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Hardwood floors for puppies

Welcome to the end of the tunnel

Doge’ Palace in Venice, Italy is not a palace for Dogs…Is your home dog-friendly?

 

Welcome to the end of the tunnel, the place where we kept seeing the light, but never quite reaching it. We are there now and it’s the best feeling to bask in the warmth of the light and be thankful for having made it. While you’re basking in the warmth of the light, let me ask you a question or two. Did you move or stay in your existing home? If so, did you build a new home? Did you adopt a pet this past year? If so, what did you get, dog or cat? What prompted you to get this pet? Now that our states are opening back up, do you plan to go back to work-life as you once practiced it, traveling every week, going to shows across the globe, meeting with other business people in person rather than virtually? I can only speak for my family and myself, we are traveling significantly less, corresponding with customers virtually more times than not and (drum roll please)…we brought home a new puppy. We had already been on a waiting list for two years and so the timing seemed just right when we heard that a litter of puppies had been born and one would be available to us. Our first dog Donatella (#Donatellathetruffledog) is six years old, (wouldn’t she like a new little sister?) and we decided on the name for our new puppy, “Baci” (the Italian word for kisses). We had visions of cuddling with the furry little thing and imagined it couldn’t be too hard to go from one dog to two dogs (LOL). Across Dalton, my sister and her family have adopted several baby goats, peacocks, ducks, donkeys and chickens, all of which is ideal since they live on our family’s farm and have the space. In our own neighborhood we have been noticing some new things any time we go for a walk. Besides the few new homes under construction, we also noticed several homes get new roofs, and smaller additions like fire pits, outdoor kitchens, raised beds and fences being built for those who now have time to garden or get a new dog. It seems we all discovered extra time on our hands and wanted to add more of “nature” to enhance lifestyle and improve our health. In making this transition to having a more “nature-inspired” and harmonious lifestyle, we are adjusting our interior finishes…considering moving a velvet sofa or an oushak rug into a less-often used room, then you’re in good company. Are you looking at the color of your dog’s hair (on your pants) and wondering to yourself “what color of flooring would disguise the daily dog hair I’m cleaning up?”…then you’re thinking like a designer thinks, looking at how we live in a new light. We are universally feeling the desire to expand our walls of our home to the great outdoors. Transitioning to more time living outdoors does require planning. Are your floors protected just inside your doorway? What are you stepping onto as you go outside? Do the colors and finishes inside and out “harmonize” aesthetically? Is that important? Yes, of course! If not, you’ll not find yourself drawn to the space, you’ll not feel compelled to invite your family and friends to join you outside unless it is pleasing to you. Pro tips: add a great “scrubby” walk-off mat outside your door way; kick off your shoes inside your door; and look at where the sunlight is coming in through the windows and move around rugs or furniture so your floors don’t get a “tan line”.

 

My little visitor one day at EMILY MORROW HOME was the GOAT of all goats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going beyond “Milled Naturals” Color Family of the Year, several mega-trends have emerged that will help explain why so many people are asking for performance hardwood flooring (and other types) that looks “natural” not “plastic”. Slow living has taken precedences and the element of “time” and sharing it with others offers us rejuvenating solace. Imagine finding a place to enjoy hot tea with a cozy blanket that says “I’ve got you covered”, let’s take the time to enjoy what has always been in front of us, with new-found profound appreciation. The cozy, calm, and comfort of things like being at home, surrounded with soft fibers, natural materials, sueded and velvet textures help soothe the senses. Things like healthy living, values like “real wood” and “natural materials” influence us viscerally, without thought. Why this matters is that it guides homeowners decisions and choices for what they bring into their lives. Recent reports from NAHB indicate that new home construction is slowing due to increasing material costs and slowly rising interest rates. (See more housing economics data on nahb.org)

 

Performance features for hardwood flooring has included the scratch-resistance since its introduction a few decades ago. Even today, after all these years, people really are amazed when they see the difference between hardwood with scratch-resistance and hardwood without it. Test it for yourself (videos provided in the highlighted links). Simply get a green abrasive cleaning pad and rub it vigorously on two samples of hardwood, noting which one is which. Immediately you’ll see how easy it is to get right past the finish if it isn’t scratch resistant and just imagine how quickly it would “ugly” out in an entire interior of unprotected flooring. Today we now have many manufacturers who are making performance hardwood flooring that really do resist water, spills, scratches and scuffs, and it’s affordable. The feedback I hear is that most people cannot tell the difference between samples unless you hold a sample up to the light and maybe then there’s a very slight difference. The fact that it doesn’t scratch, scuff, warp or swell far outweighs the nearly indiscernible visual difference, makes “our new normal”, “life as we know it” easier and more enjoyable.

