The power of maximalism in flooring design on cruise ships

Forbo Flooring Systems' Jason Holmes on why floors provide the best starting point for exciting interiors

The power of maximalism in flooring design on cruise ships

By Guest |

This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Experimentation is at the heart of every great design. By playing with colours and patterns – two of the most powerful tools in any designer’s tool kit – it’s possible to communicate unspoken messages, evoke emotions and determine the overall mood and feel of a space.

Filling onboard spaces with diverse elements that engage and excite guests is a top priority when cruise and ferry operators are designing new vessels or refurbishing existing ships. They can achieve this by linking colour with pattern, experimenting with scale or juxtaposing design components – in other words, by turning to maximalism.

Associated with luxury and opulence, maximalist designs are made by building up layers of individual elements until the whole interior works cohesively, like a well-curated collection of collections. Although challenging to achieve, effective maximalism gives passenger ship operators the opportunity to make a memorable design statement, create a brand identity and wow consumers.

While flooring is often an afterthought in maximalist interior design, it’s actually the best place to start because it gives designers a true feel for the space before they add other elements. On passenger ships, for example, colours and patterns can be used to subtly delineate the different zones and functional areas, or they can be flowed together to create an ongoing design signature that runs throughout the ship’s interiors.

Flooring possibilities are almost limitless now that designers have access to a wide range of materials and techniques such as digital printing. For instance, passenger ship operators can achieve real design freedom – and a distinctive design signature for their brand – by creating bespoke patterns and digitally printing them on Forbo Flooring’s textile floor covering Flotex FR. Designers can build on this flooring to create the type of striking interiors that will keep guests coming back time and time again.

Jason Holmes is head of Design Textiles at Forbo Flooring Systems

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