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Five Spring Colors to Spur Your Design Creativity

Call it a hunch, but we think the popularity of happy and bright colors this spring could have a lot to do with our last 12 months battling a pandemic. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the weather is warming up here at our Georgia headquarters, and spring blooms are out in full force.

As you are designing interior spaces this spring, think about these bold spring hues and how Zeftron’s fresh palette can reflect the colors of spring in your commercial carpet designs. We selected a few of our favorite colors to match what the beauty of nature we’ve seen unfolding outside this month.

Get the Green Light

It’s March, so it’s fitting that green, the color of choice for St. Patrick’s Day, is trending. Green has been seen all over the fashion runways in a wide range of colors – mint, emerald, seafoam, lime and even neon (think tennis balls). Green is the color of nature and spring – from the new green leaves sprouting to the vegetables that have started peaking from the dirt (spring onions anyone?). Green also provides a sense of calmness and security, and we could all use a little bit of both of those right now.

Mellow With Yellow

Yellow is the preferred color of many early bloomers in the spring – daffodils, winter jasmine, forsythia and witch hazel. While shades of this sunny color run the gamut, a popular choice in 2021 is a more subdued lemon shade, like Pantone’s Color of the Year “Illuminating.” Yellow shades make people smile and feel joyful, and these shades can help create warmth and coziness in indoor spaces.

Think Pink

Pinks are in, just like the beautiful magnolias that have started to bloom. But don’t forget about the deeper, darker cousin of pink, magenta, or the bolder shade of fuschia, seen in camellias and the azaleas lining the greens at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pink is often used with plush fabrics in design, such as velvet. Pink is fun and bright and can be a great accent color in carpeting.

Be True Blue

Blues seem to be a staple of every season, but did you know when it comes to nature, blue is very rare? Less than 10 percent of plants have blue flowers and few animals are blue. We have started seeing Bluejays in the yard and the sweet bluebirds will not be far behind. The one place we’re guaranteed to see blue in nature is the beautiful spring sky. In particular Cerulean blue is popular this spring. Light blue color tones work well with all neutral colors and allow designers to accentuate in an elegant and soft way.

Whiten Up

White blooms feel fresh in the spring. Just look at how snowdrops stand out against all of that beautiful green in your garden. Stark white has been the rage for a while in design because it has a minimalist feel. White can be a great background to help brighter colors, like those featured above, pop. It also can make a dramatic statement when used with bold colors in a patterned carpet.

As we look forward to the change of seasons, and the rebirth of the natural world around us, look to the colors highlighted here to inspire your interior design choices carpet designs in 2021, and bring a little of the outdoors in for your customers and clients. 

For more inspiration, check out our Design Inspiration Page, where you can view our color collections and envision how you can create a colorful commercial carpet for your next project. You can also download the full Zeftron Color Pallette, consisting of 120-plus colors, or request to have a Zeftron pom box mailed to you.

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Four Trends Pushing the Future of Office Design

It’s undeniable that Covid is forcing the contract workplace to be reimagined. For months, architects and designers have been considering what employers and workers will want and need when it’s fully safe to return to the office. They are considering four major factors:

1.  Growth of Work From Home

The shift to WFH has been dramatic. And while it’s still not universally easy or fully embraced for every worker or employer, it’s clear that WFM is not going away.  Music and podcast giant Spotify recently announced that it would be adopting a “Work from Anywhere” model.  Employees can choose whether they want to be in the office full-time, at home full-time or a combination of the two. This unique approach is gaining traction, and not just with tech companies.

2.  Smaller Office Footprints

With WFM, fewer employees will be in a physical workplace.  A recent Pew Center Research study says more than half of employees want to continue working remotely, even after the pandemic has passed. This means employers are looking at reducing their overall office footprint, which can translate to financial savings. Companies that have been hard hit by the pandemic are looking to save even money on their furniture and fixture investments, but they do not want to sacrifice quality.  

