From In Focus

The Difference Between 2D and 3D Laminates

Both 2D and 3D laminates are plastic film products that can be used in overlays for decorative surfaces. There are a few differences to consider when choosing laminates for your next design project. Learn the essentials below between 2D and 3D laminates.

The Difference Between 2D and 3D Laminates

2D Laminates

First, 2D laminates are typically made from vinyl, polypropylene, or oriented polypropylene.

2D laminates are available in thicknesses from .0001” to .007″.

They can be used for surfaces on retail fixtures, cabinets, and residential and commercial flooring. Additionally, these films are processed by flat lamination and profile wrapping. They can be solid-colored or reverse printed. Additionally, they are treated and are resistant to:

  • Water
  • Chemicals
  • Scratches
  • Stains

The Difference Between 2D and 3D Laminates

3D Laminates

Like 2D laminates, 3D laminates have a broad range of uses, from commercial interiors to retail and healthcare fixtures. On the other hand, 3D laminates are made of polyvinyl chloride and polyester films and are thicker than 2D films.

Generally, they measure between .0008” to .040”.

These surfaces and edges are membrane pressed or vacuum formed in a thermoforming process. Further, they are a popular choice in a variety of design environments due to resistance in chipping, breaking, and cracking, and application seals. They’re even chemical resistant which makes them ideal for surfaces found on countertops, tabletops, and workspaces.

Consider 3D laminates for industries such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Offices
  • Hospitality
  • Residential Kitchens
  • Retail

The Difference Between 2D and 3D Laminates

Advantage of 3D Laminates

Design advantages of 3D laminates include flexibility in edge design (e.g., both contoured and soft). Furthermore, their seamless edging does not require edge treatments. Full substrate encapsulation supports ease of maintenance. Also, they’re suitable for impact resistance with a variety of gauge, gloss, texture, and prints.

Choices…

The Composite Panel Association talks more about the difference between 2d and 3d laminate films in this article. Whether you choose 2D or 3D laminates, you are considering products that provide long-lasting reliability and flexibility in design. Contact us today to find out more.

Trends From The Furniture Industry

Designing retail, residential, hospitality, healthcare, and office spaces is a “whole picture” endeavor. Designers need to be aware not only of the nature of the spaces they plan, but also what will fill those spaces. Keeping up with the latest trends in the furniture industry will help you as you plan and execute your designs. Let’s take a look at what is currently happening in the furniture market, and what may be coming up in the near future.

An Industry on the Rise

Arclin-Furniture Industry Rise
Globally, the furniture market has a predicted growth of 5.2% through 2023, driven primarily by increased purchases by millennial customers and ease of purchase from online platforms. Buyers are also increasingly drawn to multi-functional furniture that can serve several purposes (like daily use and storage) in space-saving packages. Finally, luxury furniture design is enjoying more popularity, as customers are demonstrating a willingness to pay more for high-quality goods.

Furniture Design & Ecommerce

Arclin-Online Furniture Shopping

As with many consumer goods, online shopping for furniture continues to grow in popularity. Tech-savvy millennial customers are driving this trend. But other customer segments are also increasingly willing to buy outside of brick and mortar locations. In addition to dedicated online retailers, retail locations that maintain physical locations are attempting to capitalize on virtual shopping, with some offering same day pick-up at their stores of items purchased online. Incentives like free delivery and installation are also driving the competitive market of online furniture sales. Online “influencers” (those with large social media followings) are also advancing the market, encouraging their followers to replicate their décor styles by promoting certain brands.

Multi-functional Furniture

Multi-Functional Furniture, Modular Furniture
Consumers want their furniture design to serve multiple purposes. As more and more employees are working from home, residential furniture must also serve as part-time office pieces. Many retailers are also integrating technology with their offerings – furniture with built-in charging stations are increasingly sought after in home and public spaces. Multi-functionality is also tied to space-saving; as consumers are drawn to smaller, more efficient living spaces, furniture that can be used in various ways and is portable (or even foldable) is desirable.

