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(ARA) - When you decide it’s time to replace your flooring, don’t just put down new carpet or tile. Dare to be different and choose a new surface. “I did and am thrilled with the results,” says Judi Larkin, an interior designer from Paoli, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia.
Four years ago, she renovated the kitchen in her own 1920s era home, and made the floor the focal point. “I went into the project with the goal in mind of expanding the space both physically and visually, and the kitchen went from tiny and cramped to larger than life,” she says.

The addition built onto the north end of the kitchen houses an eating area with new windows and skylights, a desk work area with a vintage stained glass window, and an open but hidden pantry. The old kitchen stayed pretty much the same size, but Larkin managed to make it appear bigger using design tricks. She added a diagonally-oriented peninsula and replaced the old vinyl flooring with Forbo Marmoleum.

She had learned about the natural linoleum product made with linseed oil, wood floor, pine rosin, jute and limestone in a 1999 home remodeling magazine, touting it as an updated classic. Marmoleum is available in over 100 colors with various tones and structures. Insets and borders are also available.

“I was really sold on the flexibility it offered. I could do exactly what I wanted with no limitations,” says Larkin. What she wanted to do was duplicate a tile pattern she had seen in Mexico. “I spend my winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and wanted to bring that sunny, warm feeling home with me where I could enjoy it all year round,” she says. “Using this surface made that possible.”

Larkin made the new peninsula at the center of her kitchen the focal point, and started laying down 20 inch by 20 inch cream and gold Marmoleum squares, following the diagonal line. Small terra cotta colored squares were cut from another sheet of the material and inserted between the large squares.

“With Marmoleum you are the designer. It is not the typical assembly line preprinted pattern,” says Piera Marotto of Forbo. “From designs with quiet simplicity to the use of daring colors and patterns, this flooring material can fulfill a broad range of desires.”

In addition to all the design possibilities, the surface has many health benefits. It is made with all natural materials and the glue used to secure it is solvent-free. Allergy and asthma sufferers benefit from the surface’s anti-static properties. Dust and dirt will not easily adhere to it. It also has bactericidal properties that prevent microorganisms like salmonella from multiplying themselves, making it a popular surface in hospitals and doctor’s offices.

“I especially like the fact that Marmoleum is a floor you can walk on without your feet being cold. It is a warm, comfortable, healthy floor,” says Larkin.

Courtesy of ARA Content

Click here to learn more about Forbo Flooring