Words by Rosie Cattrell
Uncovering the impact of the interiors beneath our feet with a company who prize family, form and Cornish functionality.
As many of us are turning to look inwards at the spaces of our homes, the brush strokes on the walls and the shapes of our living rooms, kitchens and bedroom sanctuaries, one thing that can tie it all together is something we may not initially lay our focus on – the very ground beneath our feet. From a deep pile carpet for the plushest of luxuries to bury your toes in as you rise for the day, to the classically flawless wood-look vibe for a rustic cottage or clean contemporary finish, the surfaces that lead us from space to space define our home interiors in a way that is not to be underestimated, as husband and wife team Geordi and April Watson well understand.
To begin, we must first take a trip to the sub-tropical heat of Queensland, Australia. An ex-carpet fitter, Geordi had set up a successful flooring business locally, while April, originally from the UK, was a colour co-ordinator and contracts manager. After many years of living in Australia, the couple made the decision to return to Cornwall with their daughter and dog, Barry, in tow to begin their next chapter. With their combined experience and wealth of knowledge and expertise, Geordi and April opened the doors of The Carpet Trader Cornwall Ltd on 1st September 2011, and have been trading for over a decade.
Stepping back onto Cornish soil, the couple came to realise that carpet showrooms with salesmen in ties and outdated carpets were no longer satisfying the ever-growing market of beautifully designed homes and architectural masterpieces being constructed all over Cornwall. Having come from an Australian market where contemporary flooring was a must, and with April’s flair for interior design, it took no time at all to establish a name in the industry for the supply and installation of highly desirable flooring ranges to suit any Cornish dream abode – ranges that wouldn’t cost the Earth. As living in Cornwall comes with a whole other way of life, Geordi understands the importance of practicality alongside aesthetic: “Cornwall has a unique style and lifestyle, and everything we do in Cornwall is driven by our enduring love of the outdoors. With this in mind we seek to provide flooring that is practical, affordable and beautiful.”
With the recent movement into bespoke housing that works with the Cornish landscape, interiors have become more important than ever in completing the overall vision for a dream home in Cornwall, and the importance of the right flooring can’t be stressed enough. From making a room appear open and spacious, to bringing a sense of cosy intimacy or a bold contemporary edge, your floors can have an immense effect on the design and atmosphere of your home, whether you’re looking for warm tones to reflect the heritage of an older property, or a fresh bold element to highlight a more contemporary theme. “Many customers want natural fibres such as wool carpets, sisal or seagrass, full of rustic charm and natural textures which add real character and individuality to the home,” explains April. “Another emerging trend growing in popularity is LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) which is affordable compared to wooden flooring and provides a versatile, durable solution with all the characteristics and charm of natural wooden floor.”
“Recently fitted with the Karndean Inspire Studio, our showroom is a real hub of inspiration, and provides our customers with the ultimate experience. It offers customers a completely new experience, with inspirational boards, design materials and example photography on hand to help you to imagine how each range could look in your own home. As one of a small number of dedicated Karndean Inspire Studios across the UK, when you visit The Carpet Trader showroom, our highly trained staff are on hand every step of the way, from selecting your perfect flooring design to the expert flooring installation in your home.
“We’re providing a unique concept in our showroom. We want our clients to feel at home in a relaxed environment when selecting their new floors, and we aim to provide the ultimate experience to ensure that their completely satisfied with their final decision,” adds Geordi. “We still have customers that walked into our showroom when we first opened, and have since moved homes multiple times, yet have always returned to us with the confidence of knowing that they will be completely happy with the end result.” The team’s unique relationship with many of their clients is a wonderful reflection of the Cornish culture of trust and the fervent support of independent, family run businesses in the county, where first-class service and genuine quality is recognised and prioritised.
One collection that Geordi and April have seen grow in popularity very quickly is their selection of Karndean Designflooring, and having explored this range it’s certainly not hard to see why. Full of charm and character, Karndean’s Art Select collection brings the beauty of real wood and natural stone to life. Adorned with the most intricate designs and realistic embosses, handcrafted to reflect the unique patterns and textures found in nature, the range offers a floor that’s not only beautiful and realistic, but also practical. From Prairie and Glacier to Mountain and Savannah, the latest collection of French oaks encourages gentle beige, cool grey and warm honey tones to blend seamlessly into décor styles from traditional country to modern industrial. The Natural, Weathered, Vintage and Classic Hickory designs feature intense colour variation for a unique and elegant look, while a new and exclusive emboss reproduces the characteristic ‘saw’ marks and texture of the original, unfinished planks. Featuring an intricate pattern for impressive variation across the floor, home decorators can recreate a highly authentic look of traditionally crafted wood planks.
While visiting historic barns and factories in the rural heart of North America, Karndean’s designers fell in love with the rustic feel and rich warm tones of reclaimed chestnut planks. Faithfully replicating the unique array of cracks, holes and blemishes of aged interior timbers and exterior cladding, the new Reclaimed Chestnut design has a subtle matte finish for an eclectic, rustic appearance. “We are delighted to bring these new designs to the market, accurately replicating the features and characteristics of the real woods that inspired them,” explains Stella Coyle, National Retail Sales Manager of Karndean Designflooring. “In a range of shades from light and airy to rich and warm, the new designs will bring the natural beauty of real wood to life in any home. New exclusive embossed surfaces and incredible variation across the floor combine to produce our most realistic designs yet, offering a truly authentic look.”
Inspired by the architectural tiled floors of grand Victorian and Regency villas and townhouses, Karndean’s brand-new Heritage Collection is designed to give the opulent look of classic geometric tiles. From striking monochrome designs to beautifully blended traditional patterns, the collection reflects both the classic elegance of historic homes and the boldness of contemporary trends, reinventing a historical style for the modern floor. “Like the original Victorian tiles, Karndean’s new Heritage Collection is hard-wearing and waterproof but, unlike the original floors that required regular waxing and buffing, is easy to maintain and will resist spills and stains,” continues Stella. “We anticipate that this new look collection will be enthusiastically embraced not only by homeowners looking to recreate this traditional look in period homes, but also decorators looking to add character to modern homes.”
It’s truly astonishing, the inspiration you can take from a well-stocked showroom and a group of experts. Whether you’re beginning from scratch and in need of some guidance from the in-house colour coordinator, or you have a much thought over plan and just need that perfect product to complete your dream home vision. Either way, by laying the right foundations, you can put one foot in front of the other on your way to realising your ultimate home.