Baci, our newest addition to the family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what happened with this new fur baby, Baci? First of all, we have worked our way through many rolls of paper towels, sanitizing wipes to clean up her little “OMG” accidents just inside the door, under the sofa, as well as the pantry. Only part of our home has the hardwood floors that we manufacture since the majority of square footage was already done in a lovely pine (previous homeowner) which we loved when we moved in. What has happened since is not a pretty sight. In some of the areas where both dogs have a habit of relieving themselves, the finish of the pine is delaminating badly. It should be the picture next to the definition of the term in the handbook of hardwood terminology. Additionally, there are several claw marks where Donatella skidded across the soft wood of the pine floors (she is only twenty six pounds). I wish daily for our own OMG Proof Protected hardwood floors to magically appear throughout the entire house, but in the meantime it’s fodder for my blog and articles. Our puppy Baci is now five months old and she is not 100% potty trained yet, but based on the amount of training treats we’ve bought and used, we must be getting close. My point in all this sharing of personal experience is this, hardwood flooring that is made with performance protection really does make life easier for the end-users, residentially and commercially.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Hiving to Nesting: EVOLVING WITH AN ERA OF CHANGE

EVOLVING WITH AN ERA OF CHANGE by Emily Morrow Finkell for Hardwood Floors Magazine

Just when we think we have things all figured out, the world changes, we are forced to adjust our compasses in order to move ahead. Undoubtedly our lives have been permanently changed by the 2020 pandemic as it wreaked havoc around the world, and we have racked our brains to determine the best path forward to avoid becoming stymied by it all. Looking back at the eras of major change, we can pin down points in history when color palettes and design trends evolved and with hindsight as our teacher, we can understand “why” those changes came about and predict what’s to come in the present.

 

 

 

 

FROM HIVING TO NESTING

One of those times was following the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the US and we saw a huge surge of interest in colors and textures that calmed and soothed the human spirit. Today, similarly we are seeing a similar shift towards colors that calm and soothe, and the home has become the center of work and rest. Only a few years ago, we were writing about the “hiving” of the millennials as they were moving into the city, driving the development of mixed use developments, and purchasing what many would call “disposable furnishings” from places like Wayfair or IKEA. We now find the same demographic groups migrating to the suburbs, snatching up fixer upper homes and shopping for second-hand items that can be painted or reupholstered. Once “hiving” seemed like a hub of social opportunities, it now looks like an opportunity to become infected by a virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION

I’ve always found that “necessity is the mother of invention” and have almost always made my most creative decisions when hardest pressed. Supply chain disruption has become an unexpected hurdle in 2020, as raw materials are taking longer to source, stores have been indefinitely closed indefinitely in various parts of the country. When one can find furniture at resale shops, it benefits more than just the homeowner. It’s an immediate “sale” by the local business where it was sold, it brings “instant character” to a space, and generally offers a nice “story” of where or how it was “found”. Clearly our foundation of color has been shifting from gray-based to brown-based, it is essential to understand what else those changes lead us to and how those changes make us feel. But there are aspects beyond our color preferences that are shifting. The very materials we choose are also at play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOPHILIC DESIGN CALMS THE SENSES

Bringing nature and sunlight indoors promotes a feeling of wellness. Brown, tan, green and yellow gold are all colors from nature, and integrating those same colors in the home mimics the feeling of nature while simultaneously solving the design challenge of merging the “second-hand” furnishings within the spaces. Natural materials in their own natural colors are long-accepted healthier options over their synthetic counterparts. Hardwood species like white oak has intrinsic properties that are “naturally” antibacterial as do metals like copper, brass, and bronze. Leather and performance fabrics are easier to clean and stand up to the daily wear that cleaning entails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRADING PLACES WITH SPACES

Anytime we endure a hardship of some kind, we learn something about ourselves and this time is no exception. If you’ve ever had physical ailments that required crutches or a wheelchair, it can be assured that you forever-after consider the “universal” design needs or , and saw steps as a challenge to someone on crutches. Those of us who have quarantined at home will forever consider things like: how to live in one home while another member “quarantines”, how to sanitize surfaces, types of air filtration, and the importance of quality interior design. Recently I pointed to the fact that many are now working from home, “commuting” from the bedroom to the family room for things like online classes, virtual meetings, and many have adapted to working this new way, and might prefer it over the previous break-neck pace of constant meetings and travel. With increasing time spent at home, there comes a need to examine how much square footage to allocate for the specific activities and how to use each space. It only takes a few design shows on cable TV to hear the words “open concept” come up frequently. Open concept has been the status quo for well over a decade. From Fixer Uppers’ Chip and Joanna Gaines to Property Brothers’ Drew and Jonathan Scott, tearing down walls has become an expected first step when refurbishing old homes. We can’t help but enjoy seeing the dramatic transformation on TV. All the “tear down that wall” drama is changing as we have identified the need for “specific” spaces for “specific” purposes and seeing the down-side of wide open spaces in a home. The future of interiors includes very specifically purposed spaces: a home office, a ready-made guest suite for quarantining, a media room, a game room, and most importantly a specific room with a well-designed backdrop for Zoom meetings.

