From In Focus

Cubicle Comeback?

Open space design has enjoyed stylistic preference in the last decade, from homes and outdoor areas to workplaces. Open design office spaces are touted as places that foster creativity, communication, and access to teammates: all clear organizational advantages.

However, a loss of personal workspace, coupled with increased distractions – 53% of workers in a recent study noted coworkers sidetracked them as they tried to work; 42% stated they had improvised designs to try to block out such interruptions – are leading organizational designers to reconsider how they are staging offices.

Office Cubicles - Arclin

While the sea of tiny cubicles that has so often been the punchline of work-related jokes in the past may not be the solution, innovative, adaptive designs providing employees personalized, productive spaces are gaining attention. Mobile work technology and ever-increasing access to Wi-Fi allows employees greater freedom than ever in where they choose to work. Co-work spaces, home offices, and coffeehouses have helped to redefine what it means to “go to work.” Companies seeking to incentivize working from a shared organizational space are challenged to create designs that provide what have been called “employee experience centers”: modern, functional, stylish places where employees are excited to show up, settle in, and work.

Office Cubicles

One strategy in this trend is dedicating customized areas for specific tasks and daily workplace operations and experiences. For instance, an office may include some open space to host collaborative initiatives, private workspaces for those who need environments free from interruption, and kitchen areas that mimic the retail environments offsite employees have grown to enjoy. Arclin’s collection of decorative overlays for the office  provide the variety, functionality, and durability to create such spaces – offices where staff members benefit from home-like amenities as well as the tools they need to succeed in their jobs. Options such as Matterhorn and Folkstone are ideal backdrops for clean, modern spaces that foster creativity.

Individual and Global Benefits

Traditional workplace designs created a clear sense of hierarchy: those in charge inhabited large, richly decorated offices, while those working beneath them were relegated to small, impersonal spaces. New thinking in office design emphasizes the importance of each team member, providing design options that take individual preference and taste in mind. Arclin’s varied design palates such as Midtown Harvest Collection and The Legacy Collection allow this sort of decorative diversity, ensuring employees benefit from personalized workspaces that lend themselves to innovation.

While highlighting the importance of individuals is key, organizations are also moving toward green designs and materials that honor the environment beyond the office. TFL, with its sustainably sourced materials, can help companies achieve both goals, offering beautiful design options that express individual design preferences while protecting natural resources for all.

Office Cubicle Design - Arclin

What Baby Boomers Look for in a Rental Apartment

While apartment life has historically been viewed as an option chosen by younger people, new trends in real estate reveal that older adults are now the fastest-growing segment of renters. A need for affordable housing options, particularly in the wake of the recent economic recession, is a strong motivating factor. But, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) aren’t merely seeking a less-expensive alternative to traditional single family homes: they want spaces with services, amenities, and style. With more than 5,000,000 Baby Boomers predicted to rent their next living space by 2020, Arclin is poised to provide the safe, convenient, attractive product designs required by those designing and building the next generation of rental properties.

Chic Convenience

Rental homes offer Baby Boomers convenience: less yardwork, house cleaning, and maintenance obligations gives renters more freedom, and may be particularly appealing to who are looking to downsize both their belongings and their time commitments.

Arclin Modern Apartment Design

While the advantages of access to resources for repairs and upkeep of their properties is a significant benefit, these renters are also looking for spaces created with materials that allow for easy day-to-day living. Arclin’s decorative overlays for TFL are ideal: germ-resistant, low maintenance surfaces that promote clean environments. At the same time, TFL provides the rich style options Baby Boomers desire in their homes: warm, light palates such as Candlelight Apple or Hard Rock Maple demonstrate that healthy surfaces don’t need to look sterile.

Ready-Made Community

Another great advantage to apartment living for Baby Boomers is the opportunity to expand their social circles – many rental spaces include recreation areas and options that encourage tenants to forge friendships. This can be particularly desirable to “empty nesters” who may not live in the same area as their children and grandchildren.

Harvest Bathroom (Skyline Dark & Skyline Dusk)

Taking advantage of social opportunities can make settings conducive to hosting and entertaining a strong priority for Baby Boomers when they are considering apartment options – something architects and interior designers should keep in mind. Cabinets, furniture, and shelving in a broad range of color and design choices – from Skyline Dusk to Galaxy White and others – can create attractive, inviting, easy-to-clean spaces for renters and their guests. Arclin designs are ideal for the spaces this growing population want, and the design and architecture professionals working to accommodate them.

