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Bostik unveils winner of Hardwood Flooring Design Contest

Bostik_Wood_Competition_Winning_Design_2Wauwatosa, Wis.—Bostik has named Jennifer Sheets, interior designer at Studio R Interiors based in Colorado, the winner of its Signature Spaces design competition: The Art of Hardwood Flooring Design Contest.

Sheets’ winning design will be installed this month in a new steakhouse within Las Vegas’ new Park MGM Resort, currently under development by MGM Resorts International and Sydell Group. Additionally, she will receive a trip for two to Paris, France, courtesy of Bostik.

“My concept for the Bostik’s Signature Spaces Contest was inspired by the Art Noir movement; interlocking geometric shapes and stylized symmetry which was specified in the contest guidelines as a prerequisite of the project,” Sheets explained. “The pattern depicts an array of interchanging shapes that harmoniously fit within a symmetrical medallion. I created my ‘Array’ design to complement, as well as enhance, the herringbone featured floors throughout the main restaurant space.”

For the competition, Bostik partnered with the National Wood Flooring Association, MGM Resorts International, Oshkosh Designs and Eagle Bay Hardwood Flooring.
Oshkosh Designs, Wisconsin-based firm which crafts exquisite hardwood medallions, wood floor borders and designer parquet flooring, completed transforming Sheet’s winning design into a “ready-for-installation reality.” Eagle Bay Hardwood Flooring was selected to provide wood flooring material for the remainder of the restaurant to complement the lobby work of Oshkosh Designs.

The entire restaurant’s flooring will be installed with Bostik materials, including Ultra-Set SingleStep2, premium high-performance adhesive, moisture control and sound reduction membrane. MasterCraft Floors, the commercial flooring installation firm, known for delivering complex and visually stimulating projects throughout Las Vegas, will be in charge of the restaurant’s floor installation.

 

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NeoCon 2017: Exhibitors report uptick in attendee quantity, quality

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.34.43 PMChicago—NeoCon 2017 played to rave reviews last month, with just about every flooring supplier extolling the virtues of a show that saw increased traffic from 2016, matched only by the quality of those visiting their spaces. Their sentiments were confirmed by show management which reported an uptick of 7% in attendance shortly after the close of the event.

“Our take is that NeoCon is busier this year,” said Michel Vermette, president, The Mohawk Group, whose third floor space was bustling from start to finish over the first two days. “This year there are more end users. Major players. A lot of tech companies and financials—major groups that have big projects,” and it all has to do with the economy. “There are substantial projects out there. I think everyone wants to take advantage of these better economic times to catch up on some things they may have left behind for some time.”

Ralph Grogan, president and CEO of Bentley Mills, which showed product in its 10th floor space as well as its Kinzie Street showroom located within steps of the Merchandise Mart, went so far as to say this was the “best show ever for us.” Or at least since Grogan took the helm four years ago. “The traffic has been great. It seems like we’ve seen more people than we have had in years past. We definitely have seen more end users come by who are working on big RFPs.”

Even exhibitors on the 7th floor, which houses the temporary space, were pleased. Milton Goodwin, vice president of commercial sales for Karndean, agreed the show was busier than last year. “We looked at leads generated over the first two days, and they were significantly more than last year. That’s how we initially gauge it, and down the road how much business we got.” He added that Karndean saw a blend of attendees. “You have people coming with projects as well as some tire kickers. We love the ones who are doing the immediate-gratification jobs.”

What bodes well for the contract side of the flooring business is the fact that projects are coming from all segments. “Corporate was a bit soft last year but seems to have rebounded a good bit this year,” said David Jolly, CEO, J+J Flooring Group. “We are still very strong with our Kinetex product as well as carpet in both education and healthcare. Those are the three segments we focus on and this year they all seem to be pretty robust. It’s especially nice to have more interest and energy in corporate because that is 50% of what we do.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.24 PMBentley’s Grogan also welcomes the corporate rebound, which he attributes to greater profits. “We are bigger into the corporate market vs. some others. We have always thought corporate profits are the biggest indicator as far as how people are spending money. Most companies over the last two quarters have been doing really well. Stock prices are up for a lot of companies. So we are seeing people spend money. Millennials want good workstations, so people are investing in that.”

Russ Rogg, president of Metroflor—which markets its Aspecta brand to this audience—told FCNews every commercial segment in which the company plays has been positive. “Certainly retail has been a big part of our success. Healthcare and hospitality are growing very fast, maybe a little less on the corporate and education sides.”

