Luxury wood flooring is a big design decision, so you’ll need an expert on your side.
Wood flooring adds warmth, comfort and character to a home, a touch of contemporary chic or traditional grandeur. Its versatility means that it not only elevates the look and feel of a room (and potentially the value of a property), but it can also be a challenge to find just the right option from the hundreds of woods, styles and finishes available for your space. That’s why it’s always helpful to have an expert to hand to guide you on that particular journey.
We chose AH Peck as that expert for this article because they have been a fixture on Lower Richmond Road, Putney, for over 60 years as one of London’s finest wood flooring specialists and they have a heritage that is steeped in quality and craftsmanship. So, in other words, when it comes to all things woody underfoot, they know what they’re talking about.
The wood flooring conundrum
When Albert Peck launched a business supplying timber to the building trade in 1959 he could not possibly have dreamed of the renaissance his company, and the flooring sector itself, would go through over the decades that followed.
Today the world of high-end wood flooring can be a maze of confusion for the uninitiated. Will you choose oak, walnut or ash, mahogany, maple or cherry, to name just a few of the most used options. Will you choose grey tones, brown tones or darker, contemporary or traditional, will it be solid wood or engineered? Maybe you’ll want to use reclaimed wood instead. What finish will you choose – brushed and oiled, lacquered or varnished – and what about the style – planks (but what width), herringbone, parquet or chevron. And then there are all the bespoke options, limited only by your imagination (or that of your interior designer).
Moreover there’s the question of sustainability, where the wood comes from and what efforts suppliers make to respect the forests they tend and harvest from and how they give back to the environment.
Essentially it’s a minefield. So we asked AH Peck how they might go about helping us to help you.
One Thursday in late August the champagne flowed and platters of delicious canapes were daintily devoured at the opening of the new AH Peck showroom and the launch of their new wood flooring collection.
When I say ‘new’ showroom I don’t mean that they have moved, AH Peck have been located at 141 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, for over six decades. But what had once been an Aladdin’s cave of woods in plank and parquetry – which greeted each visitor with a waft of sweet-smelling oils as they entered and a mountain of choice that far exceeded the floor space available – has been transformed.
There is still all the choice there was before, because they only sell the finest wood flooring carefully curated from across Europe – as Corey Osman, MD of AH Peck and third generation owner of the business, put it to me: “if it’s not good enough for my home, it’s not good enough for our customers”. However, their newly reopened showroom has been designed meticulously around their desire to help simplify a customer’s journey to discovering the right choice of quality wood flooring for their home.
New expansive sample stations, coffee on tap (with a ginger snap if you’re really lucky), design stations where their team can sit with you to help find the ideal match for your home, and wood flooring samples as wall displays reminiscent of fine art studio exhibits. Everything is very snazzy.
No expense has been spared on lighting design as well to help customers feel more at home – over the sample station Orluna lighting has been installed because of the richness of natural light they simulate to help customers see the true beauty of each option available to them. In the display area, spectacular designer lighting adds a touch of starry extravagance and then the back-lit handrail leads you down the wooden staircase to the private display and client meeting area below.
It took seven months, a master builder, lighting specialists, structural engineers and many others to extend and transform this space into a stunning modern showroom and fully equipped workshop, as well as a perfectly practical space for flipping traditional retail on its head – instead of selling wood flooring for installation in your home, they start with your home and carefully select the precise flooring choice to suite your interior design aspirations.
Perfect for those who need a little professional support with such things, or for those who expect a more individual service when they’re choosing something so significant for their home.
Interior designer “wood menu”
AH Peck like to be distinctively unconventional, so they have also considered the other person in your flooring choice relationship – the interior designer. AH Peck’s shop on Lower Richmond Road has been a Mecca for interior designers for decades. We’ve spoken to a few who couldn’t explain why, but they told us that their hearts always took a little leap of joy as they peered through the window while they were in between client meetings.
With the launch of their new showroom and collection they have also created a whole new wood menu just for interior designers – a beautifully finished carry box with a multitude of slots for an interior designer to insert their own selection of AH Peck samples, something they can take away with them, use in their own offices, refer to in client meetings and ultimately make it easier for their clients to choose from.
These wood menu boxes have pride of place in the entrance area of the showroom so that any interior designer can pop in, discuss their client’s needs and take away a broad selection of sample options.
AH Peck’s new collection
We’ve referred to it once or twice already, but over and above one of the widest selections of carefully curated luxury wood flooring from across Europe (sustainably harvested by FSC certified suppliers) AH Peck have just debuted a brand-new collection, 45 varieties – in grades, styles and finishes – of beautiful Belgian wood flooring for use throughout the home.
They’re rather excited about it, so if you find yourself in Putney, do pop into 141 Lower Richmond Road to see what’s new, to experience for yourself just how transformational a really good wood floor could be for your home, to check out the seemingly limitless choice in luxury wood flooring, to sit with one of their designers to get your journey started… and possibly to have one of those ginger snaps with your coffee!
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