We're still open as usual. Please get in touch with our team if you need more help.

News

Keep to date with the latest in flooring development and innovation at Atkinson & Kirby.

Why Natural Hardwood Flooring is Here to Stay

There is no mistaking a hardwood floor; it emanates quality, from its longevity to its unmistakable warmth and beauty. The best wood flooring provides a hard-wearing, versatile surface that will age with grace. A firm favourite with timeless appeal, take a look at why natural hardwood flooring is here to stay... Timelessness A hardwood floor looks just as beautiful on day 1 as it does on day 10,000. Ageing gracefully as the years go by, many people prefer the look of a ‘lived-in’ floor, much like that of a quality leather sofa. Wonderfully versatile, a hardwood floor can be a striking backdrop to a modern interior, or complement the historic charm of a period home. Unlike carpet, linoleum and tiles that can go in and out of fashion, hardwood’s appeal has stood the test of time. From rustic simplicity to soft retro, it can be tailored to any interior style. Hardwood floors are now more popular than ever with an increasing demand for locally and sustainably-sourced materials. According to our research with leading forecaster, Trend Bible, people are becoming more mindful about the environment, using natural materials and the tenets of ‘slow living’. In other words, favouring local craftsmanship, quality and long-lasting intentional design over wastefulness and mass-production. Beauty and the Natural World Needless to say, one of the top reasons why hardwood flooring is so sought after is its aesthetic appeal. Nothing has the same warmth and feel as a hardwood floor; it’s intrinsic to its quality. In a day and age of 24/7 news cycles and hectic work schedules, the aesthetic qualities of hardwood flooring are only becoming more popular. People are striving to create grounding home environments where they can literally and figuratively ‘switch off’. Offering a connection to the natural world, a hardwood floor breathes character and calm into a space. With a choice of earthy tones, geometric patterns or even weathered natural textures, a hardwood floor can create a unique ambience of comfort, warmth and spaciousness. Durability Hardwood floors are renowned for their durability and will last a lifetime. Unlike a carpet or laminate that you might have to replace every decade due to stains and shabbiness, hardwood flooring can withstand daily wear and tear remarkably well with minimal maintenance. Despite the higher price point, you will ultimately save money in the long-run as a hardwood floor is capable of being sanded and refinished time and time again, so you can give it a new lease of life without ever having to resort to a refit. No matter what your requirements are, we have a wide variety of finishes and styles to fulfil your needs. With wide variety of certified products, we ensure our selection is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. View the full collection here.

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Adapting Design Priorities for the ‘New World’ Office