5 Building Materials for Eco-Friendly Interiors

5 Eco-Friendly Building Materials - Arclin TFL

Over the last decade, architecture and interior design have embraced more natural alternatives. And it is no surprise, when you consider that sustainability is an attractive move for both the planet and profit.

Architect Magazine reported in October that buildings consume about 40% of the energy in the U.S. annually. In addition, they are responsible for emitting nearly half of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The 2017 article, “The Climate Is Changing. So Must Architecture,” calls for architects to use more sustainable materials that consume far fewer resources.

Consumers want healthier materials in their spaces that are kinder to our natural resources. Architects and interior designers need to seek out solutions such as designing LEED certified buildings, which can drop carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30% while reducing water and energy consumption.

While companies like Arclin are always developing innovative eco-friendly materials, here are five options to consider today when designing an eco-friendly interior.

Coco Tiles

Coco tiles are a natural alternative for flooring, backsplashes, walls, etc. Made from reclaimed coconut shells, this product reduces waste, while bringing a hint of nature into offices, restaurants, health care facilities and hotels. Kirei, a company focused on creating eco-friendly products, has mastered the art of the coco tile.

Bamboo

Bamboo has traditionally been used for decorating, but is now making a name for itself as an alternative building material. Using bamboo as flooring can be beneficial in more ways than one. Bamboo is water-resistant, and won’t stain like traditional hardwood flooring that swells when water is trapped inside a panel. And, bamboo flooring can be extremely durable depending on how it is manufactured, especially if it is strand woven. You can expect easy maintenance if you choose bamboo flooring.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood can be used for flooring, furniture, ceiling beams, and so much more. Using reclaimed wood in interior design is an eco-friendly way to add character to any room. The color palettes affiliated with reclaimed wood are limitless. It can add a tropical atmosphere to a restaurant or a feeling of comfort to a healthcare facility. Reclaimed wood is an eco-friendly alternative to cutting down living trees for building materials. You can rest easy knowing that your interior design isn’t harming the environment.

Cork

Cork is a versatile material that can be used all over your home or in commercial spaces. Adding a sheet of cork to an office wall can offer sustainability, because the extraction process for cork does not harm the tree it is taken from and the bark it is made from replenishes every 9 years. It also adds convenience and utility to the room. Additionally, cork provides excellent insulation for both temperature and acoustics control. This cost-effective material has also been used for flooring, as its cushion-like surface is easy to stand on for long periods of time.

TFL

Our favorite green product of all is TFL — a cost-effective alternative to the other surface options on the market. When considering the use TFL in your next design project, remember that these products are versatile and work across a variety of applications and industries. With advanced printing technologies, these decorative overlays enable us to mimic the design properties of real wood, but it is made with papers derived from tree fibers grown on controlled, fast-growing plantations. Just take a look at designs like Charles Bridge to see what we mean!

 

New Design Trends for Senior Living Centers

Many senior living communities are working toward new and improved facility designs with a heavy focus on creating functional and comfortable spaces for residents. From expanded amenities to advanced technology, here are a few design changes that will be seen in senior living centers throughout the new year.

Design of Senior Living CenterMore Integrated Technology

Technology is advancing in all industries, and senior living centers are not exempt. Installing Wi-Fi is a common initiative to improve communication for residents. They enjoy being able to send email or Facebook messages to their friends, kids, and grandchildren. This creates a need for designing communal spaces for seniors to access the internet, like community cyber cafes or home office spaces. 

LED lighting is another technology that will continue to expand in senior living centers. The energy and long-term cost saving benefits are highly valued by these facilities. Designers should take note of this change as LED lights give off direct light, unlike its incandescent or halogen counterparts, which give off multi-directional light. Lighting can affect the entire look of an area and should be kept in-mind when designing individual rooms or community spaces.

