From the Versailles parquet panels synonymous with the palace of the same name, to chevron pattern parquet wood flooring seen in many a luxurious interior, parquet floors are associated with style and luxury. The origins of this remarkable form of flooring are far from straightforward, however, and have risen and fallen in vogue over the centuries. In this article, the team at Mulveys delve into the history of Parquet Flooring to discover why it’s such a timeless flooring choice that remains relevant today.
Parquet Flooring is inlaid wood arranged into geometric patterns, most commonly a herringbone or chevron style. Its popularity dates back to the 17th Century in France when it was first used at the palace of Versailles as an alternative to marble, which required much more upkeep. Its popularity grew across Europe, and its opulence became a hallmark of wealth. It was also a good choice for those with limited space as the blocks of wood were small and therefore took up less floor area.
As the century progressed, modernism began to gain favour and parquet was eschewed for carpet and concrete floors. The 1930’s saw the introduction of new techniques which enabled inexpensive, synthetic carpets to be mass produced and affordable for everyone. This was a major blow to the style of flooring in which parquet had traditionally been favoured, but the style of flooring didn’t disappear completely.
Parquetry floors were still popular in the higher echelons of society and the design options available grew ever more ambitious. Throughout the 18th Century, a number of Russian princes and princesses employed opulent parquet designs to make a statement within their palaces.
Although it did wane for a while, Parquet Flooring returned to prominence during the 1980’s and is now a firm favourite amongst discerning interior designers who appreciate its timeless beauty. As technology improves and more sophisticated wood species are available, the possibilities for creating stunning parquet floors have exploded.
Today, there are a multitude of different styles of parquet flooring to choose from and a wide variety of colour choices. This allows you to incorporate the style of flooring into your décor with ease, whether you prefer an antique look or something a little more contemporary.
Choosing the right parquet flooring will depend on factors like the level of foot traffic, colour tone and your budget. In addition, it’s important to consider your overall décor scheme to ensure that the flooring complements and does not overshadow the room’s other features. Using neutral or monochromatic colours, and other natural elements, is often the best way to show off the intricate patterns of your chosen Parquet Flooring. Plants, for example, can be used to add a hint of greenery and help create a sense of tranquillity in your space, while wallpaper and nature-inspired prints are a great choice for those looking to create a traditional décor scheme. In this way, you can ensure that your parquet flooring is both practical and elegant at the same time.