3.  Safety, Wellness and Inclusion

The coronavirus has put an even brighter spotlight on the importance of workplaces that offer safety and wellness. No employee wants to work in an environment where they don’t feel safe or their health could be compromised.  At the same time, we recognize more can be done to foster greater employee inclusion. When workplaces bring people to together in a safe and inclusive way, that can lead to greater worker satisfaction, happiness and productivity.  

4.  The Role of the Workplace

Architects and designers are thoughtfully reconsidering the role and purpose of the “new” workplace. Is it a place to foster company culture? Spark innovation? To be sure, the pandemic has given the A&D community a chance to “pause” and rethink what a workplace is and should be for employers and employees.  This could be the most important question that needs to be addressed moving forward.  

Design Considerations for the Workplace 

Each of these factors creates major design challenges.  Fortunately, the A&D industry is not one to stand still.  There are multiple resources available that can help address and solve these issues.   

For example, when it comes to addressing the needs of a smaller office footprint, HOK’s “10 Principles of Space Management” can be an excellent resource.  HOK offers an even more robust solution with its Space Management in Corporate Real Estate article.  

Integrating wellness into your design can be made easier through the International WELL Building Institute.  The organization offers a slew of tools and resources. One to check out includes its course called Covid-19 Training for Professionals. This course provides evidence-based design strategies for promoting new health and safety best practices.   

Products That Support the “New” Office

Selecting products for the “new” office will be essential.  Manufacturers have been stepping up with multiple solutions. Some of these include:

Flexible Workstations

Mobile and adaptable workstations are emerging as a way to meet multiple needs. These solutions, like this M Nesting table from HAT Collective, allow for group collaboration at a safe distance. Or, this product can be used for independent and highly focused work, when needed. 

Steel & Component Based Furniture

Employers realize the importance of cleaning and sanitizing spaces and products. Many manufacturers, like Integra Seating, now have chairs with steel arms and legs. Products made with steel can be cleaned easier than those with wood or other porous surfaces.  Additionally, modular products, where seating arms or legs can be easily replaced, eliminates the need to – and expense of – replacing the entire chair.

Creative Carpet

Carpet is poised to play a significant role in the “new” office. It checks many of the boxes related to heath, design and functionality. As a soft surface product, it naturally absorbs noise, which helps with acoustics. Fibers from the carpet trap allergens and dust particles, which improves indoor air quality. 

And, when made with a premium solution-dyed nylon, like Zeftron nylon, it offers numerous design advantages. Custom carpet products can create wayfinding schemes to help with social distancing.  Or, custom colors and patterns can be used to create calm and wellness-themed spaces.  An organization can also use custom colors to support their culture; a company’s logo and their colors can be easily and cleverly integrated into a carpet design.  

What’s Next

It’s clear that some trends for the post-pandemic workplace have emerged. But it’s unclear which ones will prevail. Or what new ones will appear.  

But one thing is undeniable: Everyone – designers, architects, employers, workers, product manufacturers – must continue to be adaptable and flexible to meet the ever-evolving workplace needs. The architect and design industry has responded with vigor and innovation since the pandemic began. These same characteristics will be needed as we enter the “new” office workplace.  

What are your thoughts? What are the workplace trends you’re seeing? What are some of the innovative and adaptable products commercial products you’d like to see in your office?

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Free Zeftron eBook: 4 Reasons Carpet Matters Now

Download the free educational eBook here!

2020 has been a watershed moment for all of us who serve the commercial interiors industry. With the onset of COVID-19, designers and facility managers, especially, have had to shift their focus long-term to public health concerns around social distancing, cleanliness, and creating wellness-focused commercial environments.

With this in mind, we decided to take a stronger look at what we bring to the marketplace in those key areas and how we can best serve our entire customer community.  Specifically,  we looked at the real impact of carpet on health and wellness. We looked at how a designer can balance concerns about health and wellness with a desire to create beautiful and memorable spaces. And we looked at how the COVID-19 era is changing the way that designers specify products, and facility managers approach cleanliness.

Based on this, we created a new and free educational eBook. It consists of educational articles and resources for designers and facility managers. This new resource seeks to demonstrate the positive impact flooring — and specifically carpet — can have on the safety, functionality, and maintenance of the spaces they bring to life.

