Herringbone floors may have been the first parquet pattern developed in Europe, perhaps because it simply involved turning the wood planks at an angle, and it also echoed zig-zag brickwork that had decorated churches and other buildings for centuries.

In fact, back when people had dirt floors in their home, some homemakers would scatter sand on the floor and then sweep it into decorative patterns, including a chevron pattern. So it makes sense that it would have quickly become a popular option once wood floors became de rigueur. One of the earliest extant instances of wood herringbone is in the Francois I Gallery Fontainebleau in France. The floor was installed in 1539, during Francois I's reign, and was designed and produced by Italian craftsmen whom Francois had hired away from Italy. This corroborates descriptions from the era that refer to parquet as an Italian technique. In French, the herringbone pattern is known as batons rompus, which literally translates to broken sticks, and supposedly comes from a specific drumbeat from military history. More recently, the phrase not only refers to the pattern but also to something disorganized, like an excited conversation. There's a rhythm to life there's a rhythm to art watch the rhythm of man turn into art. Live your life on a masterpiece. When the best just comes standard.

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