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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.

 

 

 

 

Posted on

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.

#  #  #

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Grown in Seconds: What Does it Mean for Hardwood Flooring? Emily Morrow Home

First published in NWFA Magazine August 1, 2017, Grown in Seconds: What Does it Mean for Hardwood Flooring? Emily Morrow Finkell

After nearly 30 years as an interior designer, one of my favorite things to do is mentor and see new design students and new graduates “get their wings” and begin working in the real world. One way I’ve been able to work with those coming into the design field has been at the university level where I have served as a judge for senior design projects. On a recent project, one of the project prerequisites was that the students specify finishes and materials that were either recycled, rapidly renewable, or reclaimed.

In the competition, all but one student included flooring that was either bamboo or reclaimed material. Those students all received words of praise from the panel of judges and the professor. I withheld any negative remarks until I was completely surprised to hear one student be reprimanded, nearly ridiculed, by the professor for specifying hardwood flooring that was made in the U.S. for her project.

I was happy to offer the student encouragement and supporting data that she, in fact, had chosen well with her flooring. I also recommended that she and the others should visit the NWFA.org and woodfloors.org websites to find more information on the subject. This occasion occurred on the heels of having given multiple CEU-eligible presentations on “Sustainable Floorcovering,” so fortunately, I had the most recent data memorized. Specifically, the fact that U.S. forests are regrowing faster than they are being harvested. To which the professor retorted that these trees are probably not the same quality as those that had been taken already and that we should leave the forests alone.

Although I’ve told this particular story several times, it bears retelling as it is indicative of the misguided and misinformed, although well-intentioned, professionals who believe using bamboo (or another wood-lookalike substitute) over hardwood floors is better for the environment.

Let us take this as a cue that we all have a responsibility to share useful information whenever and however possible. With that in mind, I wanted to share information I recently learned at the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association’s (HPVA) annual meeting in Vancouver.

The presentation was given by Mike Snow from The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and was titled “Grown in Seconds.” The simple message is this: it only takes seconds for the hardwood used in a project to grow back in the U.S. AHEC’s website, growninseconds.org, features straightforward and compelling data as well as graphics to support their message.

For example, the site states the amount of carbon stored, the carbon footprint, and the volume used per species. There are so many reasons to love U.S. hardwood, certainly for its beauty and overall variety in aesthetics, but add to that the knowledge that it comes from forests that are vast and diverse. Most importantly, these forests are “replenished by natural regeneration and harvested selectively.” Their research has clearly established that U.S. hardwood is a low carbon material and “as they grow, trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere, storing carbon while growing, when harvested, and after being manufactured into products.” The group’s collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service Inventory and Analysis program enables them to know the rate that American timber grows, as well as how quickly it’s replaced by species in states and counties all across the U.S.

Having grown up in a family that comes from a long line of builders going back three generations, I’ve always been keenly aware of the sweet smell of freshly cut wood and newly bulldozed earth that go back to my earliest memories of checking on all the job sites with my dad before or after school. Going even deeper for a moment into sensory memories, the kinesthetic experience gets even better for me as an interior designer as wood cabinets, hardwood floors, walls, or ceilings are being installed. The scent of wood is exceptional and unlike anything else, certainly better to breathe in than the smell of synthetic materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC). For reasons that are sensory, kinesthetic, cerebral, and emotional, I am certain we will continue to see hardwood flooring and hardwood materials as a whole continue to remain a major player in the interiors industry.

Sometimes it is difficult to explain logically why one material is preferred over another, especially when there may be less-expensive and more easily obtained materials at every corner big box store to compete with. Logical, rational thinking can also sometimes dovetail nicely with very important factors when putting together a design project, and in the case of hardwood grown in seconds, it’s easy to justify why we love wood. Wood is naturally beautiful, and unlike the wood-look substitutes, its authenticity is immediately apparent to four of the five senses: touch, sight, smell, and sound.

Whether it be an architect, a design professional, a builder, or a homeowner who wants to be set apart from the pack, choosing quality materials that last and look not just good enough, but superior to the alternatives, makes hardwood a winner every time.

Let’s take our opportunities with students, interns, co-ops, newly hired sales people, or even our friends and family to share this incredibly important information about our forests and hardwood as a whole. Imagine seeing a forest replenishing itself even more quickly than the gorgeous hardwood floor going into your project.

