One of the first things that comes to mind when we envision historic American interiors are painted hardwood floors. Before the creation of varnishes, 18th century ornamental hand painted walls became all the rage as well French parquetry and marquetry. “In fine Federal-era and Greek Revival homes, decorative-painting and faux-finishing techniques were used to suggest floors of inlaid wood or marble tiles.”
“Checkerboards, spatter-painting, pinstriped borders, stencil decoration, compass designs, and trompe l’oeil “rugs” are historical conventions—painted directly on the floorboards, or alternatively on canvas floorcloths. More recently, decorative painters have revived the tradition, using all the traditional methods as well as freehand painting.”
“Imitating other materials—faux painting—may have begun for reasons of practicality or budget, but graining and marbleizing became an art form. Compass rose designs in imitation of expensive wood inlays grew artistic and elaborate. Stenciled and freehand motifs could come from anywhere: decorator’s pattern books, fabric, even a botanical specimen. Common colors included Indian red, grey, brown, and green. Yellow ochre was favored for hiding dust and pollen. Pale blue and even white were occasionally found in New England.”
We’ve been playing with the idea of painting our kitchen and family room floors that are a red-brown tile until we can renovate our kitchen. You’ll notice in some of the pictures not all the floors that were painted are hardwood and I was so inspired! During my hunt for patterns and more inspiration I found so many beautifully pain floors, I thought I would share twenty two of them with you today.
Much of the text from today’s blog post is from this fabulous article from Old House Online HERE, written by Patricia Poore.