 

 

FROM LUXURY TO NECESSITY

We are going to see previously accepted “norms” change in more ways than just people moving from urban spaces to rural places. The norms of where our walls go, or don’t go, or the purpose of a room change the very fabric of our lives. Specific purposed rooms are going to be needed. Once considered a luxury, we now find that home office, home gym, outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms each bring with them very specific furnishings are more essential than we could have predicted. Master bedrooms now need quiet and comfortable seating and internet connection to host virtual conference calls. Outdoor living spaces offer a place where a family can congregate safely. Outdoor spaces bring with them the need for smokeless fire pits, frost-proof/water-proof finishes, and performance fabrics for seating. Home gyms are another example of a space that has shifted from a “luxury” to a “necessity” in order to stay fit without going into public gyms, many of which might not be open depending on the state in which someone lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT THIS MEANS

If you’re currently living in a home with an “open concept” design, how can you make changes without moving or remodeling completely? Consider the addition of pocket or sliding doors to separate spaces “ad hoc”.  What does this look like for those of us in the floor covering world? We can certainly state the colors are NOT going to change so much that they’ll make our recent furnishings look obsolete but rather slow down in their shift from cool gray neutrals to warmer gray, taupe, tan and brown neutrals. Hardwood flooring is coming to the forefront with this renewed focus on health and wellness and that benefits us all.

Home gyms and natural materials are among the most sought after design trends (Featured flooring: FIRST LEAF by Emily Morrow Home, MADE IN USA)

 

 

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PODCAST | WOOD TALK | Emily Morrow and NWFA Brett Miller | Part 2

Join us for PART 2!!!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/662815/6695368

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nwfa-wood-talk/id1484504902

NWFA Wood Talk - All you need to know - Backtracks

NWFA Wood Talk

A Conversation with Emily Morrow of Emily Morrow Home – Part 2

DECEMBER 04, 2020 NWFA WOOD TALK

Brett Miller and guest Emily Morrow of Emily Morrow Home discuss the idea of hardwood floors as investment, and why hardwood flooring can be considered a healthy choice.

PART 2: Brett Miller and guest Emily Morrow of Emily Morrow Home discuss her perspective on hardwood flooring, including the value that real wood brings to a home, benefits and misconceptions about engineered hardwood flooring, and more.

 

Listen in: Designers Today Jane Dagmi, editor in chief and Emily Morrow Finkell CEO of Emily Morrow Home

 6-18-2020 SAID podcast titled “Passionate and principled”

Emily Morrow Finkell and Jane cover a lot of ground, recalling treks across the African continent and the importance of relationships in life, love and much more.

 

 

 

Emily Morrow Finkell traces her career path from interior design to product design, to designing her own collection of hardwood flooring, Emily Morrow Home. Her journey is peppered with sweet memories, challenging years, and lots of love and support which she is intent on paying forward. With great empathy toward interior designers, Finkell also explains why it makes great financial sense for designers to educate themselves about flooring and to handle both the specification and the procuring of hardwood flooring.

As a unique bonus addition to this week’s podcast, we have an extra written introduction to our guest. Often when we do our podcasts, we ask for help with our intros, from people who know our guests better than we do. For Finkell’s podcast, we asked her daughter, Mary, to assist, but Mary’s heartfelt words came in after our deadline. While we couldn’t fit them in the audio, we still wanted to share. Here’s what Mary said:

“I don’t only look up to her because she’s my mom, I look up to her for so many other reasons, like the fact that she was a single mom for 14 years and truly pulled herself up by her bootstraps and become an incredible woman, business owner,  talented designer and humanitarian. I look up to her so much and love her more than anything. With our trips to various countries around the world, I get to see her communicate despite language and cultural barriers — she is truly able to connect with anyone. For that and so many other reasons, she inspires me every day.

 

 

Fox & Friends Interview Emily Morrow Home at 1st ever Made in America Expo in Indianapolis

Fox & Friends – Emily Kiker Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home

October 2019
Emily Morrow Home Hardwood was among featured manufacturers at the Inaugural “Made In America Expo” in Indianapolis, Indiana where Carley Shimkus of Fox & Friends News interviewed Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home, headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. Emily shared with Carley the importance of her eponymous American-made, higher-end, design-focused hardwood flooring. Emily’s story has a unique manufacturing model which was developed 24 years ago by her husband, Don Finkell, CEO of American OEM, where Emily Morrow Home hardwood flooring is made…inside a medium security prison outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to see the interview in full…
Read More

[MPBOX id=27224]

Emily Morrow Home participated in the first Made in America Trade Show

October 2019
Emily Morrow Home participated in the first Made in America Trade Show, held in Indianapolis, IN from October 3-6. The event brought together 800 exhibitors and over 30,000 attendees, forming the largest-ever network of industrial professionals, keynote speakers and consumers for one common goal: raising awareness for the economic, environmental, and community impact of American manufacturing.

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

August 2019

Emily Morrow Home Debuts Louis A Dabbieri

The Louis A. Dabbieri by Emily Morrow Home Hardwood flooring was just launched exclusively through International Design Guild. Emily Morrow Home has partnered with the International Design Guild to bring customers the first exclusive collection luxurious hardwoods that carry the Louis A. Dabbieri brand.