Community Enhancing Amenities

Senior living centers have embraced a sense of community and are taking steps to expand interactions.They are opening salons, gyms, and restaurants that are open to the public in order to encourage integration between their residents and the general public. With these types of new features, special care should be taken to protect seniors’ immune systems. Having surfaces that are germ-resistant and easy to maintain, like TFL, can contribute greatly to the space and benefit its residents. As an environmentally friendly alternative to solid woods and veneers, TFL emits low to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which improves indoor air quality and means seniors will not have to bear the strong odors often associated with new construction. 

Senior living communities are also striving for design efficiency by building multipurpose spaces. A community clubhouse can sport an entertainment room that doubles as a cafe, and a community outdoor field may be designed for activities such as croquet and bocce ball.

Senior Living Center Design Samples

An Elegant Feel

With the number of residents in senior living centers on the rise, there is a growing demand for, simply put, better-looking facilities. That’s why luxury designs are exploding in these communities. There is a trending concept that equates senior living centers to resort-style living communities. Designs like Ankor Stone, Charles Bridge. and Kinabalu Teak can pair well with rich fabrics and upholstery, luxe decor, and glam fixtures to create attractive spaces in a senior living facility. If this type of project is on your schedule this year, take a look at the decorative overlays from Arclin TFL, including our Harvest Collection, to create modern spaces that will make seniors feel like they are retiring in style.

Senior living center design arclin tfl

 

Minimalism vs. Maximalism: What You Need to Know

In 2017, minimalism was a hot topic. And now, two months into 2018, the word “maximalism” is becoming more present in the interior design world. In an ever-changing industry, we understand that it can be difficult to keep up! So we’re here to fill you in on the two trends and you can decide which is the best fit for your design projects.

Minimalism: Less is More

In a nutshell, less is more for minimalism. Minimalism is about simplicity. In interior and commercial design, this can be applied to a building’s structure, material overlay, decor, and furniture. The clean lines, neutral and soft color palettes, and the opening of spaces often associated with minimalism reflect some of the movement’s core values. The tone of minimalism intends to evoke actions of peace. Think of slowing down, breathing deeply, and practicing gratitude. Spas and hospitals can benefit from the tranquility that minimalism can inspire. Minimalism can also function well in small, or boutique-style retail stores because it promotes organization and space optimization. A minimalist interior design can offer a great pairing for offices or stores that concentrate their branding efforts on innovation or modernism. Apple stores use minimalism to present a sleek and modern style, which echoes many of their product designs.

Minimalism Cafe Design - Arclin TFL

Maximalism: Go Big or Go Home

As you may have guessed, maximalism tugs at the opposite end of the spectrum from that of minimalism. Maximalism combines different textures, colors, and patterns to explore the potential of a room or building. It supports variety and excessiveness, and gives designers permission to find balance from diversity to make everything blend together in perfect harmony for one eclectic design. This trend can benefit a retail store by leaving room to showcase a unique and attractive brand through decorative choices. Maximalism can also work well for cutting-edge fashion retailers that want to reflect creativity in the design of their stores. Maximalism may also be the perfect fit for cafes or restaurants that want to uphold a quirky and unique spirit in their presentation.

Maximalism - Arclin TFL

The Winner?

Is there a correct choice when it comes to which side of the fence you’re on in the minimalism vs. maximalism debate? The truth is that there are benefits to adopting either trend. It all comes down to the identity of the business and which trend mimics its personality and brand best. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, great! Commercial and interior design are about artistry, functionality, and making the right mark on a space. Whatever your vision, know that Arclin is on your side. Our decorative overlays for TFL can complement a simplistic and open office space or a piquant hotel or retail store. Explore our TFL collections to discover which laminate best fits your vision here.

Best of Ikea Furniture

When IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, asked his father for money to launch his entrepreneurial pursuit in 1943, it’s hard to imagine he had any idea how successful his venture would become! IKEA started off by selling mostly small household items like pens, wallets and picture frames, and eventually added furniture five years after it’s opening. In 1956, IKEA’s famous and innovative flat pack and self assembly options were introduced with the LÖVET, now called the LÖVBACKEN, end table. By staying focused on design, innovation and the environment, this has propelled IKEA to become one of the largest furniture retailers in the world.

IKEA keeps the planet and their customers in mind. Although almost ⅔ of their home furnishings are made from wood, they’ve invested in ways to improve forestry management practices. Staying true to their cultural values to make more with less and minimize waste, IKEA ensures that the trees used for their products are utilized in their entirety. IKEA products represent simplicity and minimalism at its best, offering quality products made from sustainable resources at affordable prices.

