This past weekend I was up in Charlottesville, VA to do a little sight-seeing and to get away from my broken AC (our house was over 90 degrees!). I have never been there before, but found it to be a very charming town. Besides being the home of the University of Virginia and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s home, which was beautiful by the way), it also has a very nice, historic downtown area. After dinner at a lovely steakhouse, we wandered down the street to meet up with friends for drinks. We went to a restaurant called "Ten". Besides serving delicious beverages and modern Japanese cuisine, they also had a very cool atmosphere.
By working at Lumber Liquidators, I notice flooring everywhere I go. I notice hardwood, distressed boards, handscraped, laminate, tile, marble, just about everything that comes under my feet. This place was no exception. They had cork flooring and it was one of the first things that I noticed. I probably looked silly as I was being led to our table, I couldn’t help but admire the floor. It took me a few minutes to look around at the rest of the atmosphere. The dining room at Ten was designed by Formwork of Charlottesville and I think they did a great job (if you click the link, you can take a look at what Ten looks like). The flooring went seamlessly from one side of the dining room to the other. The reason I found this interesting is because one half of the dining area is very dark, emulating the night. The other side, a very light, cloud-like atmosphere, also had the cork and it looked great in both settings. It was definitely very versatile. I am not positive what type of cork they used, but it looked very similar to our Van Gogh Cork by Lisbon Cork.
As I commented about the floor to the friends we were with, we started to discuss how it was probably also insulating from noise. Unknown to me, there was a club downstairs (you have to climb an indoor staircase to get up to Ten). You couldn’t hear a noise from below. While the cork may have not been the only contributing factor, however, cork does have noise reduction qualities. I could definitely tell this because while there were many people at the restaurant when we arrived, you could barely hear any of the conversations going on around us. Although the restaurant was very modern, it also had a very cozy feeling. I was surprised at this since most modern designs feel very sterile to me. I definitely think the natural cork floor helped in the comfort factor.
I definitely think the cork gave Ten a very warm feeling and I give a lot of credit to Formwork. The fact that the floor worked so well in two very different design schemes and helped make the restaurant feel comfortable (without having to yell over other conversations) really capped off a great weekend.