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

February 2019

Emily’s Dark Side

Emily Morrow Finkell realized the rising significance of Matte Black and made it her Color of the Year. Over the summer, she also witnessed the eclipse; she and her husband Don were in Highlands, NC where it was a total blackout. At DOMOTEX USA, Emily showed her newest hardwood flooring, among the offerings, Total Eclipse, a blackened white oak plank with a gray cerused grain, the perfect synthesis between trend and travel

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

March 2018

Personalization Cuts Through Noise

Personalization and storytelling still remain prevalent as consumers work to weed through all of the static and noise on social media looking to find people and brands that allow them to authentically connect.

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

May 2018

A Group of Designers Walk into a Prison

When interior designer, Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home hosted her company’s first Designer Summit, the most mind-expanding part of the event took place in a prison, where Finkell’s products are made.

Read More

Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award

October 2019
Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award” at made in America Expo awarded by Don Buckner, CEO of Made in America.

Read More

BUSINESS OF HOME

May 2019

Inside a Nashville Prison a Hardwood Flooring Factory Thrives

Interior designers attending Emily Morrow Home’s first Designer Summit were treated to a tour of the prison plant, where the company’s products are made. Attending designer Stephanie Sabbe was so impressed by the experience that she pitched the story to Business of Home, resulting in an impressive article published in May 2019.

Read More

FLOOR TRENDS

January 2019

Emily Morrow Home Expands Distribution

Wood flooring manufacturer Emily Morrow Home has expanded its distribution with new partnerships with The Flooring Distribution Group (FDG) and B.R. Funsten, effective January 2019.

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

May 2018

Emily Morrow Home Designer Summit Shines Light on Interiors

Emily Morrow Home (EMH) held its first-ever Designer Summit last month, welcoming designers Svetlana Hanzyy, Stephanie Sabbe, Morgan Martin and Deborah Ryals; clients Amanda and Jeremy Underwood; and, FCW, to partake in a two-day review of the EMH hardwood collection as well as discuss current design trends and their inspirations.

Read More

HOUSE TIPSTER

February 2018
At her debut showing at The International Surface Event (TISE), Emily Morrow Finkell, owner of Emily Morrow Home, spoke with House Tipster and renowned interior designer Christopher Grubb about her show-stopping, award-nominated hardwood collection.

Read More

Posted on

PODCAST | WOOD TALK | A Conversation with Emily Morrow of Emily Morrow Home and NWFA Brett Miller | Part 1

NWFA Wood Talk - All you need to know - Backtracks
Brett Miller and guest Emily Morrow of Emily Morrow Home discuss her perspective on hardwood flooring, including the value that real wood brings to a home, benefits and misconceptions about engineered hardwood flooring, and more.

 

Listen in: Designers Today Jane Dagmi, editor in chief and Emily Morrow Finkell CEO of Emily Morrow Home

 6-18-2020 SAID podcast titled “Passionate and principled”

Emily Morrow Finkell and Jane cover a lot of ground, recalling treks across the African continent and the importance of relationships in life, love and much more.

 

 

 

Emily Morrow Finkell traces her career path from interior design to product design, to designing her own collection of hardwood flooring, Emily Morrow Home. Her journey is peppered with sweet memories, challenging years, and lots of love and support which she is intent on paying forward. With great empathy toward interior designers, Finkell also explains why it makes great financial sense for designers to educate themselves about flooring and to handle both the specification and the procuring of hardwood flooring.

As a unique bonus addition to this week’s podcast, we have an extra written introduction to our guest. Often when we do our podcasts, we ask for help with our intros, from people who know our guests better than we do. For Finkell’s podcast, we asked her daughter, Mary, to assist, but Mary’s heartfelt words came in after our deadline. While we couldn’t fit them in the audio, we still wanted to share. Here’s what Mary said:

“I don’t only look up to her because she’s my mom, I look up to her for so many other reasons, like the fact that she was a single mom for 14 years and truly pulled herself up by her bootstraps and become an incredible woman, business owner,  talented designer and humanitarian. I look up to her so much and love her more than anything. With our trips to various countries around the world, I get to see her communicate despite language and cultural barriers — she is truly able to connect with anyone. For that and so many other reasons, she inspires me every day.

 

 

Fox & Friends Interview Emily Morrow Home at 1st ever Made in America Expo in Indianapolis

Fox & Friends – Emily Kiker Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home

October 2019
Emily Morrow Home Hardwood was among featured manufacturers at the Inaugural “Made In America Expo” in Indianapolis, Indiana where Carley Shimkus of Fox & Friends News interviewed Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home, headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. Emily shared with Carley the importance of her eponymous American-made, higher-end, design-focused hardwood flooring. Emily’s story has a unique manufacturing model which was developed 24 years ago by her husband, Don Finkell, CEO of American OEM, where Emily Morrow Home hardwood flooring is made…inside a medium security prison outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Click here to see the interview in full…
Read More

[MPBOX id=27224]

Emily Morrow Home participated in the first Made in America Trade Show

October 2019
Emily Morrow Home participated in the first Made in America Trade Show, held in Indianapolis, IN from October 3-6. The event brought together 800 exhibitors and over 30,000 attendees, forming the largest-ever network of industrial professionals, keynote speakers and consumers for one common goal: raising awareness for the economic, environmental, and community impact of American manufacturing.

