An enormous amount of strain is put on a hotel’s flooring, especially in the public areas. It stands to reason that it needs to be able to withstand a high level of wear-and-tear. Functionality is key. The difficult part, however, for manufacturers is creating a product that fits the bill from a designer’s perspective as well.
With more than 35 years experience in the flooring industry, Hotel Designs Directory members Pergo has been at the forefront of successfully doing just that. Recently, the firm’s Design Director Oke Nollet shared her thoughts on getting design just right…
Q. How do you see the market today in terms of consumer desires?
A. We see two broad consumer trends. The nostalgic group who appreciate artisanship, authenticity, real woods and stone. Then there is the Past Forward to the Future set. They accept imitation. In fact they think imitation is fantastic. There is a desire for traditional materials but they want the superior performance of technically advanced products. I call it ‘faux bois’. An extension of the idea of ‘faux fur’ in fashion.
Q. What are the main interior trends you are seeing currently?
A. The main trend is ‘perfection vs imperfection’. You see it everywhere, from fashion to architecture to interior design. These days, perfection conveys a certain sobriety that nevertheless exudes style and elegance. This is why Scandinavian design is back. Next to that we embrace imperfections; wooden floors are therefore allowed to exhibit cracks and deviations. These natural deviations add a touch of warmth and nonchalance to an interior In terms of colours, fashion is the pioneer.
We will see warmer oranges and browns coming through, to offset all the black furniture that is around. Nevertheless, grey floors will be everywhere and combine perfectly with trendy styles such as the new Memphis. In term of materials, as our lives are accelerating, we want to stay in touch with nature so there is a development towards more floral and plant-influenced design using botanical prints and lots of plants in our interiors.
Q. And how are these trends interpreted at Pergo?
A. We have a dedicated in-house design team looking at general design trends and how they can be implemented across different sectors such as hospitality, retail and healthcare. We are able to react pretty quickly to what is happening so we look about 12 months ahead.
For example, we wanted to use pinewood to give us that Scandinavian-look but the softness of pine makes it unsuitable for the demands of flooring. Imagine the impact of each and every high heel on a pine floor! So we have used patterns directly from Norwegian pine boards to create a super tough laminate alternative. This is the perfect, natural-looking brushed white pine in our new Sensations range.
Pergo (unilin bvba – division flooring)