New Product Showcase – Part I

By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG

It’s always a pleasure to bring exceptional new products to your attention.  Floor coverings continue to push the boundaries of creativity, and here are just a few examples:

MULLICAN-FLOORS_300Mullican Floors has introduced a high-contrast wood grain in their Chatelaine hand-sculpted hardwoods collection.  Hickory Natural planks have distinctive light to mid-tone graining that suits both contemporary and traditional interiors. What I particularly like about the character of this floor is how well the warm undertones of the wood coordinate with either warm hues (oranges, reds) or cool (blues and greens).  Very versatile.

StonePeak Ceramics has debuted Pascha Wood porcelain planks in an incredibly generous size: 8” x 96”.  Consider the possiblities of designing with these “continuous” planks.  The visual is a broad brushstroke of rich wood tones gracing your floor.  Check it out at

COLOR BY NUMBERSCrossville, Inc. is noted for beautifully designed tile.  But here’s something extra available to you that’s pretty exciting.  Crossville has paired with Benjamin Moore Paints to develop a fan deck of paint color combinations that complement Crossville’s ‘Color by Numbers’ collection.  The collection offers 16 colors that are loaded into their on-line Color Visualizer.  This unique design tool will give you not only the closest paint color to match your chosen tile (from the Color by Numbers line), but also designer-level harmonies to use with your tile of choice.  It is great fun to play with and simplifies the design process.  Choosing coordinating colors for walls and floors is one of the biggest challenges in DIY design.  Now you have a great on-line tool to help you design like a pro.  See home page to access the Crossville Fan Deck.

J-&-J-INVISION_300J+J Invision deserves some spotlight attention on their new Drama Collection.  I would say it’s appropriately named, because these two distinctive patterns do qualify for high drama.  One of the Color Marketing Group trend projections for this year forecasted ombre effects making their way into the design market via area rugs, broadloom and textiles.  Well here it is!  Both patterns play with texture and visual depth.  Add to that subtle gradations of color and you have  true winners.  They give a look of rich brocades, softly aged, to your floor.  (see

I am having so much fun writing this blog, it’s hard to draw it to an end.  There are more fantastic products to tell you about, so stay tuned for New Product Showcase – Part II.  Thanks for reading.

Good Ideas? Time To Share…

GREAT-ROOM_300By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder Color Marketing Group

This is something I’ve wanted to blog about for some time—great ideas from readers (and other designers) that can add function and beauty to any home.  You are invited to leave me a comment on any of the FloorTalk blogs or Designer’s Corner articles (look for the comments section below each article).  I’d love to hear from you—and please feel free to share an exceptional design idea of your own with me.  I’ll save them for a future blog like this one.  For today, here’s some creative food for thought…


We have such a design opportunity that we often miss.  Ceiling design!  It’s a blank canvas overhead, just waiting for you to become the artist– in whatever medium you choose. Consider using natural wood or beams as the crowning glory to a main room.  Pressed tin ceilings are making a huge comeback and add a vintage touch to a room.  And just adding a touch of color with paint adds an element of surprise.

Add Texture

Use texture to your best advantage.  The Great Room pictured here has a planned mix of smooth and textured surfaces.  The fireplace surround is honed (unpolished) granite, which plays up the natural beauty of the stone.  The hardwood floor is a high-character vintage oak. Upholstery fabrics are clean, tailored and low-texture.  To complement the smooth surfaces, the designer added textured sisal rugs to balance the room.  Texture = Interest + Character.

PANTRY_300Create a Gallery

Stairways and hallways offer the perfect place to create an art gallery.  With so much blank wall space, you might be tempted to hang artwork too high.  Standing eye-level is where photos or art in a hallway should be hung (unless you are doing a full wall collage, then you can bend that rule).  The most distracting and common design error I see is “floating” art, hung way above normal sight lines.

Re-Purpose a Pantry

If you are blessed with plentiful cabinet space, you may want to use your pantry for something  out-of- the-ordinary.  This reader collects antique teacups and china.  What a great space to keep everything safe and close at hand!  Beautiful pieces are meant to be used.  If you have treasures tucked away collecting dust, you might want to re-think that.  These pieces add such an element of graciousness to your table.

CUSTOM_MAGAZINE_300Dress Your Windows

Sliding Shoji screens add an authentic Far East flavor to a room.  Of course you can use them as a decorative accent or actually have them built and installed as sliding window coverings.  They provide privacy, but are not meant for room-darkening light control.  Just the same, they are a fresh alternative to shutters or draperies.

Transform “Dead” Space

A minor remodeling project for a kitchen is to add a custom under-counter magazine rack at the end of an island or lower wall cabinet.  It’s something we all could use, but never can quite find an out-of-the-way space for it.  (I love solution-driven design.)

This kind of blog is absolutely a “to be continued” subject.  Consider this an open forum to share your best design ideas.  Brilliant ideas really do need to be shared…so get on it!