Topics within the new eBook include:

  • How designers are using carpet to create safety and wellness spaces 
  • How carpet impacts back-to-work health concerns amidst COVID-19
  • How carpet contributes to improved indoor air quality
  • How carpet can mitigate slips & falls
  • How to easily maintain carpet to create healthier indoor environments

We hope to illuminate the important wellness benefits that come from specifying  carpet with branded nylon like Zeftron for safety purposes, as well as the creative opportunities carpet offers designers to create truly impactful environments in this new decade of evolving design.

With this eBook, we’d also like to invite you into the conversations we are having regarding  health and wellness within commercial interior spaces. Our growing community of designers, facility managers and carpet mill professionals are sharing their thoughts and best practice ideas for how to adapt to this changing marketplace. So, please join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, or join our email list. 

Together, we can work towards solutions that truly benefit users and usher in a new era of healthy and sustainable design.

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Zeftron Nylon and Bloomsburg Carpet Introduce Amulet

We’re excited to announce the latest commercial carpet introduction made with Zeftron nylon: Amulet. It is designed specially for commercial environments.

Created by our long-standing mill partner Bloomsburg Carpet, Amulet is a new and sophisticated carpet created as a solution for corporate interior spaces and high-end hospitality environments. This highly-styled product is intended to convey warmth and comfort, and evoke a sensation of protection for users – hence, the name “Amulet”.

It is available in seven colorways ranging from organic earth tones to soothing grays and other calming neutrals.

Informed by the inherent qualities that embody textiles with lush volume and texture, Amulet’s design is translated through the sophisticated styling structure of Zeftron’s perfectly calibrated solution-dyed yarns. Woven on Bloomsburg’s double heddle velvet loom, Amulet’s bold placement of cut and uncut surface provides areas of open space bound tightly together as one form.

Meeting Health & Safety Requirements

Creating products that cater to the health and safety of users in all commercial environments is a priority for Zeftron. Amulet is Green Label Plus® certified, ensuring it meets the most stringent requirements for carpet products with low chemical emissions that can improve indoor air quality.

Additionally, specifying Amulet can contribute to LEED points through Zeftron’s green attributes. Zeftron is a fully renewable nylon 6 fiber that contains 25 percent recycled content and is Cradle to Cradle® certified by Products Innovation Institute. 

Request a Sample

For samples or sales questions about Amulet, architects and designers can contact a Bloomsburg Carpet agent in their area by visiting www.bloomsburgcarpet.com/agents or call 800-575-8084.

To learn more information about Zeftron’s nylon offerings, please contact Tim Blount at timothy.blount@shawinc.com. More information about Zeftron nylon is at www.zeftronnylon.com

Zeftron regularly shares educational content about design trends, color theory and commercial carpet design on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow us there!

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How Designers Are Using Carpet to Create Safety and Wellness Spaces

This year, designers are under more pressure than ever to create beautiful spaces that solve the critical health challenges of healthcare, hospitality and corporate environments. The products that designers specify must be considered for their ability to contribute to social distancing, cleanability, safety and wellness- both physical and mental.

One of the most powerful tools that designers have at their disposal is to custom design a carpet that accomplishes multiple objectives for a specific area of a space. Carpet is oftentimes one of the largest (in terms of square footage) items designers need to specify in a space, and it can have one of the biggest impacts on personal safety.  A custom designed carpet offers virtually unlimited color, pattern and texture options, which can be balanced to meet the unique needs of the facility.

In 2020, designers are using carpet to create innovative wayfinding techniques, designate safe spaces, and provide instruction. These tactics are being implemented in an innovative and creative way to put individual health and safety first.

Carpet As A Wayfinding Tool

In our current era, almost no grocery trip is complete without the bold signs that stick out from the aisles and point you in which direction to walk, or where to wait in line. These signs are part of a strategy called wayfinding, which utilizes signage, color and imagery to direct patrons within a space.