Demand for Luxury

Luxury Furniture
As domestic and global economies continue to recover from the recession, consumers are finding themselves with more disposable income, and luxury furniture purchases have increased. As noted above, more buyers are finding themselves drawn to social media influencers, many of whom advertise higher-end brands and materials. Premium wood pieces (e.g., mahogany), along with leather, glass, and metal designs are gaining popularity. At the same time, consumers remain cognizant of the environmental impact of their purchases, and more furniture manufacturers are assuring their customers of eco-friendly materials and responsible practices. Those who can provide the “sweet spot” of style and sustainability are poised for profit.

Arclin design overlays for TFL are the perfect backdrop or complement to any furniture choice. Our environmentally-friendly products provide easy maintenance that makes them at home in any space and our broad range of palettes ensures TFL fits beautifully in luxury-minded designs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your upcoming design projects.

Kitchen Trends — Fresh Perspective

Arclin takes a walk through KBIS 2019…and sees some welcome shifts

Grays, rustics, Shaker-style cabinets. If we had to sum up the last several years in kitchen trends in just a few words, that’s where we’d probably land.

So we were heartened (and not a little bit excited) to see some newer approaches emerging at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas last month. Don’t get us wrong…there’s still plenty of gray. And as one Southeastern U.S. builder confirmed for us, “Shaker, Shaker, Shaker, white, white, white — that’s what most of our customers are (still!) demanding.” But we do see some welcome shifts. To name a few…

Sleek & Sophisticated

Ooo, la, la, we like this trend. What we might’ve once deemed “European,” is now simply high style on parade. Clean, sleek lines. Modern, minimalist hardware. Often-dark overtones (some got downright moody). We wouldn’t want to show up for dinner in our sweats in these elegant kitchens!

The nice thing about this trend, especially for those of us in the surfaces business, is that it mixes equal parts solids and wood grains. White, gray or even black solids, often with luxurious finishes like smooth matte or high gloss, combine with gorgeous woods. And while “real” wood will always have a place in luxury homes, engineered surfaces have reached such a level of sophistication — with high fidelity designs and deep, realistic textures — they’re finding their way into high end interiors where sleek and European make them not just cost-effective but design-imperative.

Natural Materials, Engineered Style

Continuing the sophistication theme, we saw a lot of luxury metals — silver and gold — integrated into tile patterns, especially.

Dramatic metals and stone patterns, too, were taking center stage as focal points (think fireplace surrounds and large architectural panels). Sometimes the real thing, often an engineered alternative, these accents were everywhere. And stone wasn’t just marble or granite this time, but included a mix of other creative patterns and structures.

(Asks nearby colleague: does this go here?) We also love, love, love the dramatic introduction of burnt wood accents and features, called shou sugi ban, a Japanese finishing technique. This look, too, was found on “real” materials and is also being captured on engineered surfaces like TFL (thermally fused laminates). Dark, texture-rich and attention getting, it makes for a real conversation piece.

Kitchen Trends, KBIS, Natural Materials, Engineered Style

Kitchen Trends, KBIS, Natural Materials, Engineered Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver and gold heighten the elegance factor.

Pops

White still dominates, but is being complemented — whether in Shaker, sleek or traditional interiors — with pops of, well, lots of things.

Pops of color. Blue remains the solid color accent du jour. (And we got into a rather lengthy debate over what you’d call the most ubiquitous blue in the current modern kitchen. We settled on somewhere between royal blue and cobalt.)

Pops of wood. The last couple of years, we’ve seen combos of wood grain lower cabinets and white on top. This trend continues but wood is also making more distinctive appearances in white kitchens and baths with one dramatic accent, like a raw wood inset on a countertop or backsplash, or a single exotic wood wall.

Pops of drama. We captured this above, but worth noting here too, as kitchens are clearly taking center stage in new ways.

Kitchen Trends, KBIS, Pops of wood, wood accent

Kitchen Trends, KBIS, Pops of wood, wood accent

Sleek white cabinets with pops of wood. The raw, natural island inset provides a stunning contrast.

Au Naturale

Wood grain surfaces are lightening up. We’re not talking about simply a head back toward the light maples and birches of yore. Even still-popular walnut grains are showing up in their near-natural state. It’s a simple move but one that makes a world of difference, as the wood grain and color, themselves, become the focus, rather than simply the color of the stain.

We’re seeing this as the natural evolution of the rustics trend. Still natural — even raw — but also elegant and sophisticated.

