Herringbone flooring adds a built-in focal point to your home. It’s a statement material though, so requires attention to detail to get the look right. Try these tips to find the right product for your place.

Herringbone was first used by the Romans who discovered roads were more stable laid with bricks aimed in the same direction that the traffic flows in. The pattern was then adapted into wooden flooring and used in interiors from the 16th century. It was a popular choice for the wealthy and laid in castles, palaces and homes throughout Europe – including the stunning Palace of Versailles. The name refers to the arrangement of rectangles that resembles the bones of a fish such as herring!

Style

The beauty of herringbone is that it words in traditional or modern spaces because while it’s a pattern, it features clean modern lines. I chose herringbone as a nod to tradition in this home. The interior is modern but the architecture is 1920s, so I wanted to honour the era by bringing in a traditional design element that reflects the deco theme.

Colour

Start by deciding what colour suits your home. A light wood colour suits  coastal and Scandinavian interiors, while dark herringbone works well in more classic, formal interiors. I opted for a colour called Shadow Parquet that features light, mid and dark tones so it ties in with the range of neutral materials, furniture and homeware I wanted to use throughout the home. This product also comes in two other colours – Honey Parquet and Tortoise Shell.

Budget

Consider your budget before falling in love with a product! Timber looks beautiful but is very expensive – not an option for our budget in this case. I chose Rhino Evercore herringbone from Carpet Court because it’s both cost-effective and super practical – it has a stone fusion core making it both waterproof and dent resistant. It also has a protective coating that shields it from fading and makes it scratch and stain resistant. It’s quiet underfoot and easy to install – the perfect practical choice to make a style statement in this family home.

Layout

I used herringbone through the living spaces and hallway but carpeted all the bedrooms, as the pattern is quite a statement and can look overdone. If you don’t have an open plan layout you can lay a border of straight planks around the outside of the room and herringbone in the middle to anchor the design and create a finished look.

Styling

Include styling that’s a bit eclectic to complement the herringbone. While the furniture is modern and neutral, the accessories are layered, interesting and a nod to the deco area.

Furniture

Let the flooring colour inspire your furniture and décor choices to create repetition and a cohesive look throughout. This flooring has light neutral, rich brown and even subtle grey tones, which have been reflected in the furniture colours. If you’ve used herringbone throughout an open plan space, breaking it up with a rug and grouping of furniture pulled into a central zone works well.

Scale

Get a sample plank to take home and place in different rooms. Check that the scale suits the house – tiny planks in a huge house will create too much visual clutter, while huge planks in a small room will look bulky. 

Installation

Laying a herringbone floor can be tricky, as the number of small rows must line up evenly which is difficult in rooms that aren’t perfectly square. A herringbone floor should start from a central axis, and even veering off course by an inch will send the pattern into disarray. Installation is best left to the pros – the Carpet Court installers overlaid the herringbone on top of our existing mismatched flooring in a matter of hours! Remember, when you’re having flooring installed you’ll pay for the price of the product and also the price of installation.

By Shelley Ferguson. Find out more about Rhino Evercore herringbone flooring here.