From forest to the floor, est explores how to carry nature into the home through the tones and timber grades of engineered flooring. Reminiscent of the European oak tree they originate from, these engineered flooring projects showcase rich grain texture and subtle knots.
To celebrate the launch of Tongue & Groove’s new triple-layer floorboards, together with their design visualiser tool, est takes a closer look at how flooring hues and timber grades can build a strong connection with nature in the home.
While Tongue & Groove’s palette encompasses 16 shades, we’re taking a closer look at the Hekke and Chamoisee shades. These balmy honey tones to mid-browns are evocative of the European oak tree, while subtle grey undertones give a nod to the tree’s natural patina over time.
Focusing on the floorboards inside seven of our favourite design-led projects, we reveal how this soft weathered finish enhances the natural beauty of timber. While typically engineered timber flooring is crafted with a timber facade concealing internal plywood, Tongue & Groove uses cutting-edge engineering to cross-laminate three layers of solid oak. Minimising waste by up to 70 per cent, the composition maximises strength, durability, stability and character.
Sydney-based firm Stafford Architecture reimagined a 1900s duplex by coalescing two separate apartments into a light-filled home. Situated in Darling Point, the existing shell of the dual occupancy was retained, while the interiors were transformed into an open-plan modern Australian terrace.
A combination of robust and natural materials, including timber, marble, black steel and brass accents, intensify the home’s durability. With the intent of drenching the home with natural light, white walls and a 10-metre-high skylight are anchored with warm timber flooring. A mid-brown walnut tone – Hekke by Tongue & Groove – combined with the character of natural timber creates a strong connection to the outdoors.
A 140-year-old worker’s cottage in Sydney’s inner-west was fine-tuned with thorough planning and polished materials meeting the needs of the family who reside there. Working with the gradual fall of the land, Porebski Architects gracefully descended the home from the street front to the rear garden – unfolding through a series of material palettes.
A combination of concrete walls, granite and white steel-braced lightwells are softened with timber batten screens and warm oak floorboards. Tongue & Groove engineered flooring (in Hekke colour) – crafted from three layers of solid oak – meets the needs of the busy family.
Bellevue Hill by Pohio Adams Architects
Architect Bianca Pohio worked closely with her life and business partner, architect Chris Adams to completely recast a two-storey home in Sydney; an amalgamation of period and contemporary features.
With a focus on increasing natural light, Pohio Adams Architects framed the new open-plan kitchen and living area with generous steel framed windows and doors as well as a large skylight. This offers illumination without harsh, uncomfortable afternoon sunlight.
Nestled in Sydney Harbour’s Watson’s Bay precinct, Tobias Partners‘ founding principal worked closely with his design team to modernise his home – a previously dark and pokey 1970s brick house. By expanding the layout, modernising the interiors and magnifying the natural light, Nick unlocked an architecturally resolved, relaxed and coastal-inspired home.
Engineered flooring in Tongue & Groove’s Chamoisee colour is specified throughout the majority of Nick’s home. Chosen in Grande format (220mm board width), the balmy, honey-brown hue creates a classic finish rich in texture and depth. “The classical colouring of Chamoisee oak flooring creates a neutral backdrop for the eclectic collection of furniture and artwork throughout our home,” Nick maintains.
Pacific House by Penman Brown
Reimagining a beachside bungalow in Sydney’s northern suburbs, Penman Brown preserved the spirit of the home by maximising both the northern light and the internal floor plan. Designed for a large family, Penman Brown layered monochromatic finishes with playful hues of terracotta and navy throughout.
Interesting to note is the 5.5 metre elevated ceiling in the centre of the pavilion space, designed to take advantage of the home’s leafy location and drench the space in natural light throughout the day. Engineered timber flooring makes a pronounced appearance in the majority of the home’s footprint. Tongue & Groove’s warm yet neutral Hekke colour provides a strong connection to the outdoors while contrasting with the home’s bright, textured wall coverings and eclectic furniture.
For House on the Bay, Decus Interiors’ approach was informed by its environment; three internal zones taking cues from the sky, sea and landscape of Western Australia’s Margaret River. Designed for the primary residents as well as their extended family, the main house, a smaller dwelling and a compact dwelling walk the line between cohesion and distinction.
Ample bedrooms are complemented by generous living spaces, ensuring the family can connect with ease. Elevated ceilings invite the landscape inside, enhancing the sense of spaciousness. Earthy, textured finishes steer away from the typical ‘coastal white-washed aesthetic’, elegantly combining natural stone, glazed tiles in eucalypt and clay tones, and timber for warmth.
In line with the owner’s preference to source from Australian suppliers and artisans, timber floorboards were specified from Tongue & Groove. Walnut-hued flooring ties in with a myriad of timber features throughout – further anchoring the home to its breathtaking panorama.
Sandcastle by Luigi Rosselli Architects and ALWILL Interiors
A design collaboration between Luigi Rosselli and his son Raffaello Rosselli, Sandcastle is set on a steep 45-degree incline – so challenging that some would consider it too problematic to build on. As the name implies, the home projects a castle-like appearance over the streetscape situated on its sandy terrain. Designed in collaboration with ALWILL Interiors, the three-storey home boasts exceptional water vistas of Sydney’s Rose Bay.
Internally, the sandy site informs a neutral palette of creams, whites and oak timber veneer. The material palette is anchored by Chamoisee-coloured engineered floorboards from Tongue & Groove offering a timeless and hardwearing natural expression for the home.