We can tell you from an engineered surfaces perspective that white was, is and will likely remain king of the kitchen, bath and closet. And grays are still maintaining their reign as queen. What we’re seeing now in all of these trends is a way to work other features — grains, textures, metals and more — in and among them. There are definitely some new things to talk about this year.

Kitchen Trends, KBIS, natural materials

 

 Natural materials (or likenesses thereof) provide dramatic relief to equally dramatic solids.

Planning Your Architectural Projects for the New Year: Incorporating Energy & Health

In recent years, it has become hard not to come across the word sustainability in both professional and personal life. For those of you in the architecture and interior design business, you likely hear this word daily. And there is good reason for that. Architects especially have the responsibility and opportunity to bring sustainable solutions to market for both the planet and the people inhabiting the spaces they create.

Since 2013, the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) has touted their report “Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan,” which cites an interesting trend: physical spaces are connected to energy and health. Architectural innovation in these areas has a chance to both serve the best interest of those who occupy buildings, and the environmental settings in which the buildings are staged.

Incorporating Arclin TFL into design plans addresses both of these components of innovative, high-quality architecture. With its environmentally friendly, health conscious design and production, TFL is an excellent choice for architects seeking to make a positive impact.

Sustainability in Building Materials - Arclin TFL in Hotels

Energy Sustainability

The field of architecture is increasingly tasked with being mindful not only of the physical elements of design, but also its environmental effects. For example, rating systems such as LEED and regulations like the International Green Construction Code are taking into account performance aspects of design. Whether architects are asked to improve existing structures or are creating something completely new, TFL can be a game-changer.

TFL fulfills the needs of specifiers and buyers looking for responsible building materials. Using TFL in place of wood and wood-related products can be a critical step in creating greener buildings. TFL’s substrate looks like natural surfaces, without the potentially devastating environmental impacts. With its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification, Arclin’s manufacturing facilities are examples of excellence in production. TFL can contribute to LEED EQ Credit 4.4 ratings for improved air quality. Further, Arclin’s proprietary E-Gen® designation is further assurance of exceptional performance with low environmental impact.

Sustainability in Building Materials - Arclin TFL

Healthy Living

Architecture also plays a vital role in ensuring built environments are productive partners in addressing health and wellness concerns for those who occupy them. Whether it is being mindful of public health concerns in commercial buildings or personal wellness in residential sectors, TFL is a smart option for architects.

Some of the elements that make TFL environmentally sound – such as zero-emitting panels – are also a boon in regard to health. Its germ-resistant surfaces and ease of maintenance and cleaning also contribute on this front. While all TFL products are exceptional choices when keeping in mind occupants’ and residents’ health, some overlays are available with Greenguard certification, further enhancing its protective qualities. Further, none of TFL’s health benefits need supersede its aesthetic appeal – whether in public or private design settings, attractive design elements are guaranteed.

Sustainable building materials - Arclin TFL in office lobby

If you are interested in further exploring how Arclin TFL might play into your upcoming architectural projects, please contact us for more information.

TFL Before and After: Education

As theories of design continue to evolve, it is undeniable that we are increasingly guided by the idea that the spaces in which we conduct our lives not only provide a stage for our activities, but can have a significant impact on the success of those activities. One arena where this notion is receiving particular attention is in the education sector. No longer do we subscribe to a model of schools with standardized, unimaginative classrooms and campus layouts. Instead, we move toward designs that provide greater learning and teaching options for students and instructors, embrace environmental consciousness, and support inspiring sensory experiences.

Arclin TFL can be the foundation of transformations for educational environments. With its functional, multi-use character, green sourcing, and design-forward options, TFL is the choice for building better schools.

Learning In (and Out) of the Classroom

Arclin TFL - Before & After TFL in Education

One of the most important changes in contemporary educational curricula is the idea that learning can – and should – happen in a variety of environments. E-learning technologies allow classes to be held practically anywhere, and more administrators and instructors are seeking ways to take students out of the confines of the traditional classroom. Open space learning environments, mock clinical settings, and building designs that transition seamlessly between indoor and outdoor areas are gaining traction in forward-thinking educational design.

TFL, with its durability, hygienic qualities, and wide range of applications, can accommodate the needs of these varied learning spaces. TFL designs are at home in office, healthcare, high-traffic, and residential spaces – all of which are applicable in new takes on educational architecture.