We researched the best of the best that IKEA has to offer:

BILLY Bookcase

Launched in 1978, the BILLY Bookcase clearly doesn’t go out of style. Known for its customizability, it can be as small or big as your heart desires by adding on additional components. It comes in IKEA’s four signature colors (white, birch veneer, black-brown and brown ash veneer) so it is as versatile as it is customizable. In fact, the BILLY Bookcase is such a perfect blank canvas to design your own space that it has spurred an active following of BILLY Hacks, creative ideas of how to up-cycle or put a personal touch on how these bookcases are used.  On top of that, its eco-friendly, smart design uses the least amount of wood possible.  

Fun fact: it is estimated that every 5 seconds a BILLY is sold somewhere in the world!

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LÖVBACKEN

A little table with a big story: Originally the LÖVET, this piece made a successful comeback as the LÖVBACKEN side table. With a 5-star rating, this Mid-century Modern inspired classic is now one of the most popular items sold at IKEA. We love it because it’s compact, and small enough to flat pack, yet probably the most useful stylish thing you can have in your home or office.

arclintfl_ikea_lovbacken-side-table-brown

The POÄNG Armchair

The POÄNG Armchair is another piece that has earned its “classic” title for the past four decades. This product is definitely a crowd pleaser, selling a whopping 1.5 million units each year. It is available in full-size, kid-size, rocking and ottoman form. We love that you can put your own style on it by choosing from a variety of cushion styles and washable covers. Plus, it is made with renewable sources of cotton and wood, giving you the option to recycle.  arclintfl_ikea_poang-armchair-beige

The MALM Series

The MALM series is a minimalist’s dream. It includes bed frames (with and without storage), several drawer chest options, office desks, accessories, and even a book! We love it because you can combine all the Malm products for the full experience, or keep them separate and still look chic. These products are also comprised of 80% renewable wood.

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STOCKHOLM Rug

The STOCKHOLM rug is a fan favorite, and for good reason. It is available in various designs and colors. It is also durable and soil resistant so it can literally be placed anywhere. We love this product for several reasons: not only does it look amazing, adding a nice pop of color and design to your space, but it comes with a special story. Every single STOCKHOLM rug is handwoven with 100% pure new wool in India by the most skilled craftspeople. arclintfl_ikea_stockholm-rug-flatwoven-brownKLIPPAN Sofa

An IKEA classic introduced back in the 1980’s, the KLIPPAN Sofa is kid and wallet friendly. We love this sofa because it’s dependable and functional, plus it is cozy enough for two. A machine washable seat cover can be purchased for the two-seat sofa. Cover colors are available in black, white or yellow. The KLIPPAN is the perfect base to accessorize with pillows and throw blankets. Add a side table on either end of this piece to create an inviting space.

 

arclintfl_ikea_klippan-two-seat-sofa-grey

 

The Rise of the Food Hall

Food halls — the more sophisticated cousin to food courts — are on the rise in cities all across the United States. Evolved from the traditional market places where proprietors would gather to sell their specialities, the modern food hall borrows that notion of authenticity; but, instead of setting up shop in a mall or airport, vendors typically repurpose old factories or warehouses and often feature locally produced or sourced food. On the occasion the food halls are built from scratch, they are often located in budding city centers where foot traffic is a sure bet.

And with more than 100 modern food halls dotting major cities, it’s becoming easier to choose where to eat local — and in style.  And according to commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, more options are on the way. The number of food halls are expected to double by 2019. 

Why so popular?

Food halls give people the ability to walk through an architecturally interesting building and have choose from a number of cuisine options. Some food halls are refurbished warehouses or train stations, while others are new construction. Regardless, you find open and airy spaces that use interesting materials to create intimate spaces in a sea of bustle.

Food halls take a more local twist on traditional food courts, allowing local vendors to set up shop in an area supported by other local businesses with strong foot traffic.

Union Market, DC

One of the oldest markets in the United States, Union Market (then called Centre Market) was born as fresh food venue born over 200 years ago. After being forced to relocate to make room for the National Archives, it reopened as the Union Terminal Market in 1931. The market featured large, airy, well lit indoor stalls for 700 vendors, cold storage vaults, elevators and a public café. Through the years, another move, and a rough period in the 1980s when vendors abandoned the city for the suburbs, Union Market today is a bustling center of commerce and cuisine.

