Desperately seeking… seagrass

18 February 2010
Ben Pentreath

Am I alone in thinking Desperately seeking Susan is one of the great films of the 1980s?  Look at Madonna, while she was still, well, charming:


For those, however, who are desperately seeking something of the previous decade (and what precisely is it, I am wondering, about the 70s that were just so… right?) well, here is something a little calmer for you. Seagrass squares.


When I was looking for the perfect floor to put down over my scrubbed boards on the landing at the Old Parsonage, my eye soon settled on seagrass squares – that archetypal flooring of the 1970s, essential of the habitat catalogue, and found underfoot in every quietly decaying country house in the land (for evidence, please turn to ‘The Englishwoman’s House’, by Alvilde Lees-Milne, 1984).

Not so easy to find any more! I searched high and low, and, beginning to get desperate, eventually found a source down in Dorset…

Look how quietly the light falls on that floor through the new oval window – a beautiful play of reflection and shadow. The comforting smell of home and, I suppose, effectively, of my childhood. Goodbye minimalist flooring of the 90s and naughties. Hello seagrass.

Panels are 3′-0″ x 6′-0″ or 4′-0″ x 8-0″, and you stitch together as you will. I feel rather sure that seagrass squares are due a revival. Who knew that nostalgia could be so simple, or look so good.

5 comments on this post


Please, Were is that Seagrass squares supplier in Dorset ? Détails Please. Thank you.
Best regards


Dear Mrs Lauthier, we are now selling the squares through the shop, link here. All best, Ben

… why do you say WAS charming ?
She IS still charming, that is my opinion that I am sharing with myself. (One charmed is enough…)
Eric K.

Alison Smithsays:

Would love to get hold of some – who is selling in Dorset? Have had some rather tired specimens in our hallway, which were chuck-outs from my parents’ kitchen. Originally intended as temporary measure pending build project to extend – they are now completely trashed and would like to replace them and use in new garden room too.

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