Designers, Encore Hospitality, Hospitality, Zeftron nylon

Encore and Zeftron Come Through for New Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh

The Distrikt Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, which officially opened in July 2017, is the latest signature hotel from the Distrikt Hotel Management Group. We recently sat down with Jennifer Austin, Executive Vice President, Development and Brand Strategies, to discuss some of the design challenges she faced. She also talked about how Encore Hospitality Carpet worked closely with her to develop a fully custom-designed carpet made with Zeftron nylon to meet the hotel’s unique design and functionality needs.

ZN.:  How did the project come about?

J.A.: The Distrikt Hotel Group opened their first signature hotel in New York City in 2010. When it came time to expand, we found this amazing historic building in a key area of Pittsburgh that was for sale. We immediately realized this would be an excellent opportunity for our second location.

Z.N.: What were some of the challenges you faced in opening the Pittsburgh Hotel?

J.A.: Well, considering we were converting a historic, 10-story former Salvation Army building originally built in 1926 into a modern hotel, we had quite a few challenges. We had to completely gut the building from the second floor up, then we added a few rooms to the 10th floor. 

As a historic building, we needed to adhere to local building codes. For example, we needed to meet the city’s request to not build a parking garage. They also requested we add green amenities. We also needed to preserve the façade, the windows and the amazing lobby area.

Another unique challenge we faced was the guest rooms. Some rooms have 12-ft. ceilings, while others have 8-ft. ceilings. This created some interesting design challenges.

Z.N.: What support did you receive from Encore Hospitality Carpet?

J.A.: Encore was a dream to work with. They had provided the carpet at our New York hotel when it came time to replace the original carpet, so we were familiar with them.

The Pittsburgh hotel was my first FF& E project; handling all the design, construction and installation. It was a big learning experience. But working alongside Richard Heaver (President of Encore) made the process so much better and easier.

Richard took the time to get to know me and listen to me. He took a real hands-on approach other flooring manufacturers would not have. And, because we were not using an architect or a designer, I had to rely heavily on him.

His knowledge and willingness to listen to what I envisioned completely paid off: The carpet he ultimately presented was really stunning, and not normal at all.

Z.N.: Where is the carpet being used?

J.A.: The Encore carpet made with Zeftron is in all corridors and all 185 rooms. Encore rugs with Zeftron are in public spaces, including the main lobby area.

Z.N.: Can you describe the design you were trying to achieve?

J.A.: We knew that we did not want to copy or emulate what other hotels are doing. But more importantly, we wanted to balance the historical nature of the building and the essence of Pittsburgh, while bringing a fresh, modern look. Essentially, we wanted the design to be understated and elegant, evoking a sense of place and time.

Z.N.: What purpose did you need the carpet to serve?

J.A.: We needed the flooring to serve three major purposes: One, it needed to support and enhance the overall design of the hotel; two, it needed to assist with wayfinding in the corridors; and three, it needed to stand up against staining and wearing.

From a design perspective, we wanted the carpet to be reflective of the historic elements of the building and ensure it blended nicely with what we were trying to achieve. So it’s got some fading elements that speak to something historical. But at the same time it’s got some sparkle and pop, making it look contemporary and modern. It ended up perfect; everyone comments on it.

From a functionality standpoint, there are some winding paths in the hallways – not all hallways are completely straight. So we had to work very closely with Encore to create the transitions from hallway to corner. This was some pretty tricky work: How do you take a pattern and not make it look awkward when it’s going around a corner and then going a different length of hallway? The end result is that we have some great corner-to-hallway transitions that help our guests navigate the turns in the corridors.

Bottom line, the carpet is beautiful, affordable and it cleans beautifully. The unique colorways, surface textures and intricate patterns all come together great — it’s kind of a dream.

Z.N.: Thanks for speaking with us!

J.A.: You’re welcome. Thank you.

 

Blog, Designers

Flooring and Today’s Flexible Office Environments

As summer begins to wind down and we return to the office from vacations, we thought we would explore the ever-growing trend of flexible office environments.

From American Express and GlaxoSmithKline, to Facebook and hundreds of other companies, businesses have been shifting away from cubicle-style floor plans to a mix of individual and collaborative work areas.

Inc. magazine notes that the variety of choices for employees is increasing as businesses offer “comfortable living rooms, libraries, stand-up tables, outdoor spaces, nooks and crannies–to collaborate, create, contemplate, present.”