The office as we know it has gone. COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted the way we work and as we start preparing for post-pandemic life, 9-5 office working seems to be one of many aspects that businesses and employees are happy to leave in the past. A recent survey conducted by the IoD (Institute of Directors) found that 74% of company directors plan to continue flexible working after the pandemic.[1] So, with flexible working and hotdesking set to become the new norm, architects and interior designers are now tasked with reimagining the office. Here’s which aspects of flooring design you should prioritise in your new world office... Hygienic and durable flooring Needless to say, ensuring a safe and hygienic work environment will be a top priority for businesses as we begin to ease back into the office. This means that gone are the days of carpeted offices. Research conducted by Doctor Gerba from The University of Arizona found that in office spaces, carpets are around 4,000 times dirtier than toilets.[2] To maintain a sterile work environment, office designers should opt for an engineered lacquered hardwood flooring. Easily cleanable, the glossy coating of a lacquered finished wood helps prevent a build-up of bacteria in the floor. The additional benefit of a lacquered finished wood floor is that it is renowned for its durability and can withstand the daily wear and tear of office life. Unlike cheaper easy to clean alternatives such as laminate, engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished time and time again, making it a far more cost-effective option in the long run. We provide a range of lacquered finished engineered hardwood flooring, such as Light Timia Oak which is both durable and easily maintainable. Functionality and minimalism As flexi-working and hotdesking start to rise in popularity, offices will need to evolve to cater to these new ways of working. Less private cubicles and more collaborative spaces will ultimately mean that minimalism will become a top priority. Therefore, trends such as ‘Japandi’, which combines the minimalism of Japanese design with the functionality of Scandinavian décor, will soon be reflected in the new world office interior. Characterised by bright, open and comfortable spaces, ‘Japandi’ makes functionality a priority over intricate décor. Flooring plays an essential role in achieving this minimalist aesthetic. A muted, natural-toned wood, such as Chiswick Oak, will help to achieve a light and spacious look in an office. Eco-friendly design As we look forward to life post-COVID, many people are hoping to rebuild a greener and more sustainable society. This priority will inevitably be reflected in interior design trends. When selecting flooring for the new world office, interior designers and architects must consider the environmental impact of the products they choose. As an incredibly hard-wearing wood, oak is one of the most sustainable flooring options. With UK forest management and protection programs regularly replanting oak trees in woodland areas, it has one of the smallest carbon footprints of all woods and releases fewer toxic emissions during the manufacturing process than other options. We produce a large majority of our flooring accessories at our own mill in Chirk, North Wales, which massively cuts transport emissions. With a host of environmental and sustainable accreditations under our belt, we are the top choice for the eco-conscious customer.   No matter what your office requirements are, we have a wide variety of finishes and styles to fulfil your needs. To view our full collection, visit: https://akirby.co.uk/shop.   [1] https://www.iod.com/news/news/articles/Home-working-here-to-stay-new-IoD-figures-suggest [2] https://publichealth.arizona.edu/directory/charles-gerba

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
BBC News Feature: Brexit Challenges for Welsh Manufacturers

Last week, we were invited by BBC News Wales to discuss how Brexit has affected our trade with Ireland. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Atkinson & Kirby spoke on the issue. While we are currently still trading with Northern and Southern Ireland, the uncertainties surrounding documentation for products like timber is causing significant shipping delays. To rectify this issue, we would like to see more of an alignment between the UK and Ireland on which documentation is required.  We took steps to prepare for the UK leaving the EU customs union and single market at the end of last year but have still faced significant disruption to our business. To overcome the challenges, Atkinson & Kirby is working closely with freight partners, as well as our customers to work out the best way to supply stores and home-delivery depots. However, these challenges are adding extra pressure on top of the demands the company is facing because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Atkinson & Kirby, said: “Last year, much of the focus for our business had shifted to dealing with the demands of the pandemic. For many months, all talk of Brexit had disappeared while businesses grappled with the Covid-19 crisis. But now the disruptions we face are twofold, with Brexit and coronavirus having an impact. The pressure on our supply chain teams has been significant and continues to be a challenge.” Josh continues: “We keep up-to-date with Government advice and have attended multiple webinars providing guidance on Brexit. But a lot of this advice has been generic and has often left us searching for answers on certain aspects of post-Brexit trade. Ultimately, despite this guidance, there has been mass confusion post-Brexit, and more needs to be done to help businesses like ours.” Read the full article from the BBC here: https://hubs.li/H0HgQvx0. Watch the interview on iPlayer. You can also listen to Josh Burbidge discussing the matter further on BBC Radio Wales at 25:30 here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sk94.

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
How To Get Bridgerton Inspired Flooring At Home

