Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rolling Out Today's Carpet Trends

Submitted by Elizabeth Chambley, The Mohawk Group
By Jackie Dettmar, VP of Commercial Product D&D, The Mohawk Group
The Mohawk Group - IIDA Georgia Platinum Sponsor
Design Quarterly
New construction has slowed, but cost-effective and eco-friendly renovations are still on the upswing. As carpeting can be one of the largest elements of the material and finishes budget for a commercial interior, and though these budgets are squeezed tighter than ever, it remains an important piece of any project that needs to be given significant thought.
Designed to Inspire
It goes without saying that consumers are more cautious with purchases in a suffering economy.  Certainly they want design concepts, patterns and color palettes with longevity, but they are still seeking innovative solutions. Carpet is no exception.

Pattern selections are embracing timeless geometrics and subtle small-scale organics, and are also taking a twist on the traditional. Design inspirations come from everywhere – nature, fashion, culture. Nature inspired textures as well as retro organics and geometric shapes are increasing in popularity.  Even stripes and classic geometrics are getting a makeover with simpler, cleaner form.

Color selections are also increasingly invested in more timeless neutrals with wood tone elements and grays of varied tones and Chroma from silvery lights to saturated coals. Designers and facilities everywhere are striving to bring light and nature into interiors. Coastal blues and greens and earthy khakis are hip today – and will still be stylish tomorrow – whether for a lobby, break room, boardroom or anywhere in between. Chromatic brights are key for unexpected splashes of color used for navigation, differentiation and branding. There are also increasing opportunities for facilities to select an accent color of their choice in their carpeting to reinforce their brand and differentiate their space from that of the competition.

The pattern design and color of carpet can powerfully impact a space and its inhabitants, and it’s one of the more important considerations when making a selection. Do you want to use your flooring selection to encourage and reinforce collaboration, to sooth and rejuvenate the soul, or to be a haven for the young, cultured and hip? Does the company pride itself on conservative thinking and tradition or does it strive to redefine the way people communicate and interact?

Be a “LEED®”er
Today, a carpet is no longer measured on aesthetics alone. It is also judged on how it will affect the environment both inside and out. Innovations in green processes, reclaimation, and reuse continue to be introduced in all aspects of flooring choices. Fiber and materials are evolving with more recycled content and bio-based content. Understanding the importance of going green within the architecture and design industry, tools are now available that allow architects and interior designers to understand how the carpet selected will impact the environmental rating of the building in which it is installed.
With the birth of Web-based calculator tools similar to The Mohawk Group’s LEED® Plus Calculator, the environmental impact of offerings can be easily determined, allowing users to:
  • Search carpet collections and calculate the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) LEED (Leadership in Environmental Energy Design) certification points, as well as other environmental industry ratings, from CHPS (Collaborative For High Performance Schools) to GGHC™ (Green Guide For Healthcare)

  • Easily access and document in three simple steps: log-on to the LEED Plus Calculator site, choose a product and select the rating system or third-party certification; within minutes, delivers research results in a PDF report that can be used as supplemental product documentation for LEED or equivalent certification submission.

Maximizing an Investment
Key to carpet success is candid upfront dialogue with your flooring consultant. When beginning a new project, certain questions must be considered as the responses to them will play a critical role in choosing the best color, pattern and backing system. The industry continues to see a growth in carpet tiles as a versatile alternative to broadloom.   

Colors and Patterns
Colors and patterns are more than just aesthetic accessories, they are also performance features. For example, high-traffic open office areas are served well with multi-colored carpeting, which can hide those hard-to-treat stains. Look for manufacturers that offer protectants built into the fiber of the carpet to permanently protect against these nuisances.

Choosing the appropriate backing system for the intended space is critical to providing long-term, high performance. Carpeting in high-traffic areas like hallways should have a backing that offers lifetime performance warranties covering edge ravel, delamination and tuft-bind loss.

Wasteful glue buckets, messy transfer papers, inefficient downtime and costly procedures can create a sticky situation with traditional carpet adhesives. Fortunately, there are several new technologies worth investigating that can make installation a breeze, including pre-applied adhesives.

Although the economic downturn will have a lasting effect on the business of design, slowly but surely, new projects are being commissioned and the industry is headed toward a level of normalcy. End users continue to become savvier in making selections and seek the most innovative designs and sustainable products that their investments will allow for. By understanding the design and maintenance needs of a given space, clients and end users can be presented with the best options that will not only be aesthetically pleasing over time, but will also perform well for years.

Jackie Dettmar is vice president of commercial product development and design for The Mohawk Group. A leading manufacturer of award-winning broadloom, modular and custom carpeting for every installation, the company is propelled by its legacy of world class performance, cutting-edge style and sustainable innovation. For additional information about its proven and new generation design solutions, and to learn more about The Mohawk Group and its four brands – Karastan, Lees, Bigelow and Durkan – visit www.themohawkgroup.com. Connect with The Mohawk Group on Twitter and Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment