By arclin_tfl

NeoCon 2017

Surface Trends: Some Observations

NeoCon — our favorite time of year. There’s just no other show in this country that provides the visual stimulation or feeds the trend-seeker’s soul quite like this one. Floor after floor of the best and the, quite literally, brightest in commercial interiors design.

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Continued shift from veneers to laminates.

Now able to match real wood and veneers in grain fidelity and sophistication, the advantages of laminates are making them increasingly attractive in increasingly more applications. Certainly, desk systems, hospital interiors and educational environments have long embraced laminates, but the once coveted solid wood or veneered focal piece — desk, conference table, cabinetry, credenza — is now showing up in laminate, too, showcasing its enhanced durability and increasing design versatility.

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Subtle, elegant grains.

Where two points converge: the Scandinavian influences coupled with the availability of elegantly designed wood grains came together as we saw an evolution from the subtle lineal patterns that have been a hallmark of commercial interiors surfaces to more elaborate grains and structures. Subtle in color, rich in character.

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Small spaces, slim profiles.

Offices continue to grapple with the seemingly contradictory mandates of “open spaces!,” the need for occasional privacy and millennials’ desire to continually shake things up. No sitting at one desk all day. There are pods and small offices and sitting desks and standing desks and small conversation areas and big meeting areas and still the occasional (egads!) office with four walls and a door. All those spaces living in harmony have contributed to a design trend toward more, smaller spaces and slim profile furniture that is visually appealing, easily moveable and doesn’t clutter up a what-could-be-easily-cluttered-looking space. The surfaces lend themselves to these smaller profiles, adding clean, sleek sophistication that doesn’t scream to compete.

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Pops of drama.

That said, all those muted tones were very often offset with splashes of drama. Subtle colors and grains found complement with a single bold pattern or color, whether hard surface, textile, carpet or chairs. (The chairs! We became obsessed with the chairs!) Those pops are one of the fun things about our jobs, frankly. For every 20 hardrock maples and blond lineals, we get to add something dramatic and bold.

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Expanding sustainability.

A healthy work environment has come to mean more than simply recycling copy paper and introducing low-emissions fabrics and case goods. From ergonomic workstations to what’s in the fridge, everything focuses on the health of the employee and the responsibility of the employer for both environment and that employee’s health. There’s a lot to the sustainability story for laminates if you’re interested in the read.

If NeoCon had a slogan (does NeoCon have a slogan), it should be: Better than Christmas!

Alternative Building Materials That Create a Luxury Look Without a Luxe Price

Marble, granite, steel, teakwood, and mahogany all are expensive to use, especially if covering a large space. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get a luxury look today. Engineered building materials are not only up to 70% less expensive than the real deal, but are often more durable. And because many use renewable sources or recycled materials, they tend to also be more eco-friendly. The result is easier maintenance and longer life of a building. What’s not to like about that?

Here are some materials that can give an elegant look for less.

1. TFL 

Alternative Building Materials TFL - Arclin TFLDesign-forward, versatile, and environmentally-friendly, TFL can match the graphic intensity and fidelity of woods, stone, metals, and abstracts without the price tag of the real thing. This resin-coated sheet of décor paper is directly applied to a substrate, such as particleboard or plywood to create a cost-effective material to build furniture, shelves and to cover walls. And now that textures are available, the options are endless.

2. Stone Veneer

Alternative Building Materials - Stone Veneer - Arclin TFLComing in a 50-60% less cost than real stone, manufactured stone veneer is an attractive option to get a stone look for fireplaces and building exteriors without the weight and construction requirements of real stone. Plus, it comes in a much wider variety of designs and colors. Since it is typically thinner than real stone, the veneer version needs less building materials to adhere it to the wall frame, making it easier and less expensive to build.

3. Bamboo

Bamboo Construction - Alternative Building Materials - Arclin TFLBamboo may seem like an acquired taste but it is actually a sustainable choice for framing buildings. It is fast-growing, lightweight, and can replace steel rebar and concrete in construction. While used for years in areas native to bamboo — think warm, humid climates — conventional construction is beginning to see the benefits.

4. Engineered Marble

Engineered Marble - Alternative Building Materials - Arclin TFLEngineered marble is just as tough (some say even tougher) and wears just as well as real marble. A composite material made of crushed stone bound together by a polymer resin or cement mix, it can give a luxe look to large buildings such as malls, hotels, and department stores. Because so much stone is required to cover the large walls and floors, it is a good choice to keep costs down.

What alternative materials are you using in your new building projects? Share with us on our Facebook page.

Best Sellers

What’s Hot in Our New Harvest Collection!

You know what we love about the “best sellers” list among Arclin’s new Harvest Collection of designs? The diversity!

Take a look at the Top 5 — and just imagine the variety of applications these luxurious designs are suited for.

 

Click on any design to view a full 4×8 panel.

Angkor-Root

#1: Angkor Root – rustic elegance

Stinson-Gray

#2: Stinson Gray – modern lineal

Papa's-Loft

#3: Papa’s Loft – on-trend reclaimed planks

Charles-Bridge

#4: Charles Bridge – versatile sophistication

Noce-Moscato

#5: Noce Moscato – moody chic

The entire Harvest Collection is trending! See all the new designs here.

For more information, samples or orders, contact your sales rep or email us here.

Retro Design, Revisited

If you had a chance to head to NeoCon last month, you would have seen that the 70’s style is alive and well. Interiors spaces are welcoming back the best of the era with brick walls, exposed wood beams, and sunken living rooms alongside furniture and decor boasting mod patterns, retro color schemes, and clean lines. Here are a few of our favorite retro-inspired picks from NeoCon that are sure to inspire some of you.

