Designer: Randy Stafford
With a passion to evolve the industry, his designs will floor you.
Director of Chateauroux Ltd., a management holding company for Stafford Flooring, which operates flooring boutiques in Bermuda and Grand Cayman along with Common Ground Cafe in Bermuda, Randy was born in Charteauroux, France, brought up in the US and Bermuda and currently resides in the Cayman Islands.
RS: Opportunity. After completing a one year stint in the corporate world with the Irving Trust Bank in New York City, I saw an opportunity to develop a family wood flooring business and so returned to Bermuda. In Bermuda in the early years, flooring options were primarily tile and carpet, so when we ran an advertisement that showed a Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) floor in an office setting, it created quite a stir.
RL: What was the first thing you produced?
RS: Whilst not the first, probably the most memorable item we conceptualised, designed and produced was a new line of hardwood flooring for the Rosewood Tuckers Point Hotel in Bermuda. Two concepts were required: one that reflected the indigenous Bermuda cedar tree and the other to reflect a relaxed, yet elegant Caribbean style. The result was the creation of the beautiful Bermuda cypress and Cayman walnut engineered floors, which can withstand heavy foot traffic.
RL: Who was your first mentor?
RS: W.E.R. Joell. He was a true renaissance man who travelled the road walked by only a few. He was instrumental in me entering the flooring business and gave me the passion I have today, not only for floors, but for many of life’s experiences. He had a love for tennis, which I also have, and the National Tennis Stadium in Bermuda is named in his honour. He was instrumental in setting up the Rainbow Tennis Club in 1935 which welcomed players, no matter their status in life, and Stafford Flooring is proud today to be the lead sponsor of an annual tennis tournament held each year in his honour.
RL: How has your industry evolved?
RS: Many of today’s interior design decisions are colour motivated, with an eye toward durability with product life cycle taking more of a back seat. In many instances flooring is becoming as changeable as painting walls. The digital age has had a positive impact on the flooring world and with the popularity of HGTV, the consumer is being exposed to the many surfaces available in the market. The development of professional schools standardising the methods used in the floor business has also created more comprehensive and professional product offerings. In 1999 I gained professional recognition as the first Hardwood Flooring Inspector for the Caribbean and have carried out inspections in interesting places such as the Atlantis Hotel in The Bahamas and projects in St Kitts and St Lucia.
RL: What are you working on at present?
RS: Currently, we are designing and producing a luxury vinyl floor for a project where the developer requires a floor which if submerged in water would not require removing. This project is a 75 unit condominium on the shoreline and this new floor will, I believe, seriously challenge laminate floors because it will not move or be damaged by ingress of water, but still has a similar price point.
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