Spring may have officially sprung on March 20, but the end of the winter sports season (read: no more wet kids/dogs/spouses dragging dripping gear through the house) is what marks spring cleaning time in Colorado. With just a handful of ski resorts still hanging on, and temps in the 70s, we're turning our eyes to what around home needs some TLC—starting from the ground up. Salt clumps embedded in the entry mat; a red wine stain by the fireplace (courtesy of a holiday party); a corner of the kitchen runner Fido decided to chew on one day; a bedroom rug we're just sick of looking at...
Our carpets are a mess. But the choices of either scrubbing on our hands and knees or replacing the expensive pieces entirely are uninspiring. Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to just pick up and swap out the damaged sections themselves?
This thought was what led us to Flor  in Cherry Creek, one of 21 showrooms nationwide (the first opened in Chicago in 2009; before Flor's Denver store opened in October 2012, they sold through partners such as Mod Livin' ). In lieu of clunky, traditional carpet rolls, Flor offers 50-centimeter squares (19.7 inches by 19.7 inches), most of which are made of 100 percent recycled nylon. The modular floor coverings eliminate the need for padding and tacks. Instead, they're held together by sticky Flor "dots" and grip hard floors with surprising suction power (ask for an in-store demo), which makes them as easy to vacuum as a normal rug.
The squares come in more than 75 styles of varying thicknesses and patterns, each with a variety of color options. You can order as many or as few as you need for the space you need to cover (including wall-to-wall installations). But, as we discovered while chatting with store manager Ryan Batch, that's just the beginning of the customization options at Flor. "We really invite the customer to be part of the design process," Batch says. Bring in photos, measurements, color swatches, or just half-baked ideas, and the staff—many of whom have a history in the design industry—will work with you to create a unique piece and send you home with easy DIY installation instructions and a customized printout for your dimensions. By mixing patterns and colors, turning tiles in contrasting alignments, and cutting the squares into smaller puzzle pieces (Flor will halve them straight or on the diagonal, or chop them into thirds), the resulting combinations are virtually endless, and you can switch your configurations around on a whim. Click through the photos above for some inspiration, or visit the store to flip through binders of ideas and watch slideshows of installations on the showroom's giant flatscreen TV.
The best part? At about $10–$30 apiece (making a six-by-eight-foot rug anywhere from $200–$600), the squares are not only an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional carpeting or pricey area rugs; they're also extremely affordable. And when your spill-prone friend strikes again, you can simply take the damaged section to the sink to clean—or bring it to the Flor store for recycling and purchase a replacement.
—Photos courtesy of Flor