Wayfinding in virtually every commercial sector has been critical to keeping people socially distant, while controlling the flow of foot traffic. As Floor Covering Weekly reports, “wayfinding has long been important to commercial design — helping guide people efficiently throughout a space be it retail, corporate, hospitality, education or healthcare — but today it takes on new meaning with social distancing in public spaces a must due to COVID-19.”

Providing Directions for Traffic

In commercial settings, designers are utilizing carpet to direct traffic flow in a high-styled, aesthetically pleasing way. This is useful as a way to prevent individuals from regularly coming face-to-face with one another in order to reduce the chance for viral spread. For example, a commercial office might include arrow designs on the carpet that all point in the same direction through a room or down a corridor. Employees are encouraged to follow the arrows on the ground as they navigate through the space. Ideally, this reduces the chances for face-to-face interaction or for employees to congregate in one area.

Another way carpet is being used as a wayfinding tool is by creating visual “paths” with distinct colors. These paths indicate that patrons can safely walk through a certain area, and can divert foot traffic around where others are sitting for longer periods of time. A wayfinding path might direct employees to walk around a community desk area, rather than directly through it. Think of this option as an adaptation of the “red carpet” at entertainment events, which keeps celebrities safely away from the crows of paparazzi and fans. 

In hospitality spaces, wayfinding can be used to direct guests to and from common services while emphasizing crowd control. Guests entering a building can follow a specific pathway to the check-in desk and then to the elevators, while guests leaving the building can follow a separate path that is at least 6 feet apart from those guests coming in. Wayfinding paths can also be used to usher families or small groups to separate seating areas away from doorways, to reduce the number of individuals gathering at the front of a facility.

Including wayfinding techniques into your flooring design is an option available with custom carpet, which allows designers to incorporate a unique color or pattern to suit the needs of any space.

Carpet For Zoning Safe Spaces

With Covid-19, facility managers have had to completely rethink and reorganize the layout of their buildings. This is especially true for companies with open office floor plans, where few physical dividers had existed between employees.

Now, many workplace environments are transitioning to clearly marked “zones” where employees can safely sit, work and social distance. This means separating desks by at least 6 feet apart, and working to re-designate the individual workspace as its own separate area from other people. One way to do this is to implement visual cues on a carpet that clearly shows individuals where they need to stand in order to remain at a safe distance.

For example, the carpet in a shared employee work area might have a pattern of 12” x 12” foot squares to delineate where desks should be positioned. This helps both facility managers to set up workstations to be 6 feet apart, and helps employees to remember to not cross into one another’s individual safe zones.

Carpet color and pattern can also denote which facilities are in use for individuals versus groups. For example, a bold, patterned carpet can be used in conference rooms to signify that small groups may gather there up to a certain number of people. Alternatively, solid-colored carpet can denote that group gatherings are prohibited in a certain space. By providing a visual cue as to where employees can safely sit or stand, you are also ensuring a space doesn’t reach capacity for individual health.

Providing Instruction

Many designers are using the idea of color coding as a way to visually instruct individuals on how to behave within a space. For example, an office might include the following plan to explain to employees where in the office masks are required:

  • Yellow carpet (used in private offices with doors) = masks are not required
  • Green carpet (used in public conference rooms and lounge areas) = masks are required

A hospitality facility might utilize a similar plan for guest behavior:

  • Beige carpet (used in private rooms with doors and the hotel dining room) = masks are not required
  • Dark blue carpet (used in the hotel lobby and lounge areas) = masks are required

One of the primary benefits of utilizing carpet for wayfinding and instructional purposes is that it is a more subtle and friendly way to direct movement within a space. This can feel less obtrusive or demanding than signage, and may even make a commercial space look and feel more interesting! Many designers have success utilizing branded colors in their wayfinding designs to reflect the school spirit of a university, a hotel’s connection to the local community, or the corporate brand colors for an office headquarters.

Selecting A Carpet With Safety in Mind

In many ways, carpet directly impacts the safety and wellness of individuals in a commercial space. It can be used as an effective tool in combating the spread of Covid-19 through wayfinding, zoning and providing instruction.