Keeping true to its original open and airy design, today the renovated industrial space features more than 40 food vendors, shops and work spaces. Former loading docks serve as dining patios, creative lighting forms attractive spaces, and flexible wall coverings make the concrete structure usable.  

Union Market Rise Food Hall - Arclin TFL (Photos from @unionmarketdc)

Legacy Hall, Plano

Deep in the heart of Texas, the newly opened Legacy Hall in Plano is a combination of food hall, craft brewery, beer garden and entertainment platform rolled into one. The three-story development includes seven bars and over 20 vendor stalls, including one that rotates regularly according to an Eater article. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken, donuts, fruit or seafood, the Legacy Hall has it covered.

Built out of a combination of shipping containers, repurposed pallets, glass and steel, this brand new hall benefits from an indoor-outdoor flow.

Legacy Hall Food Hall - Arclin TFL

(Photos from @legacyfoodhall)

The Bottling Department, San Antonio

This old brewery bottling department turned food hall sits near the San Antonio River. Its renovated design still echos its original 1800s industrial factory look with exposed brick and salvaged cornerstones. The new mix of contemporary features like natural wood-like element, straight lines, and pops of color make for a time transportive experience.

Though a smaller food hall featuring just five chef-led vendors, the Pearl’s Bottling Department’s new purpose is to bring forth a culinary collaboration between, farmers, ranchers, chefs, and food lovers.

Bottling Department Food Hall - Arclin TFL

(Photos from @bottlinedept)

The rise of the food hall is changing the way people dine out and with the abundant choices, is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. We’re excited to see the creative design (and delectable concoctions) food halls are rolling out in more cities across the U.S – keep a look out for one near you!

Five Design Trends You’ll See in 2018

The new year is almost here, and that means new design trends in interiors are on the horizon. 2017 was a year filled with shades of green and marble overlays, but 2018 has more in store. With new colors, patterns and designs, it will be a forward-focused year.

1. Modern Color Palettes

Color palettes that snuck into the last stretch of 2017 will pop up frequently in the new year. You can expect to see woodsy and warm neutrals that create an inviting atmosphere in 2018. Neutrals will be complemented with gold and green accents. Oranges, reds and yellows will make their mark as well.

arclintfl_5_desing_trends_modern_color_palettes

 

2. It’s All About Patterns

A natural evolution from texture is patterns. This year was all about textures, but 2018 will offer a new way to liven up neutrals when patterns provide a balance of pop without being too busy. Accent colors paired with a hint of patterns boast the perfect combination of cozy and modern ambience.

arclintfl_5_design_trends_patterns

 

3. Bringing it Back to Nature

Tying nature into design is going to continue to be a trend leader. Studies have shown that bringing nature indoors provokes feelings of happiness and peace. Forest green accents, living plants and woodsy overlays will continue to be very popular in 2018. Check out our blog Natural Connection: The Return of Bringing Nature Indoors to read more about this trend.

arclintfl_5_design_trends_bring_it_back_to_nature

 

4. Redesigning the Workplace

In the past years, office spaces have leaned toward an open concept. Although some open spaces are still appreciated in the workplace, you will be seeing more closed-in collaborative spaces in 2018. We’ve all finally realized how difficult it can be to have a phone call when a others are in the room around you! However, the spaces will be a far cry from a return to cubicles.  We’ll see a happy medium next year between open spaces for brainstorming sessions and places to retreat to when autonomous work needs to get done.

arclintfl_5_design_trends_redesigning_the_workplace

 

5. Less is More in Commercial Design

The word minimalism has been widespread over the last year. Minimalism ran through residential spaces, and is making a strong mark on commercial design. We expect minimalistic style will be seen in salons, hotels, and retail stores — just about everywhere in 2018. Take a look at our blog on Mighty Minimalism to read about this trend in retail design.

Interior of Modern Room Furnished with Contemporary Office and Sitting Furniture, Featuring Two Bright Yellow Chairs Around Small Round Table and Office Desk and Computer in Background. 3d Rendering

We’re excited to see what other trends 2018 will bring to the table. Our blog will be filled with trending topics throughout the new year, so be sure to keep up with our posts. If you’re ready to get onboard with any of the trends listed above, get in touch with us at http://arclintfl.com/contact/ to see which TFL designs match your vision.

