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MILLED NATURALS – EMH COLOR FAMILY OF 2021

EMILY MORROW HOME RELEASES The ENTIRE 2021 COLOR FAMILY OF THE YEAR and our hardwood flooring styles which fall into the color families. 

ENJOY OUR NEWEST VIDEO SHOWCASING  ALL OF THE NINE COLORS

 

MILLED NATURALS COLOR FAMILY AND OUR HARDWOOD FLOORING THAT BEST EXEMPLIFIES THESE STUNNING VISUALS!

Dalton, GA, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – Emily Morrow Finkell, founder and CEO of Emily Morrow Home, is pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Color Family of the Year, MILLED NATURALS.

Please find below our press release outlining the color stories behind the 2021 Color of the Year, also the supporting images and linked here is the EMH Milled Naturals Video which tells the story in a little more than one minute. 
Because great design does not cease during a pandemic, our “travel” to research the market trends has been ongoing. 
We hope you enjoy our color story and if you have an interest in learning more  about our “GOAT-inspired” Color family, we’d love to share it!

 

 

 

 

Gold’s warming influence sets the stage for a brown-based color story

Dalton, GA – February 12, 2021 – Color is Relational. For COTY 2021, Emily Morrow Home sees a bigger picture of how color reflects a Healthy living lifestyle… one of being “At home” with family. We are all on the journey of change…yearning for comfort and community. This sense of community influenced us to choose a different path for the Color of the Year 2021. Rather than highlighting 1 color, EMH to choose to highlight a Color Family…of 9!

Introducing the EMH 2021 Color Family of the YearMilled Naturals

Milled Naturals is a universal, must-have color family that emits an elevated level of luxurious tones for 2021.Gold’s warming influence gives this color family a seasonless and timeless appeal. When paired with each other, all 9 colors in the Milled Naturals family work together, harmoniously. They are also quietly confident when standing on their own. The lighter, luxurious Milled Naturals have a graceful subtlety that is tranquil and soothing.

This family has strong roots of yellow and red that provide balance to the more saturated Milled Naturals. This brown-based story has long-lasting relevance and is a fresh new direction from the market saturated grey influence of recent years. Like freshly tilled earth from which nature springs, Good Earth is the first color in our color family, followed by the ever-nurturing Goat’s Milk. Good Earth is best represented by two deep brown hardwood styles, William & Mary and Handmade Harvest. Goat’s Milk can be found in our Cosmopolitan Coast and Surf Shack.

We believe that when you experience the warmth of the Milled Naturals, they will influence a conversation of grounding words, ripe for our life-stretching moments.

EMH BUZZ WORDS:

Universal | Seasonless | Authentic | Flexible | Artisanal | Heirloom | Legacy

Tranquil | Community | Regenerate | Cocoon | Comfort | Tactile |Confident

Expect our natural hardwood flooring to show its natural beauty… listening to its inherent design and texture that nature calls us to appreciate.

By adding bold, organic accent colors, the pairing of Milled Naturals offers endless color combinations that have universal application. Refresh with vibrant trending Greens, powdered and chalked tints, rich jewel tones, and orange- based color combinations.

As we continue to search for support, comfort, trust, and interactive touch, the time has come for the universal warmth of the 2021 EMH Milled Naturals color family.

Stay tuned, monthly, for more in-depth stories of each of the 9 EMH 2021 Milled Naturals to be released throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister’s baby goat visited my offices and I was smitten…to the point of shifting our color story to GOAT’S MILK.

About Emily Morrow Home

Emily Morrow Home is a leader in the American hardwood flooring industry. Founded by Emily Morrow Finkell, the company offers high-quality, luxury hardwoods to retailers through select distributors and buying groups. All flooring products are sustainably harvested, constructed, and finished in the USA. Finkell is a member of the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); NWFA Verified from U.S. Renewing Forests; California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board; Allied Member ASID; CMG; and SCS Certified Indoor Advantage Gold For more information, visit emilymorrowhome.com or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo.