With all of these considerations in mind, many designers specify a custom carpet to meet the unique color and pattern needs of an environment. For information and assistance on creating a custom designed carpet with Zeftron nylon’s 120 unique color offerings, please contact Tim Blount at timothy.blount@shawinc.com

For more information on carpet’s ability to contribute to safety, check out our recent blog posts on indoor air quality and reducing slips and falls in commercial settings.


We’d love to see how you’re using carpet to enhance wellness. Share your photos and stories with us by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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4 Steps to Commercial Carpet Care for Improved Health

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment should always be a top priority. With Covid-19 still affecting our daily lives, it should now be priority Number One.  

For designers, architects and facility managers, this brings an increased level of responsibility.  Today, more than ever, these professionals must be highly knowledgeable of a product’s role in creating healthy spaces.  

Previous blog articles show how carpet plays a critical role in creating healthy interior spaces. Carpet is effective at trapping airborne particles, such as dust and pollen, thus improving indoor air quality.  It also provides a higher coefficient of friction than a smooth or hard surface product, which can reduce slips or falls.  

Like any other product, whether it’s a hard surface such as LVT or a carpet, your floor covering must be properly maintained. When this is done, it brings additional health benefits. It also enhances its performance, look and longevity.  

Carpet Care Requirements for Covid-19 

When it comes to carpet’s role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to know the facts and a few definitions.   

A Wall Street Journal article, “How Exactly Do You Catch Covid-19? There is a Growing Consensus,” sheds light on research about the virus’s transmission.  Citing numerous experts, the article states “It’s not common to contract Covid-19 from a contaminated surface, scientists say.”

The CDC also supports this claim.  On its website, it states that the “transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.”  In fact, the “transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces, like doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, toys, etc.”

Nevertheless, it’s wise to take every precaution to remain safe from viral transmission.  The CDC cautions: “Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19…”

Of course sanitizing and disinfecting are not the same. Carpet, because of its properties, can be sanitized. Sanitization, as defined by dictionary.com “is the act of making something free from dirt, germs, etc., as by cleaning or sterilizing.” Disinfecting is the “act of cleansing of infection” with the intent “to destroy germs.”  

4 Quick Steps for Commercial Carpet Maintenance

Properly maintaining a commercial carpet does not have to be a time-consuming or costly proposition. There are several steps that you can take that will keep the surface as clean as possible for maximum health benefits. These include:

Step 1. Adopt a Maintenance Plan

Any good maintenance plan requires taking a strategic approach. Your carpet maintenance plan is no different. First, start out by using a floor plan to mark the different areas where there is carpet in your facility.  From there, you should identify the level of foot traffic each area experiences.  Entry ways, for example, will have higher foot traffic than a seldom-used office. 

Once you know your building’s foot traffic patterns, you can tailor a carpet care schedule.  ShawContract suggests vacuuming 1 time per day in high traffic areas such as entrances and break rooms. Low-traffic areas, such as private offices, only need vacuuming 2 times a week.  

Step 2. Use Proper Vacuuming Techniques

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), regular vacuuming is one of the most proven ways to keep carpet clean. Doing so regularly also ensures your carpet will continue to trap airborne particles and allergens, enhancing the air quality of your commercial space. In fact, 80 to 85 % of dry soil can be removed by proper vacuuming.  The CRI recommends several tips for effective vacuuming, including vacuuming in both directions and vacuuming slowly.  ShawContract also has a list of carpet maintenance tips, as well as a suggested schedule for carpet care in commercial spaces. 

Step 3.  Don’t Skip the Basics

Whether your building has a hard surface, a soft surface or a combination of both, any flooring type requires regular maintenance. Basic steps that should not be overlooked include:  

  • Stop Dirt at the Door Place mats outside and inside building entryways to capture dirt and other particles before they enter the interior of the building. 
  • Catch Debris in High-Traffic Areas — Place textured mats underneath desks and in popular lounge areas, where there is a higher level of foot placement during the day. These mats will catch excess debris before it gets into the carpet.
  • Ventilate   Try to ventilate your space with fresh air as often as possible by opening windows and doors. 