The Pâtissière Series Cafe Chairs by Leland

Today’s retro style often pairs only two colors together to mimic the printing style available in the 70s. That can be seen in Leland’s chair designs, alongside the desaturated color palette and dramatic curves.

Arclin NeoCon Chair Retro Design

 

Fern Chair by Haworth

A comfortable chair is necessary for all the hours we spend in from of computers today. But that doesn’t mean they can be fun. Haworth took 70’s inspired clean lines and muted color schemes to inspire the modern work day.

Arclin-NeoCon-Chairs Retro Design

 

Lichen Carpet by Mohawk Group

Winning the Gold Award in the Carpet: Modular category, the Lichen rug has an organic, nature-inspired feel with loads of texture, which focuses on 70’s inspired burnt orange.
Arclin NeoCon Rug Retro Design

 

Kanso Bench by HBF

Low-slung seating was a popular retro style and HBF brought it back in these playful color combination with mix-and-match pieces. How fun!

 

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And, another example of minimalist furniture we want, now.

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Mod all the way. These fun fabrics fully embrace the geometric style that defined retro. Circles, starbursts, stripes, and other shape patterns lend themselves to a visual dance prominent during that time. And now, today’s walls, chairs, and couches will be ready to make the same groovy statement.

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How do you feel about the resurgence of retro design that was seen throughout NeoCon 2017? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment on Facebook to share your opinion.

Clean & Green: Trends in Hospital Design

The game is changing when it comes to hospital design. Designers and architects are more in tune than ever about how integral design choices are for patient wellbeing. Hospitals all around the country are taking steps in a new direction by cultivating a positive atmosphere through intentional design — and we’re all for it! Here are a few trends hospitals are using to soften the sterile look of traditional facilities.

Brighten It Up

hospital design Trends Arclin TFLOut with the greys and blue, in with the light and bright. We are seeing hospital design replace traditional, more conservative tones with brighter swashes of colors as accent walls in patient rooms, common spaces, and even often-overlooked hallways. Arclin’s Angkor Root or Kinabalu Teak are two choice ideal for creating a clean, modern backdrop to whatever bright color a hospital chooses.

Green Friendly

Hospitals are going green and seeing results. Not only are they using more sustainable material like TFL because of its durability, germ-resistance, and zero-emissions, but they can reduce costs by using more TFL in more places. From furniture to built-ins, wall-coverings to shelving, the TFL can create a clean, consistent space that has minimal impact on the environment and is sensitive to patient needs.

Home Away From Home

Hospitals require a certain level of clinical functionality. However, creating an at-home feel can increase patient satisfaction by making design choices that result in reduced environmental stressors. This is being done through softer linens in sophisticated colors, sturdier and matching in-room furniture such as wardrobes and bedside tables, and accenting patient rooms with greenery and artwork. By creating a more residential feel, patients have a more positive experience.

Comfort in Chaos

Texture is showing up everywhere in commercial design right now, and hospitals are finally coming on board. While a clean and crisp style has always been a go-to in hospital design, we seeing warmth being created by adding wood tones to wall design, lighting fixtures, and ceiling coverings. In the high-stress environment of a hospital, texture can help create a more relaxed, comfortable environment.

Five Trends in Future-Proofing Retail Design

Retail is evolving and changing faster now than ever before. With so many consumers shopping online today, retail experiences should be both memorable and impactful. Not only do retailers want to make a positive impression on each consumer, but they also need to invest their design dollars as efficiently as possible. Having to re-design a retail space every six months to chase a new trend will surely cut into a business’ bottom line. Here are five trends in flexible retail design that give companies the ability to future-proof their stores and improve the overall retail experience.

Arclin TFL Future Proof Retail Design1. Flexible Shelving
Flexible store display systems give retailers an endless range of options for merchandising solutions. Many of these systems are small enough to be moved to various parts of the store with ease. The biggest benefit: shelving can be modified into many configurations or taken out altogether to accommodate a new display. That’s a win.

2. Fixtures on Wheels
Whether a display itself changes or not, you can create a fresh look in a retail space simply by moving around your offerings. Fixtures on wheels are rolling bins, clothing racks, store fixtures that you can move at will — voilà, it’s like a brand new space.

3. Movable Light Boxes
Permanent light box displays can be a pain when you need to redesign a retail space. And it adds up. Instead, future-proof the space by investing in movable light boxes that can be quickly and easily repurposed to changing needs.

4. Advances in Lighting
Arclin TFL Future Proof Retail Design lightsBoy, does lighting make a difference. Those outdated flickering fluorescent lights that can still be found in some retails stores are not only off-putting, but they tend to be unflattering. The LED revolution is well underway, so add these fixtures to your retail space to create a warmer environment and eliminate the notorious dressing room drama.

5. Personalized Shopping Experiences
Integrating technology into the retail space now gives store owners the ability to give each shopper a personalized experience. One survey found that nearly half of shoppers were willing to pay more for a personalized experience. How do you provide this? Just one example is to implement Intelligent Fitting Rooms that use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to recognize clothing items. These fitting rooms are integrated with a screen that might show complementing pieces and accessories as well as the availability of other sizes. Shopping is definitely evolving.

Today’s customers are now used to an endless stream of fresh information online and expect to have new engagement when they walk into a retail establishment. If they consistently see the same layout, they’re more likely to get bored and not return. These five retail design trends can help nearly any retail store create a fresh look that is economical and relevant to the current market.

