THANK YOU – YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT

Annette Callari | floortalk.wfca.orgI have had the privilege of writing for the World Floor Covering Association for many years now (and hopefully for many more.) What an incredible organization. They are all about education—for floor covering specialists, for their skilled installers, and especially for YOU, the professional designer and the public. I am aware that professionals from a cross-section of specialties read Designer’s Corner and FloorTalk. With that in mind, my goal is to present relevant, timely topics in the months to come to help you make important flooring choices in sync with current design trends.

Some of the readers’ comments have fueled my excitement for doing what I do, and I wanted to share that. A recent column featuring important “must-haves” for aging in place elicited quite a few comments. One reader commented that they are downsizing to a new home for retirement, and this article opened their eyes as to exactly what they should be looking for, especially in flooring.

Floor covering is a big investment, and my features on porcelain, luxury vinyl planks, hardwood choices and carpet seem to earn numerous comments. That tells me that this information is helpful in guiding readers through the selection process. It’s the first step in leading you to the right choices for your home.

The fact that through this website you can find quality WFCA members—professional retailers who you can trust to continue the learning curve and help you find the right floor coverings, is invaluable. Be assured these retailers are among the best in the nation.

So to that purpose, I want to extend a sincere “Thank You” to the first-name readers who leave their comments for me. It is more than gratifying to know you are out there—and looking for more solid information to come your way in the future.

Best to all of you,

Annette

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 —–

BLURRED LINES FROM INDOOR TO OUTDOOR SPACES

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.

HEART OF THE HOME RULES

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.

TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE

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.

FLOORS

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”.

DESIGN MODES

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.

COLOR

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…..