Mohawk’s Vermette has seen strong demand in corporate and hospitality thus far in 2017. “But education this summer should be strong with the extra bond money in Texas and California, among others. We are very optimistic.”

What specifiers want

Designers come to NeoCon seeking, well, good design. Of course, service and price are also key components. But the good news is price, while still important, is less of a driver than it was coming out of the economic downturn. But there are other hot buttons for this audience on which manufacturers must deliver.

“You are seeing more projects with multiple SKUs on it,” Vermette said. “You see some custom projects, but less and less. You see more designers using multiple components to create a custom layout or custom office space or hospitality area, so they are very creative with your running-line pieces.”

He added that it’s not just carpet anymore; rather, it’s a hard/soft combo. “We make sure we can meet that requirement across the board. That gives us an edge over some of the carpet-only mills. It’s something we have been doing for over four years now, where our carpet tile matches up to our resilient tile. You don’t need a transition of any type. We make sure we have some products that color coordinate and also complement each other in size. We also make sure the life cycle of our products match up. If we decide to do something with a particular carpet tile or resilient tile, we still make sure there’s a coordinate that replaces it with a fresher, newer look.” As for price, Vermette said you always have to be relevant, “but it’s definitely not the concern it was during the downturn.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.09 PMRandy Merritt, president of Shaw Industries, noted that designers want product, service, innovation and, yes, price. “Is price the most important thing? Probably not. But everybody has a budget. There are a lot of projects where the design firm specifies one thing and when it is time to start doing the project they talk about value engineering. That’s the big term. That means lower price for a cheaper product.”

Jolly believes the big focus at NeoCon is always design. “That’s where it always starts, but every designer will tell you his or her project budgets matter. So I’ll still argue it’s design, but it’s design with value. It doesn’t just mean low-end pricing. Also, knowing what will enhance their customer’s brand or work experience.”

Karndean’s Goodwin is finding visitors want testimonials, like where a particular product is being used and whether they have peers using it as well. As for cost, “In this arena, price is important, but they are usually talking in terms of a general price. For the audience here, it is predominantly design that is the driver.”

Positive pulse

Ask any executive about business in the first half of the year, and most will agree it has been good, not great. J+J’s Jolly called the first six months of the year “very good” driven by product design. “We introduced 36 products last year, which is a lot for us. We really worked hard on corporate and education and it’s paying off for us this year. Those segments are still very strong.”

At Shaw Contract, Merritt was a little less bullish. “Healthcare has been pretty good still. Hospitality has been pretty good. Retail is a battle, and corporate is OK, not great.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.16 PMKarndean’s business is up in every commercial category, according to Goodwin, but multi-family is what’s really driving the success. “Healthcare is also a great category; there is lots of upheaval in that marketplace. And with education, colleges just let out and have a three-month window to get the business done.”

The numbers also bode well for Metroflor, but Rogg cautioned that Aspecta is a relatively new brand so posting high-percentage gains is easier at this stage. “We created this Aspecta brand to go specifically after contract opportunities only four years ago. So when a brand and a collection is this new for a manufacturer, incrementally our percentage of increase year over year is pretty nice. The first quarter was good, April and May a little slower, but we have seen orders in late May and June pick up.” He cited Iscocore as driving the lion’s share of the brand’s growth.

Meanwhile, over at Bentley, the company is enjoying a good first half but still is trying to overcome the perception the company is strictly high-end, expensive broadloom. “We completely reinvented the company the last four years, but we still need to educate our customers that we can compete with anybody in terms of styling, product pricing and just making sure people are aware we are big players in the carpet tile market,” Grogan explained. “We have doubled our carpet tile business in the last three years. We are doing a $2.5 million expansion to double the capacity on our tile line. We need to educate our customers on what Bentley has to offer.”

 

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Rising star looks to make her mark in flooring arena

May 8/15, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 24

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 3.03.43 PMRenowned designer Khristian A. Howell is getting into the flooring business. Howell, a color and pattern expert who has been featured in Elle Decor, Real Simple and HGTV magazine,” is in the process of choosing a complementary partner to launch an area rug collection that fuses her eclectic range of styles into bold designs for product and spaces.

She classifies her personal style as modern and clean with a feminine edge under the moniker Fearlessly Chic Living. “The fearless piece is having the courage to forget about trend and be unapologetically you. My philosophy is no one has to live in the space except you, so it should be filled entirely with things you love.”

Howell loves the interplay between hard and soft, light and dark, and feminine and masculine, to create depth and interest in her designs. It is the mastery of this push-plus-pull that creates ease and balance in the work. She aims to deliver color-focused, modern work with a touch of romance and edge.

