Design: Lay out your own floor show

Wherever you put your lino, it doesn't have to look dull.

DESIGN YOUR own lino. Forget about the boring patterns of the Fifties; draw something creative, then let designer-maker Devi Khakhria transform it into a floor that will refresh you - or make you giggle.

Pictured is Khakhria's studio floor in the Oxo Tower on the South Bank which she designed herself. Her passion is lively geometry; she can make the tips of ellipses loom through space as if they are in motion - a sort of Op-art effect.

But you can also show her your own designs. A cloudscape, perhaps, that will lighten chores in the kitchen. Or your school badge with a rude motto. Or a snakes and ladders board for playful kids and tipsy adults. So long as the design is not too fussy, Khakhria will interpret it in simple shapes and show you a coloured cut-paper collage. She then sends it to a linoleum manufacturer where it is fed into a computer and cut by a high-powered water jet.

When it arrives back at your home or office, the design looks like a jigsaw. It needs a craftsman to lay a roll of lino and then insert the bits into it using sharp hand-tools. (There is a limit to what computers will do). If your floor is uneven, you may need to have a latex screed laid beforehand.

Khakhria will steer you away from making ghastly mistakes that are difficult to live with. But if you really want to lay a Modigliani nude, invent your own coat of arms, or immortalise your budgie in lino, it's up to you.

She says: "You really don't want a floor that you can't escape from. It should keep refreshing you and not dominate you. You should feel affectionate towards it."

A commission of hers under discussion is a conservatory floor with the client's self- portrait embedded in it. The client, however, has said she is shy of immortality.

Colour is a very important element. Devi Khakhria's own studio floor features fantasy dinner plates that she designed after graduating from the Royal College of Art. There is a pleasing empathy between the bold blues and chestnut browns. Even good amateur draftsmen usually need her advice about colour co- ordination.

She has designed linoleum floors for the communal areas of offices as well as for homes - including a bathroom floor featuring aquatic micro- organisms such as the spirogyra that fascinated her during her O-level biology courses.

The lino Khakhria orders is, she says, "as tough as old boots": it will withstand lighted cigarettes - though not stiletto heels. It takes six to eight weeks from a project's initial design to completion. The lino, including cutting and fitting, costs pounds 125 plus VAT per square metre. Khakhria oversees all stages of the work: her fee is from pounds 500.

Devi Khakhria's studio is at Unit 208, Second Floor, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 (0181-948 1606)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
music The singer has died aged 70
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams looks concerned as Arya Stark
tv
Arts and Entertainment
photography Incredible images show London's skyline from its highest points
Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tv 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there