If the flooring design was good enough for Louis XIV and Versailles, maybe it’s good enough for us?
Chevron and herringbone are the big trends in wood flooring for the home. The two are twins — not identical, but often mistaken for one another. There are subtle differences.
Herringbone is made up of identical rectangular pieces laid in a broken or staggered zigzag pattern. With chevron, individual pieces have slanted ends that fit together to produce an inverted V shape resulting in a seamless zigzag. That seamless fit gives chevron its simpler, more modern design. That said, it does offer a certain grandeur to almost any space — no surprise since it rose to prominence in the palaces of 17th-century France, including Versailles. Well, if it’s good enough for Louis XIV, it’s good enough for me. What about you? Here’s everything you need to know if a chevron parquet floor is in your future.
Chevron patterns go as far back as ancient Greece, but we know the pattern best as wood parquet flooring in 17th-century European palaces and fancier homes. When chevron is installed front to back in a long or narrow space, the zigzag pattern helps to direct the eye side to side, giving the illusion that it’s wider than it is. It also prevents the long, bowling alley effect that strip-wood flooring can create. It’s as elegant today and its simple graphic pattern feels modern and fresh: the sign of a timeless classic.
Oak is a favourite material choice for chevron; its knotted and heavy grain is perfect in a more traditional house. Walnut wood adds a modern touch with a much more subtle grain. You can have chevron-patterned wood flooring in solid wood plank installations (best done by a skilled hardwood flooring installer) or engineered wood and laminate wood-looks, which can be done by a clever do-it-yourself type. Alternately, a professional installation can often be arranged by the flooring dealer.
There are three stain colours that help fit the chevron design into many styles of interiors. The current, most popular trend is a natural wood/waxed-wood look that offers a casual or modern look, similar to the pickled-stain look from the 1980s, but a cooler white stain is used rather than the soft pink tone of the 1980s. Traditional flooring will be slightly darker in shade (best choice is medium to dark walnut stain colour). A very sophisticated or ultramodern interior would be stained very dark grey or black (get ready to be cleaning at all times for this one!).
A few ways to incorporate the zigzag of chevron into your home
— Chevron wood floors work very well in one room or area of your home; be sure to match it to the stain colour from other hardwood flooring you might have.
— A chevron-patterned carpet can add the graphic style you want without having to change your existing hardwood floors.
— Wallpapers and drapery manufacturers are also on board with this punchy zigzag design. If using on the walls, do not overload the room by using it on the floors, as well.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? You can contact Karl on Facebook or Instagram at Karl Lohnes Designer.
Karl has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He appears Thursdays during the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morning Montreal.