As the nation sits through another lockdown, many homeowners are taking time to reconsider their interior design choices and with little else to draw inspiration from, people are looking to their favourite TV shows to create their next interior aesthetic.   With viewing figures projected to reach upwards of 63 million households within just 28 days of its release date,* it’s fair to say that Netflix’s latest hit period drama, Bridgerton, has taken the world by storm. It is, therefore, no surprise that we’ve witnessed a surge in the number of customers requesting a ‘Bridgerton’ style flooring for their homes.  What is ‘Regal Revival?’ The pastel wall panelling and exotic parquet flooring that gave the Bridgerton manor houses their oh-so regal aesthetic are now becoming popularised as part of a trend we have dubbed the ‘Regal Revival’. Drawing inspiration from the Regency era, the ‘Regal Revival’ trend offers a contemporary twist to the Neo-Classical grandeur of period interiors. This modernised Bridgerton aesthetic is characterised by deep-toned parquet floors, abstract paintings and square panelling, finished with gold accents. Read on to find out which flooring you should choose to transform your home into the Bridgerton Manor... Parquet Flooring First popularised in 17th century France by Louis XIV, parquet flooring was a common feature in regal homes until in 20th century. Considered a symbol of luxury and opulence in the Regency period, it is no surprise to see parquet flooring featured heavily within the Bridgerton palaces and manors. To achieve this regal look today, opt for a deep-toned parquet flooring such as Eltham Walnut or Harlesden Smoked Oak. The parquet blocks can be laid in a range of patterns to match the overall style of the house, while the deep walnut tones create a classic timeless look.   Smoked Wood Flooring Smoked wood floors also feature heavily on the set of Bridgerton. The darkened wood contrasts with the light pastel walls and help to draw attention to the intricate neoclassical wall detailing. Choosing a smoked wooden flooring, such as Greenwich Smoked Oak or Sheraton Smoked Oak, is a great way to achieve a regal interior in the 21st century. The process of smoking the wood creates a distressed aesthetic which provides a beautiful rustic charm, while the engineered hardwood makes the flooring suitable for contemporary homes as it supports underfloor heating.   To see our full collection, visit:  https://akirby.co.uk/shop  

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
Top 2021 Décor and Flooring Design Trends

Needless to say, we will all be keen to see the back of 2020 and find out what 2021 has in store for us. After spending the majority of this year at home, most of us have had plenty of time to reconsider our interior design choices. With this in mind, we’ve predicted which décor and flooring designs will take off in 2021... Japandi Characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality, ‘Japandi’ is the harmonious blend of Scandinavian and Japanese design. As we move into 2021, there appears to be a growing interest in sustainability. Studies have shown that as a result of the pandemic, over a third of consumers are now more environmentally conscious in their purchasing habits.* As a result of this, we are now observing a notable shift in people’s interior design choices, with more and more opting to focus on nature and the natural world. ‘Japandi’ helps to connect living spaces with nature by ‘bringing the outside in’ with an array of plants, greenery and sustainably sourced materials. The trend transforms the home into a tranquil space as it focuses on colours and textures that surround us in nature, such as linens, terracotta and greenery. A rich smoked oak flooring, such as Ness Smoked Oak, is a great choice to compliment this earthy palette. Or alternatively, to achieve the light and spacious minimalist look, choose a muted natural toned floor, such as Chiswick Oak. Rustic Vogue A sophisticated take on the hugely popular ‘Cottagecore’ aesthetic of 2020, ‘Rustic Vogue’ is the perfect blend of the traditional farmhouse with the modern comforts of city living. As we move into 2021, we are seeing a shift from city to rural, as the home becomes a calm and serene haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life. ‘Rustic Vogue’ can be characterised by raw woods, soft textiles and limewash colours, with hints of sleek design and modernist touches. This trend encourages natural elements and celebrates the beauty of imperfections, such as exposed wooden beams, tumbled linens and woven textures. Flooring with exposed knots, such as Wyvis Smoked Oak, will help to create the illusion of raw wood. Or alternatively, for a more rustic and weathered aesthetic, a white-washed wood such as Mayar Oak should be selected. Regal Revival Drawing inspiration from the ‘Arts and Crafts’ movement of the 19th century, ‘Regal Revival’ is a sophisticated fusion of Gothic grandeur and contemporary minimalism. Born as a response to industrialisation and mass machine-produced items, the ‘Arts and Crafts’ movement celebrates simple and honest craftsmanship. Moving into 2021, our ever-growing reliance on digital technology has meant that people seek to find solace in handcrafted products within the home. Characterised by deep tones, wall panelling and parquet flooring, ‘Regal Revival’ transforms the home into a place of self-expression and traditional charm. Deep-toned parquet flooring, such as Sloane Smoked Oak, will help to complete the ‘Regal Revival aesthetic, as the rich deep coffee tones add luxury and style. The parquet blocks can be laid in a range of patterns to suit your individual style, helping you to personally connect with the flooring in your home. Vivid Zonal Distinctive and bold, ‘Vivid Zonal’ is an energetic and optimistic style that breathes new life into minimalist interiors. Brightening up the home using colours to create areas for work or relaxation, this post-modernist inspired trend is for those unafraid to experiment with unorthodox materials and features. Characterised by sleek, non-decorative mouldings, colour blocking and DIY furniture, ‘Vivid Zonal’ is playful yet sophisticated and considered. The trend focuses on muted flooring and furniture combined with bold paint choices and colourful décor, and so to achieve this look, you should opt for a flooring with minimal colour. Manoa Oak has a delicate grain that seeps through the chalky finish, creating a distinctive style which can help draw emphasis to the vivid colourways of trend. To view our full collection, visit: https://akirby.co.uk/shop.    *https://www.liveareacx.com/blog/pfs-livearea-research-consumerism-conscious-commerce/

