Editor’s Miscellany: Look Out Below

By Kyle Hoepner

My most recent post talked about patchwork, a look I still enjoy even if it’s not necessarily on the very cutting edge of trendiness. So, since I seem to be in fusty, walk-down-memory-lane mode, why not continue on for a bit? Here’s another design trope that has passed the high-water mark of its most recent vogue, but that I hope won’t disappear completely before the next upsurge: painted floors.

Used well, painted floors can evoke feelings of anything from cottage charm to whimsy to prim Colonial rectitude to regal elegance. For me that makes them a welcome–and permanent–addition to the roster of possibilities underfoot. If you’re going to build a room design from the ground up, a painted floor is not the worst way to start.

SLEEK
Glossy, pure white epoxy in a South Boston condo by Tony Cappoli.

Photo by Keller + Keller, from New England Home; click to see more

RUSTIC
The Hudson Valley farmhouse of photographer William Waldron.

Photo by William Waldron, courtesy of Elle Decor

RESTRAINED
Living room of an 1820s Colonial by Albert Hadley.

Photo by Simon Watson, courtesy of House Beautiful

FUN
A master bathroom by Los Angeles designer Mary McDonald.

Photo by Tim Street-Porter, courtesy of Veranda

FUNNER
How could I talk about painted floors without including Miles Redd?

Photo by Simon Upton, courtesy of Elle Decor

PROPER
Two examples from a Federal-style house in Essex, Connecticut, by interior designer Charles Spada.

Photos by Bruce Buck, from New England Home; click to see more

HOMEY YET ELEGANT
Entry to a Cape Cod house by Richard FitzGerald.

Photo by Michael Partenio, from New England Home

GRAND
A Boston penthouse also by Richard FitzGerald.

Photo by Richard Mandelkorn, from New England Home

UNCATEGORIZABLE
What’s the word to describe this example by Jeffrey Bilhuber, in a rural Pennsylvania house?

Photo via themanofstyle.wordpress.com

NOT QUITE THE FLOOR
Painted sisal in Bunny Williams‘s room at the 2009 Kips Bay Decorator Show House.

Photo by Thomas Loof, courtesy of House Beautiful

Painted seagrass in a guesthouse master bedroom by Mary McDonald.

Photo by Tim Street-Porter, courtesy of Veranda

Painted floorcloth by Cameron Howard of Dunberry Hill Designs in Vermont.

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