“I love big, bold color as much as I love clean gallery white,” she explained. “I love a hard-lined caramel leather chair as much as I love a pretty patterned throw pillow. In fact, the more all of these things are mixed up in the right balance, the better. My philosophy is—as with all things in life—it really is all about balance.”

While many designers have come and gone in the flooring industry, Howell’s background positions her for success. “Working in house in product development has given me an important edge that many artists lack,” she said. “I know the product must be beautiful and sellable. I understand how to create work that is both aspirational and accessible. My edge is leading with my gift of instinct. I know which trends will soar and which ones will flop. I keep my pulse on the real consumer, and very carefully and gently push her creative comfort zone. This keeps the work exciting but still digestible and very marketable.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 3.03.48 PMHowell knows what she wants in a manufacturer partner, particularly one that shares her vision. For example, she said the perfect partner will be willing to experiment and challenge, but not alienate the consumer. “That company will have interest in innovation in design, concept and color, and marketing is very important to me as well. The perfect partner will have an empathetic world view and want to create interesting product that makes people feel something.”

Prosperous path
Howell’s design career began as a colorist on the product development team at Nordstrom. She very quickly transitioned to a textile designer while maintaining her role as a colorist. “I worked on every piece of development—and creating color palettes, print and pattern development, working with a wide range of embellishments, and communicating with factories in Hong Kong and India.

Howell left in the summer of 2008 to start her business. A 2011 spread in Better Homes and Gardens led to a contributing editor role. She left in 2015 and since then has continued to be pulled into interiors space. She has appeared with Nate Berkus as a judge on his “American Dream Builders” TV show, on “The Today Show” and HLN as a style expert, as well as other media outlets in Atlanta and Chicago. “I complete a handful of interior styling and color consulting projects a year and see this growing in the future.”

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IIDA awards Mac Stopa the 2017 Titan Award

iida-logoChicago—The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has awarded architect Mac Stopa the 2017 IIDA Titan Award. The Titan Award recognizes significant contributions to the Interior Design profession by an individual, company or organization in the field. Stopa will be presented with the honor and celebrated at the IIDA Annual Meeting on June 11, 2017, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

“Mac’s work spans architecture, interior design, industrial design, art and fashion, allowing his multi-disciplinary sensibility to both inspire the industry and deeply influence how spaces are experienced,” said Cheryl Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “With a passion for mathematics, he is leading the way for flexible design that is customized and adaptable to the environment and the end user. We are so pleased to honor Mac Stopa as the recipient of this year’s IIDA Titan Award.”

Stopa is the founder of Massive Design, an award-winning architectural design firm specializing in corporate interiors for Fortune and Global 500 companies, designing public spaces, architecture and industrial design. His clients include Google, Samsung, BMW, MasterCard, Credit Suisse, Viacom and Bacardi-Martini, and he has designed products for Mohawk Group, Cappelini, Laminam, DuPont and Milliken.

Mac’s designs emanate from his fascination with parametrically driven design, organic geometry, modularity, sculptural shapes and digital art, which compels him to create modular objects for serial production that introduce innovation to the market and allow the user to interact with and adapt the objects to the required functionality or character of a space. Since 2013, Stopa’s designs have received over 40 international design awards, including multiple Red Dot Design awards, Good Design awards, Interior Design’s Best of Year awards, a Best of NeoCon Gold award, and an Iconic award: Interior Innovation, among others.

 

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David Mourning earns IIDA Star Award

iida-logoChicago—The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has awarded David B. Mourning, FIIDA, AIA, renowned architect and founder of IA Interior Architects, the 2017 IIDA Star Award. This prestigious award is given to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the design industry. The 2017 Star Award will be presented at the IIDA Annual Meeting on June 11, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

“David’s insight and guidance has solidified IA’s position as a global leader in visionary workplace design and shaped the practice of commercial interior design,” said Cheryl S. Durst, IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. “David’s expertise in management, marketing and design has propelled IA’s rapid growth to 19 offices in the U.S., London and Asia in addition to an alliance with firms worldwide. We are so pleased to honor and celebrate David Mourning as this year’s Star Award recipient.”

An architect and interior designer for more than 30 years, Mourning worked for several architectural and engineering firms before joining Environmental Planning and Research (EPR). It was during his seven years at EPR that he developed a love for the interior design practice along with the national contacts that enabled him to found IA Interior Architects in 1984. Under his direction, IA has become the world’s largest employee-owned architecture firm dedicated exclusively to workplace design, and he is among the industry pioneers credited with creating a blueprint for the modern interior design firm.