Emily Morrow Finkell is an interior designer and CEO of EF Floors & Design, LLC in Dalton, a provider of hardwood floors and home furnishings, and NWFA design contributor.

Grown in Seconds: What Does it Mean for Hardwood Flooring?

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The Definition of Luxury Hardwood: Emily Morrow Home

Don’t mistakenly equate “luxury” with “expensive”. It’s more about a customized look… and it’s currently what Emily Morrow Home’s customers desire and designers demand. “Interior designers work with demographic groups that generally are higher earning households, and their clients generally are hiring the designers to help create an interior that adds to their overall quality of life and pleasure,” said CEO Emily Morrow Finkell. She explained those clients are hungry to create a space that’s completely unlike the interior next door. These custom options, from cut to color, help differentiate high-end hardwood. Morrow Finkell says that having a range of format offerings is essential to curating a luxury line. “Having a variety of options,” she echoed, “either custom or herringbone are essential.”

Below is the interview recently conducted between Emily Morrow Finkell and Floor Covering Weekly for their 2020 FCW Luxury Issue

Q1) What defines high-end hardwood: the cut, finish, design, etc.? Please explain. Why are these attributes important? 

A1) The definition of high-end hardwood certainly should be looked upon in the same light as diamonds since they both begin with the “cut”… the more precious the part of wood that is revealed by the cut, the harder it is to achieve that particular cut, the more desirable it is. Quarter-sawn veneers and select grades of North American white oak are among the most timeless requests in the world of luxury hardwood especially if it’s domestically-grown and domestically-harvested, it leaves no doubt of its origins. Today’s consumers insist on knowing how it’s made, if it is “safe” for the end-user as much as it is for those in the factories, think of this material almost like the entire “clean eating, farm to table, organically grown” version of hardwood flooring. Colors and finishes for the flooring need not hide or disguise the beautiful flecks, grain and medullary rays of the material but rather allow the natural eye see and appreciate it for its natural beauty. Some of the color influences are also drawn from other natural materials like “limestone”, salt, plaster, natural linen, jute, hemp and the natural-neutral colors of wool. The colorations, although subtle are critical that they are “just right”, not too gray, not too yellow, not too pink, not too green…but “just right’ in almost every light source. Beyond the cut of course is the size (thickness, width and stability) of the plank…keeping in mind that having a variety of options, either “custom” or “herringbone” coordinates are essential. 

Q2) Why does wood sell well at the upper end? 

A2) Wellness, holistic homes and “healthy” living are major catalysts. Although it may sound like I’m repeating the same thing if you listened in to my presentation on Thursday for NWFA’s “Changing Market Trends”…you’ll begin to understand that it is a BIG TREND…and no one else seems to be talking about it, except me…so that is an indication that our industry is focusing on other things that they perceive as a higher priority. “Hipsturibia” and “holistic residential ares” are designed and constructed with the natural materials, although the per square foot price tag is on the high end, it is a trade off for what these consumers’ value over those from 20 years ago, who wanted the maximum square footage “McMansion”. Those who wanted “McMansions” probably loved their “Big Macs” while today’s homes are “conspicuously comfortable and natural” just like the uber-organic “Whole Foods” deliveries brought to their doors. 

Q3) What are the benefits of choosing a luxury wood?   

A3) Key themes for my brand and products have been “custom options”, premium cuts as well as timeless designs and colors. Knowing the higher end consumer’s desires and design styles has proven to be beneficial in curating the collection. Knowing the “whys” certain colors and finishes were trending upwards, and understanding that I didn’t want to be everything to everyone, but my particular segment of consumers.”Tendencies” and behaviors are the key, like in playing doubles tennis, when you see your opponent at the net reaching overhead with their tennis racquet, you should expect there to be a tennis ball coming at you right away.  Interior designers work with demographic groups that generally are higher earning households, and their clients generally are hiring the designers to help create an interior that adds to their overall quality of life and pleasure which includes what can be best described as the “spiritual” need to have a place that exudes who they are, unlike the interior of the space next door, unique. “Customization” and “experiential” both helped craft and define the collections of EMH hardwood. A love of travel, having a curiousity about the world and a desire to bring the most natural and healthful materials into a space, are at the heart of EMH and EMH for Louis A. Dabbieri. Without seeing some of the places I was inspired by, it’s still possible to imagine the colors of the Serengeti or the cloud of gray dust and blur of zebras and wildebeests when clicking on the videos showing the “Design Journey” for styles named “Tusker”, “Great Migration”, “Serengeti Spirit” …just to name a few. Taking those experiences and translating them into colors and finishes that leave no doubt that when looking at the flooring you are indeed seeing those very things in your minds’ eye. 

