It’s not often that a room will draw your eyes down to the ground but such is the commanding power of checkerboard floors. From the timeworn black and white tiles at the Palace of Versailles to the modern harlequin effect at the Shinola Hotel in Detroit, the classic checked style has been a beloved look for centuries but today, it’s definitely having a moment (no doubt due in part to Athena’s striking checkered entryway and marble tile terrace in her Brooklyn townhouse.)
And we’re seeing more designers tap into the timeless trend, too. Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of Studio Life/Style were vastly inspired by the European design and craftsmanship when they created a limestone and travertine checkerboard hallway in Facile’s new boutique. “Pairing this floor with the modern accents throughout felt like a nice juxtaposition,” they explained.
So, what exactly makes checkerboard so eternal? Zwickl attributes the flooring’s timeless appeal to its versatility. “It can be integrated into any type of décor or room in the house,” notes Zwickl. “Trends come and go, but this is something that has roots and history.” Montana Labelle of Montana Labelle Design agrees, adding: “The simplicity of checkerboard is what makes it something that will last forever.”
But that doesn’t mean we can’t distort the past and play around with the classic concept. In a recent project, Labelle put an unexpected twist on the time-honored look when she combined the striking pattern of Calacatta viola marble with the neutral tone of travertine. “While an unlikely duo, when you put them side by side, you create something beautiful to welcome you home,” she declares. We couldn’t agree more.