Step 4. Use the Best Equipment and Resources

A carpet is a significant financial investment. It also serves as an important design element.  And, as we’ve learned, it also supports healthier and safer interiors for occupants.  Protect this investment by following the steps above. And be sure to use CRIs’ Seal of Approval products, such as carpet cleaners, pre-spray and extraction products. 

Additional Resources

For more information, be sure to visit the Zeftron website to learn how a premium fiber like Zeftron nylon provides commercial carpet with exceptional performance, style and sustainability benefits.

To receive weekly educational content, follow Zeftron on our social channels. We cover commercial carpet trends, color theory, and inspiring design projects. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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Slips & Falls: Carpet Health and Safety

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Safety, health and wellness are priorities today. This is especially true when it comes to commercial interior spaces.

In our last blog, we provided examples of how carpet can actually improve indoor air quality.  When it comes to safety, carpet can also play a leading role in reducing slips and falls.

Preventing Slips and Falls

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an estimated 700,000 to 1 million people fall annually in U.S. hospitals alone.  Other research cited by the National Floor Safety Institute indicates that “falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%).” Additionally, the NFSI says the CDC reports that “approximately 1.8 million people over the age 65 were treated in an emergency room as a result of a fall.”

So what are the causes of these incidents? Research from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) identified four main causes of slip and trip accidents.  Each cause cited by the NHS is related to the floor covering. The four causes they cite are:

  1. Slippery/wet surfaces caused by water and other fluids
  2. Slippery surfaces caused by dry or dusty floor contamination
  3. Obstructions (both temporary and permanent)
  4. Uneven surfaces and changes of level, such as unmarked ramps.

 What is a Carpet’s Coefficient of Friction?

Generally speaking, carpet, because of its construction and material, can better mitigate slips and falls when compared to a hard or smooth surface. This is because carpet typically has a higher coefficient of friction (COF) rate than a hard surface. A COF is defined by the Global Floor Safety Network as “a mathematical term used to describe the effect of dragging one substance (shoe sole material) over another (flooring surface). This coefficient is a measurement of the relative ability of various surfaces to resist the sliding or slipping of the selected material.”

A blog article titled, “Friction and Floor Safety,” written by a regulatory compliance expert, provides more insight: “Typically, rough surfaces like brushed concrete or carpet have a higher COF than smooth surfaces like polished marble, tile or wood. Dry surfaces also generally have a higher COF than wet ones. When you’re trying to decrease the likelihood of slips and falls in your workplace, increasing the COF of walking surfaces is often part of the solution.”

Zeftron Nylon_Commercial Carpet

Experts, however, caution that designers, facility managers and other specifiers of commercial flooring products should be knowledgeable about a product’s COF.  In fact, a report by the Center for Healthcare Design states:  “It is important to realize that multiple factors contribute to the slip resistance of a floor.” The report provides several factors designers and others should know about when it comes to the slip resistance of floors.

Because it can be difficult to determine how to achieve the recommended COF for a space, NFSI and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) jointly published a set of standards to provide guidance for facilities that want to quantify the safety of their walking surfaces.

Selecting the Right Floor Covering

Knowing that slips and falls are prevalent – and costly – in commercial interior settings, selecting the right floor covering is essential.  Carpet, with a typically higher COF than other surface options, should be a strong consideration. When specified and installed correctly, it can contribute to a safer workplace or other commercial interior space.

Please return to our blog soon.  We’ll be adding more information about carpet’s role in creating healthy and safe environments.

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Selecting the Right Flooring for Back to Work

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As businesses begin to welcome employees back to the workplace, safety and wellness are top of mind.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance to assist with the reopening, and states: “Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning.” 

To be sure, designers and facility managers are faced with multiple challenges in creating the “new” workplace for today.  They are looking at everything from innovative lighting technologies that can kill mold and fungus to adding sleek new desk dividers that create division between co-workers.  