Wellness has been a huge priority in the Morrow-Finkell household as you already know, I’m a breast cancer survivor with now a daughter who’s a Covid-19 survivor and it goes without saying that everything we have touched, everything we have brought into our home has to pass a series of criteria: where did it come from? Who all has been in contact with it? What are the ingredients? How long would a virus or bacteria last on it? Where does this go when its useful life is over? Knowing that viruses live longer on plastic than they do on wood is one statistic many consumers will not forget after this pandemic is over. Living better, living longer are a priority over living “large” and brandishing designer handbags. Today’s consumers are living with health and wellness foremost in their minds. It isn’t your imagination that it’s the millennials, Gen-Y and Gen X’ers who have been the most outspoken for the “more senior” family members to “stay home and wear a mask”, while standing outside their windows or delivering their groceries to them. It’s the same consumers who are the recipients or soon to be on the receiving end of the ‘“transfer of wealth” already documented in various reports. 

 

RESEARCH EXCERPTS FROM ARTICLES CITED BELOW:

The researchers behind the new study tested the virus’ life span in a 71-degree-Fahrenheit room at 65% relative humidity. After three hours, the virus had disappeared from printing and tissue paper. It took two days for it to leave wood and cloth fabric. After four days, it was no longer detectable on glass or paper money. It lasted the longest, seven days, on stainless steel and plastic. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-can-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces-how-to-disinfect-2020-3

According to Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, smooth, nonporous surfaces like doorknobs and tabletops are better at carrying viruses in general. Porous surfaces — like money, hair, and cloth fabric — don’t allow viruses to survive as long because the small spaces or holes in them can trap the virus and prevent its transfer, Graham told Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-can-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces-how-to-disinfect-2020-3

Wellbeing

The health of individuals – mental and physical – society as a whole, and the wider natural environ- ment. Growth in demand for a healthy outcome is driving innovation across the real estate sector.

Environmental, social & governance (ESG) criteria

A generic term used by investors to evaluate corpo- rate behaviour against a set of non-financial perfor- mance indicators including sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues such as managing the company’s carbon footprint and ensuring there are systems in place to ensure accountability.

COLDWELL-BANKER-REPORT

Watch for housing developments focused around wellness, “hipsturbia” neighborhoods, and communities catering to active seniors, millennials, and LGBTQ. When it comes to luxury condos in big cities, we are already seeing more buildings offering unique hospitality and services for pets and children, as well as five-star hotel-condo models. New definitions of luxury are emerging, creating greater diversity within the marketplace. A one-size-fits- all approach to connecting with tomorrow’s affluent consumers is not the future of our business!

Tax law changes in 2018 that limited deductions for state and local taxes provide further fuel for buyers to move from places like New York and California to Florida and Arizona.

Another recurrent theme is the broad concept of wellness, which has come to mean much more than spas, pools, and exercise rooms to include everything related to holistic well-being. Increasing focus on green design is giving rise to rating systems that certify buildings as eco-friendly, while similar certifications are taking root to score buildings’ wellness.

Finally, there is a widening recognition of the increasing influence of several demographic groups in the luxury home market. 

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) estimates the worldwide wellness market to be worth $4.5 trillion, with the strongest growth coming from the spa industry, wellness tourism, and the emerging industry of wellness real estate,1 which has taken flight by responding to rising demand for buildings that support the holistic health and well-being of people who live and work in them.

“Luxury is the trend leader in wellness, but developers are starting to leverage the benefits to create more affordable smart-healthy homes and neighborhoods,” says Scialla, noting the sharpening focus on wellness at the center of new home conception, design, and creation.

With luxury goods, the craft origins, high-quality materials and small production runs that characterise the industry, assist audit trails. We can see who and how things are put together and the possible side effects during the manufacturing or distribution process.

The total number of luxury consumers is expected to reach 480 million in 2022, a 20% increase from 2015. As opposed to conspicuous consumption, social status today

is signaled through the consumption of experiences rather than material goods. By 2023, the experiential segment is forecast to account for nearly two-thirds of the total $1.2 billion luxury market.

Universalis Rift and Quartersawn White Oak Herringbone Floors are representative of timeless materials that never go out of style and are built to last a lifetime
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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.