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In memory of Evelyn Myers | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS 

February 22, 2021 —Honoring the memory and legacy of Evelyn Myers

If you aren’t from our part of the country (Dalton, Ga) I’ll let you in on a little secret… we are surrounded by some very strong and smart women. Case in point is Evelyn Myers, who co-founded Myers Flooring in 1957 with her husband Gene Myers. Myers Flooring grew over the years with stores in Atlanta, Nashville as well as the first one in Dalton. Myers has always had that extra something that feels stylish, classy and a cut above. This was somewhat radical when compared to the stereotypical carpet retailers of the 1960’s-1970’s. Myers was known for going the extra mile in marketing by staging live photo shoots inside real home interiors (lovely homes) in order to show floor covering in the most aspirational light. To this day, Mrs. Myers and the influence of her sons Rick and Ray is ever-present. Anytime you walk into one of the three Myers locations, you’ll know and feel you are in very capable hands, and if you walk into the Nashville store, you will see it personified in the form of third generation Sinclair Myers.  My interaction with Mrs. Myers was unique in that we would run into each other from time to time in Dalton or Chattanooga, and she would ask me about my interior design business, asking if I was ever moving back to Dalton, et cetera. If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone whose smile radiates light and warmth, then you’d know what it felt like for me as a young interior designer, Mrs. Myers had that gift and made me feel special.

Prior to the opening of the Judd House, I asked for a special favor, and that was to be able to use the frame picture of Evelyn Myers (elegantly perched on the wing of an airplane) in one the of rooms I’d designed in the “upstairs guest bedroom”. Everyone who entered would go immediately to the framed portrait and remark at how beautiful she was…and she truly was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gene Myers, with the help of his wife Evelyn, and later sons Rick and Ray, opened Dalton’s first carpet store

As quoted at Myers Carpet About Us: The company was founded in 1957 by Gene Myers, who started buying scraps of carpet from local mills and reworking them into stair treads and small rugs which he then sold through area chenille stores on “Peacock Alley” on Georgia Highway 41. Gene Myers, with the help of his wife Evelyn, and later sons Rick and Ray, opened Dalton’s first carpet store and began offering carpet from Dalton’s local mills. Patcraft was first. Later, Art Black, founder of Evans and Black Carpet of Arlington, Texas, gave Myers his first line. Gene Myers passed away in 1981 at age 53 and the company was then managed by sons, Rick and Ray Myers. In 1987, Myers Carpet opened a 3000 square-foot showroom on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. Six years later they purchased and moved into a 35,000 square-foot showroom and warehouse at 1500 Northside Drive. That location quickly became the flagship store for Myers. In 1998, Myers Flooring was opened in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by the purchase in 2001 of the showroom and warehouse of Division Street Carpets at 641 Division Street in downtown Nashville. Myers Flooring of Nashville then purchased the assets of Van Gilmore’s Nashville Carpet Center in 2016 and combined the two businesses and employees at our current location at 2919 Sidco Drive in Nashville.

“Myers Carpet Company was the first and remains the oldest carpet store in Dalton, Georgia, “The Carpet Capital of the World.

Below is an article about “women inspiring others” in National Wood Flooring Association’s Hardwood Floors Magazine | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS

Emily Morrow Featured in Atlanta Magazine November 2001 The Judd House owned by Evelyn Myers and the Myers Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I look back on my career path, I am grateful to the incredible women who so generously opened doors and encouraged me to go further and do do better. One such women was Evelyn Myers. In 2001 I had moved back to my hometown of Dalton from Carrollton, Georgia where I’d practiced interior design for 12 years. Although I was known in Dalton as Emily Kiker, I was not known by most as Emily Morrow, the interior designer. I did however know Mrs. Myers through my own mother and in some of our exchanges, she shared some of her upcoming “design-related” endeavors. It was that same year, 2001, Evelyn Myers invited me to be a guest designer in her “Judd House Designer Showhouse”, which would provide valuable networking opportunities with our local community, other designers and architects. If not for her invitation, I might not have had the change to meet the many contacts who later became my colleagues and bosses at Shaw Industries.

The February March 2020 issue of Hardwood Floors celebrates the talented and dynamic women in our industry who have gone before us and worked amongst us. They smoothed the path, opened doors, and showed other women the way forward. I am so inspired by these women and would not be where I am today without their wisdom and guidance. Looking back on the lessons I’ve learned, and taking stock of how many influential and passionate women have inspired me never to stop growing, I hope what I do today will inspire others in the same way. While my career has gone through a series of changes, I know my journey would not have been possible with the support given to me by women in the industry.

