or from Diespeker that would create a similar effect. Terrazzo is a huge trend generally just now, so you’ll be able to find all sorts of furniture and products with this same sort of variated finish.

3. Poured resin

Image from Pinterest

Poured resin is a great way to achieve a flat, even colour on the floor in the sort of just-right bright shades that can be harder to find in tile form – and obviously the fit-out is a neater, grout-free affair. Try Sphere 8 for solutions.

4. Geometric shapes – any material

Images from Pinterest

The image on the left is of dearly departed interiors shop Darkroom, which featured bold black geometric shapes painted perfectly onto the inexpensive plywood tiled floor – this idea would work just as well on straightforward timber floorboards. The image on the right is of the recently completed India Mahdavi designed Red Valentino shop in London, in which the floor is terrazzo. The effect is similar, albeit in a very different colour palette – again, if you take the paints out, you can get the look at a fraction of the cost (use masking tape!).

5.Woven vinyl

Image from Bolon

Bolon is a Swedish company that’s over sixty years old and began when its founder turned textile waste into rag rugs. Now producing full flooring solutions on a mass scale, Bolon still recycles old bits of flooring to create its huge collection of beautiful woven vinyl solutions. Collaborations with Jean Nouvel, Missoni and Doshi Levien have helped to keep its design credentials going strong. The above dazzle ship-style pattern is just one of hundreds we could happily live with.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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