For retail surfaces such as displays and shelving, Arclin TFL is a smart choice for future-proofing a space with its trend-forward designs. Now see what design trends are driving retail.

The Evolution of TFL Design

Behind Arclin’s Portfolio Changes

As you certainly know by now, we’ve made significant changes to Arclin’s decorative overlays portfolio in the last two years.

What drove our decisions? And why does (or should) it matter to you?

Let’s start with the second question — that’s easy: The changes in our portfolio reflect design shifts across many of the application industries served heavily by TFL — kitchens, closets, retail, healthcare, hospitality, office and more. The 21 new papers (12 designs) in our new Harvest Collection were selected expressly to meet growing and future trends across multiple applications.

How did we go about making our decisions on what to take out, what to add?

  1. We started by purging our portfolio of older designs that had worn out their welcome.
  2. We conducted extensive research on U.S. and worldwide trends, current and future, to find the best opportunities for our customers. (This is an ongoing effort!) Red and orange = out. Walnut, warm grays and browns, tone-on-tone and light colorations = in. Textures abound.
  3. We reviewed the entire portfolio by design structure, type of grain or other structural feature, color, application opportunities and more. We were admittedly far too heavy on the reds and oranges, light on some of the more modern features (see #2, above).
  4. We ultimately selected 12 new designs — with color options, 21 papers — for our new collection. A quick synopsis of the “why” of each:

Alexandria Walnut – probably the most traditional of the new designs, the fidelity and rich coloration of this beautiful walnut make it anything but “old.” Equally at home in traditional structures or exotic applications.

Angkor Stone & Angkor Root – rustic with a touch of elegance, with colorations that hit the trends but with slightly unique hues. These two are applicable virtually everywhere, from closets to cabinetry, hospital rooms to office settings.

Cambridge Classic & Cambridge Bronze – we’ve always said about this one: you have to see the full panel to grasp the beauty of this one. Rich and regal, this one has the potential to carry the room.

Charles Bridge – one of the more exotic designs in the collection, this seemingly in-motion wood grain has been colored for maximum dramatic effect. We can see this one at home in a modern kitchen (imagine the pairing possibilities), or in hospitality and retail settings.

The Glances (Silver, Platinum, Lead) – a brushed metallic effect, we liked this one for its suitability for garage cabinetry, retail environments and more.

Jackson Barn & Jackson Buff – warm, rustic oak with a hint of on-trend cerusing, these meet the demand for high fidelity rustics — with a bit more flexibility than most.

Kinabalu Teak – the midcentury modern resurgence brought teak back into vogue. Now the teak trend looks to have legs. We gave it extra traction, here, with a lighter, almost tone-on-tone coloration. There’s really no limit to the application possibilities here.          

Noce Moscato – rich grays, browns and blacks made this one an easy pick. Gorgeous, dramatic and a design-driver in the spaces it inhabits.

Papa’s Loft – the most popular of the collection, so far, this design proves that TFL isn’t what it used to be. That is, with improvements over the years in performance and fidelity, we can bring fresh designs to life that expand our opportunities to replace traditional veneers and other surfaces. We focused the coloration, too, on current and sustainable trends.

Skyline Dawn, Dusk & Dark – conjuring concrete or stone…even a metallic as you evolve to the darkest shade…this design was selected from among dozens of concrete-based textures we considered. Absolutely on-trend and in high demand.

Stinsons: Gray, Trail & Umber – this design captured three aspects we were looking for in our new collection: a modern lineal, on-trend colorations and extremely versatile.

Sunrise Impression – stone? marble? concrete? We’ll leave it to your impression. Which is what makes it so appealing.

Get in touch for samples, pricing information and more.

 

Trend Watch: Retail

Here are our Top #5 picks for trends worth watching in retail interiors and store fixtures.

 

Arclin Trend Watch - Retail Design
Turns out, it is easy being green

Trend watchers at the recent Milan Design Week noted a surge in green, perhaps taking to heart Pantone’s “greenery” color of the year for 2017. With its undercurrents of blue and yellow, greens can be fun to match with decorative surfaces, simply for their versatility!


 

Arclin TFL - Retail Trends
Texture: high tech to high touch

Love this expression: “hoarder chic.” Just like we can’t pass up touching the fine silk blouse or a chunky sweater, retail environments are catering to our sense of tech and touch. That is, they’re creating tactile environments that combine high tech and, say, aged brick — or sleek with vintage elements.

These designs make the marriage of vintage and modern, rough and smooth easy on the eyes and the fingertips.


 

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Momentum through Reinvention

We’ve all read the recent news of another wave of decline of traditional bricks and mortar retail. Who’s surviving — or even thriving — and how? It’s the stores willing to reinvent themselves. Their inventory, their stories, their online strategies, their environments. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are leading the way. Now imagine how much reinventing you can do with…


 

Arclin TFL What's Driving Retail Store Design
Bridging: The store of the future

Facial recognition technology, holographic product displays, drone deliveries — these are already becoming part of the retail experience as retailers bridge their online and offline worlds. Even with declines in physical locales, there is a committed sense among the experts that bridging technology and human experience, and on- and offline realms will guide the future.

We imagine these high tech designs helping make the bridge:


 

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The boutique makes a (refreshing) comeback

Pop-ups, lifestyle stores, customized shops “curated to reflect their neighborhoods” —  the trend in boutique retailing takes nothing off the table. Creativity, unanticipated pairings and creating new customer experiences are…popping up…around the world.
No limits!