THE VITAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN FLOOR COVERING

I’m fortunate to have a unique perspective on the power of women in flooring history, starting at a very early age. Growing up in Dalton, Georgia, I’ve witnessed generation after generation of women entrepreneurs acting as trailblazers and role models. If you’re familiar with the history of carpet, you’ll know it all started in Dalton along “Peacock Alley” with the crafting of hand-tufted chenille bedspreads, an industry started by extraordinary women like Dicksie Bradley Bandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the great depression, Dicksie and her husband’s country store had given credit to their customers who had no money to pay for the goods they needed, only their possessions, what they could make or grow themselves. The country store eventually became indebted to their suppliers and although there was no way to recoup the money from their customers, Dicksie and her husband were determined to repay every dollar. Determined to find a way to raise the funds, she boarded a train to Washington, D.C., carrying a suitcase filled with hand-tufted chenille bedspreads to sell to large department stores. She came home with enough money to repay her suppliers AND with enough orders to give several families an income for their craft. That simple cottage industry grew and evolved to the point where Dalton is now known not just the “carpet capital” but as the “floor covering capital of the world”. 

In this industry, not only are many of my peers women, but the majority of our customers are as well. We speak of “Ms. Consumer” as making more than 91% of the purchasing decisions for the home. With the purchasing power of women in the United States ranging from $5 trillion annually, we certainly MUST consider “her” in our business decisions, and we certainly MUST consult women on what goes into a new product launch. 

LESSONS IN RESILIENCE AND PAYING DUES

Looking back, some of my early jobs were excruciating. One example was working for a family-owned women’s wear manufacturer whose owners would inadvertently exhale their cigarette smoke into my eyes causing me to leave work many days in tears. At the same time, they also gave me the chance to work with fabrics, color-ways, and the people that would be selling the apparel across the U.S. That experience was priceless. Soon I found myself training sales persons about the designs and colors of the coming collections.

Along the way, I learned about perseverance, resilience and the importance of hard work – even when it it seemed at the time like I was being pulled in the wrong direction. Balancing competing priorities had been modeled by my mother, a fantastic entrepreneur in her own right. As I began my own journey into motherhood as an interior designer, I carried with me the power of the examples and lessons that only magnified in importance over time. 

While I loved the work I was doing, after the arrival of my firstborn William, I was inspired to take a huge leap. The result was that my own interior design business was born. It was the culmination of all that I had learned and experienced up until then – and just when I thought I had it all “balanced” along comes Mary. Juggling motherhood to two small children with an interior design business taught me how to put first things first. My first design business operated in the West Georgia area for nearly 12 years, doing both commercial and residential design projects. 

Those years allowed me the experience of putting family first. It’s a lesson I’ve tried to live by since. I learned to be a mother first and foremost, and I had the flexibility and freedom to schedule design appointments around the schedules of babysitters, mothers’ mornings out, and my children’s own evolving schedules. 

ANSWERING THE OPPORTUNITY

The women in my life have taught me so many powerful lessons that I try to pass on to those who I have had the good fortune of knowing. One of the most important things I was taught is that like doors, opportunities can open and close quickly. Recognizing the opportunities requires a certain kind of “sixth sense” to know when to take them. Unfortunately, too often opportunities can seem daunting and present themselves as “risk”.

This lesson became a huge blessing as I faced a professional crossroads in 2002. Having just become a single mother, and after operating my own interior design business for many years, I was encouraged to move into the corporate world to provide the benefits my children and I would need. While there was some risk involved (would I be able to work the corporate hours? What if my kids needed me? How could I juggle my children’s activities with my travel schedule?…and much more) it was a leap that I was well-prepared to take for my family. 

So when asked if I could direct a large group of corporate professionals and juggle continually changing business priorities, I actually laughed out loud. That had become second nature to me. For years, at any given time, I had teams of painters, carpenters, flooring installers or other tradespeople going in and out of the businesses and homes of my clients, on time and budget, all while being a mother of two. Speaking of juggling priorities, one very important project, a medical arts building was being installed the very day I was in labor with the birth of my daughter. Needless to say, both “projects” demanded my attention that day but in the end, my family was only thing that truly mattered.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY

I hope that my experience demonstrates to other women – and men – in the industry that you can prioritize family and still have an enriching and successful career. That is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and one I hope to be remembered for, the same way I remember all of the incredible wisdom and support that was shared with me.