Green Learning

Arclin TFL - Before & After TFL in Education

Sustainability is a watchword for all aspects of contemporary life, and bringing tenants of environmentalism into classrooms is vital. Educational settings from preschools to universities are committing to campaigns such as enhanced recycling programs and community gardening, but the materials used to build learning spaces are also drawing more scrutiny.

Using TFL is an ideal way to make educational building environmentally conscious, from the ground up. Able to replicate the look of natural materials without depleting natural resources, TFL is manufactured in certified facilities, guaranteeing its responsible sourcing. TFL can also help in the LEED accreditation process, earning facilities greed building ratings. TFL can contribute to a healthier learning environment, both for those occupying the spaces, and the larger environments in which they are placed.

Inspiring Design

Arclin TFL - After Photo in University Collaboration Rooms

While functionality will always be a hallmark of educational design, gone are cookie cutter classrooms that are impossible to distinguish from one another. Instead, practical, serviceable spaces are being augmented with materials and colors meant to spark students’ and teachers’ creativity. Using spaces as a backdrop for exploration by providing multiple ways to learn in a single space, and by imbuing these spaces with stimulating materials is changing the way learning is leveraged.

Once again, Arclin TFL is up to the task. With an incredible array of choices in colors and finishes, we lay the foundation for exciting educational environments.

Ten Modern Interior Design Trends for 2019

Does the new year have you gazing around your home, office, or place of business, seeking a change of scenery? You’re not alone: from colors and patterns to furniture and fixtures, the leading minds in design are weighing in on what will be trendy in interior design in 2019.

Arclin TFL can serve as the foundation for any of the following suggestions. With its functionality, beauty, and easy maintenance, TFL is the ideal start for a new view in your home, office, or commercial location. Contact us today to learn more.

1. Boho Chic

The fun, whimsical, hippie-inspired look of Boho fashion has returned for home design in 2019. Still laid-back and relaxed, modern boho also incorporates rich colors and textures that keep the style fresh and interesting. Think leather, clean lined furniture and tighter color palettes paired with hand-painted tiles, vintage textiles and bold wallpaper.

Modern Boho Chic Room - Arclin TFL - Design Trends 2019

2. Stylish & Sustainable

Sustainability and mindfulness – both in materials and design – remains relevant this year. Consumers have a continuing commitment to examining the source of their design elements, their environmental impact, and the purpose of each piece they incorporate. This includes creating a thoughtful, environmentally-conscious foundation on which to stage other pieces – a perfect role for TFL.

Sustainable Design - Arclin TFL - 2019 Trends

3. Artisanal Accents

Handcrafted pieces (and those that look handcrafted) are extremely popular. This trend is particularly appealing to decorators who seek to use relatively few pieces to customize an otherwise minimalistic space. An increasing interest in patronizing local artisans and vendors also drives interest in artisanal décor; a local farmers and crafters market can be an excellent source of unique options, close to home.

Artisanal Accents - Arclin TFL - 2019 Design Trends

4. Varied Colors and Palettes

This is a great year to express yourself through color, with a wide range of choices currently trending. From pastels to terracotta to various shades of gray, fresh looks on old favorites are revitalizing interiors of both homes and commercial settings. Vibrant greens are also big right now, given their eye-catching, but soothing qualities. Arclin TFL, with its vast array of color options has you covered.

Varied Colors and Palettes - Arclin TFL - 2019 Design Trends

5. Multi-Functional Spaces

As we’ve noted before, more people are seeking living and working spaces that can accommodate a variety of people, tasks, and needs. Consumers are demonstrating a growing interest in multi-use furniture (the Murphy Bed is making a comeback!) and in living/working areas that can do double duty.

Multifunctional Spaces - 2019 Design Trends - Arclin TFL

6. Hygge

Hygge, a Scandinavian concept of comfort and coziness, is continuing to gain visibility in 2019 – especially in those regions dealing with cold winter weather. While this may bring to mind chunky sweaters and curling up under blankets, modern hygge interior design seeks to blend soft luxury with functionality. By keeping an eye to comfort in everything from colors to fabrics to furniture shape, hygge design creates cozy spaces that are still workable and attractive.

