When I had a meeting a few weeks ago with my architect and designer, my architect pulled out this sample board of a floor that he had in mind for the house:
Given that we are designing a French inspired house, a beautiful herringbone or chevron floor seems like a natural fit. My designer suggested that we keep the floor color as similar to this natural oak color as possible, and my architect noted that this sample is just a starting point, the planks can be made longer, wider, thicker based on his specifications. Chevron and herringbone floors are definitely a fit for my style – I have literally over 100 pictures of rooms with these kind of floors in my inspiration files.
However, when it comes down to making a decision between the two – I am now looking at my pictures with even more scrutiny. Here is a side by side look at the two styles. On the left: a chevron style floor, where the planks are set on the diagonal, and meet in a center line. On the right, the herringbone pattern, where the planks are also set on a diagonal, but interlaced. Although the looks are very similar, they each have their own distinct look and feel.
One of my favorite pictures from Suzanne Kasler’s book ‘Inspired Interiors’ – in fact, this was selected as the cover. I have looked at this picture a dozen times, but only just noticed that the floor is in a herringbone pattern – to me the ebonized finish is what defines the floor, rather than the herringbone pattern.
Designer Lori Tippins (whose home is a source of endless inspiration to me) used a herringbone pattern in the floors of her family room and kitchen. The size and scale looks very similar to the sample board that my architect showed me.
A herringbone floor created with short planks. The size and scale of the planks can be adjusted for different looks.
A lovely, well worn herringbone floor in an apartment designed by Miles Redd; these planks are medium in length. Image via House Beautiful, photo credit Thomas Loof.
A charming space in a S.R. Gambrel designed townhouse, with well worn herringbone floors adding interesting texture to the space.
This picture, from a Southern Accents showhouse, utilizes thinner planks in a herringbone pattern – these are perhaps 3” wide. I prefer the planks to be wider, although this is still a beautiful look.
The chevron and herringbone pattern is frequently seen in materials other than wood. In a stone and tile store in Atlanta, Materials Marketing, there were some beautiful examples of stone floors with herringbone and chevron patterns.
This stone floor in a herringbone pattern is in the basement of a beautiful home that I saw recently, with interiors by John Oetgen.
There is something so architecturally pure about an empty room, and even with no furniture this room is beautiful in part because of its stunning chevron floors. Image via Blayne Beacham, from a home listed by Beacham & Company REALTORS.
A charming French room, with striking chevron floors.
One of my favorite entry hall pictures. I like how the center seam of the chevron floors lines up on axis with the center of the door. Image via Southern Acccents.
Designer Ty Larkins’ house has beautiful chevron pattern floors. The planks are on the shorter, narrow side, which gives the floor a lot of pattern. Image via Cote de Texas.
A pretty chevron floor in the city apartment of Phoebe and Jim Howard shows the importance of the scale of the wood pieces on the design of the pattern.
A charming apartment in Paris – to me, the chevron floors in the space are quintessentially French, and to be more specific – very Parisian.
A vignette with four of my favorite elements: a chevron floor, interesting chairs, books, and art hung gallery style.
One of my favorite rooms in Max & Company, Phoebe and Jim Howard’s store in Atlanta, is this bedroom that has an unusual chevron floor that is set in two directions, making an interesting ‘x’ pattern where the two directions meet.
Architect Design has had a magnificent series of posts on Petite Trianon, and the billiard room caught my eye because of its chevron floor designed with long planks.
One of my favorite pictures of a dining room, from a house in California with interior design by Betty Burgess. I had to look closely to see whether these floors are chevron or herringbone, but given the straight seam, my guess is chevron. (Click here for intaglios very similar to the ones seen in this picture).
Another room, from the same house. Clearly Burgess is letting the beauty of the floors take center stage as a design element; note that she did not use a rug in either room. This image and previous image via Veranda, photo credit Roger Davies.
I came across this show-stopping picture last week on the Splendid Willow blog. The post was about the mirror, but I couldn’t get my eyes off the floor. What an interesting handling of the chevron floor – it is almost like panels done in a checkerboard pattern, with varying shades of light and medium tone wood.
A chevron floor in stone, at Materials Marketing stone and tile store in Atlanta.
So far, my project team has not discussed the floors in any great detail, but it is helpful to look through all of these pictures before making a decision. What are your thoughts? Are you team chevron or team herringbone? In your mind, is there something distinct about the look and feel of each pattern?
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