I encourage all of us to prioritize family and to allow everything else to fall into place. Following my own advice, I opted to leave a life of constant travel while working for a massive company, to instead revel in family. I chose to instead take a moment to savor my time being a new wife, a mother, and an empty nester.

When the time was right, I again took another risk, following my instinct, and formed a new enterprise, one that would eventually become relevant to husband’s own company. Who encouraged me to take that step? It was the same woman who inspired me nearly thirty years prior, my mother.

 

 

 

 

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MILLED NATURALS – EMH COLOR FAMILY OF 2021

EMILY MORROW HOME RELEASES The 2021 COLOR FAMILY OF THE YEAR and our hardwood flooring styles which fall into the color families. 

Dalton, GA, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – Emily Morrow Finkell, founder and CEO of Emily Morrow Home, is pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Color Family of the Year, MILLED NATURALS.

Please find below our press release outlining the color stories behind the 2021 Color of the Year, also the supporting images and linked here is the EMH Milled Naturals Video which tells the story in less than a minute. 
Because great design does not cease during a pandemic, our “travel” to research the market trends has been ongoing. 
We hope you enjoy our color story and if you have an interest in learning more  about our “GOAT-inspired” Color family, we’d love to share it!

 

 

 

 

Gold’s warming influence sets the stage for a brown-based color story

Dalton, GA – February 12, 2021 – Color is Relational. For COTY 2021, Emily Morrow Home sees a bigger picture of how color reflects a Healthy living lifestyle… one of being “At home” with family. We are all on the journey of change…yearning for comfort and community. This sense of community influenced us to choose a different path for the Color of the Year 2021. Rather than highlighting 1 color, EMH to choose to highlight a Color Family…of 9!

Introducing the EMH 2021 Color Family of the YearMilled Naturals

Milled Naturals is a universal, must-have color family that emits an elevated level of luxurious tones for 2021.Gold’s warming influence gives this color family a seasonless and timeless appeal. When paired with each other, all 9 colors in the Milled Naturals family work together, harmoniously. They are also quietly confident when standing on their own. The lighter, luxurious Milled Naturals have a graceful subtlety that is tranquil and soothing.

This family has strong roots of yellow and red that provide balance to the more saturated Milled Naturals. This brown-based story has long-lasting relevance and is a fresh new direction from the market saturated grey influence of recent years. Like freshly tilled earth from which nature springs, Good Earth is the first color in our color family, followed by the ever-nurturing Goat’s Milk. Good Earth is best represented by two deep brown hardwood styles, William & Mary and Handmade Harvest. Goat’s Milk can be found in our Cosmopolitan Coast and Surf Shack.

We believe that when you experience the warmth of the Milled Naturals, they will influence a conversation of grounding words, ripe for our life-stretching moments.

EMH BUZZ WORDS:

Universal | Seasonless | Authentic | Flexible | Artisanal | Heirloom | Legacy

Tranquil | Community | Regenerate | Cocoon | Comfort | Tactile |Confident

Expect our natural hardwood flooring to show its natural beauty… listening to its inherent design and texture that nature calls us to appreciate.

By adding bold, organic accent colors, the pairing of Milled Naturals offers endless color combinations that have universal application. Refresh with vibrant trending Greens, powdered and chalked tints, rich jewel tones, and orange- based color combinations.

As we continue to search for support, comfort, trust, and interactive touch, the time has come for the universal warmth of the 2021 EMH Milled Naturals color family.

Stay tuned, monthly, for more in-depth stories of each of the 9 EMH 2021 Milled Naturals to be released throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister’s baby goat visited my offices and I was smitten…to the point of shifting our color story to GOAT’S MILK.

About Emily Morrow Home

Emily Morrow Home is a leader in the American hardwood flooring industry. Founded by Emily Morrow Finkell, the company offers high-quality, luxury hardwoods to retailers through select distributors and buying groups. All flooring products are sustainably harvested, constructed, and finished in the USA. Finkell is a member of the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); NWFA Verified from U.S. Renewing Forests; California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board; Allied Member ASID; CMG; and SCS Certified Indoor Advantage Gold For more information, visit emilymorrowhome.com or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo.