Hygge - 2019 Design Trends - Arclin TFL

7. Natural Finishes

Materials made from, or that look like, stone and wood are being used for their organic feel. Creating a perfect backdrop for any design motif and accessories, these materials set the stage for a spectrum of interior options. Arclin’s woodgrains and stone options are a perfect fit for this trend.

Natural Finishes - Design Trends Arclin TFL

8. Bold Kitchens

Kitchens dominated by clean lines, white backdrops, and lots of stainless steel may be taking a backseat to bolder, more personal preparation and eating spaces. New thoughts in kitchen design seek to use visually compelling accessories and to blend kitchen design more seamlessly with the rest of the home, incorporating textiles and furniture pieces more commonly seen in living spaces.

Bold Kitchens Design Trends - Arclin TFL

9. Plants

While green color palettes are getting a nod in 2019, so too are “real” greens, in the form of decorative houseplants. Regardless of the size or purpose of a space, plants add an organic, natural touch. Consumers can mix trends by potting their plants in artisanal vessels and by incorporating them into less-expected places, such as kitchens.

Plants - Design Trends - Arclin TFL

10. Soft, Ambient Lighting

As more and more workers and homeowners move away from harsh, fluorescent lighting, soft illumination concepts are increasingly sought. Lampshades with opaque glass and design options like lighting rooms from below rather than above are expected to been seen more in 2019.

Ambient Lighting - Design Trends - Arclin TFL

Mindful Design: TFL in Retail and Hospitality

Contemporary consumers are no longer just looking for great products at affordable prices – they also have a social conscience. Fair trade goods, ethical marketplaces, and even smartphone apps that guide customers toward purchases they can feel good about are increasingly common. Similarly, many shoppers and guests seek to patronize businesses and companies that embrace environmentally friendly practices, including the materials they use in their storefronts and attractions. In fact, industry leaders such as Starbucks are partnering with environmentally-focused organizations to develop and implement best practices for greener business practices. The company is developing a “Greener Stores” program to examine existing and build new locations to reduce its environmental impact and implement mindful design practices.

Mindful Design with TFL

Arclin TFL – which has, in fact, been the material of choice for many retail locations – is a holistic solution for retail and hospitality industries: attractive, low-maintenance, environmentally sound products that support sustainable business operations. Those seeking to stay ahead with practices that show a commitment to the environment, can find solutions with TFL.

Starbucks Mindful Design - Arclin TFLStarbucks Mindful Design - Retail Design with TFL

Conscious Shopping

With Millennials poised to surpass Baby Boomers as the largest population demographic in the U.S. by 2019, the retail and hospitality industries must be prepared to service a new demographic of consumers more likely to be influenced by social concerns in their spending habits. A deeper understanding of what Millennials value as shoppers and visitors is emerging; research is indicating that they choose to support businesses with ethically conscious, environmentally aware practices.

In addition to Millennials, increasing number of consumers of all generations are looking for ways to downsize, minimalize, and adopt lifestyles that reduce environmental impacts. This is an ideal time for companies to explore ways to fall in line with these trends.

Sustainable Options

Arclin TFL covers all bases: stylish design, exceptional performance, and, with materials that mimic the look and feel of natural materials without compromising natural resources, a means to advance green business practices.

TFL is an ideal choice for a variety of retail and hospitality applications: from fixtures to shelving; displays, cabinets, and furniture. Natural-looking woodgrain options are very popular right now. TFL can be a better option than real wood, providing consistency, durability, and cost savings in high traffic customer spaces while still providing the look consumers love. Given improvements in manufacturing technology, TFL can mimic textures and colorations that can be even more attractive than “authentic” wood surfaces.

Arclin’s Retail Design choices provide an array of palette choices and are equally at home in traditional, rustic design schemes, contemporary, abstract settings, and anything in between. Visit our design pages to spark ideas for your unique business needs and mindful design approach.

CHIC CHILDREN'S SPACES - Arclin TFL

Chic Children’s Spaces

Children today are more stylish (and style-conscious!) than ever. Pinterest is bursting with boards dedicated to kids’ clothing and accessories, while Instagram showcases some of the world’s hippest young fashionistas. Another great way for chic children to express themselves is in their living spaces – bedrooms and playrooms are getting the style treatment, too.

