Life’s busy at the Merrell’s. With a full-on job and an active toddler, Lucy Merrell is a self-confessed serial decorator and interiors addict who loves nothing more than sharing ideas and projects with her Instagram community @at_the_merrells.

When it came to updating her kitchen diner, Lucy wanted this multi-purpose space to be practical as well as look great so she turned to Palio Express by Karndean to create the sense of flow the room desperately needed. Being the sort that loves to get stuck in, when she learnt how easy it is to install she decided to fit the floor herself.

Lucy's kitchen diner fitting image.jpg

Floor installed: Levanzo LLP150

Choosing a new floor

While Lucy loved the classic shaker kitchen units that she inherited with the house, the existing floor featured pine effect laminate in the dining area alongside beige tiles in the kitchen which visually divided the room and made it feel smaller and cluttered.

Lucy told us: “I spotted some beautiful makeovers on Instagram featuring Palio Express by Karndean so I decided to take a look. Having seen a number of decorators use an oversized herringbone floor I was keen to use this style in our kitchen diner to add interest and help the room look bigger. So, when I found out that the Palio LooseLay range not only offers gorgeously realistic wood designs but is also super easy to fit and can be laid in different patterns, I knew this was the answer.”

Lucy picked out four designs from the Palio LooseLay range and turned to her Instagram community for help selecting the best for her space, narrowing her choice down to either Tavolara, which has blonde tones, or Levanzo, a slightly darker design with clear grain markings. The poll was split almost 50:50 (which doesn’t surprise us as these are both popular designs). But in the end she decided on Levanzo as its classic warm oak effect balanced well with the kitchen units and their existing furniture.

Installation was so easy

Initially concerned that laying the floor herself would be too big a job, she was quickly reassured as Palio Express by Karndean is designed to be DIY friendly. There are detailed installation instructions available which explain the fitting process step by step and also a helpful video.

After laying plywood over the original floorboards, Lucy was able to fit the floor in just over a day. To install Palio LooseLay, each plank is cut to size with a utility knife and placed tight against the next plank or the edge of the room. The flooring has a friction grip backing so it grips the floor without adhesive, although a little tackifier is required at doorways and other openings.

What a difference a day makes

Lucy explained:“I love that this space now feels larger and has such a high-end finish. What’s more, the floor is so easy to keep clean. It has a hygienic waterproof surface that I can just wipe over with a mop, which is just as well with a messy toddler around.

“Our new floor has given the room plenty of character and looks completely different from alternative angles. I actually can’t believe I fitted this myself in such a surprisingly short time!”

Lucy’s weekend project goes to show that simply changing the floor can make an incredible difference to the feel of a room.