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Part I: How to host a wedding at your home…(and other special events)

Part I: How to host a wedding at your home…(and other special events)

THE TOP 5 CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO A HOME WEDDING:

    1. ASK THE BRIDE ABOUT WHAT SHE WANT THE SPECIAL DAY TO FEEL LIKE
    2. WHAT TIME OF YEAR WILL IT BE?
    3. WILL THE WEDDING DATE PERMIT AN OUTDOOR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION?
    4. WHAT IS THE AGE SPREAD OF YOUR GUESTS?
    5. GIVE PRIORITY TO THE GRANDPARENTS SINCE THEY’RE NOT ONLY CHERISHED GUESTS BUT ALSO THE MOST VULNERABLE.
She said yes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to a brand new year in which we hope with all our heart that only the best will happen. One thing to remember, regardless of geo-political events or pandemics that are going viral, “Love overcomes a lot of things”, even COVID-19. Last spring, my son William Morrow was planning his proposal to Ashley Walker, his girlfriend. I have never been more proud of my son than I was last year…starting with his choice of his wife, someone we all loved and who shares his same convictions and beliefs about life, and secondly with his ability to roll with all of the changes that were to come. Last year, 2020 basically required everyone to be or become adaptable, and those who were the most adaptable seemed to handle the obstacles the best. That the bride-to-be and groom-to-be were both being optimists certainly did help as William and Ashley made and readjusted their plans for their engagement, their parties, the wedding weekend and even their honeymoon. Their smiles said it all, they were in love and nothing was going to get in their way to have a happy engagement and wedding. Our friends who hosted their engagement party wisely agreed that it might turn out to be their only party and rolled out the literal red carpet as only Daltonians do. The engagement party became a couples shower, and took place at a friend’s stunning open air barn, with live entertainment and a large fire. It was the perfect place to celebrate their engagement!

The cutest un-invitations

 

 

 

Their smiles said it all!

 

 

 

 

Almost all mothers of the grooms can agree that it’s a little different when it’s your son who’s getting married and you’re not in control of the event, but Ashley and her mother were the epitome of graciousness throughout it all. As we watched and waited from mid-May to September, it became abundantly clear that the state of Georgia restrictions were not going to be lifted for public events such as weddings to allow beyond 50 persons within a banquet space. The beautiful blush-colored wedding invitations that Ashley and William had mailed out were now requiring another new genre of invitations, an un-invitation. The first step for the two love birds was to go back and painstakingly narrowing down the guests to the immediate family and their wedding party, and then send out “un-invitations”. Ashley and I found some cute “un-invitations” on zazzle.com and within an hour they were designed and ready to order.

 

 

We wanted to have a cross for our home and one of my happiest days was when Don and I made this one ourselves!

 

 

Our back porch is one of our family’s most favorite places. While having to stay home during the shutdown of 2020, we named our porch “Nature’s Sanctuary”…and why not? We attended “online church” and watched the birds, deer, fox, and all the other kinds of wildlife go right by us as we sip our coffee or have dinner al fresco together. Also on the back porch is Donatella the Truffle dog who reigns as queen of the porch and entire back yard. It should come as no surprise that our family was sitting on our porch after dinner one evening when William said he and Ashley said they thought it might be kind of cool to have the wedding right there in our back yard around the pool. The Covid-19 restrictions were severely limiting their wedding venue options and they were not wanting to change their original wedding date of November 7th. We got really excited about the idea of having such a special moment in our lives right there in our “nature’s sanctuary” and I drafted a short list of to-do’s (a list that grew and grew). Personally speaking, my biggest priority was to elevate our back yard to the event, rather than have the wedding feel like a “back yard barbecue”. Although we love back yard barbecues, this sweet little bride simply wanted the wedding to feel like a wedding, and we didn’t blame her one bit. That meant getting a few things spruced up. Do you know what happens when you start to fix one little thing? It turns into something bigger you didn’t expect and this was no exception.

 

