Taking the floor

GREY MATTER Inspired by the runways of New York, Paris, and Milan, where grey has been a fashion fixture for the past few seasons, pre-finished hardwood flooring company Mirage has introduced an Earl Grey stain, the newest addition to its Sweet Memories series. Earl Grey blends grey and muted green with brown tones to create a “distinctive and timeless” colour that speaks to the current vogue for products with an aged, antique appearance. If Earl Grey makes you want to curl up with a hot beverage, the other Sweet Memories stains will have you reaching for the cake mix: there’s Crme Brle, Truffle, and Toffee. Who knew hardwood floors could be so delicious? www.miragefloors.com

DAISY CHAIN Custom carpet company ASHA Carpets aims to “merge the worlds of art and craft,” according to founder and designer Joanna Michalowicz. The Brooklyn-based label’s newest collection includes three light-as-air designs to add colour and cheer to even the most sedate of interiors. Daisy appeals to art aficionados and creative types, with its watercolour-effect floral print and soft, beachy tones. Mandala is for the spiritualists: a round rug inspired by Tibetan paintings of cloud and wind, in stunning coral, turquoise, blue, silver, and gold, in silk and pure highland wool. For those who simply love colour, Big Cotton Balls combines hand-spun wool with machine-spun wool and silk to create a tactile, shimmering surface of orange or custom colours. www.ashacarpets.com

TWIST OF LIMESTONE Old meets new in the latest innovation from nora Rubber Flooring. The norament cara line is a commercial rubber floor covering designed to resemble limestone. The look is natural and elegant; combined with the durability and easy maintenance of rubber flooring, cara is an ideal solution for those wanting to inject classic style into heavy-traffic areas. The rubber flooring comes in 12 colours and features a smooth finish, and a dirt- and stain-resistant surface that doesn’t require waxing or sealing. Just watch as people stare at your new floors, shaking their heads in disbelief as they say, “I can’t believe it’s not limestone.” www.norarubber.com

i SPACE ODYSSEY InterfaceFLOR Commercial, known for its innovative modular flooring, has jumped on the technology bandwagon. Driven by the current global obsession with iPods, the internet, and instant messaging, Interface has introduced i space, a collection of tech-inspired designs intended to compliment a youthful, creative, or “cool” environment. Five patterns, 12 colourways, and one underlying message: technology is hot. The “i circle” is a fizzy print of various-sized bubbles, while “i line” resembles television static or a retail bar code. Mix and match the different patterns for a giddy, high-energy effect. The company has also taken a very modern step forward with its announcement that 100 per cent of its North American products are certified as carbon neutral. By zeroing out greenhouse gas emissions, InterfaceFLOR is doing its part to fight global warming. Now that’s cool. www.interfaceflor.com

CIRCULAR THINKING Practicality and style come together with Circulinity, a new collection of rubber tile patterns from Johnsonite. The system consists of five coordinating patterns that can be used together or on their own to create a limitless supply of fun, unique designs. The different patterns can be used together to create special effects like the Fast Lane (parallel lines shaped together to resemble a big city freeway) and Tic Tac Toe (nine circles set up to evoke the classic game). Perfect for kids – not to mention your inner child – the tiles are available in over 70 standard colours. The system also includes matching transitions, wall bases, corner guards, and stair products. www.johnsonite.com

ODE TO JOY For a touch of Asian-inspired exoticism – and a floor covering that’s almost too pretty to step on – check out the latest offering from emma gardner designs. The Joy rug is a beautiful, hand-tufted creation that comes in three bold colours: spring green, black, and crocus, in a floral pattern awash with shades of red, lavender, orange, and green. Designer Emma C. Gardner was inspired by “lots of colours and a layered, Chinese cut-out effect.” Evoking the strikingly delicate Yuzen papers used in origami and Japanese crafts, the rugs are made in India from 100 per cent New Zealand wool. Joy by emma gardner designs is available in a variety of standard and custom sizes through Weaver’s Art, in Toronto. www.weaversart.com

TEA TIME At the other end of the spectrum, commercial carpet manufacturer Tandus revisits old world traditions with its TeaHouse Collection, a spa-themed series of designs inspired by the Onsen region of Japan. Earthy colours, soothing patterns, and images from nature dominate the collection, which aims to inject a dose of calm into today’s overstressed world. The Onsen carpet features a delicate bamboo motif in a sophisticated, neutral palette. The Chado is an abstract, geometric pattern meant to depict a landscape or “ground,” providing visual texture. Ikasu and Kura are both large, aesthetically bold carpets designed for public or open spaces. www.tandus.com