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 […]

The groundwork is done; now get the order

THERE COMES THE TIME to turn the potential customer into a paying client. To get her to place the flooring order, it helps to have a consistent strategy in place that can satisfy everyone. “When I do get to the point of asking them to close, they know that they are going to be taken […]

Hudson Bay building revival

Then-And-Now Putting a venerable institution into another’s historic location is a design challenge that requires both creativity and the ability to meet municipal by-laws protecting the look of an old neighbourhood. ATB Financial, founded in 1938 as Alberta Treasury Branches, tasked the architecture firm Lemay + Toker with relocating its 9th Avenue branch in Calgary, […]

1905 Toronto Beach house revival

Taking a traditional home that had fallen into disrepair, Toronto, Ont.-based development company baukultur/ca has completed the transformation of a 110-year-old house into a contemporary, highly sustainable home. And, even though strictly modern, its exterior complements the traditional Beaches neighbourhood in this lakefront area of Toronto. Felix Leicher, architect and owner of baukultur/ca, relocated to […]

Training and education sets your business apart

Flooring businesses have to be able to differentiate themselves from their competition in order to succeed. But what makes one enterprise smarter than the next, and more knowledgeable than your average big box store? Staff training — in-house education, vendor seminars and apprenticeships — is what makes the difference. Training contributes to satisfying the demands […]