 

Small Is the New Big: Microdesign in Hospitals & Hotels

Tiny homes have been gaining momentum for some time now, thanks to shifting consumer tastes and no less than three different shows on HGTV that are aimed at reversing the bigger is better mentality. (Yes, Tiny House, Big Living; Tiny House Builders; and Tiny House Hunters all exist.) Now the microdesign trend is coming to commercial architecture.

First up: hospitals and hotels.

Called microhospitals and microhotels, these new iterations are smaller, more intimate, emphasize shared space over individual rooms, better integrate technology, and are more thoughtfully constructed to avoid less waste. This means design needs to be smartly executed to make use of available square footage. Storage space, furniture, and even rooms serve multiple purposes. And having the right construction materials is critical to making that possible.

Microdesign in hospitals

Microhospitals Modern design - ArclinMicrohospitals are becoming especially popular in markets where patients do not have easy access to emergency care. That can be in a busy urban area with long ER wait times or a small city that would not be able to support a full-scale facility. It is such a hot topic in hospital construction that Becker’s Hospital Review rated the “microhospital” as the number one design trend to expect in 2017.

It’s true that urgent care centers have been on the rise in recent years, but a microhospital is different. It is an always-available, full-service operation but typically maxes out at 50,000 square feet and are meant for short stays. They have a lower construction cost than a traditional hospital, ranging from $7 million to $30 million to build. And since they are smaller, they take less time to build, which allows the health system to bring healthcare services to communities quicker. These are attractive features to both builders and the cities the microhospitals will serve.

In addition to creative use of space, TFL is a popular surface choice in microhospitals due to its stain, germ, and abrasion resistance. It is also easy to maintain, which makes the environment healthier and safer.

Microdesign in hotels
Microdesign Trends in hotels - ArclinWhen it comes to hotels, it is no surprise the trend first popped up in cities with expensive real estate like New York City and Tokyo. And recently, several hotel chains have emerged to capitalize on the trend, including Pod, Yotel, and CitizenM.

There are many reasons to embrace microhotels. They put much more emphasis on communal spaces, such as lobbies, lounges, and office centers. Design is critical to appeal to its main audience: Millennials. The idea is that this price-sensitive audience is more interested in “just having a place to sleep.” So, unlike the downsizing of airline seats, microhotels actually emphasize comfort and quality. It should look good, be environmentally-conscious, and have character.

These are some of the reasons TFL is showing up as a popular surface material in microhotels. TFL offers contemporary woodgrains and colors, with exact matches in other complementary materials. It is also a favorite “green” surface material with low-to-no emissions.

And while size is not, aesthetics are emphasized in microhotels. Microhotel designs provide creature comforts: multiple USB plugs, modular furniture, and adequate storage space. And with all that floor space trimmed away, they tend to charge less per night so who wouldn’t be happy with that?

Whether for an overnight hospital stay or a week away, expect to see more architects thinking small.

 

 

 

CitizenM image credit with edits: designmilk

Global Inspired – Design Tricks to Get that European Look

When looking around the globe for design tricks, Europe is ripe with ideas to borrow. Its long-lasting influences, timelessness, and ability to complement many different architectural styles make it a favorite among interior designers and architects.

However, the thing with a “European” look is that it is not just one style. You must first decide if the countryside elegance found in corners of Sweden, the hills of Switzerland, lush Tuscany, or fragrant Provence is what you want. Or perhaps, the bustling streets of Barcelona, London, and Berlin are more rousing to influence your next project. Whichever you choose, here are a few design tricks to keep in mind.

Arclin TFL - Gray Design Tricks in The Harvest CollectionDesign Trick 1: Nuanced Colors

European-styled homes tend to use a color palette filled with a variety of warmer shades. Nuanced colors like sandstone, coffee, or sweeping grays can help create a rich and sophisticated feel.

Design Trick 2: Experiment With Texture

Adding different textures to the floors and walls adds instant character. For example, a Nordic-styled home might use wide oak-colored panels paired with delicate patterned fabrics to instantly create a welcoming, but worldly feel.

Design Trick 3: Form Meets Function

European style furniture and buildings tend to use good quality material and is well-made. In other words, it’s not only looks great, but it works great too. Objects are appreciated for their lines and materials just as much as the purpose they serve.

Design tricks by Arclin TFL - European StyleDesign Trick 4: Give It a Lived-In Feel

A lived-in feel goes a long way for creating a welcoming space. It is why hygge (the Danish quality of coziness and comfort) is taking the world by storm. Depth and warmth are achieved through patinas, antiquing – and yes, textures. Display everyday items – collectables on a simple shelving or photographs in aged frames help finish the mood.

Design Trick 5: It’s All in the Details

And there is no better way to encourage that lived-in feel than with design details. Whether it is the subtle coloring on trim or thoughtfully placed object d’art, European style often plays elements against one another — think clean lines of a modern Italian kitchen counters against a large pop of color or loft style furniture in a rustic Spanish-style stone interior.

Now – your turn. What do you think creates a European feel?

What’s Hot in the Kitchen

We’ve highlighted some of our newest kitchen designs to show off the versatility of the trends!

Like a lot of you, we just got back from the Kitchen & Bath Show in Orlando, one of the many places we go to stay on top of design and surface trends. Here are our Top 8 trends we’re seeing in kitchen design. What strikes your fancy?