Kids’ rooms offer great opportunities for fun, whimsical, theme-based design. Arclin TFL provides the perfect palette: our durable, design-forward surfaces set the stage for wherever your imagination (and that of your young design assistant) might take you. Let’s explore a few trends in children’s decorating to get the creative juices flowing.

Chic Children's Bedroom with Stinson Umber - Arclin TFL

Place-Based Design

Most kids have a favorite place – whether this is somewhere down the street or across the globe, you can integrate it into the child’s living space. Zoo-themed rooms, with fun animal prints and representations of their favorite creatures can bring the fun of a trip to the zoo home. A beach bedroom, complete with shell-based decorations or even a lifeguard tower bedframe, makes the ocean available anytime. City-based designs are also popular: a young traveler might want to make their home base a bit more like Paris or New York City.

Colors and Patterns

It’s likely that the child for whom you are designing has a favorite color – or maybe a few of them. Kids’ spaces are great places to experiment with fun colors, like blue and green to bring the outdoors inside or soft pastels that make it spring-time year-round. Interesting patterns also offer possibilities – classic stripes, bold polka dots, or chevrons make kids’ spaces pop.

Chic Children's Bedroom Design with Calm Horizon - Arclin TFL

How Arclin TFL Can Help

Arclin TFL is the perfect base for your chic, child-friendly design. While style is key, functionality is also essential in rooms for children – Arclin TFL is long-lasting, easy to clean, and affordable when compared to comparable products. But Arclin TFL isn’t just about practicality; it’s also a beautiful framework for your design dreams. An option like Stinson Umber is the perfect underpinning for a woodlands-themed room. Calm Horizon could help create the beach space mentioned above, while beige or black might be the ideal backdrop for some exciting patterns. No matter what design you choose, Arclin TFL provides a stylish, sound place to start.

Tiny Homes, Big Statements

“Go big or go home” doesn’t necessarily apply these days…even when we’re talking about homes. Tiny houses – and associated environmental, social, and financial lifestyles sometimes called tiny living – are big news. From television series to books and websites, tenets of tiny are everywhere. Whether you are just looking to downsize a bit to save some money or are ready to go truly tiny, Arclin TFL has you covered.

The What and Why of Tiny

For decades, people have measured success by more – more cars, more electronics, and more square footage in their residences. Bigger was seen as better, which had ramifications on people’s finances, their lifestyles, and on the larger environment. The average American home (which measures approximately 2,600 square feet) accounts for around one-third to one-half of the homeowner’s budget, or around 15 years of work, just to pay for their homes. Scaling back on home size allows tiny movement enthusiasts to spend less time concerned about home payments and more time enjoying their homes – or other experiences that less-expensive home ownership affords them.

At the same time, the tiny home trend offers some substantial environmental benefits. Smaller residences require less energy to heat and cool. Homes consisting of 100-400 square feet produce just 2,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually; an average-sized home produces 28,000 pounds. Using environmentally- friendly and/or recycled building materials is also common in tiny home production.

Tiny, Tasteful, Eco-friendly Value

A typical concern of those considering “going tiny” is lack of design or function. When we think of tiny, we may think of austere structures with little utility and less style. That does not have to be the case, however – you can enjoy the personal and environmental benefits of a scaled-down residence without sacrificing your home’s beauty.

Arclin’s residential TFL products offer a variety of finishes, whether you are leaning toward a woodsy, cabin aesthetic or the sleek, modern designs, often favored by urban tiny-dwellers. Arclin TFL designs such as the Global Harvest Collection provides a vast range of options certain to wed tiny and style seamlessly. Plus, Arclin’s TFL is ideal for those considering tiny living to reduce their environmental footprint – the wood-alternative, environmentally-friendly veneers mean you can design with your living space conscientiously (at any size). Visit Arclin’s design page to see more options and begin planning your tiny living adventure.

 

Investing in Luxury Apartments

When you think of real estate investment, you may think of buying a second home in a popular vacation spot to enjoy and rent at your leisure, or of people scoring large profits by “flipping” houses. However, you should also consider the potential of investing in apartments, and particularly, in luxury apartments. As more and more people are moving from single-family homes and adopting apartment living, this is a growing investment opportunity. Arclin TFL is an ideal component in your apartment investment strategy.

luxury-apartment-design-Arclin-TFL

Why Apartments?Why Luxury?