More Collaborative Spaces

It’s not just the layout of the office that is making a difference. Metropolis magazine’s “The Living Office—The Action Office for the Digital Age” takes a look at a new office system designed by Yves Behar and fuseproject. The design, titled “PUBLIC Office Landscape,” addresses the desire for employees to collaborate at a desk area. This allows individuals or groups to use a desk area equipped with storage bins, mobile privacy screens and more.

 

Hot-Desking Continues

Another take on the fluid workspace is the practice of “hot-desking.” This practice allocates desks to workers when they are required or on a rotating system, rather than giving each worker their own desk. According to Gensler’s 2016 workplace survey, everyone can benefit from this new approach. The study suggests that organizations, “empower the entire organizational community, not just senior leadership, with the ability to choose when and where to work.”

Flooring’s Role

So how does flooring fit into this new workplace paradigm shift? When it comes to carpet, it can be pretty important. Consider the following:

  • Way-Finding — Carpet color and patterning can help with way-finding and navigation between spaces, such as down hallways or corridors.
  • Space Differentiation – Carpet can create differentiation between different spaces when moving between such things as office departments or different end-use areas.
  • Acoustics – Open spaces, bereft of offices or cubicles, can sometimes be loud and noisy. Carpet’s inherent acoustics can also make workspaces quieter, thus contributing to greater productivity.
  • Visual Balance — Carpet provides a nice visual balance and design element when paired with a hard surface such as wood or LVT in an open floor plan – a growing trend in many office environments today.

Here are some photo examples of how carpeting is being used to define space:

Image credit: Still from video footage, courtesy of videographer Jason Cheung via Work Design Magazine

Image credit: Photography: Manuel Martinez via Crain’s Chicago Business

 

Image Credit: Shaw Contract

What are your thoughts? Do you work in an open/flexible office? If you specify flooring, how are you using various flooring to create the open, flexible and productive workspaces of today?

If you like this story and want to see more, follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

 

Blog, Designers, Zeftron nylon

New Video Showcases Zeftron’s History and Advantages

Have you seen the new Zeftron video? This is the first of several educational videos Zeftron is planning for the design community and its mill customers.

The short video, aptly titled “An Introduction to Zeftron,” provides a brief overview of Zeftron nylon. You will see how Zeftron can be a resource by providing information and tools on the unique benefits of carpet made with Zeftron nylon.

There are four main points in the video that show how Zeftron is unique in the marketplace as a brand that provides:  

  1.  An Unmatched Premium Product
  1.  Superior Color Quality
  1.  A Wide Array of Educational Resources
  1.  Inspirational Design Tools

Taken together, no other nylon brand delivers more advantages to the design community and its mill partners. Watch video our video and get to know Zeftron nylon!

Blog, Designers, Hospitality, Zeftron nylon, Zeftron Reps

Hospitality Outlook NEWH Atlanta 2016

 

richard 3By Zeftron®nylon’s Marketing Specialist Richard Radke

I recently attended a regional trade show that the NEWH Atlanta Chapter hosted in metro Atlanta. The event featured a Panelist Discussion to discuss the outlook of the hospitality industry. The panel was moderated by Michele Finn, President, Hospitality Media Group, and featured several Atlanta-based industry leaders, including:

  • Carlos Asensio, Project Manager, Noble Investment Group
  • Larry Carver, President, Carver & Associates
  • Alice Limer, Founding Principal & CEO, Fusion A.I. Design, Inc.
  • Mark Linch, SVP Project & Technical Services, Capella Hotel Group

richard 2All participants agreed that the outlook was good for 2016.  Mark had some reservations but Alice thought that since the last few years have been strong, orders would still be strong for ongoing projects in 2016.  At Zeftron we agree that renovations may be wrapping up but new brands and new concepts are moving forward.

Other key highlights from the panel discussion included:

  • Boutique concepts will continue to be important, even for senior living environments.
  • Technology, a huge factor in today’s hospitality industry, should not be the tail that wags the dog.  It should be used judiciously and should be proven so there are no surprises or failures during installations.
  • The desk is going bye-bye.  Younger people are not using the desks so commonly found in hotel rooms today; they are being re-thought with fold-away surfaces being considered.

richard 1

One interesting part of the session was when Michelle Finn asked each participant to name their favorite hotel.  Mark said Capella, but he admitted that he had an unbelievable experience at the 10-room Costa Rican Hotel Copa de Arbol.  I want to go! Who wants to join me?