Kitchen Design Trends - Surface Design
Materials — Mix & Match
Marble with reclaimed or rustic woods, modern mixed with retro, classic designs matched with bold, fresh colors and textures. Wood on wood. Concrete with anything. Kitchen design is more flexible, more eclectic, more dynamic than ever.
Charles Bridge & Skyline Dark - Great for kitchen design
Black & White
This combo never goes out of style. In kitchens, we’re seeing a shift from all white (which we still love, by the way) to white plus…a little drama. Black pops against white cabinets and walls. White counters over black cabinets…stunning.
Cambridge Bronze, Noce Moscato, Kinabalu Teak - Great for kitchen design
Splash of Color
A chartreuse sink? Blue cabinets? Why not! Pantone’s 2017 color of the year, Greenery, is a great example of color bringing energy to warm wood tones or simple whites. We’re also seeing a lot of blue. Which is beautiful matched with gray grains, light warm woods and yes, white.
Skyline Dawn, Stinson Trail, Silver Glance, Platinum Glance - Great for kitchen design
Open Shelving
Above and below, we see more designs dispensing with the cabinet doors. That means more attention paid to shelving materials.

Gray for Days
We saw grays start to take prominence in kitchens several years ago — and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be fading anytime fast. Just look at our options — there’s so much to choose from, so many kitchen design directions to go.
Skyline Dusk, Stinson Gray, Jackson Barn, Angkor Stone, Charles Bridge - Great for kitchen design
Industrial Chic - Papa's Loft, Sunrise Impression, Lead Glance, Skyline Dark - Great for kitchen design
Industrial Chic
Some designers are starting to express their weariness with this sustaining trend, which has taken over restaurants, retail, offices and hospitality over the last decade+. But now we’re seeing it take on a new life in kitchens and more. Much as rustic has become more sophisticated, industrial kitchens are featuring more advanced engineered surfaces as a showcase for modern industrialism.


Copper Goes with… Anything

As we’re seeing, frankly… everywhere.
Cerused Wood - Great for kitchen design
Cerused Wood
Once popular during the Art Deco era, “cerusing” — accenting grains for contrast — creates an elegant look in any kitchen style, whether rustic, modern or a combination of the two.

What’s in a Name?

Despite rumors to the contrary, design names are not actually created during marijuana-fueled brainstorming sessions atop fog-covered mountains.)

Arclin’s new Harvest Collection of decorative overlays for TFL was curated from influences around the world. The names were selected to reflect those influences — and to capture the essence of each design. In case you were wondering…


Midtown Harvest

The Midtown Harvest Collection takes us from uptown to Main Street, urban sophistication to hometown warmth. The names reflect their Americana inspirations.

Harvest ColelctionCambridge Classic & Cambridge Bronze – regal, rich, hand-hewn, historic. That took us to one of the country’s most historic and regal cities: Boston.  We imagined these designs on the rich wood walls of Harvard Library in Cambridge.


 

Harvest Collection - Jackson Buff

Jackson Buff & Jackson Barn — these rustic designs conjured old world charm to us…visually transporting us to picturesque Jackson, Wyoming. And a name was born.


 

 

Harvest Collection - Papa's LoftPapa’s Loft – rustic, sea-weathered reclaimed barn wood, with more than a touch of gray. Think Old Man & The Sea…and author, Hemingway whose nickname was, in fact, Papa.


 

 

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Skyline Dawn, Skyline Dusk, Skyline Dark – this concrete-finish structure brought to mind urban settings and tall buildings…and the way city colors change as the daylight progresses.


 

 

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Stinson Gray, Stinson Trail, Stinson Umber – cool to warm, lineal, earthy. We thought of the trails to Stinson Beach in Muir Woods National Forest — full of tall straight trees and sandy trails.


Global Harvest                                  

Designs culled from global influences and a diversity of textures, colors and surface.

shutterstock_396111676Alexandria Walnut – The Port of Alexandria in Egypt was the world’s first and largest trading post for spices. And this is one spicy walnut.


 

 

shutterstock_263676302Angkor Stone & Angkor Root – exotic, old world and textured, the structure and colors of this design evoked, for us, the ancient Cambodian temples.


 

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Charles Bridge – we see water, winter, movement, drama. The picturesque Charles Bridge in Prague is…all that.


 

 

shutterstock_186199775Platinum Glance, Silver Glance, Lead Glance – this metallic, patterned abstract plays to the interlocking crystals of the galena ore. Also called “lead glance,” galena is a leading source of silver. You do the math.


 

shutterstock_239009716Kinabalu Teak – subtle cracks, knots and wide grains follow the terrain of Malaysia’s first national park.


 

 

shutterstock_71441794Noce Moscato – Noce = Walnut, Moscato = an Italian sparkling wine. There’s almost an aroma to this one.


 

 

shutterstock_262929725Sunrise Impression – you might see stone…marble…concrete…or even an impressionist painting. Monet’s first impressionist painting — which actually sparked use of the word “impressionism” — was called Impression, Soleil Levant or…Impression, Sunrise.


 

More than a Sales Pitch

reinventing TFL

Granted, we’re all in business to sell our products. That said, Arclin’s overarching strategy with our Reinventing TFL marketing effort is to support the entire value chain — not just ourselves — through education on TFL and other surfacing options. What product, what place, to what advantage. Our aim is to grow the industry by bringing more people to the table for all of us.

To that end, we’re going to continue to use our social media channels to try to reach downstream — to architects, interior designers and specifiers who present our greatest opportunities for market growth and who are, too, heavy users of social media for information, inspiration and idea-gathering.

Our Facebook page plays on our theme but with a market-focused twist: Reinventing Surfaces. We’ll continue to build Instagram and Pinterest galleries that inspire but also educate our followers. Our blog will continue to become a repository for telling different parts of the TFL and surfacing story.