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

August 2019

Emily Morrow Home Debuts Louis A Dabbieri

The Louis A. Dabbieri by Emily Morrow Home Hardwood flooring was just launched exclusively through International Design Guild. Emily Morrow Home has partnered with the International Design Guild to bring customers the first exclusive collection luxurious hardwoods that carry the Louis A. Dabbieri brand.

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

February 2019

Emily’s Dark Side

Emily Morrow Finkell realized the rising significance of Matte Black and made it her Color of the Year. Over the summer, she also witnessed the eclipse; she and her husband Don were in Highlands, NC where it was a total blackout. At DOMOTEX USA, Emily showed her newest hardwood flooring, among the offerings, Total Eclipse, a blackened white oak plank with a gray cerused grain, the perfect synthesis between trend and travel

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

March 2018

Personalization Cuts Through Noise

Personalization and storytelling still remain prevalent as consumers work to weed through all of the static and noise on social media looking to find people and brands that allow them to authentically connect.

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

May 2018

A Group of Designers Walk into a Prison

When interior designer, Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO of Emily Morrow Home hosted her company’s first Designer Summit, the most mind-expanding part of the event took place in a prison, where Finkell’s products are made.

Read More

Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award

October 2019
Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award” at made in America Expo awarded by Don Buckner, CEO of Made in America.

Read More

BUSINESS OF HOME

May 2019

Inside a Nashville Prison a Hardwood Flooring Factory Thrives

Interior designers attending Emily Morrow Home’s first Designer Summit were treated to a tour of the prison plant, where the company’s products are made. Attending designer Stephanie Sabbe was so impressed by the experience that she pitched the story to Business of Home, resulting in an impressive article published in May 2019.

Read More

FLOOR TRENDS

January 2019

Emily Morrow Home Expands Distribution

Wood flooring manufacturer Emily Morrow Home has expanded its distribution with new partnerships with The Flooring Distribution Group (FDG) and B.R. Funsten, effective January 2019.

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

May 2018

Emily Morrow Home Designer Summit Shines Light on Interiors

Emily Morrow Home (EMH) held its first-ever Designer Summit last month, welcoming designers Svetlana Hanzyy, Stephanie Sabbe, Morgan Martin and Deborah Ryals; clients Amanda and Jeremy Underwood; and, FCW, to partake in a two-day review of the EMH hardwood collection as well as discuss current design trends and their inspirations.

Read More

HOUSE TIPSTER

February 2018
At her debut showing at The International Surface Event (TISE), Emily Morrow Finkell, owner of Emily Morrow Home, spoke with House Tipster and renowned interior designer Christopher Grubb about her show-stopping, award-nominated hardwood collection.

Read More

Posted on

LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

 

HANDMADE HARVEST BY EMILY MORROW HOME LUXURY HARDWOOD

LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

Do you find yourself drawn to natural materials because of their beauty? Have you ever considered that it’s your most basic of instincts guiding you to choose something that is better for you. We spend a good portion of our lives in our homes, even more if you’re working from home, and can either choose to have healthy natural materials that make us feel good and look beautiful, or the alternative option of high VOCs, products laden with chemicals the likes of which we are only beginning to discover. As a survivor of breast cancer and an interior designer I’d like to help you see the many ways you can attain a healthy home for you and your loved ones.

 

Click to view Emily Morrow Home’s Holistic Living Video

 

CAN YOUR DECISIONS HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY?

Decorators and designers are experts at choosing what’s going to work best for their clients. We do continual research into what’s new, what’s going on in the materials world, whether something is going to last and look beautiful for a long time or wear out quickly. Designers want your decisions to be “investments” making your homes become more valuable, not necessarily so you can sell it for more money than you have in it, but so you can enjoy the value of it while you are living there. If you’ve ever prepared a home to sell by repainting the walls, installing new carpet or hardwood floors only to find yourself loving the transformation and wondering “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”.

WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER?

We are now looking ahead into what is even more important than aesthetics, health and wellness. If something is beautiful but makes you feel sick, can you really enjoy it? Oftentimes it takes time to discover the hidden costs of certain decisions and we find ourselves at a crossroads, between “cheaper” flooring, furniture and other products that are made with elevated levels of chemicals that have compromised the health of our homes and offices. If you’re not in the space for long periods of time, no big worry; however if you are quarantined at home and working from home, then you’re finding that the materials you want around you are made of the most simple ingredients. Natural hardwood is one of my areas of expertise and I have learned and seen the best and the worst in this specific industry over the past 30 years. What I hope to do is help you with finding not only beautiful hardwood flooring, but also flooring that is made in the United States, of the most natural of ingredients, that will last a lifetime if treated with a little love.

 

INCREASED SCRUTINY OVER INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Not to be too much of an infomercial, but it’s important to start by stating that all Emily Morrow Home hardwood flooring exceeds (and in some certifications are exempt) all the indoor air certifications because we do not add any formaldehyde, our manufacturing process is incredibly simple, using UV lights on our finish line, essentially “baking” in the stains and protection of aluminum oxide that in the end make it possible for the end users to install the flooring products and walk on them the same day. There is no need to allow them to cure, or sit for days and ours have zero VOCs or indoor air allergens to be concerned with. I think it’s important to design a space that, yes is beautiful, and even more importantly to be a space that everyone can relax and enjoy without worry or fear that it’s easily damaged or even worse, bad for our health.

