To choose the right stone floor, Smith advises thinking about the upkeep you’re willing to commit to. “Some, like marble, are prone to staining and only really look their best when kept in pristine condition, while terracotta and heavily patterned porcelain and ceramic tiles are masters in the art of hiding scuffs and marks.” Try Kimmeridge Limestone by Artisans of Devizes (£116.65 per m2).
Summer loves terracotta. “It has a warmth and an earth that appeals to me a lot because it creates a comforting atmosphere.” She used soft pink terracotta in the kitchen of a Victorian house in London, as well as in a scullery in a country house. But, she warns: “You have to be very careful about choosing the darker pink tones over the orange ones, otherwise it might look like a cheap Spanish villa.”
Kitchens, pantries and laundry rooms
You can make surprising choices in the hardest-working areas of the home, with concrete floors, tile, and even that 1970s classic, linoleum, used by the most stylish in their kitchens, pantries, and utility spaces. .
Concrete isn’t for the faint-hearted, however. It can be complex and expensive to install (Woody’s Concrete Company, for example, says prices start at £13,800) – but it produces a sleek, modern finish that’s easy to maintain and resistant to chips and cracks.
It also acts as a natural heat regulator, storing the heat it disperses in the winter, while providing a cool feeling underfoot in the summer. It is also suitable for use with underfloor heating systems.
And you’re not limited to a palette of grays – many companies can create custom colors to suit you. Additionally, if your kitchen opens onto a patio, it can create a unified look when used indoors and out, making the transition to the garden seamless.
For a more retro look, linoleum is making a comeback – but not as you remember it. Modern lino is often formulated from natural materials, such as linseed oil mixed with cork dust, then dyed with natural dyes.