Flooring Focus Q&A: Simon Kincaid

Simon Kincaid partner at Conran and Partners, says versatility and longevity are key to ensuring that flooring is a successful component of any scheme

Which flooring materials do you particularly like working with and why?

We work with a wide range of floorings and very much enjoy the variety required for both function and aesthetic: from ‘everyday timber flooring’ acting as a natural and classic backdrop, through to bespoke designed rugs and tile patterns for identity and feature effect.

A characteristic I personally look for is durability; the ability to look as intended all the time. There is a time and place for patina and natural wear but, more often than not, the look and feel of perpetual ‘newness’ gives satisfaction to users and owners of the spaces and places.

How do you keep up-to-date with the latest flooring products on the market? Is there scope for using some of the very latest material technology in projects or do clients tend to have a preference for more traditional solutions?

We keep up to date with latest flooring products by keeping in close contact with suppliers and, with our studio being in the heart of Clerkenwell, this is easy for us to do. We recently had a presentation by a local tile supplier showroom where they ran though the latest and greatest products, ranging from natural mosaics through to supersize ceramics.

One of the innovation developments which clients are responding positively to is the increase in quantum and quality of product with higher sustainability credentials; cleaner, greener, recyclable or with recycled content. These products have become widely available in the last years, making them not only environmentally and cost-friendly.

Conran and Partners flooring in Great Sutton Street, PURO Krakow Kazimierz and The Peninsula Boutique

How can designers look to exploit the potential of creative flooring, both in terms of design ideas, and material choices, in a range of different applications?

An effective technique for creative flooring is to play with grid and pattern – offsetting, staggering, stacking and rotating them to differentiate from a standard grid pattern. This can then be layered with changes to the finish, format, and colour to unlock the full potential of the materials.

Conran and Partners flooring in Great Sutton Street, PURO Krakow Kazimierz and The Peninsula Boutique

What would be your dream flooring material and how would it make a difference to your projects?

I wish that more manufactures and ranges allowed for the ‘mix and match’ of formats, ranges, and colours. It would counter my sixth sense to always pick the colour, finish, format variation that does not exist in a range. www.conranandpartners.com

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