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Finding magic in the blend of materials


Bregje Smulders, Product Manager Linoleum
February 2019

Marmoleum Splash 3432

With an increasing focus on creating interiors that have a more ‘lived in’ look, emphasising the move towards de-formalised environments, many designers are breaking down pre-conceived conventions by juxtaposing seemingly disparate materials, finishes and styles to create more fluid spaces.

Finding Magic in the Blend of Materials

With over a decade's varied experience in Product Management, Forbo's Linoleum Product Manager Bregje Smulders has spear headed multiple product improvements and developments, including most recently the launch of the award winning Marmoleum Solid collection. Here she takes a look at our new Marmoleum Marbled collection, inspired by Mother Nature's colour palette, and how the magic of blending takes the humble marbled decorative effect and elevates it to new heights.

Bregje Smulders
Marmoleum Fresco 3891

Taking inspiration from home-design trends, the benefits of such an approach are profound for a variety of environments, including hospitals, care homes and offices, with several studies demonstrating the link between the end-user's well-being and the interior environments. In fact, much thought is now being placed on the design of ‘homely’ health care environments to encourage patient healing and in care homes particularly, creating a relaxed and warm space will increase comfort levels, while reducing anxiety. When it comes to workspaces, in maximising softer, non-corporate designs and providing flexible space for communication and collaboration, designers can support their clients’ efforts to reduce workplace stress and improve productivity.

The key to successfully achieving this blended style is to tie the contrasting elements together in some way, with colour often performing this function.

As one of the biggest available surface areas within an interior, flooring has a critical part to play in the overall balance, so choosing a material that can morph and adapt to its surroundings is crucial. The subtle colour combinations of a marbled linoleum design, for example, offer a flexible aesthetic that is hard to achieve with other types of floor covering.

A well-formulated linoleum is a chameleon-like floor covering that can unite disparate zones within the interior and adapts in perfect harmony to the space, seamlessly linking different colours, materials and patterns. As a natural organic substrate, it complements other natural surfaces extremely well, particularly in environments where there is a link with nature, or where other natural surfaces like wood or stone are featured. But what makes it so special is that it can just as easily adapt to other materials such as recycled plastic, Perspex or MDF. Its beauty lies in the ability to pull out and highlight different colours used within paints, wall coverings, veneers, metals and synthetic material throughout the interior.

Marbled Mood Board 2

Mimicking the emotive beauty of natural landscape, a carefully chosen marbled linoleum flooring can achieve truly inspiring results, where a multitude of different colours are layered together to create a look and impact that is greater than the sum of its parts. Just as the play of light and water create a shifting, ever-changing landscape in natural environments, the different elements within a well-designed marbled linoleum product creates a versatile finish that can look different within varied surroundings.

UK Marbled Inspiration Ben Nevis

Forbo’s new Mamoleum Marbled collection, for example, has been created to echo the multitude of shades found in Mother Nature’s colour palette. Consisting of five organic structures, two of which have been newly developed, the collection offers a variety of choice: Fresco has a soft marbled structure, which is available in subtly blended tone-on-tone shades that form a delicate aesthetic; Real is Forbo’s classic blend that comprises warm neutrals and calm greys; while Vivace is the liveliest blend, manufactured from six to eight colours.

New design blends include Terra, a tight and highly contrasting small-scale marbled structure inspired by igneous rocks; and Splash, which appears light grey from a distance, yet up close it is an overall light grey with flecks of colours peeking though. The depth and diversity of the collection gives designers a unique opportunity to work with a host of colours, textures and finishes in one project.

Peaks and Plains Marmoleum and Bulletin board