Trade show travel

Take a shopping trip on your customers’ behalf ALMOST EVERY FLOORING RETAILER has product that was sourced as a result of a visit to a floor covering trade show — or trade fair as they say in Europe. But do these events still call out to your showroom, like Sirens to Odysseus, sweetly singing about products […]

Social media’s epic fail

THAT’S THE UNDERBELLY of today’s social media landscape, whether you’re in Canada or Pago Pago. The deception found by The New York Times in its analysis of fake views on YouTube is staggering. The newspaper identifies Martin Vassilev of Ottawa, Ont., as earning more than $200,000 per year and has sold close to 15 million […]

Extra credit

Continuing education keeps design pros sharp THE WORLD OF INTERIOR DESIGN stretches far beyond the aesthetics of a well-appointed room. There is so much for the architect and design (A&D) community to stay on top of, from new flooring and lighting technologies to safety and other regulatory issues. A&D professionals have an added incentive to the […]

Factory and field: Mapei meets goals

WHEN I FIRST RECEIVED an open invitation at a trade show 18 months ago to visit Mapei facilities in Milan, Italy, if I was “in the neighbourhood,” the chance seemed remote at the time. There was also an added sweetener: the corporation owns U.S. Sassuolo, a top-flight (Serie A) soccer team in Italy and I’d […]

Sky House by the lake

Building a cottage home on the Canadian Shield that would comfortably host a family reunion or just a couple on a weekend retreat posed some challenges for architects Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster. The Canadian pair have set up shop in Buffalo, N.Y., but cater to clients on both sides of the 49th parallel. Kempster […]

Resilient wave

Product categories in the flooring industry are always jockeying for position in the marketplace, but there is no argument that resilient has made a tremendous splash over the last several years. A WATER METAPHOR makes sense, too, as residential and commercial clients have embraced the flooring in applications where wet conditions can do tremendous damage. “The […]

Costs ramp up overnight

Independent businesses face tough hiring decisions NEW EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS legislation in Ontario is making it harder for businesses to meet labour costs. Sources say when Bill 148, the “Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act” came into effect on January 1, it effectively added close to 30 percent to the cost of carrying an employee in the province. According to Julie Kwiecinski, […]

Multiculti material mix

Design flash adds warmth to dining experience OPERATING IN 35 COUNTRIES, Nando’s is an international restaurant chain that originated in South Africa, known for its Portuguese-style flame grilled chicken and welcoming hospitality. Drawing cues from Mozambican/Portuguese culture, the Oshawa, Ont., location combines earthy textures, rich warm colours and whimsical design elements with a hand-crafted appeal. According to Keith Rushbrook, partner […]

Cultivating commercial

Growth opportunity with economies of scale — if you have the courage to play a long game THE COMMERCIAL FLOORCOVERING CLIENT can be just like a residential customer. Both are demanding, have different levels of product knowledge and both need your help — it’s just that the stakes are higher when a whole condo needs work compared to a single unit. Economies […]

Visualization drives design and sales decisions

VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITIES FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON, VISUALIZING how a living space will look after it is remodeled is overwhelming. It is also a barrier to choosing surfaces and committing to a purchase. Even catalogs, brochures, online photos, colour swatches and physical samples can only go so far towards concluding the decision-making process. But unlike flying cars and […]