 

Blog, Designers, Hospitality, Masland Hospitaltiy, Mill Partners, Zeftron nylon

Four Commercial Carpet Trends for 2016

These are exciting times for the commercial design industry.  New colors are constantly being introduced and applied in fresh and unexpected ways.  Innovative products – from seating to lighting to flooring — continue to inspire for their form and functionality.  The way we think about the spaces we work, live and play in continues to evolve.  In short, architects, designers, and manufacturers are all pushing the limits of what’s possible.  We are all rethinking the way in which people and products interact with their spaces.

So, what does this mean for commercial carpet products in the new year?  We have some thoughts!

Zeftron Poms
Zeftron offers colors that can make your custom carpet come to life

More Custom Colors and Carpets – Our carpet mill customers frequently ask for new and custom colors, and we are happy to oblige!  This trend is driven by product design teams and designers who realize that as the most abundant surface for any interior, carpet can play a major role in making a design statement.  Custom colors and customized carpets are crucial in making that design statement. Customization can help create a space that evokes a feeling or an experience.  As color experts for more than 40 years, we’re proud to be able to work hand-in-hand with our mill partners and designers to help them create the custom colors they desire.  

Zeftron nylon installationGreater Styling Versatility The “blending” of interior spaces continues.  Many offices today integrate a residential or homey feel to them.  Senior living spaces, while still traditional in many instances, are bringing in themes typically found in a hospitality setting.  This new reality requires manufacturers to think differently and develop crossover products that are versatile enough to work in many different end-use spaces. Fortunately, Zeftron nylon is a highly flexible fiber when it comes to styling.  Our fiber enables carpet manufacturers to create products with varying styles, patterns and colorways to easily work across multiple end-use spaces.  

Exceptional Performance – The more things change, the more they stay the same. Designers expect more from the products they specify today.  In addition to customization options and greater styling flexibility, they expect exceptional performance. Zeftron nylon is the only fiber brand that offers designers the piece-of-mind they need when it comes to performance.  Concerns about staining, color fading and wear become a non-factor when specifying a carpet made with Zeftron nylon.  

Cradle to Cradle

More Green –One could argue that having a sustainable product is a given in today’s marketplace. Yet sustainability should never be a given or an afterthought.  As a fully closed-loop recyclable nylon with a minimum of 25 percent recycled content in every color, Zeftron continues to be a responsible steward of the earth and its resources.  We see green not as a trend for 2016, but as a vital part of everything we do every single day, month and year.

We welcome your thoughts and comments.

Contact Us

If you would like more information about Zeftron nylon or would like to partner with Zeftron on A&D visits, contact Zeftron Business Leader Tim Blount at: timothy.blount@shawinc.com or 706-532-2984.

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Blog, Bolyu, Carpet Tips, Designers, Hospitality, Zeftron nylon

Three Questions with…Karen Martin, BOLYU Designer/Colorist

An occasional blog article series, “Three Questions With…” profiles designers, product developers, trend experts, colorists, arbiters of good taste and others who are shaping and influencing the commercial interiors industry.   
Q.  You’re currently working on integrating colors from the new Reflective Elements collection into new products for BOLYU.  Are the Reflective Elements colors part of a bigger trend you’re seeing in color these days?

Pizzazz_PZZ76_l
Pizzazz from BOLYU contains intriguing reflective and metallic type colors.

The metallic — and now reflective – color movement has been amazing to me.  It started several years ago, essentially in the fashion industry, and it’s taken many twists and turns over the years.  I would say that this movement is no longer a trend, it’s established.  In fact, we introduced a product called Pizzazz several years ago that had a metallic look to it.

Made with Zeftron nylon, it continues to be a popular product today.
I think everybody is looking for a sparkle or a shine.  Today we’re seeing different colors with the metallic or reflective effect that you might not have seen just a short while ago.  For example, we’re noticing bright colors in orange or even green being paired with a metallic color. This is striking and unique, and not something you would have seen in the recent past.

Gareth Pugh 2011
Pizzazz from BOLYU contains intriguing reflective and metallic type colors.

These colors present such a departure from what we were working with in the past.  They are so exciting when contrasted against the muted colors, dull lusters and matte finishes we saw prior.
Q.  How does the Reflective Elements collection help you in your role as a colorist/designer?

What’s great is that Zeftron has added more options for designers, which is what we need.  More options gives us an edge to be innovative, to address the now and to address the future.  Of course we also want to use colors that are not just trendy, but have longevity to them as well.  These colors give us that flexibility.