Our content is yours to share. And if there are subjects you’d like us to cover, please let us know!

In the meantime, follow us and we’ll be on the look out to connect with you:

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Close Up – Q&A with Reed Singleton

Q: You’ve been heavily involved in Arclin’s recent efforts to revamp its TFL design portfolio. Where do you see opportunity for Arclin’s customers with the new designs and approach?
A: From a design standpoint, a tremendous amount of forethought and effort — with the help of Arclin’s printer partners and Loop9 Marketing — went into the selection of the new designs. The result is a collection of designs that is both modern and relevant. They’ve been extremely well received by our customers and their downstream customers.

We’ve also shifted our marketing approach to support overall TFL market growth. It’s our hope that, with a more fine-tuned portfolio and greater tools, Arclin’s customers will be able to increase market size and share.  We think the key to growing the TFL market is in reaching downstream, to designers and specifiers, with surface designs that can replace or enhance traditional surface materials.

Read the press release where Reed Singleton talks about the introduction of The Harvest Collection.



Q: Partly under your direction, Arclin has been shifting its sales and technical support approach toward a “One Arclin” strategy — that is, enabling customers to work with one team for both its resin and surface overlay support. How is the transition going and how is it benefiting customers?
A: Arclin is the only surfaces producer in the U.S. and Canada that also produces resin. This is a tremendous advantage to our customers, as we can provide better product quality, more support and greater opportunity for innovation.  Our “One Arclin” approach is going very well, improving our communication and service both to and from Arclin’s customer base.


 

Q: You’ve been with Arclin nearly 20 years, first in Winnfield, Louisiana and now based out of its Springfield, Oregon location. What’s been the biggest change for you, making the move to the left coast?  
A: Obviously there are cultural differences that took some getting used to after moving from the deep south of Louisiana to the Pacific North West. That aside, I have made a lot of great new friends and have enjoyed the inherent beauty of that part of the country.  I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know Arclin’s customers along the West Coast and look forward to building lasting relationships there. In the short year I have lived in Oregon, I’ve developed a lasting love for the region and the people. My only real struggle is convincing folks that THEY are the ones who talk funny.

 

Surfacing Trends in Hospitality

New Twists Abound in Surfacing Trends

Yet another trends list?? Well…yes. Because we haven’t seen one that covers our unique niche. We’re taking a look at decorative surfacing trends for the hospitality industry — what we’re seeing on furniture, fixtures, walls and more at restaurants and hotels across the country.

We’re excited to see where things are headed in hospitality design. Because, truth is, they’re headed in a number of different directions. Which makes it all kinds of fun for those of us who get to pick the surface designs to offer up to the industry. We see lots of variety, imaginative spaces and a continued push toward ever greater design complexity and sophistication.

Sure, many of the examples we give here are our products, but the trends apply to the whole spectrum of surfacing options.

  1. Rustics, reclaimed and industrial chic —

Surfacing Trends in Rustics

I had a designer tell me just last week that she was “so over” industrial chic. I could see that only if you limited the options to a moment in time. But restaurants and hotels are continuing to claim forgotten spaces and creating their own “raw” interiors that combine repurposed elements and pure, rustic themes. The staying power is in the warmth of the environments, the smart use of resources, and the enormous variety of design possibilities. The trend continues to evolve as designers get more and more creative. From a materials standpoint, the options are seemingly endless!

Decorative surfaces are heeding the call, with highly realistic designs that capture the spirit without sacrificing the barn, so to speak — or the budget. Our recently introduced Papa’s Loft design for TFL is a prime example. Reclaimed, weathered and perfect for everything from counter faces to headboards to architectural walls. Or check out Jackson Barn and Jackson Buff. The concrete-inspired Skyline series of Skyline Dawn, Skyline Dusk and Skyline Dark is turning heads, too.

  1. Elegance is back.

Elegant Surfacing Trends
via mrtripper.com

Call it Hollywood glamour or the New Elegance, rich, sophisticated interiors have made a comeback. Lush fabrics and ballgown-worthy interiors are made all the more vibrant with surfaces that embody the intensity of the space. Arclin’s Cambridge Classic design evokes hand-hewn surfaces you might’ve found in, say, an estate library a century ago.

  1. Modern reimagined.

Modern Surfacing Trends
via luxesource.com

What might’ve once been called “transitional” design — a blend of old and new — is now taking on new life as modern interiors are infused with a variety of styles, interpretations, materials and inspiration. Imagine paring this fresh Stinson Trail design with an animal patterned fabric or a nature-themed interior (it does take its name from a path through Muir Woods to Stinson Beach!). At the same time, Cambridge Bronze transitions well from classic to contemporary when you use its bold features to make a statement. Lines aren’t so clearly drawn anymore, which gives us a lot of freedom to reimagine spaces.

  1. Global inspirations.

via interiorzine.com

Bohemian, Mediterranean, Italianate, French Provincial…we’ve long experienced their style inspirations in the environments we frequent. Designers are now combining styles and materials in single interiors to evoke a sense of worldly adventure. Can’t imagine how a simple surface structure could contribute? Think again. Jackson Barn and Jackson Buff took us mentally to vast prairies and towering mountains. We’re introducing an entire globally-inspired selection of designs later this year, with designs that conjure thoughts of Cambodian temples, Middle Eastern ports of call and fog-enshrouded bridges.