Think about it~ Let me know what YOU are doing to stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

COVID-19 and the Future of Interior Design

COVID-19 and the Future of Interior Design

The design business relies heavily on interpersonal connections between clients and designers. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse with peers via Zoom and teleconference.
Just as creative as designers are with color, styling, and interior architecture, we also can be just as innovative with how we conduct our business. Technology has been key to allowing us to do our jobs.

During a recent Emily Morrow Home Designer Pro-Gram Zoom discussion, one design team in Chicago explained how they were able to use FaceTime to “walk” their clients through the Chicago Merchandise Mart to show them looks they were recommending for their project. I asked how they were able to express the quality or texture or value of the products they’re selecting when the end-user can’t hold or feel it in person. Their response to me was that trust played an important role. That answer shouldn’t surprise anyone who understands the relationship and trust between design pro and client.

TRUST AND TRUE VALUE

Trust is at the heart of a great design project, as well as a design professional’s reputation. A client must trust a designer when it comes time to spend more on a particular visual or finish. Providing samples has long been a necessity to assure clients they were spending more money to get something more substantial. Sometimes it is “exclusive” or sometimes it’s a much better product, either by touch or weight. Because design consultation is considered a discretionary item, in today’s turbulent times, more and more designers are having to justify their work and price their services in ways that don’t seem to exceed the value they are bringing to their clients. More than that, designers are being asked important questions about the “why” behind their choices. Now more than ever before, designers are also being pressured to provide products that are “better” in terms of how and where they are made. As such, designers are working closely with retailers to learn the facts about where a product was made and by whom. Designers understand they have to have peace of mind that once installed, there won’t be pushback.

Because product knowledge is so important, sales associates must be ready to speak openly, easily, and with confidence about products. Designers are asking all of the right questions and providing solutions to their clients. One thing in particular that designers do best, both in commercial and residential design, is to put the human needs first. Today, consumers are demanding to know what each product contains.

OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

Homeowners were quarantining at home and seeing the various cracks, chips, and fading materials that they cannot wait to replace or update. Flooring is no exception. We saw an immediate uptick in online sample orders during the first weeks of the COVID-19 quarantine. The idea that homeowners would be interested in home improvement after spending unprecedented time at home seems obvious in retrospect, as does the color and design trends that are now gaining traction. There is currently a desire for calming and soothing color palettes, as well as bringing cheer into a space. Blues, squad, greens, and warming earth-tones are all trending upwards. Beyond comforting and soothing color palettes, there is also a desire for bringing health and nature into interior spaces. One way to bring the health and nature themes into the home is through the use of natural materials, such as hardwood flooring that is light, matte, and has cleaner grain. Trends indicate this style of flooring will outsell dark or muted wood floors. Floors that are plasticized, still will have their place in the market, but in a head-to-head comparison for a quality custom built home, hardwood floors will take first place. If it looks and feels close to nature, it is going to be an easier sell to homeowners than the plastic-looking materials. From a broader trend perspective, healthy homes are homes that you would consider luxurious and beautiful. I fully expect that healthy homes, even if located in urban areas, will include hardwood as a primary building material.

Because product knowledge is so important, sales associates must be ready to speak openly, easily, and with confidence about products. Designers are asking all of the right questions and providing solutions to their clients. One thing in particular that designers do best, both in commercial and residential design, is to put the human needs first. Today, consumers are demanding to know what each product contains.

HOME IS THE NEW WORKPLACE

One final trend we are seeing during the past few months is that working remotely is the new corporate norm. This provides numerous opportunities for us as flooring providers and interior designers. We must help homeowners define spaces within their home more definitively. There is the resting “oasis” space and the “work” space. If homes are now our sanctuary from the work world and our work worlds are now within our sanctuaries, what shifts are going to happen as a result? We also expect to see more merging of commercial and residentially styled products that perform under the pressure of daily wear and tear. Commutes are now taking place just across the kitchen or just across the hallway from the bedroom. With the merging of spaces, we will see an uptick in the quality of the finishes being used. If you’re now spending longer days at home working, designers and homeowners are trending strongly already toward a preference for anything that lasts longer and looks good longer.

 

 

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A Custom Connection | Luxury Hardwood Flooring

BY EMILY MORROW FINKELL AND PUBLISHED BY NWFA HARDWOOD MAGAZINE ON JUNE 1, 2020

What makes a wood floor “award-winning”?

Is it unique, showcasing something that no one else can recreate in any other material? Having been born in the carpet capital of the world and having worked in the flooring industry in all the categories, one of the first things I do (as do many of you) is look down as soon as I enter a building. It’s a blessing or a curse that comes from my upbringing in Dalton, Georgia, and is also a direct result of having been trained to know on sight “excellence” in materials, quality, and craftsmanship. My parents have been in the commercial and industrial construction business for more than 60 years and always modeled that behavior of observing a building and deeming that it’s of good quality or not so good quality.