Mourning holds an NCARB certificate and is licensed to practice architecture in 27 states. He is a member of CoreNet Global, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and has served as a commissioner on the California State Board of Architectural Examiners. In 2015, Mourning was honored by Contract magazine with its 13th annual Legend Award.

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NeoCon to host impactful, insightful 2017 educational program

NeoConChicago—Known for being the benchmark event on the commercial interiors industry calendar, NeoCon will draw more than 50,000 design professionals to The Mart in Chicago, June 12-14. Connecting key players under one roof for three productive days, NeoCon is a powerful source of innovation—a launchpad not only for new products but for creative thinking and new ideas. NeoCon 2017’s diverse educational program brings forth themes, ideas and issues, which influence the next big movements and shape the built environments of tomorrow.

Presented by thought leaders from a range of disciplines, topics include “branding in hospitality design,” “the role of serendipity in the workplace,” and “empathy and design.” New for 2017, NeoCon is debuting “Icons @ NeoCon,” a special series of seminars headlined by four seasoned design and business experts: Lauren Rottet, founding principal and president of Rottet Studio; Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of IIDA; Carol Ross Barney, founder and president of Ross Barney Architects; and Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871.

“This year’s educational program includes nearly 100 CEU accredited sessions, and explores what’s next in healthcare, hospitality, government, education, retail, the workplace and beyond,” said Monica DeBartolo, director of programming at NeoCon shows. “The diverse offering will engage professionals from a wide range of fields and allow them to earn CEU credits across many different tracks. Beyond accreditation, we pride ourselves on offering programming that has broader applications. The 2017 program will deliver on the dynamic and multifaceted educational experience which attendees to NeoCon have come to expect.”

The NeoCon 2017’s complimentary online registration is open at www.neocon.com. CEU seminar details and registration will go live on March 10.

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Metroflor’s Aspecta Piermont LVT collection wins award

aspectaNorwalk, Conn.–Metroflor Corp.’s Aspecta Piermont collection has been named winner in Interior Design magazine’s Best of Year Awards 2015 in the flooring-hard category.

“We are so thrilled that Interior Design and the A&D community have recognized Aspecta LVT’s strength in the hard surfacing category, from both a performance and design perspective,” said Robert Langstaff, Metroflor’s director of design.

The awards ceremony was held Dec. 3 in New York City.

 

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Milliken wins two Best of Year Awards for 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 10.19.59 AMSpartanburg, S.C.—Milliken was honored with two Best of Year Awards for 2014 presented by Interior Design magazine. The Altered Form collection was named Best of Year for the Carpet/Broadloom category. Inis Mór, a modular carpet collection, won for New Low Environmental Impact Solution—a new category for the Best of Year Awards celebrating sustainable design.

Inis Mór, a carbon-neutral floor covering, draws upon the influence of a traditional looped stitch. The collection, which contributes to green building certifications, was constructed with various sustainable attributes taken into consideration.

“At Milliken, we believe that good design, sustainable products and environmentally responsible manufacturing are imperative to architecture and design—and it matters to our clients, partners and industry as a whole,” said Stacy Walker, global director of customer experience for the Milliken floor covering division.

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Dover Rug & Home welcomes interior designer

Alyska Farnsworth

Dover Rug & Home is pleased to announce Alyska Farnsworth as an interior designer and colorist for the company. The addition of Farnsworth enhances Dover’s commitment to providing customers with a full range of home design services.

Farnsworth brings more than 20 years of experience in residential interior design to Dover. Educated extensively both in the United States and France, Farnsworth has a natural design talent, sharing her passion for home, interior design, and the art of living with her clients. Possessing an ability to balance aesthetics with the practical, she incorporates luxurious décor with down-to-earth style. Continue reading Dover Rug & Home welcomes interior designer

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Interior designers help determine best home furnishings

Pearl River, N.Y. – You know it when you find it.  When designing a room there are nearly hundreds of elements to consider, causing many of us to go through several “wrongs” before finding the room’s “right” items.  Fortunately, there’s a method to the madness.  Interior designers know that high-quality items make all the difference in creating a fashionable and highly functional room and they have learned how to sift through the flawed to find the worthwhile picks.  Here, Ames Ingham of Los Angeles, Brian Snow of SemelSnow Interior Design in Chicago, Mona Ross Berman of Philadelphia and New York City’s Scott Salvator divulge what they look for in furniture, rugs, window treatments and bedding to determine if they’re quality, so you can too.  Continue reading Interior designers help determine best home furnishings