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Brief Published: 20 Feb 2017

New Takes on Flooring: Natural & Graphic

Clockwise L-R: Flotex Dutch Design, Bolon by Jean Nouvel, Duet Collection, Marmoleum Cocoa

New innovations are improving vinyl flooring for home interiors, while manufacturers are pioneering sustainable materials. Here, we select several noteworthy developments in flooring. 

  • Fashion Flooring: Inspired by fashion textiles, Swedish flooring company Bolon launched a rug collection at Stockholm Furniture Fair (February 7-11) that combines its signature vinyl with wool yarns and glitter threads. With this softer look and feel, the company envisions the rugs being used in hospitality interiors and hopes to pervade new territories such as upholstery and wall coverings.
  • Graphic Look: French architect Jean Nouvel collaborated with Bolon to create a vinyl woven floor with a textured surface. Its extremely flexible application makes it possible to arrange the striped pattern diagonally from a window, to appear like sunlight shining through the glass.
  • Natural Fibres: Dutch flooring system manufacturer Forbo has been awarded an iF 2017 Product Design Award for its Marmoleum Cocoa collection. The new flooring incorporates ground cocoa husk – a by-product of the cocoa industry located near Forbo’s factory – as the fifth natural ingredient of Marmoleum, alongside pine oil and wax, sawdust, chalk and colour pigments. The husk creates a speckled effect that mimics fashionable concrete floors.
  • Expressive Patterns: Forbo’s hardwearing and hygienic Flotex floor is a hardbacked material flocked with fibres to give the illusion of carpet, and it can also be digitally printed. Designer Hilde Koenders imagines her tulip-petal graphics being used in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, while Nienke Sybrandy designed her soap-bubble motif with schools and nurseries in mind.

Read about our visit to London’s Surface Design Show 2017 and see our Preview of Dutch Design Week 2016 for more surface material innovations.