  1. No boundaries.

via thedesignerpad.com

One of the things we’ve always loved about creating designs for decorative surfaces is that we’re not bound by the same laws of nature that define solid woods, veneers or stone. If you can imagine it, we can create it. Concrete textures with a hint of woodgrain. The feeling of wide planks that aren’t really planks at all. A color play that can turn an abstract neutral into a sleek metallic. The ability to craft surfaces from virtually any material we can get our hands on, “playing” until we get just the right look. Hospitality spaces work hard to create experiences, to comfort and to inspire. Decorative surfaces can be the perfect solution when the creative sky is the limit.

 

 

 

 

What surfacing trends are you seeing in your commercial and residential design? Share with us on Facebook.

The Dunes Collection – A Value Chain Partnership

Surfaces Industry Value Chain

Arclin is proud to work with many of the most reputable and creative printers in the surfaces industry. And our customers continue to show us just how much fun we can have working together to grow the market. The recent introduction of Arclin’s Dunes Collection is one great example (and we’ll share many more over the coming months) of a value chain partnership that netted a new set of designs right for the market, right now. Says Jim Ryan, Duramine Business Manager at Roseburg, who helped drive selection of the designs for Arclin’s portfolio — and theirs, “These designs address the growing demand from our customers for lineal patterns in modern colors. And they’re flexible, appropriate for use in nearly every market segment.” Ryan notes other criteria the designs met in making the cut for their small, targeted design portfolio:

  • They complement and work well with others in their collection
  • Can be used both horizontally and vertically
  • Will work well using texture plates, but are equally strong without

The U.S. creative team at Interprint worked with Arclin and Roseburg to identify the designs for this addition, selecting these four for that met multiple criteria for design and functionality. They include Calm Horizon, Ruby Beach, Sand Shoal, and Southern Cattails.

The Right Surface for the Right Space

Let’s show them how TFL works!

You know it, we know it — TFL is one of the most versatile decorative surface options available in the market today. High performing, design-forward, versatile, cost effective and environmentally safe. And perfect for a wide variety of environments and applications.

Arclin is creating tools to help all of us in the TFL value chain. Tools that can help educate your customers and theirs by demonstrating the attributes and benefits of the product in a wide variety of applications. We’re creating an online gallery to showcase thermally fused laminates in their natural habitats. And that is, virtually everywhere. Share photos, ideas, customer applications…anything you think will help us, together, bring more people to the TFL table.


retail TFLRETAIL

Dark to light, traditional to contemporary, wood grains to abstracts, TFL fits any retail environment, any brand on store fixtures, shelving, POP displays, closets, walls and counters.

What’s your favorite retail application? Share it with us and we’ll share with the industry!


office TFLOFFICE

The perfect office combines durability and design. Just like TFL. For desks, cabinets, shelving, credenzas and walls.

What new applications are you seeing in the office industry for TFL? Is it in designs? Applications? Textures?


healthcare TFLHEALTHCARE

Designs made to heal. Germ-resistant surfaces. Zero-emitting panels. Use it on workstations, lockers, cabinets and furniture, in waiting areas, workspaces and patient rooms.

We’re seeing a lot more creativity in healthcare environments, as the market gets more competitive and designers are looking for design-forward and healthy surfaces. What trends do you see driving TFL use in healthcare? Can you give us an example?


hospitality TFLHOSPITALITY

On trend and in budget. TFL adorns walls, furniture, fixtures and more in hotels, restaurants and clubs around the world.

Restaurants and hotels are more and more becoming havens and drivers of design versus merely places for comfort and sustenance. Where do you see opportunities to integrate TFL that maybe even the industry isn’t thinking of yet?


education TFLEDUCATION

The smart solution — TFL is durable and easy to clean and comes in designs and colors suited for any educational environment. For furniture (classroom, library, dorm), closets and desks.

Budgets are often among the biggest drivers in building materials decisions for educational spaces. But we know you can get a hot new TFL for no more investment than the same old, same old. What designs do you see showing potential in education? Traditional woods? Lineals? Reclaimed materials-inspired?


residential TFLRESIDENTIAL

Durable, stain resistant and available in a wide variety of designs — from wood grains to abstracts, solid colors and more — TFL is ideal for kitchens, cabinets, closets, organizational systems, furniture, garages…even the man cave.

We’re excited about what we’re seeing in residential interiors. Because we’re seeing a little bit of everything! Show us your favorites — a photo, a link…an example of something you’re finding in the market.

Meet Scot Johnson


Scot JohnsonQ: You’ve got a long history at Arclin overseeing its industrial surfaces business — everything from concrete surfacing to roof and wall sheathing. What unique perspective do you bring to decorative surfaces side of the business — how do you see influencing its growth going forward?
A: I plan to bring the same approach to decorative surfaces that we’ve long employed for industrial — that is, meshing customer and market needs with Arclin’s constant pursuit of developing new chemistries and new application opportunities. For example, we’re constantly looking at creating better-performing products we can offer at lower costs…we’re looking at several opportunities now. And I’m very focused on finding new products that can open whole new doors for Arclin and our customers. I’m excited about our possibilities in the decorative space.

Q: You’ve overseen introduction at Arclin of a number of pretty innovative industrial products. Do you see opportunity for innovation in the decorative surfaces industry? Can you tell us about anything in the works?
A: Yes! We’re working on a lower cost, higher opacity overlay…and at the possibility of an exterior-grade decorative surface — UV resistant, durable and one that can stand up to the elements. It’s in concept phase at this stage, but it’s a product with some pretty cool application possibilities (THAT part, I’ll have to keep secret for bit longer).

