Alternative Flooring: beautiful carpet for the fashion conscious
Thinking about new flooring? Interested in making a statement in your home? British Wool talks to Lorna Haigh, Director of Creative & Marketing at Alternative Flooring, who offers expert advice on the latest flooring trends.
Tell us about your ethos – ‘Life is too short to live in dull spaces…’
Alternative Flooring was established 25 years ago, working with natural fibres such as wool. From the very beginning, we prided ourselves on bringing something different to the market, offering consumers the latest trends whilst at the same time focusing on the highest levels of quality. We collaborate a lot, working with highly respected designers and stylists who are used to working with pattern and colour, to innovate and bring great designs to floors. Margo Selby, Ashley Hicks, Ben Pentreath and Liberty Fabrics are just some of the names we partner with.
We’ve always thought of ourselves as an interiors brand rather than a flooring manufacturer, which is an important distinguishing point. We’re serious about our craft and we’re very proud of our products – we’re embracing the idea that floors are the fifth wall.
Why do you think wool is a great fibre for use in flooring?
The benefits of wool are endless - it’s durable, fire-resistant, easy to clean and sustainable – it’s Nature’s wonder fibre.
Wool carpets are not just made, they are crafted. Craftsmen meticulously grade, spin, dye and weave to make sure that the final textile cloth proudly demonstrates the quality of the process and the fibre. Buying a wool carpet is an investment and a personal statement. The products we choose for our home are as important as the clothes we wear and the food we eat. We are all making conscious decisions about what we consume, and buying a wool carpet for the home is one of those conscious decisions.
Wool is durable luxury and performs very well. Wool carpets clean easily and due to wool’s inherent qualities, the fibres bounce back. British wool in particular is resilient and perfect for the carpet conscious consumer.
Tell us about the latest flooring trends.
Pattern is back
More and more consumers are looking for bolder choices in floorcoverings. Patterned wool carpets are back on trend and perform outstandingly in the home, easily coping with busy contemporary family life whilst claiming style and comfort points. Patterned designs are perfect for bringing spaces alive, whilst offering that vital cosy element.
Iconic British design and production
Heritage and provenance can be a big influence on purchasing decisions, and flooring is no exception. People appreciate the skill and craft involved in making something beautiful from natural fibres. The wool we use in our Quirky range for example is grown, collected and spun in this country, which is a great story in itself. Britain has a fine history in producing quality brands with craftsmanship and expertise, and we’re proud to support that.
Recreating classic art
We think of floors as the fifth wall, and iconic art and patterns can look stunning when reproduced in beautiful natural fibres such as wool. In our collaboration with Liberty Fabrics for our Quirky range, we’ve recreated William Morris’ famous design ‘Strawberry Thief’, featuring strawberry bushes and birds in tonal shades that translate beautifully as carpet.
Mix and match
Using simple, contemporary colour combinations, it’s easy to throw together stripes, florals, hand sketches and geometrics in an array of colours and textures. Be brave and try clashing them together to integrate different patterns and scale into your home. We have some great ideas on our website - https://www.alternativeflooring.com/inspiration/floor-gazing
Find out more about the Quirky B range at https://www.alternativeflooring.com/search.php?query=quirky+b
You can also find your nearest British wool retailer at https://www.britishwool.org.uk/where-to-buy-wool
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