One area of the workplace that should not be overlooked is the floor covering.  Typically the largest usable surface area of any commercial interior, it can impact occupants’ health and safety.

Better Employee Health Through Improved Indoor Air Quality

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2-to-5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. 

There is a misperception that carpet does not contribute to improved indoor air quality. Independent studies, however, show carpet can actually improve an environment’s IAQ. For example, a 2014 published study – “A Comparative Study of Walking-Induced Dust Resuspension Using a Consistent Test Mechanism” – shows a carpeted floor produced fewer airborne particles than other hard surfaces when walked upon.

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A separate study in 2012 showed that when carpet is cleaned in a traditional manner, it significantly decreases the amount of airborne allergens. Presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference, it was published under the title of “Properly Cleaned Carpet OK for People with Asthma.”

So how does carpet improve IAQ?  According to Carpet and Rug Institute, both of these studies – and similar ones – highlight carpet’s inherent ability to “trap allergens and other particles so they can be easily vacuumed away.”  Smooth or hard surface floors, conversely, allow dust and other allergens to collect and then re-circulate into the breathing zone.

According to the Asthma Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergy each year.  Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., and are is the most common health issue affecting children.  

With its ability to sequester allergens and other particles, carpet can play an important role in creating healthier spaces – whether for offices, schools or hotels. 

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What’s Next: More Carpet Advantages for Health and Safety

Beyond improving indoor air quality, carpet is proven as a low emitter of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Studies show that it can prevent slips and improve acoustics. These advantages are essential for today’s Covid-19 built environment, where enhancing occupant wellness and safety must be the first priority.   

Our next blog topic will be on VOCs, followed by slip prevention and acoustics.

So check back with us frequently. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions or if we can provide more information.  

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Resources for Designers Navigating COVID-19

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With the design industry in various stages of uncertainty and even suspension, we know that many professionals are searching for opportunities to better meet their work needs and further their craft. We’ve pulled together a list of resources from various organizations  that can help with the variety of the challenges designers may be facing today. 

ASID’s COVID-19 Resource Links Webpage

ASID has a comprehensive COVID-19 webpage with links to reliable, industry-leading sources reporting on Coronavirus updates in real time. These links are categorized by the topics of business, government and inspirational stories, and provides helpful information for everything from small business loans to navigating Internet security.

Hospitality Design Magazine’s Webinar – Current State of the Hospitality Industry

Gain a deeper understanding of the current economic outlook for the hospitality industry in this free webinar, currently housed on Hospitality Design’s website. An industry leader discusses U.S. hospitality renovation and construction projects, how they are being impacted by the pandemic, and what this means for hospitality industry professionals moving forward. 

Contract Magazine — Multivitamin Blog

Contract is putting faces to the design industry with its new blog, the Multivitamin. In each blog post, a designer muses over their thoughts on the current state of events, their experience working from home, how they manage their team or business, and what personal projects they are spending time with. These casual, thoughtful articles are a great way to feel connected with other members of the industry and remember that we are all in this together!

Interior Design — DesignTV

For those of us who are searching for design inspiration and a way to feel connected with the industry as a whole, Interior Design magazine’s newest initiative is a great place to turn. DesignTV offers free, varied video programming with industry leaders. These presentations and discussions feature topics such as working from home, designing for wellness, finding creativity and more. These daily episodes are only half an hour to an hour long, making them a great addition to your afternoon workflow. 

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Workplace Resources Guide

This comprehensive webpage has scores of information relating to small business resources and supporting your team with financial assistance. Plus, they regularly host free webinars on topics such as managing mental health during COVID-19.

Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program

This social media giant is offering up to 30,000 grants to businesses with between 2 – 50 employees that have experienced challenges relating to the pandemic. This grant is a great opportunity to assist with ongoing business costs and employee support during a time of uncertainty.

Massive Open Online Courses

For those of us who are in a holding pattern and may have some extra freetime to use on personal education, Artsy has compiled a list of free university-level art education courses that can be completed online. These fascinating classes cover topics like Ancient Egyptian Archeology, Avante-Garde art history and Photography Basics, and may present the opportunity for inspiration in future design projects.

