A Step Up

From new ways with timber and tiles to the hottest rug-design trends, modern flooring is anything but boring. Associate editor Piet Smedy shows us six stylish design solutions for a step-up in flooring.

The Wood Tile

A laser-cut wood tile is a bespoke option and a clever way to introduce pattern without relying on wallpaper or fabric. ‘This is a specialised, modern and very personal kind of flooring,’ says Byron Conway, managing member of Inovar Flooring, who offers this flooring service. ‘The effect can be achieved with solid, natural wood but not synthetic options, such as laminate or vinyl.’

Photograph: Courtesy of Bisazza


Hard-wearing floors are a great option in high-traffic areas but also in bridging the gap between your home and its exterior spaces.

Concrete and Slate

Concrete imbedded with pebbles or a slate tile are two classic options in achieving this indoor/outdoor unity. The overall look is reminiscent of classic Mediterranean and mid-century design. ‘In terms of style, this treatment creates a true sense of tranquillity, which is very much in line with the South African lifestyle,’ says Joanne Sykes, marketing and sales director at Cemcrete, who offers this flooring solution.

Photograph: Gonçal Garcia

Photograph: Elsa Young

‘Use this type of flooring to create a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces’ – Jeremy Stewart, Owner, Seamless Flooring Systems


Pared-back Persians and oversized florals dominate current rug trends.

Expert tip ‘The main function of a rug is to pull a room together, so measure the area before selecting a rug to get the fit just right. you don’t want furniture floating,’ says Mae Pakdoust, owner of Mae artisan rugs.

4. The New Persian

‘Persian rugs have a specific ratio in the arrangement of their patterns,’ explains Shervin Ghorbany, owner of Ghorbany, who specialises in Persian rugs. ‘Altering the colours and simplifying the busy design, as well as mix-and-matching different styles, all contribute to an updated, more modern take on traditional Persian rugs.’ Opt for a rug in a monochrome colour palette with graphic patterning for a refreshing take on a classic Iranian rug.

Photograph: Greg Cox

5. Oversized Floral Motifs

‘We found that foliage designs have always been a favourite as it allows you to bring in warmth and subtle pops of colour,’ says The Rug Company SA co-owner Tara Vadas. The current trend favours oversized prints in more subdued pastel tones that create a subtly floral effect rather than bold, attention-grabbing colours. A prime example of this is found here, in this Vivienne Westwood for The Rug Company ‘Magnolia Black’ rug.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Rug Company

‘Florals add a gentle touch of nature at its most glorious’ – Tara Vadas, Co-owner, The Rug Company SA


An updated approach to timber flooring that will instantly make any room feel bigger.

6. Fresh Ideas

Using oversized flooring planks is a brilliant way to make a space feel bigger and, as you’ll be using less grouting, the overall effect is much more streamlined. ‘Bigger planks give the space a bespoke, contemporary feel,’ says William Combrinck of Forest Flooring. He recommends opting for a blond wood, which will make a space feel lighter and more airy.

‘Wooden floors are timeless; they never date and add warmth to any environment’ – William Combrinck, CEO, Forest Flooring

Photograph: Courtesy of Forest Flooring