By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Manhattan_Collection_-_UATrend forecasters here (U.S.) and abroad seem to agree that extreme texture in interior design goods is quickly taking the lead as this year’s hottest trend.  Let me give you several examples of how mixing textures in various design styles is an effective way to add memorable interest and drama.

  • Combining earthiness with luxurious qualities equates to an appreciation for both rawness and refinement in our interiors.  Picture raw silk draperies trimmed in natural-edged burlap!  Unexpected combinations like this are shocking but beautiful.
  • Mixing rugged, dark materials with feminine, ethereal elements creates interest and visual tension.  This could be seen in many products at Surfaces 2015.  Wire brushed wood floor planks combined with smoother finished planks to produce that quiet interaction.  Carpets and rugs were embellished with crystals, stylized scrollwork or floral patterns, bringing performance and delicacy to one product.MOSAIC_RUG
  • Defining products for the new breed of urban citizens also lends itself to mixing textures and materials. Decadent materials combine to bring a new sophistication to design.  Urban design is simplified, adaptive, pared-down but still luxurious. It complements our high-tech lifestyle without being stark.  Rugs with a dual personality are one interpretation of this urban look.  Leather rugs plaited or woven with a contrasting material are a good example.
  • ‘Sanctuarial’ design is the last texture-based trend coming into play this year.  Environments that are conducive to well-being, relaxation, quiet comfort, all reflect Sanctuarial design.  We need an escape from information overload, threatening world events, and chaos-at-large.  This type of design incorporates low-contrast soothing colors, combined with texture upon texture.  Smooth cream-colored marble floors punctuated with shaggy off-white area rugs are a great example of layering textures successfully.

Need to know where to buy your hardwood flooring, or help from a local, hardwood flooring expert? Find your local, specialty hardwood flooring stores.

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A Healthy Hardwood Floor

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

I love to bring to your attention floors with a story.  While searching my way through the maze of exhibits at Surfaces (TISE) this year, I found a great story brought to life by UA Wood Floors.

They have a mission; a focus that pervades every plank of hardwood flooring they produce.  That mission is to provide a totally non-toxic floor that can be considered proactive in benefiting your health.  That’s quite a statement, so I wanted more information as to how they actually accomplish this.

According to UA’s marketing team, “…In manufacturing wood flooring, the use of improper glue during the construction process can produce harmful formaldehyde content. Formaldehyde is a highly volatile organic solvent and has now been declared by IARC as a first-class carcinogen.  High concentrations of formaldehyde can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat and can worsen asthma symptoms in children and infants”.

This isn’t news to everyone reading this blog, we’ve known for some time about the toxicity of formaldehyde.  But what is new is the steadfast pledge UA Floors has to meeting, and exceeding, standards worldwide.  UA Floors not only meet the CARBII (California Air Resource Board Phase 2 Formaldehyde Emission Standards), but also both the EO (European formaldehyde emission standards) and the Japanese Emission Standards JIS/JAS F.

UA has another story to add regarding their contribution to healthy interior environments.  The nano metal-oxide contained in their protective surface coating is actually a bacterial inhibitor!  Their bacteriostatic technology has been proven to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses.

Beyond the technologies, this is the product line that offers a unique aesthetic.  Their newest addition, The Manhattan Collection, looks just like it sounds. A sophisticated “uptown” collection of woods, offering ten beautiful finishes.  Modestly grained 5 ¼” planks suit both contemporary and traditional interiors.

Olde_Charleston_Collection_-_Ua

At the other end of the spectrum is their Olde Charleston Collection.  One of the featured products in this collection uses planks constructed from reclaimed Heart Pine, salvaged from old textile mills.  All the natural markings from previous use are embraced in the finished product.  The rustic good looks tell a story of previous lives lived on these floors.  The different wood species featured in the Olde Charlston Collection all have character and history built in.

Of course, there are more collections for you to see at your local flooring store. But hopefully I’ve painted a picture for you in this blog of just how different (and pro-health) these wood floors really are. Explore and enjoy.

Need to know where to buy your hardwood flooring, or help from a local, hardwood flooring expert? Find your local, specialty hardwood flooring stores.

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