Retail Design with Millennials in Mind

Retail design is constantly changing, and keeping up with trends that appeal to modern consumers can be a challenge. Millennials have put their stamp on the world and their interests don’t always match that of their Baby Boomer predecessors. Millennial shopping preferences are affecting business and those in retail should pay attention. What are Millennials searching for when they walk into their favorite retail store? Here’s what we’ve found:

Organization is a Must

If there is one thing to note, it’s that Millennials are not big on clutter. Taking a more minimalistic approach to retail design is the way to go when appealing to Millennial consumers. Keeping the design crisp and neat will draw in these type of shoppers. Whether it’s strategic shelving or compartments, less is always more. Millennials like a more open concepts as well. Be sure to check out our blog post Mighty Minimalism for more insight on the trend.

arclintfl_retail_design_organized

 

Keep it Classy

Cultivating a high-end vibe will attract Millennial shoppers. This generation goes for quality over quantity and isn’t afraid to spend their money on the products they really desire. Even if the merchandise isn’t considered high-end, laying out the store to create that impression will certainly catch their attention. Modernizing the store with a clean and upscale layout will appeal to Millennial shoppers and keep them coming back. This generation of consumers care about how a business brands itself, so keep this in mind if your target audience includes Millennials.

arclintfl_retail_design_classy

Make it Easy

Making the customer work harder than they have to is never a good sales strategy, especially when it comes to the Millennial generation. Growing up with technology, Millennials have had unlimited information at their fingertips most of their lives. This means that their level of patience is much lower than Baby Boomers which can pose a real problem in retail. Keep conventionality in mind when designing the layout of the store. Easy navigation is key for your Millennial audience and consumers in general.

Millennials are taking over the retail shopping world and they aren’t afraid to speak up when it comes to what they want out of a business or product. This generation is big on web reviews, so keep these tips in mind to make sure your retail store is up to par.

Mighty Minimalism

It is safe to say that we’ve been noticing that design appreciation is going up for toning it down!

As highlighted in the 2015 film, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (check out the trailer below) many people have been adapting minimalistic values and designers are responding. And while we have seen this trend in residential spaces for some time, retail stores are now getting on board. Stores like Apple, Nike, and Fossil have embraced minimalist designs in their spaces that consumers love and that elegantly put their products on display.   

Here are some ways that retail stores are adopting minimalist designs.

Design over Decor

When embracing minimalism, design always trumps decorations and unnecessary clutter. This strategic design allows the products to be the center of attention. Gone is clutter, brash neon signs, and fussy displays. This way, customers are drawn directly to the product instead of distracted by decor. Retail stores that lean toward minimalism tend to feel more spacious than a fully decorated shop and allows a more free atmosphere for the customer — a plus for spaces with small square footage.

Who’s On Board?

McDonald New ConceptsEveryone. From stylish Brooklyn-based Home of the Brave to international behemoth, McDonald’s, minimalism is on display everywhere. In fact, McDonald’s is experimenting with six different concepts, some which look like they have been pulled straight from an Ikea catalog.

Elegance in the Room

There is a certain elegance that comes with the minimalism trend. Neutral tones and organized spaces are captivating and can never go out of style. This trend evokes feelings of happiness and peace, which will keep customers returning again and again. Remember, for many people, shopping or entering a retail space is an escape from reality, a chance to fantasize, and indulge. 

Creating the Space

TFL can provide a wide range of styles that complement a minimalist look.  Our cost-effective TFL palettes cover all bases when it comes to retail design, from neutrals to textures, wood to abstracts. Free design samples are available so just search our gallery for styles you think may fit your next project. If you have questions about any of our overlays, reach out to us here – we are happy to help.

 

Headed Back to Greenbuild

The 2017 Greenbuild Conference and Expo is right around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited. If you’re unfamiliar with Greenbuild, it is the biggest green building conference and expo in the world and is dedicated to curating sustainable living and building green. Industry professionals come together to reignite their passion for green building and take it back to their community. This three day conference is packed full of education, inspiration and forward-thinking. With so much going on at Greenbuild, it’s difficult to choose what exactly we’re most excited for; however, here’s what we’re looking forward to at the 2017 Greenbuild conference.

