BEAUTIFUL FLOORING: THE WORLD BENEATH OUR FEET

Think floors are boring? Think again. Arguably it was photographer Sebastian Erras’s project @parisianfloors that got us studying the world beneath our feet so intently.His Instagram account features pictures of the intricate and colorful floors that he found himself surrounded by in Paris, and has more than 80,000 followers. But this isn’t news to designers and architects the world over, who have long known the power of a solid floor, from glittering marble to humble wood, to make or break a building.

Mosaic: Sicis
Sicis, located in Ravenna – itself on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for its spectacular collection of mosaics dating back to the fifth century – uses marble, silver, and gold in its dazzling creations. Each design is produced by master craftsmen, who combine centuries of acquired knowledge with cutting-edge technologies to create bespoke, contemporary mosaic works of art for homes and public spaces.

Above, and banner image: Mosaic designs by Sicis. The company's founder and president, Maurizio Leo Placuzzi, hopes the new flagship store in London will become a “destination venue for professionals and clients looking for inspiration, uniqueness, and fine craftsmanship.”
Above, and banner image: Mosaic designs by Sicis. The company’s founder and president, Maurizio Leo Placuzzi, hopes the new flagship store in London will become a “destination venue for professionals and clients looking for inspiration, uniqueness, and fine craftsmanship.”

Marble: I Vassalletti
Tuscan design company I Vassalletti also looks to the past when it comes to manufacturing its sumptuous inlaid floor designs, paneling, and one-off pieces of furniture – to the artisan shops of the Renaissance where young masters learned their craft from the elder statesmen of design. To create unique floors, handcrafted paneling, and interior schemes, the firm works exclusively with a small team of trusted local craftsmen, who between them have thousands of hours of experience, and who are keeping traditional craft alive in an ever-more-mechanized world.

Noteworthy I Vassalletti projects include an oak wardrobe inset with transparent resin that is backlit to glow ethereally in different colors, and the Giona flooring (above) in absolute-black marble, which features oak inlay that's finished with natural wax.
Noteworthy I Vassalletti projects include an oak wardrobe inset with transparent resin that is backlit to glow ethereally in different colors, and the Giona flooring (above) in absolute-black marble, which features oak inlay that’s finished with natural wax.

Tiles: Heath Ceramics
Known for its beautiful glazes, handcrafted character, and high quality, Heath Ceramics was originally founded by Edith and Brian Heath in 1948. Edith was the first non-architect to win the prestigious AIA Industrial Arts Medal, for the exterior tiles on Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum, and original examples of her work can be found in the permanent collections of museums such as MoMA. The California company – now with showrooms in San Francisco and Los Angeles – has been run by Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey since 2003, and although the iconic, midcentury aesthetic remains, these days the company collaborates with artists, mavericks, and individuals looking for something extra-special for their home.

Hand-glazed and characterized by a midcentury aesthetic, Heath Ceramics’ tiles provide endless opportunities for creative, custom designs – such as this mix-and-match concept by Stacia Garriott Kass for her vintage store, Sojourn, in Sawyer, Michigan. Photograph: Mike Schwartz
Hand-glazed and characterized by a midcentury aesthetic, Heath Ceramics’ tiles provide endless opportunities for creative, custom designs – such as this mix-and-match concept by Stacia Garriott Kass for her vintage store, Sojourn, in Sawyer, Michigan. Photograph: Mike Schwartz

Wood: Dinesen
For those who like their floors pale but interesting, this 118-year-old family-owned Danish company is the place to turn to. They passionately believe in the natural beauty of wood; their mission is to “preserve and respect the personality of the original tree” when producing their 50-foot (15-meter) planks of Douglas fir, responsibly sourced primarily from the Black Forest.

Favored by design aficionados and architects worldwide, Dinesen epitomizes the Scandi-luxe look, and was the floor of choice when Copenhagen's Noma was redesigned.
Favored by design aficionados and architects worldwide, Dinesen epitomizes the Scandi-luxe look, and was the floor of choice when Copenhagen’s Noma was redesigned.

*Fuente: Luxury Defined, Christies International Real Estate

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