And who would have thought that opulence would finally take a back seat to simplicity! On April 7th I will have been serving Santa Clara County as a hardwood flooring craftsman for 36 years. When I started my business one of my first customers wanted me to install a parquet floor with a 6” double feature strip border. I can see your facial expression now, what the heck is he talking about. A border consists of running narrow or slightly wide boards around the perimeter of the room along the wall which is considered a border. The feature strip is very narrow strips of a different species of wood and usually a much darker wood color and is connected alongside of the first boards.
With imagination one could create endless opportunities for creative art design in wood within these narrow borders. Along with having a perimeter border, the main body of the floor could be designed to have a look of many unique design styles to augment the borders or vis-versa. Parquet designs of different sizes to herringbone patterns could raise the bar for beauty and come with an expensive cost to live with these beautiful appearances. To add more augmentations one could have a center or focal point of design known as a floor medallion. These medallions usually average 28” to 60” in squares or circles and the sky is the limit in terms of what species of wood could be used to design the pattern.
Let’s return to the dreaded 2008 when America was in great turmoil regarding our recession. This recession hit us so hard that seeing recovery in finances as well as our homes were two of the most important things in our lives for the next five years. Fortunately we did recover but our spending habits changed dramatically and not necessarily for the bad. When the building industry recovered and customers called us again to install new flooring it didn’t take long to see a dynamic change if how they spent their money.
Suddenly the opulence of wood floor design had taken a back seat to simplicity, floors without borders and medallions. I certainly could understand the trend and personally I thought it was a beautiful change. What I mean is, it was as if I and every other person in America realized at the same time that spending in excess was not cool. One could still have beauty without over spending and less in this case was simply more by way of much more wood grain to be admired. Not only was I aware of these changes but so was the wood flooring industry as a whole. What replaced opulence in wood flooring design was replaced with factory finished flooring in new multitudes of satin colors; wood species; in wider plank flooring designs thus the new paradigm was here! There are some that will still want an unusual creative design including borders etc, but is not the norm anymore.
Although I am a master-craftsman I love the new factory finished wider planks and all the simplistic beauty that comes from owning these new generation styles.