President Bill Clinton and Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Greenbuild speakers never fall short of phenomenal! In the past, speakers have included leaders Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and General Colin Powell to name a few. The opening plenary this year is former U.S.President Bill Clinton and closing is Neil deGrasse Tyson. Regardless of their differing backgrounds, these two leaders have unique, but complementary work that both result in the Greenbuild stamp of approval. Without a doubt, they we are definitely looking forward to listening to and learning from these world changers.

Greenbuild’s Expos

It’s quite possible that the Greenbuild expos are where the magic happens. There’s something inspiring about seeing over 600 different companies come together with the same vision: enhancing sustainable building. Walking through the expo, you will find exhibitors showing off their products and services that benefit the green community. The expo is also interactive and offers applied learning areas and education labs for guests to attend. This year, you can expect fun giveaways and organic networking through a Greenbuild Happy Hour in the expo hall as well.

Summits at Greenbuild

The summits are a part of Greenbuild that we love most. They combine intentional education and networking to create the whole package. This year, there are three summits: Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild – The Water Summit at Greenbuild, and International Summit. These three summits will educate on different aspects of green building that ultimately work together in the big picture. All summits will be held on Tuesday, November 7.

We’re excited to be immersed in the culture of Greenbuild and see firsthand how people are coming together to better the green building industry.

This year’s conference will be held November 7-10 and located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. For more information on Greenbuild, visit their website at greenbuildexpo.com.

Natural Connection: The Return of Bringing Nature Indoors

Look at any architecture or interior design trend list and you are bound to come across a list that touts how bringing nature back indoors is on the rise. And it is no surprise. Natural palettes and textures have been gaining momentum in both commercial and residential interiors. In part, the trend has been infiltrating interiors as reverberation from our technology-drenched lives. Sometimes, we just need to reset and go back to the basics. Here are two ways we are loving the modern version of bringing nature indoors.

Going Green

Interior Design - Arclin TFL - Green Wall

Avant-garde in the 1970’s, indoor gardens were a must-have. Today, designers understand that introducing more natural elements indoors add a peaceful touch that can help calm external chaos. This can be done by painting a single wall in the room a green tone, adding a plant wall, or simply just having green accented soft furnishings. All can be incorporated into hotel rooms, classrooms, and even hospitals.

Companies like Ambius specialize in interior landscaping. Though these plant walls are often found inside companies that want to accentuate their sustainability, they are increasingly being used for numerous other uses. From elevating oxygen levels in the space to increasing alertness among employees — these efforts ultimately improve the levels of employee productivity.

Into the Woods

Connected to nature Arclin TFLA 2015 study done by FPInnovations, a Canadian research center, looked into how adding wood into healthcare facilities provides benefits to both patients and their caretakers. In Wood as a Restorative Material in Healthcare Environments, the study showed that woodsy elements reduced stress in participants, among other hormonal and physical benefits.

Natural wood or wood textured decorative overlay allow for a connection with nature, even when inside. Healthcare isn’t the only ones on board with nature-based interior design — restaurants like Nærvær in Copenhagen and hotels like the Clarion in Sola, Norway are implementing these elements as well. Interior designers are aiming to create more tactile surfaces, from textured TFL to soft furnishings to create spaces that feel intimate and cozy.

At Arclin, we are inspired by natural designs and textures. Our Harvest Collection is inspired by natural elements from all over the world. This collection was intentionally cultivated to bring nature to you. Get in touch with Arclin TFL here for samples from our latest collection.

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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Understandably, we view the show with a decorative surfaces-geek eye, so our top trends veer in that direction. And we saw plenty that made our socks roll up and down this year.

Any recap of the show will certainly point first to the reemergence of Scandinavian influences. Clean lines, lighter tones, pops of bold color. It seems, to us, the logical evolution from the midcentury modern trend that has taken both commercial and residential interiors by storm in recent years. Breaking that down further, here’s what caught our attention.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

 

Arclin-NeoCon-Purple

 

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

Arclin-NeoCon-Room

 

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.

Arclin-NeoCon-Patterns

 

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’re seeing warmth created by adding wood patterns 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 Our Portfolio

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.

 

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.

 

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.