Q:  How does a guy who’s been used to dealing with concrete and exterior building products turn his sights to a design-focused product line? Is there a learning curve for you?
A: Hey — concrete can be decorative! Seriously, there’s not much of a learning curve on the chemistry and applications side of the business; they share many of the same characteristics. But I’ve been focused on understanding the design side of it. As we’ve been preparing this portfolio launch for next year, in fact, I’m learning that the design options can be endless and we need to make sure we’re matching our approach to the best opportunities in the market.

Learn more about Scot Johnson and Arclin Leadership here.

Meet Teong Tan

Teong TanQ:  From a quality standpoint, what is your primary focus for Arclin’s decorative surface overlays?
A: Arclin has always been known for our willingness and ability to tackle challenging products — and we have a lot of great products out there. But obviously, that is only beneficial for our customers if we can consistently deliver to our product specifications and performance. We’ve focused on reducing variation from all sources, from raw materials to our own processes to finished goods. Our aim is to deliver on spec, every time.

Q:  What has been your biggest quality improvement accomplishment so far?
A: We’re tenacious about getting to root causes when we have a quality issue. We’ve made that a hallmark of our quality culture. Most recently, we’ve tackled some issues with “blocking” — when TFL overlays absorb moisture from the environment and begin to stick together. We’re hearing from our customers now that we’re surpassing our competitors in eliminating this problem.

Q:  You’ve been with Arclin for 14 years. What has been your path to this position?
A: I started out as a resin chemist. I eventually moved to lead one of the technical teams, ultimately expanding that into a leadership role in overall quality control. I now lead the technical team for all of Arclin’s surfaces (which includes industrial overlays, in addition to decorative). This opportunity to take the TFL business to the next level has been an exciting part of the ride!

Q:  Tell us something about yourself that your coworkers might not even know.
A: I have a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old. I spend any moment I’m not working with them and my wife. Before I had kids, I was an avid watercolor artist; I’ve exhibited in some small scale shows. I love music and play the piano. I ran a couple of marathons…but now I spend my days running after my toddler.

Decorative surfaces

Why TFL. And Why Now.

Decorative surfaces have been around since the ancient Egyptians began using wood veneers to coat their furniture and sarcophagi. They’ve come a long way. Today, the market offers a variety of decorative surface options (there’s a good primer here), from veneers to High Pressure Laminates (HPL), from foils to perhaps one of the most overlooked and high performing surfaces available: Thermally Fused Laminates, or TFL. Every surface option has a distinct sweet spot — that is, uses and applications for which it’s most appropriate and effective. Here’s a quick summary of the properties and benefits of TFL. And a thing or two you might not have known about this advanced surface option that is quickly growing in popularity.

For the right applications, TFL is high performing at a lower cost than many of its sister products. Resin-coated papers are thermoset, under high heat and pressure, directly to a substrate (typically particleboard, plywood or MDF), which eliminates the need for multiple layers of base paper and creates a very uniform, strong surface — at a lower production cost than many other options.

TFL is just as design-forward as HPL has become, matching the graphic intensity and fidelity of woods, stone, metals, abstracts and more. Advancements in design and printing technologies and expanding market interests have driven TFL manufacturers to create increasingly realistic, beautiful and varied decors. Advanced laminating technologies have made textures possible, as well, adding yet another dimension to TFL’s life-like design properties.

TFL is an environmentally friendly alternative to solid woods and veneers. TFL uses paper derived from sustainably harvested sources. And through sophisticated design, TFL can realistically mimic the look and, increasingly, even the feel of any wood or abstract material without depleting valuable natural resources. Arclin TFL can contribute to LEED credits for improved indoor air quality and is manufactured in FSC chain of custody-certified facilities.

TFL’s consistency and durability makes it ideal for a wide variety of industries and applications.

Decorative surfaces are used in industries including Residential, Retail, Healthcare, Office, Education, Government and more. Applications: Cabinets, Furniture, Closets, Desks, Architectural Features and more.

TFL - Environmentally Friendly Building Products

TFL: Countless Shades of Green

Environmentally friendly building products

In our building industry travels, we’ll sometimes hear push-back against the use of any type of wood-related products — from specifiers and buyers rightfully charged with finding the most environmentally responsible building products available for their interiors projects. We couldn’t agree more that the careful use of our natural resources is the responsibility of everyone in the design and build industries. The truth is, Thermally Fused Laminates, or TFL, are one of the smartest environmentally responsible building products and can be used in a wide variety of applications, from furniture and fixtures to architectural features, closets and cabinets.

What makes it green?

  1. Quite simply, wood use has evolved. For many applications, we’ve moved from using solid woods (and cutting down lots of old-growth trees) to an environmentally preferable substrate with veneer to, now, a substrate with a decorate surface overlay that enables us to mimic all the design properties of real wood but is made with papers derived from tree fibers grown on controlled, fast-growing plantations. TFL spares old growth and exotic woods while capturing all of its graphic qualities. Read more about the evolution of wood.
  2. We’re certified (not to be confused with certifiable). Arclin TFL is manufactured in FSC® chain of custody-certified facilities. Panels made with Arclin TFL are ultra low-emitting and may contribute to LEED EQ Credit 4.4 for improved air quality. And Arclin applies its own E-Gen® designation to its TFL products, a proprietary designation that it applies only to products expressly engineered for exceptional product performance and to reduce manufacturing and downstream environmental impact.
  3. Arclin also manufactures low- to zero-emitting resins for wood panels. Those substrate panels can be combined with Arclin TFL for an extra layer of…green.

Compare TFL to solid woods, veneers, plastics, concrete and more to discover the right shade of green for your next project.