Flooring Design Trends: DESIGNER UPDATE MID-2016

We are halfway through the year (unbelievable!) and it is time to audit design trends as to what’s Smoking hot | floortalk.wfca.org—– right here, right now.

To keep on top of emerging design trends, I include high-end model home tours in my research, along with international updates from Color Marketing Group. After so many years of trend spotting, I can identify new directions easily and often see parallels from one set of models to another—all done by different award-winning design firms.

Here is what’s on top of the HOT list —–


Smoking Hot Design Trends | Floortalk.WFCA.orgWithout a doubt, this could be the trend of the year. Opening up living spaces to incorporate the beauty of outdoors expands livable square footage of the home, but also provides a resort-like environment. Retractable glass walls provide the ability to do that, and the outdoors is being “designed” with as much detail to attention as the home itself. Infinity pools, multi-level seating areas, gourmet outdoor kitchens, and YES, even under-the-stars outdoor beds are being featured.


The designers are investing big in kitchen areas; sometimes incorporating double islands to provide more work space as well as bar-height eating areas. Mixing woods (white cabinets, painted islands in deeper color) is being featured. Lighting has become the crown jewel of the kitchen, starring art-form lighting as well as functional recessed ceiling lighting. Appliances in these million dollar homes are over the top!! If you think what kind of car you drive establishes your status, think again. $10,000 brand name ranges and tech-smart refrigerators have now laid claim to how successful you are. Why stop there? Wine refrigerators (if not an entire chilled wine cellar) are inclusive in high-end design.


Of course you have heard this before from me, and I do get a certain amount of glee in seeing predictions come true. And boy has this one superseded my expectations. Grounded neutral colors with splashes of your favorite colors are the guideline for the new design era, but the interest in each room is derived by mixing and layering textures! Natural woods, sleek countertop materials, metallic touches, wall finishes in interesting materials—these are just a few of the iconic treatments I am seeing.


Ease of maintenance is having an impact on floor coverings. Factor in the first design hotspot in this article (outdoors becomes indoors) and I am seeing applications of honed stones for floors, as well as tons of reclaimed or new hardwoods that contribute to high-texture. Carpet is important in restful areas, and carpet manufacturers are designing textured carpets (with sculpted patterns) that can rival the beauty of any hard surface. It’s time to shop carpet if you’ve been away from the buying market for a while. You will be stunned to see the amazing styles now available, with new technologies that qualify carpet as an “easy-maintenance floor covering”.


Sleek, contemporary seems to be a favorite with high-end model home designers. Not cold—not by any means. Contemporary tempered with exciting textural finishes is warm and welcoming.

Italianate style design has refreshed the Tuscan style. Those influences are homey and timeless.

Themed designs for children’s bedrooms have captivated my interest. This is where designers go a little wild with imagination. Baseball themes, castle-style beds, London Bridge murals and accessories, Alice in Wonderland exaggerated furnishings, a budding writer’s retreat—those are just a few of the themes chosen for the high-end models.


I did mention earlier that rich neutrals seem to be the foundation colors for walls and floors. But let’s not mistake the new palette for model homes to be bland. Well chosen accent walls, area rugs, accessories, lighting, wall treatments introduce wonderful colors to these homes. Blues are rampant—everything from sea blues to deep cobalt are trending. Yellow and gray seem to have an important position in the emerging palettes. Also important are touches of coral and red. Favorite neutrals included: black and white (of course), gray, caramel brown, gray-green, taupes and tans. Don’t forget the vivid accent colors to bring your neutrals to life if you do choose a monochromatic color scheme.

Well, there you have the inside story on design making headlines. This is my favorite subject and I can go on, but word-count limits me. I promise you a Part II to this subject, but only if you leave me a comment right on this website. I need to know you are out there reading, enjoying, and that you want more…..

Those Who Listen— Learn

Those Who Listen— Learn

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Designers' meeting sponsored by KarndeanIt was such an honor to be asked to host the 2016 Design Council weekend in Las Vegas this month. Karndean Design Floors sponsored the event and invited a chosen group of commercial designers to share what they need, want and use in specifying commercial floors coverings.Several of the designers specialize in hospitality, including restaurants, clubs, hotels and casinos. Others were experts in the multi-family housing market. Both factions came together to share their “wish list”when it came to luxury vinyl woods and stones.

Everyone enjoyed the Friday night glittering panoramic view of Las Vegas while dining at Nove – an elaborate, Italian-inspired fine dining establishment at the pinnacle of the Palms Hotel. We all agreed, it was the most authentic Italian menu ever experienced, and the service was beyond stellar. If you want to feel like royalty, Nove exists to create that feeling for you. A mini-spa morning was then followed by lunch and a creative brainstorming session where ideas were freely shared. I presented the 2016 design trends report and brought real-life examples in both fashions and flooring to share. What fun!

Karndean’s savvy marketing experts gave the designers a sneak peek at the newly launched vinyl-woods in their DaVinci and VanGogh collections (not to mention the top secret Kaleidoscope collection). That got them all excitedly talking and commenting as to which projects they are working on where these newcomers might shine. All the designers generously shared their insights, and were asked what they would like Karndean to consider for future introductions. That part I cannot share with you, but there is certainly an important lesson to be learned from all of this.

Our industry has a wealth of experience and creative wisdom available from the design community—our customers. The most important thing we can do is LISTEN. Rather than fall prey to “the ivory tower syndrome”– approaching product development autonomously from within, Karndean demonstrated the value in truly listening to their valued designers’ opinions. We all came away from the experience realizing something very important had transpired. Good job all!