Have you come across any other useful resources for design professionals? Please email us your thoughts at timothy.blount@shawinc.com or connect with us on social at @ZeftronNylon.

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Spring Color and Pattern Trends Sweeping Commercial Interior Design

The First Day of Spring is one of the most transformational moments of the year. We pack up our winter clothes, open our windows, and let the warm air and floral blooms shift us towards the mindset of lighter, longer days.

This year, Spring feels a little bit more stressful than usual due to the coronavirus and our current state of events. Although we will all be spending more time working from home and less time socializing, design innovations and trends will persist with the seasonal change.

In welcoming a new Spring, we tend to think about aesthetics and environments becoming brighter, fresher and bolder. But every Spring is different! What will 2020 hold in terms of colors, patterns and design trends?

We’ve done our research, and we’re excited to share some major trends that are going to be shaping commercial design this year – from hospitality and offices to everything in between.

Three Spring Color Trends Leading the Way for 2020

Bright and bold color choices will dominate this season:

In keeping with Spring tradition, we’re seeing bright and bold colors trend this season. Statement colors such as scarlet red, chive green, coral pink and saffron yellow have all made an appearance in architectural projects, product design, and even across fashion runways. Three months into 2020, we’re also seeing Pantone’s Color of the Year, Classic Blue, achieve mainstream popularity in almost every facet of pop culture and design.

Two-tone color combinations create a cohesive yet funky feeling:

In accordance with our bright and colorful trend, many spaces are being designed with two-tone colors. Two-tone design typically involves pairing a light and airy shade with a darker color to help ground the room. For example, Chive Green can be paired with a Pastel Green to create a digestible yet energizing environment. Designing in two-tone is the latest iteration of color blocking, which many designers will know was invented in the 1940’s and has been revived in the age of Instagram.

Natural color combinations are everywhere:

While statement colors are making quite the splash this Spring, there’s certainly another major trend shaping design: natural color combinations. As the world continues to grow more chaotic due to current events, we’re seeing a prevalence in color groupings that stimulate relaxation and provide a sense of escape for visitors. Natural color combinations this Spring involve light beiges, blues, greens, grays and purples. This is in keeping with Zeftron’s Serenity Spa color trends prediction, and creates the ideal environment for healthcare spaces where calm and serenity are needed most.

Spring Pattern Trends Taking Over 2020

Biophilic patterns mimic nature and promote relaxation:

Biophilic design, or the practice of incorporating more nature into space, color and shape, is taking interior design by storm. The evidence is clear that biophilic design stimulates happier feelings and more productive tendencies among building occupants. So if you’re a fan of the biophilic trend, you’re in luck! We’re seeing it reflected in this year’s biggest Spring patterns across carpets, wallpapers, and fabrics. Examples include repeating lines, dots, and wave patterns that mimic nature expression.

Neon tropics create a bright and eye-catching aesthetic:

Bold colors, abstract design and overlapping imagery are combined in one of the most memorable design trends of this season: neon tropics. This bright trend embodies many designers’ goal to create something memorable and unique for their clients that feels like a one-of-a-kind experience. We’ll be seeing neon tropics replicated as statement pieces such as carpets, wall paper, and upholstery across hospitality spaces this Spring.

Mix and match geometric patterns create intrigue:

The final major pattern trend that is sweeping Spring 2020 design is mix + match geometry. This niche, eye-catching pattern is a combination of biophilic influences mixed with color blocking. This pattern can be utilized as an accent or as an all-encompassing aesthetic for a space, to create something that feels intrinsically 2020.

With so much uncertainty in the air this Spring, and the unknown state of our industry in the next few months, focusing on trending colors and patterns is a great way to infuse inspiration into this season. 

In particular, color and pattern trends this Spring are pointing the way towards unique, bold and authentic spaces that tell a story. How are you planning to incorporate these trends in your commercial designs this year?

Let us know your thoughts by tagging us on social at @ZeftronNylon.