Fiery Floor Fashions

By Annette Callari, ASID; CMG

mannington_300Contract carpets continue to exert influence on residential carpet design. This is a trend that has been in place for several years now, and growing in importance.   Contract patterns, colors and constructions are all making their way to the residential side and consumers seem to love it.

Form follows function is the guiding tenet behind commercial carpet design. With function being a critical factor, carpet constructions have to be durable.  Mannington Commercial Mills just released a new contract carpet that is shockingly an oxymoron!  Boucle is the name of this high profile carpet (broadloom and carpet tile).  You are all familiar with boucle fabrics:  nubby, luxurious weaves with varying sized large and small loops.  Now this fashion classic has been interpreted for the floor.  Mannington’s marketing department has done an excellent job of capturing this in words:  …(this is) a modern, luxe take on classic boucle – reinterpreted as broadloom and modular carpet, in a color palette that ranges from vibrant hues to timeless neutrals…

The actual coNORTHSTAR_TUMBLED_GLASS_RANDOM_300nstruction of the carpet is an even bigger story.  Mannington uses a proprietary, ultra-large denier yarn (with a patented twist technology) to get the high texture look that can still withstand heavy foot traffic.  Do you see what I mean by an oxymoron?  Large profile loops do not traditionally equate to high-performance textiles, and certainly not a textile for the floor.  Yet here it is, with a color palette of calming neutrals countered with fiery, unexpected colors (Amethyst, Ruby, Sunset, Teal and Sapphire to name a few).

Let’s switch gears and focus on glass tile.  Daltile gave me a sneak peek at their upcoming introductions, and one in particular fits the “fiery” category.  NorthStar Tumbled Glass combines random sized mosaic glass tiles to create pure art.  My favorite colorway is a mix of coral, orange, peach and red-orange—a colorburst in glass that rivals even the most beautiful sunset.


There are so many fans of terra cotta that I had to include an exceptional example here.  Walker Zanger created Spanish Cotto, a combination of ceramic and terra cotta.  These tiles are handmade and high fired.  The result is a beautiful and durable surface for floors, walls and counters.  The manufacturer uses a hand-pressed technique to give each tile a warm, leathery patina reflective of aged terra cotta.  Mucho caliente!

If you are NOT afraid of color and favor the hot side of the color wheel, then you probably loved this article.  Manufacturers are more than willing to bring dramatic color to your floors.  Gone are the beige days, and both residential and contract interiors are offering palettes that include spicy hues to bring drama to your interiors.

Design Notebook – What’s Going on With Wood Flooring?

By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG

Armstrong-Maple_300One of the most frequently asked questions by design clients (and friends at parties) is what’s new in the direction of woods for floors and cabinets?  It’s true, even when designers are off duty, friends can’t resist the opportunity for a free consultation.  It’s okay, because usually it’s just a quick question or two.  Honestly, like doctors, when designers are off duty, they really are off duty.  We are not rearranging your home in our minds, or creating a mental report card of what was done well (or not).  Designers have a well practiced talent of being able to turn off consultation mode.

Given that, this is a great forum to share with you some of the hottest design trends for 2014 and 2015.  Just in case you are planning a new wood floor or kitchen cabinets in the near future, here’s what you need to know:

  • Wood finishes are lightening up for 2014-2015.  Weathered gray tones, limed woods, white-washed woods, bleached woods, and raw, natural wood floors are coming on strong.
  • Wood is evolving to complement contemporary interiors.  Hardwoods have been a go-to product for designers for traditional, vintage, classic, and transitional designs for years.  But wait—are hardwoods now an option to underscore contemporary interiors?  Yes and yes.  Manufacturers are introducing new colors and finishes that absolutely underscore contemporary.  Modestly grained woods, neutral, calming color stains, and matte or satin top coats are bringing a fresh contemporary perspective to hard wood flooring.  This is more than exciting because it’s a new flooring frontier.  We’ve seen hand-scraped, wire brushed, smoked, fumed, paint-infused woods.  But what we haven’t seen are light, understated, natural woods carefully finished to satiny perfection.
  • Wider planks are stealing the show.  7”, 8”, 9” planks are big on the home front.  The elegant widths show off wood grains to their best advantage.
  • Cabinets are lightening up as well.  Dual wood tones within the kitchen add contrast and interest to interiors.  Floors do not have to match cabinets, but should either harmonize or purposely contrast.
  • Maple woods are the debutante of the season.  The warm tones and even grain suits every design from classic to contemporary.
  • Consumers are concerned with the environment. FSC Certified forests, sustainable resources, and rapidly renewable materials (ex: bamboo) continue to be extremely important.

Well, there you have it.  Not necessarily the makings of stimulating party talk, but some down-to-earth trend facts that will give you food for thought.