Trees and shrubbery had to be severely pruned to make way for an outdoor pathway to the back yard, in an effort to keep everyone outdoors. Pathway lighting had been installed last year thankfully, and so we only needed to add mesh and orb lights for effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have I mentioned we love our back porch? Being southern and living in the south like we do, we spend a large part of our lives on the porch. When the coronavirus swept across the nation and our constant traveling came to a screeching halt, we gleefully parked ourselves on the back porch, loaded up the bird feeders with seed and quarantined ourselves while watching the birds and the bees. From time to time, I’d casually mention seeing these little “winged things” take flight from our back porch and asked my husband what they were, then we’d see a pretty bird fly by and forget all about them. Fast forward to September 5th when we discovered that they were something that no one wants to see, carpenter ants! Our house siding is made of hardy-board *except for the soffit and facia which now it appears needs to be urgently replaced, which requires also new gutters and painting it all back to match. Hmmm okay, the house was built in the early 2000’s and I had been waiting for just the right time to paint it in a new color palette. It’s worth noting that my family is in the commercial construction business…they do not do residential construction, they do not do renovations BUT I called the cavalry and they showed up with their best help and sub-contractors! My family is beyond special in how we show up for each other in times of need, and this was certainly a time of urgent need. Project “Fixer Upper” for the wedding started on our back porch. We became tuned in to the subtle nuances of the men, their various coffee preferences and watched with awe at how quickly they could eradicate our home of carpenter ants, replace the gutters and paint it ~ almost as if it never happened but better. *Paint colors provided upon request. For their skill, strength, and determination to get us ready for William and Ashley’s wedding I will always be grateful.

This is mid-way through repainting, it’s already looking so different as a white house instead of a gray house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most important considerations for a pandemic wedding are to keep yourself and your guests “safe” which meant having masks, hand sanitizer and praying for the weather to be perfect so that everyone could be outside. We had grandparents to consider and wanted to be sure while they were included in the wedding plans while not exposing them to the virus. God is so good and a strange thing happened, my son “the groom” and his groomsmen (almost all 13) contracted the coronavirus on their bacherlor’s golf weekend and brought it home to their significant others which included the bride to be…we began checking calendars at this moment while everyone is sending text messages that they’d tested positive, I noted that we had a little over two weeks for everyone to quarantine, get well (and pray that no one else got it). We ordered the cutest masks for the special day, also at Zazzle.com, which coordinated with the custom designed dinner napkins, the fall foliage and crimson florals in the bridal bouquet ~ details matter ~ even masks. We ordered enough masks for the rehearsal dinner AND the wedding. We weren’t taking any chances with contagiousness.

 

Masks can be cute and customized for events like a rehearsal dinner or a wedding. We love the ones we ordered from Zazzle.com.

All of these photos are our own, but you’ll see more to come from the wedding photographer Mackenzie Alexa photography in the next blog post. I can’t wait to share the next chapter of getting ready for the wedding when I can share some of the stunning videography of Kyle Delk. Some of his footage brought tears to my eyes of reliving the weekend one more time in “slow motion”. Here’s a sneak preview so you’ll know what I mean when I say “stunning”!

Stay tuned for Part II “How to host a wedding at home”.

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)

 

 

Posted on

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.

 

 

Posted on

Sustainability for Millennials: Our Future in the Hardwood Flooring Industry is in their hands, Emily Morrow Finkell

Paris, France – April 26, 2016: Close-up of sustainable building in Paris with green facade made of living plants. Three pedestrians are walking in front of it.

For NWFA Magazine: July 31, 2018: Look around you right now where you are sitting or standing and see if you can spot a “cloth shopping bag”, a collection of used aluminum cans or a reusable water bottle. Look a little harder, perhaps around your home, and you’re likely to see evidence of “sustainability”…or what someone thinks “sustainability” involves. Not to suggest that today’s newest consumers don’t know or understand “sustainability”, it’s merely to suggest the opposite, that WE don’t understand the “new” definition. It has expanded and evolved since the early days of the “Cradle to Cradle” discussions in the design world as well as our floor covering industry. Today it includes carbon footprint, “farm to table” and even checking hidden labels to see the country of origin where our products are sourced and manufactured.

Next, consider how frequently you’ve seen headlines or heard references made to the millennials generation. It’s known as the next frontier for brands who seek to connect with their spending power. According to recent statistics, millennials spend approximately $200 billion in 2017 and studies have revealed their willingness to spend on “sustainable” brands. According to an op-ed article in Business of Fashion and the State of Fashion report by B of F & McKinsey, “nearly 90 percent believe they will help create more sustainable products by convincing businesses and governments to change existing practices…and would be willing to boycott a fashion brand if it was not sustainable.” What this means in our floor covering industry is not yet known but we should certainly be paying attention. Not only are they our future consumers and homeowners, they are our future work force, employees and business leaders.