A custom installation of Emily Morrow Home’s Authentic Luxury in a herringbone

Over the years of looking at flooring that literally “floored me,” some of the common attributes were very customized, thoughtfully designed, and installed according to the specific clients’ unique wants and needs. Customization is where we can connect with the hearts of consumers who love hardwood for its inherent warmth, quality, and the special feeling someone gets when they know their floors are “fingerprint individually” made just for them. That’s the moment when we find a significant shift in a consumer’s decision-making process; when they determine if or if not their floors need to be unlike anyone else’s or at least not feel like it’s at every big box store across the nation.

During our quarantine period and while almost everyone was shut down for business, my business was rolling along since most of what I create is “made to order” and the “customized” sense. Most of the consumers who aren’t impacted by recessions or pandemics want something “unique” that requires a series of back and forth conversations about species, quality, performance, color, and overall aesthetics. To make that dream a reality, it takes someone committed to delivering something beyond their expectations. Customization isn’t just the product itself; it’s how the relationship is handled, it’s the services you offer, and it’s the attention to their life and their needs. Perhaps this is a carryover from being an interior designer for so long, or maybe it’s my wish to treat others as I want to be treated, but the consumer’s experience is part of the package.

Color-wise, it’s essential to know without a doubt what colors are selling, what colors are trending, and even more important than that is to be able to understand and explain “why.” Anyone can parrot what they’ve read or heard some design maven or color forecaster say at an event, but it is a different level of knowledge for someone to possess to be able to rely on the perspectives of history, how colors have and will be trending, and knowing where and how it makes sense for various parts of the country.

Travel is the best teacher.

Attending markets is another great way to add to that knowledge base. The looks that are selling well and are trending strongly in this new decade are warmer than in the past five years. That’s not to say some hint of taupe isn’t important, just that “warmth” is more desirable today than before. Our vernacular is going to have to shift along with the trends and to make certain the homeowners, the retail sales associates, the sales reps, the brands, and the manufacturers are all speaking the same language. If someone is asking for a warmer “white oak,” that might not mean they are thinking “red,” but rather a “touch of gold.” Specificity is needed, with pictures.

Speaking of pictures, scan through sites like Pinterest and Instagram and see what many users are posting. You’ll see a subtle change in the look. Remember when we couldn’t get enough of Joanna Gaines’ Shiplap? Well, even Joanna has changed her look.

The “farmhouse rustic” has become more of a “cottage with class.”

Rough-edged planks have morphed into smooth millwork. Shiplap of gapped rough sawn wood is now shiplap of smooth painted planks –similar, yet different.

Lighting is also changing with the looks of interiors and flooring. Notice now that as our metallics have gone all out “gold” or “old gold,” lighting is also putting out more lumens, thanks in part to newer LED light bulbs that can be warm or cool. Although brighter, LED lighting is also less forgiving,
and the surfaces of the finishes need to be much less reflective (matte), so that there’s little to no glare in the interior. Everything adds up to “the new look” when combining matte, light, and bright.

Flooring that falls into the new look includes rift sawn white oaks with wood rays, which say, “I’m the real thing.” Faux finishes are no longer in designers’ repertoire, but rather natural materials like plaster,hardwood, wool, cotton, and linen. Polyesters and plastics have their place in the world market, they just aren’t “aspirational” materials and aren’t in the “dream homes” of 2020. Clean and natural are adjectives once applied to our eating,but those same consumers have studied up and decided they like the look and feel of authentic hardwood. It stands to reason, that something so natural, that feels so right, has to be better for us to live with. For these reasons and many more, we should be seeing a gradual and noticeable return to authentic, real hardwood floors.

 

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Emily Morrow Home | NWFA and FCW | Adapting to Changing Demands

Adapting to changing demands as featured in Floor Covering Weekly
Monday, May 4, 2020
By Morgan Bulman

[Chesterfield, Mo.] The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only disruptive challenge the hardwood floor industry has faced. For the second day of the NWFA’s first-ever virtual Expo, a session tag-teamed by Emily Morrow Home CEO Emily Morrow Finkell and Anderson Tuftex’s director of brand strategy Katie Ford outlined how to stay steady with wood in an unpredictable marketplace.

Define your business
“Our industry is continually being disrupted,” shared Morrow Finkell during the online webinar. “We have to accept that change is constant and that it really is up to us to adapt and evolve.”

Some of the biggest complaints listed by Morrow Finkell included internet sales, fake wood, cheap imports and the uncertainty of a post-coronavirus retail market.

“Ask yourself some tough questions: What is unique to your business? Who are you hoping will buy your products? Do you know how others see you? What types of products best fit your business and your customers?” she posed, while offering listeners to review and define their value disposition.

Elevate wood’s qualities
Authenticity as a business is key, especially in order to sell an authentic product. Morrow Finkell revealed one of the most important qualities of wood is its natural authenticity, especially considering the current wellness culture consumers are living in, particularly in light of COVID-19.

And although industry professionals have a tendency to get hung up on who to sell to, whether its Baby Boomers or Millennials, “the wellness initiative is huge for every one of these demographics and will continue to expand,” she said.

