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Hardwood floors for puppies

Welcome to the end of the tunnel

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

Baci, our newest addition to the family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Hiving to Nesting: EVOLVING WITH AN ERA OF CHANGE

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

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

 

 

 

 

FROM HIVING TO NESTING

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOPHILIC DESIGN CALMS THE SENSES

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRADING PLACES WITH SPACES

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

 

 

FROM LUXURY TO NECESSITY

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT THIS MEANS

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

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

 

 

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

Join us for PART 2!!!

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

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

NWFA Wood Talk - All you need to know - Backtracks

NWFA Wood Talk

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

DECEMBER 04, 2020 NWFA WOOD TALK

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

[MPBOX id=27224]

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

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

August 2019

Emily Morrow Home Debuts Louis A Dabbieri

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

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

February 2019

Emily’s Dark Side

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

March 2018

Personalization Cuts Through Noise

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

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

May 2018

A Group of Designers Walk into a Prison

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

Read More

Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award

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

Read More

BUSINESS OF HOME

May 2019

Inside a Nashville Prison a Hardwood Flooring Factory Thrives

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

Read More

FLOOR TRENDS

January 2019

Emily Morrow Home Expands Distribution

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

May 2018

Emily Morrow Home Designer Summit Shines Light on Interiors

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

Read More

HOUSE TIPSTER

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

Read More

Posted on

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

[MPBOX id=27224]

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

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

August 2019

Emily Morrow Home Debuts Louis A Dabbieri

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

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

February 2019

Emily’s Dark Side

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

March 2018

Personalization Cuts Through Noise

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

Read More

DESIGNERS TODAY

May 2018

A Group of Designers Walk into a Prison

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

Read More

Emily Morrow Finkell receives the “2019 Women in Manufacturing Award

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

Read More

BUSINESS OF HOME

May 2019

Inside a Nashville Prison a Hardwood Flooring Factory Thrives

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

Read More

FLOOR TRENDS

January 2019

Emily Morrow Home Expands Distribution

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

Read More

FLOOR COVERING WEEKLY

May 2018

Emily Morrow Home Designer Summit Shines Light on Interiors

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

Read More

HOUSE TIPSTER

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

Read More

Posted on

LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

 

HANDMADE HARVEST BY EMILY MORROW HOME LUXURY HARDWOOD

LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

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

 

Click to view Emily Morrow Home’s Holistic Living Video

 

CAN YOUR DECISIONS HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY?

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

WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER?

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

 

INCREASED SCRUTINY OVER INDOOR AIR QUALITY

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

COVID-19 and the Future of Interior Design

COVID-19 and the Future of Interior Design

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

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

TRUST AND TRUE VALUE

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

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

OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

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

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

HOME IS THE NEW WORKPLACE

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

 

 

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How to Care for Your Emily Morrow Home Hardwood Floors

***This post has been updated from August 2018

By Kate Toburen Kranzlein, Marketing Specialist for Emily Morrow Home

 

Do you want to take care of your new hardwood floors so that they last a lifetime? (They can with the right care, by the way!). Simply keep them free of dust and debris, no wet mopping, and no harsh chemicals. “Less is more” is the best rule of thumb!

Now that you know what to do, let’s talk about what not to do to your hardwood floors to keep them looking pristine.

Cleaning

While using a vacuum is physically easier to use when cleaning hardwood floors than a traditional broom or dry mop, vacuums can oftentimes damage the surface of your floors. To avoid this, do not use the beater bar on the vacuum because that can scrape and dent your floors. Also, vacuums can create denting if dropped. Using a dry mop with little moisture is one of the best ways to dust your hardwood floors. Swiffer Wood Cleaner and Bona Floor Care have products which are gentle and ideal for Emily Morrow Home hardwood flooring that removes the dust and debris of everyday life without leaving a dull or sticky film to attract more dirt later.

No harsh chemicals, furniture polishes, or wood waxes should ever be applied to Emily Morrow Home’s hardwood floors.

Additionally, wet mopping your hardwood floors can lead to long-term water damage due to the overexposure to moisture on the porous wood*. A better option would be a dry mop or Swiffer mop.

*Knowing this, keep your house’s air moisture levels consistent to ensure that warping and cupping do not occur

Shoes

Try to avoid walking on your hardwood floors with high heel shoes. High heels create a lot of pressure in a small area which can create indentations on the hardwood floors.

Moving Furniture

If you move any furniture, use soft gliding pads underneath to reduce any scratches or indentations. Otherwise, if you move furniture, pick up the furniture completely off the floor and gently place it back on the hardwood in the desired location. Do not drag or scoot furniture across your hardwood floors.

Pets

The Emily Morrow Home hardwood collection is pet-friendly, and our durable construction proctects against most everyday scratches that your excited pooch or feline might inflict upon your floors. With our UV cured Aluminum oxide finish, our hardwood floors can stand the test of your pet’s “Scooby-Doo” moments. We caution you, though, in remembering that long exposure to moisture can damage hardwood floors. So, if your sweet angel has an accident or spills his or her water bowl onto your floors, you will want to wipe it up as soon as possible.

Bottom Line

Hardwood flooring is strong and tough, and it can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. We hope these simple care and maintenance tips will keep your Emily Morrow Home hardwood floors looking gorgeous for years to come.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Wood is synonymous with wellness,” she stressed.

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

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

 

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Donatella the Truffle Dog will send you 2 free “puppy-size” EMH hardwood samples when you text ‘EMILY2’ to 900900

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

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

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

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

 

Emily Morrow Home Installation Instructions

Emily-Morrow-Home-Warranty-OMG-PROOF

How to care for your Emily Morrow Home Hardwood floors

 

Thank you!!!