Today we have emerging professionalscoming into the work force with multiple degrees, motivated to live differently from their parents who are less motivated by wealth and more motivated by health. Whether they identify as “millennials” or “HENRYs”, (High Earners Not Rich Yet) this generation’s biggest challenge is discerning truth in advertising from fiction. I happen to know many of these HENRYs…in fact I might even be their mom or their friend’s mom. My son Will Morrow is a “twenty-something” and epitomizes who and what HENRYs are. He’s working hard, living lean, saving and investing his income and is also very involved in his community, with a deep-seated commitment to ensuring his future in his (and my) hometown of Dalton, Georgia. Just so you know, the future is in wonderful hands and I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future leaders when I spend time with my own young adult children and their friends. They are smart, kind and very savvy. They’ve seen the world, they’ve worked hard to get through college and are now entering the world filled with both knowledge and “heart” and just so you know, they also are wiser than you’d think. They have a broad reach of social connections. At any given hour of the day, they get Snapchats, texts and messages from friends who are thousands of miles away and are living a well-connected life where age and income matter less than their passions, hobbies or interests.

“Those aged 26 are smack dab in the middle of the millennial generation, “the group of 93 million comprises people born roughly between 1980 and 2000,” The Journal writes. By comparison, the baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964 and numbering 78.8 million at their peak, have now declined to 74 million according to the latest census. Millennials, aged 17-37, are vital to every brands’ future, as they are “entering prime spending years as they buy homes and make improvements. Their outlays are growing as more of the generation moves into adulthood.” Their importance will only continue to grow up till about age 50 when their household spending is expected to peak, according to spending wave research conducted by Harry Dent.That means from now until about 2040, millennials will be the key consumer segment driving the U.S. economy.”

So many companies, for example those who produce food, fashion, flooring, have murky marketing campaigns that create an impression of being “sustainably-made”. It’s hard to see through the smoke and mirrors oftentimes and as an industry we do have a responsibility to make sure we are all being honest about what we make and how we make it. We all get that “feel good” warm fuzzy when we do business with companies who have been recognized for responsible stewardship only to find that some of these labels have been misrepresented.

In May of 2018, my daughter Mary Morrow traveled with a select group of Furman University students who spent three weeks studying “Slow Food Italy” on a small farm in Sora, Italy. Mary explained that we should seek out food that might take longer to grow, but is cultivated without harmful chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, using the methods of our grandparents rather than mass-producing food is our best bet for quality health as well as the refined enjoyment of flavor and dining experiences. These students not only studied food, nutrition and “farm to table” methods but also visited the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They examined the seeds, the plants, the animals, and the preparation of each as well as the effects on our health. Thanks to her explanation of what many US fast food companies do to potatoes in order to make “perfect French fries” I can no mindlessly longer enjoy them. As she described her own purpose in “Slow Food Studies” as a Health Sciences major, it occurred to me that the study of slow food is a movement going on around us all and represents a broader shift in how our younger generations are seeing the world and how they view quality living. Take the same concept of mindful eating, and apply it to mindful shopping…for fashion and the home.

Gone are the days when US designers and home owners thought bamboo flooring was a “sustainable” option because it was plentiful and grew quickly…now we know it is imported from China which contributes to its carbon footprint, we know it does not handle scratches or moisture well…and then there’s this to consider:

Certain bamboo flooring from China  potentially contains high levels of toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde-based glues and finishes. As the bamboo must be sliced or shredded initially, it must then be adhered back together to form the planks that make up flooring.Sometimes, the adhesive used can release VOCs into the air over time, which makes the bamboo unhealthy for you and the environment.” – Brittney Smart, Home Edit.

The hardwood flooring industry can so easily be compared to our food industry here in the states. While we enjoy a vast variety of options of super cheap and super fast foods, we are paying a price that cannot be seen right or felt away. We are bringing materials into our homes that might be inexpensive and readily available as a DIY product, but it’s important to ask yourself: “how long will it look good, how long before it “uglies out” and how long will it last?” What if we saved up just a little more money and earmark it for US made hardwood flooring that doesn’t have to be replaced, that will look good for decades, that actually adds to the homes overall value and curb appeal? Why not fall in love with premium hardwood flooring rather than loathing the cheap base grade flooring we feel we must have as first time home owners? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we considered our flooring as much as we do other things in our lives? It would make our homes more valuable in the short and long term, and help to make our indoor air quality better with low to zero VOC hardwood (especially Emily Morrow Home Hardwood) and will last a lifetime, which truly makes it a sustainable material.