By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG
Every now and then something comes along in the world of floor coverings that really stirs up some hefty design waves. I think Armstrong Floors has done just that with the introduction of their Barrel Creek hardwood floor collection. It’s so gratifying to discover something unique and full of personality, and Barrel Creek fits the bill on both those counts.
Picture rolling hills covered with ripe, manicured vineyards. You could be in Napa Valley or even the south of France. Of course you visualize wineries stocked with miles of seasoned oak wine barrels, right? Well, interior designers seem to be having an on-going love affair with a charming, vintage design style that embraces all the accoutrements of winemaking. Everything from vine-covered upholstery fabrics to furniture pieces fabricated right from wine barrels! Now Armstrong Floors has taken that inspired styling a step further. Imagine solid strips of premium rift and quartered oak (the very same material coopers use to make fine wine barrels) now crafted into beautiful hardwood floors. According to Armstrong’s marketing announcements, “…these floors have been painstakingly reconstructed to reflect every detail of original barrel floors, complete with Vintner’s marks burned into random strips, and authentic cooperage stamps.” I would say that these floors do tell a story, and in your home have the power to become a focal point and an amazing underscore to authentic vintage design.
There are three color offerings in this collection: Vintner Cellar, Aged Oak, and Winemaker Harvest. Each of these colorways features a blend of high-contrast, 2-1/4” oak boards to create an authentic look. Then the manufacturer applies a deep color wash to enhance the grain and give the wood an aged appearance. This technique gives birth to a perfect harmony of color and texture and, in essence, produces a three-dimensional look. Finally, a high-quality urethane finish is applied to protect the floor and make it functional as well as beautiful. (Armstrong provides a 25-Year Residential Warranty for these solid hardwood floors.) The end result is a hardwood floor that speaks volumes!
So if your design aspirations include capturing the whimsy of wine country, make it a point to research the Barrel Creek Collection by Armstrong. Whether you are creating a wine cellar of your own, or a vintage kitchen or family room design, these floors are versatile and unforgettable. You will find yourself seeking out the Vintner’s markings and enjoying the sense of history Barrel Creek floors seem to inspire. Armstrong deserves kudos for their creativity and “next generation” thinking. When you blend history with new-age performance, you are bound to come up with a product that exceeds expectations, and that is exactly what they have done.