As a designer, I feel I can create almost anything.  You can create added texture, introduce more styling…or even create an element of surprise and uniqueness.  It’s a styling tool that has become very important to use. What’s more, Zeftron’s Reflective Elements collection works really well with its Brilliant Collection.

Zeftron is sitting on top of a really nice color package.  It shows that they are paying attention to what’s happening in the market.  Zeftron’s colors give designers the opportunity to make something their own.

pull quote
Q.  Where do you see the colors being used — corporate, hospitality, etc.?

For us, it’s across the board.  We’re using these colors in hospitality, corporate, senior living and health care.  I can’t tell you any product that I’m not working on now that does not have a reflective or metallic element to it.  I think that’s a reflection (no pun intended!) of just how important and popular these kinds of colors have become in virtually every commercial space.

About Karen Martin: Karen has been a Designer/Colorist with Beaulieu Commercial for more than 15 years. Her primary responsibilities include research of design and color trends and their application in commercial, education, and healthcare products for BOLYU and hospitality products for Aqua.  For more information, please visit http://www.bolyu.com

Contact Us: If you’re interested in learning more about the new Reflective Elements collection, please contact Zeftron Business Leader Tim Blount directly at timothy.blount@shawinc.com.

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Blog, Buildings Magazine, Designers

Zeftron nylon featured in Buildings: 3 Benefits of Specifying Established Branded Nylon for Carpet

We are happy to share excerpts from a recent article in Buildings Magazine by Zeftron’s business leader Tim Blount. This article underscores the importance of knowing how specifying a carpet with an established branded nylon such as Zeftron can maximize your investment. See the abbreviated article below and let us know what you think:

One way designers and facility managers can protect and maximize their flooring investment is by specifying a carpet made with an established branded nylon. Consider this: The floor of any space is typically the most abundant surface.  The floor covering choice you make will set the foundation for the entire design, including the environment’s furnishings, wall color, light fixtures, and other elements.

1187086_632421110125528_949425768_nFlooring surfaces must also be highly functional. Carpet in a classroom must be able to withstand heavy foot traffic, soiling, staining, and crushing.  Carpet in an office environment, such as a hallway or a conference room, must look stylish while also offering high performance. You need a nylon with a proven track record to ensure great durability.

Many nylons today have only recently been introduced to the marketplace and long-term performance attributes are still unproven.  These nylons don’t have a track record of proven performance over an extended period of time in multiple end-use areas.Many of these nylon brands are “internal” to the carpet manufacturer.  Carpet manufacturers began making their own commercial-grade nylon several years ago as a way to “upsell” their own carpet products. Unfortunately, these “internal” brands must balance satisfying both internal and external needs. Internal brands may not always have as stringent of quality specifications for color continuity, colorfastness, and color clarity.

An established third-party branded nylon brings several advantages to a commercial carpet product:

1.  Proven Performance – The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to nylon.  Established nylon brands have been making commercial grade nylon for years.  Over time, they have honed manufacturing and engineering processes to develop a product that has been rigorously tested (internally and externally) and is certified to meet critical commercial end-use applications.  Carpet made with unproven nylon brands may not have the qualified assurance that it will perform as well as expected.

2. Warranties – Most brands offer a variety of warranties for how the product should perform such as: independent lifetime warranties for carpet wear, static control, stain removal, and color stability.  Designers and facility managers should fully understand what is covered, by whom, for how long, and with what limitations. Warranties from an established, third-party nylon brand can provide additional coverage totally independent from those offered by a carpet manufacturer.

3.  Services & Support – Specifying a product is a process, not just a one-time event.  This process begins with education and understanding:  What does the space require? What would be the best flooring product?  What is the budget available?  When a carpet is selected and installed, it doesn’t end there.  Nor does it end when a carpet eventually meets the end of its useful life. Established nylon brands can offer a multitude of resources to help designers and facility managers every step of the way.  Some brands may have regional representatives that can come onsite to provide specification assistance or maintenance tips.  Others may offer educational literature about their sustainability attributes or recycling methods.

Not all commercial carpets are the same.  However, those made with an established, third-party branded nylon typically offer a high quality product, warranties, and value-added services. These valuable benefits can help designers and facility managers protect and generate a greater return on their flooring investment.  Designers have a lot of things to worry about, but the carpet they specify should not be one.