In fact, Morrow Finkell referred to the Global Wellness Institute, which reported “health and wellness” is now a 4.5 trillion-dollar market and that 134 billion of that amount is devoted to holistic-oriented real estate. This can include anything from available exercise equipment to sustainable building materials like flooring.

“Designers almost always advise their clients to go with natural materials, nine times out of 10,” she noted. Wood has always been the top, coveted flooring visual, but as the market becomes oversaturated with lookalikes, Morrow Finkell believes there’s untapped potential in offering premium, high quality products consumers are starved for.

“Wood is synonymous with wellness,” she stressed.

“Hardwood is truly timeless,” but a great way to stay on top of changing market demands is to keep tabs on what customers are looking for. And, right now, there are three aspects to keep tabs on:

1. Light and neutral colors: Plaster, jute, wool, linen and muslin – this is what has inspired the light and ultra-matte colors of Emily Morrow Home. “Organic is a huge buzz word,” shared Morrow Finkell. Natural, organic and plaster-inspired color palettes are trending.
2. Dark statement stains: Interiors in general are trending light – white cabinetry, light fixtures, fabrics. For these home choices, dark woods offer a great deal of contrast, revealed Morrow Finkell.
3. Premium cuts and graining: When it comes to wood, quality sells well. “If you have a premium brand, you need to have a premium sample experience,”. To receive free samples of Emily Morrow Home Hardwood, simply text EMILY2 to 900900.

 

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HAPPY EARTH DAY 2020!

HAPPY EARTH DAY 2020!

The sunrises and sunsets in Kenya and Tanzania were beyond description. This particular one was a view of the river where we saw so many hippos and crocodiles.

Celebrating EARTH DAY while working from home has been interesting. Typically Earth Day would be one of those days we are running in circles… just wishing we could be home, or be outside…and today, you guessed it, we have all that and more! I’ve enjoyed being able to stay home without any worry that I’m somehow letting someone down, not being somewhere that I’m supposed to be, and it goes without saying our dog Donatella is LOVING it! While we have been quarantined in our little Rocky Face abode, I have been able to drive to my office in Dalton since literally no one is there. It’s quiet for writing articles for NWFA magazine, EMH blog posts, plan virtual cocktail party for designers, host an occasional webinar, take an order or check on the status of orders at the plant. Now more than ever I’ve come to fully appreciate the fact that Emily Morrow Home is a “boutique” brand and company. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay “hands on” with a majority of the marketing because I know exactly what I want…based on all the conversations and discussions over the years with friends like you.

One “quarantine-achievement” in particular that I’m beyond proud of is the launch of the Emily Morrow Designer Pro-gram. It took a quiet mind to lay out the program in a way that enhances everyone’s enterprises, flooring retailers (check), distributors (check), decorators (check), designers (check), retail sales and design associates (check)…and the launch party is next week. Don’t worry, it’s a virtual cocktail party and thus far with have just around 100 RSVP’s who will be joining us. By the way, let me know if YOU or you know of someone you’d like me to invite, the more the merrier!

On Earth Days of the past we celebrated nature in all its glory and (think about this) we had zero worries IF we hugged a person. On this 2020 Corona-virus-impacted Earth Day, I celebrate the earth and nature FIRST, but I also pause to feel grateful for Apple’s MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhones since without those tools, I wouldn’t be able to stay so well connected with YOU. I’m a hugger…and I think this pandemic might just make me think twice about hugging…but meanwhile, I’m still sending “air hugs”.

If you’d like additional reading material check out NWFA’s April May 2020 Issue just released and my article is linked here for the  TRENDS of the NEW DECADE.

Enjoy Earth day ~  let me know HOW you and yours are celebrating!

Cheers!


This is just a glimpse into some of what we’ve been up to…sending out EMH hardwood samples, loading up EMH Cares Quarantine Packages and much more…all from our dining room table or back porch….and OH by the way, I found a missing memory card from my Nikon camera which was FULL of more amazing photos from our Safari in 2018. Some are below.

Elephants in the sunset, taken by Emily Morrow Finkell August 2018 in Kenya.
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Donatella the Truffle Dog will send you 2 free “puppy-size” EMH hardwood samples when you text ‘EMILY2’ to 900900

Donatella the Truffle Dog and I are offering a little extra help as we all work to get through the next few weeks of living in a world where quarantining is the best and smartest option. With our digital marketing capabilities we can easily process hundreds of requests for small hardwood samples in any given time without you having to trouble yourself. Once we send out confirmation that the sample order is going out, we provide the ‘nearest retailer’ information, give hardwood flooring and on occasion answer design-related questions…all of which I believe helps close the sale for you.

Feel free to use our COUPON CODE of “EMILY2” with your sales associates, your designers or any customers that you think can benefit from this service.

Simply text “EMILY2” to 900900 and we’ll take it from there!

Meanwhile, please feel free to read through the following, our installation instructions, our wonderful product warranty which includes a little more information about OMG Proof Protection.

 

Emily Morrow Home Installation Instructions

Emily-Morrow-Home-Warranty-OMG-PROOF

How to care for your Emily Morrow Home Hardwood floors

 

Thank you!!!