READ ARTICLE arrow-right
How the Pandemic Changed Our Interior Design Priorities

With the majority of us spending more time at home, the UK has seen an increase in people looking to give their home a makeover and create useable, multi-purpose spaces. Whether it’s designing a dining room come playroom come office space, or getting that Zoom background just right, our interior design needs have changed dramatically this year. Read on to get the lowdown on how the pandemic has changed British interior design priorities in 2020... The rise in ‘grounding’ design trends It’s not just the physical design requirements that seem to have changed as a result of the pandemic; our need for more natural and grounding materials is growing in popularity as we become more environmentally conscious. This compliments several trends we see at the moment, including ‘Biophilia’ which focuses on a ‘human-centred’ approach to living and prioritises wellbeing, down-time, and natural materials.  ‘Cottagecore’ is another trend that has grown in demand this year. The aesthetic celebrates the joy of a simple, self-sufficient, rural life, with a return to traditional skills and crafts. It taps into a desire to be at one with nature, and to live in a world outside of the one currently inhabited, with eco-friendly elements that reflect our need for calm.  The eco-conscious consumer With these trends in mind, many of us are also taking more care to find out the provenance of where products are sourced from, as well as their environmental impact. When it comes to flooring there has often been the misunderstanding that wood is not a particularly ‘green’ however, hardwood flooring can be sustainable and much kinder to the environment than first thought.  One of the most sustainable woods is oak. With UK forest management and protection programs regularly replanting oak trees in woodland areas, it has one of the smallest carbon footprints of all woods and releases fewer toxic emissions during the manufacturing process than other options.  The FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) makes it easy for you to ensure you are purchasing from an environmentally conscious company and that their products are sustainable. The FSC® sets the strongest available standard for new wood globally, guaranteeing that timber has been sourced ethically from well-managed forests.  Buying British With the pandemic having an impact on many local, family businesses, there is also new drive to support and appreciate British manufacturers. Manufacturing is an integral industry,  in 2019 – 2020 the sector’s annual output accounted for £192bn to the UK’s economy, demonstrating how vital manufacturing is in supporting Britain’s financial recovery.* We are committed to constructing all of our products sustainably. By producing a selection of solid wood floors and flooring accessories at our own mill in Chirk, North Wales, we are cutting the emissions that are caused from transporting goods from mills to warehouses to consumers. We are also extremely proud of our ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems certification, which demonstrates that we strive to minimise our environmental impact as a business.  View our full range here Source* https://www.theengineer.co.uk/manufacturing-lead-post-coronavirus-britains-recovery/

READ ARTICLE arrow-right

Floors that define your space

At Atkinson & Kirby, we understand the need for an intelligently selected range of wood flooring styles, providing you with a variety of options to suit every project.

about us

Search our product catalogue