A well-documented trend in the housing market is that more people – from Baby Boomers to millennials – are forgoing home ownership and looking toward rental properties for their places of residence. Whether renters are looking to free themselves from home maintenance responsibilities or seeking the freedom to travel more often from a less-restrictive home base, apartment living is on the rise. At the same time, the cost of building new apartment complexes is growing more expensive, leaving the door open for savvy investors looking to buy existing buildings.

Modern apartment residents are not looking to sacrifice luxury in style and amenities. Contemporary renters expect the same quality materials and thoughtful design details that, in the past, were largely restricted to homes. Investors who can locate housing units in good locations at bargain prices and renovate with quality materials and amenities can expect excellent profits.

Functional Luxury

Bringing luxury to apartment settings is simple with Arclin’s residential TFL products. For example, copper elements and accents are very popular, providing warmth and comfort to design palettes. Arclin TFL’s Midtown Collection provides options that speak to this aesthetic. Plus, all TFL products provide consistency and durability to ensure product longevity – your TFL-decorated rental properties will look as good to your fifth renters as they did to your first. In fact, your tenants will also enjoy Arclin TFL’s easy to clean and maintain surfaces, allowing them to keep their apartments looking great with less effort. Please visit our design page for more ideas on your investment property options.

 

NeoCon Surface Trends 2018

NeoCon, one of the industry’s leading commercial design industry trade shows, always feeds our need for new trends in the colorful and ever-changing landscape of commercial interiors design. Here’s what caught our decorative surfaces-geek eye at the show last month:

Contrast in greys.

As we’ve seen in previous years, grey tones continue their prominence in the world of case goods. What’s new? Warmth and contrast — and lots of it! Office spaces featured dark panels with high accent colorations; and many of the greys (lineal and cathedral) now show a nuanced incorporation of warmth married with a lush taupe-ish tone.

Evolution in structure.

Everywhere we looked, tables and desktops featured more robust detailing and elegant cathedral structures. Lineal structures are still part of the design palette, but nowhere as prominent as we’ve seen in previous years. From accent walls to desktops, tables to flooring, sweeping cathedrals adorned every corner of the NeoCon showrooms this year.

Raw Woods.

We’ve seen this trend grow in more industrial-looking spaces, but the creativity of application within a more traditional office space was one of our favorite application trends this year. Plywood, OSB, fresh cut real woods — unstained with only a sealant. Raw plywood edgebanding on tables and desktops. OSB and plywood accent walls. The depth of structure and movement of the raw wood look brings a renewed sense of elegance to what was once thought of as incomplete design.

Mixed materials.

A growing trend that continues to evolve — showcased not only with the combination of stone and woodgrain, but expanded to the use of different woodgrains and colorations together in one piece. We’re seeing an expanded contrast and versatility to traditional woodgrain applications.

Rustic evolution.

Traditional rustics have evolved into a more elegant, natural execution. With added sophistication, the new rustics are more about realism than simply the appearance cracks and knots — it’s about rich natural luxury that creates a picturesque palette for a variety of interiors.

Bringing Home into Hotels

Since 2016, hotels have been a $199.3 billion industry in the U.S. alone. With all signs pointing to continued growth, hotels constantly must evolve and consider renovating their designs. One big emerging trend has been making hotels feel more homey as consumer preference trends away from the standardized looks. Big factors to these rapid changes are companies like Airbnb and HomeAway that provide a home away from home, luring hotel occupants to an alternative, more casual experience. As a result, many hotel chains are adopting the same sense of charm in their design. Here are a few ways hotels can bring a feeling of “home” to their guests.

Shared Spaces

Creating a living room-like shared space is one take on a sense of community that may be felt in a homestead. Hotels are beginning to deviate from traditional reception areas and take this approach in their designs. Hilton Embassy Suites’ newest hotel in Boulder, Colorado created an open living room and dining room concept in their lobby, and other hotels are leveraging similar design concepts. When it comes to using TFL designs in hotel “living room” areas, we like the dramatic feel of Charles Bridge — its cool tones and dramatic motion stand out from more traditional hotel styles.

Home Hotel - Charles Bridge - Arclin TFL

Activity Spaces

Guests who travel frequently are especially prone to enjoy activities that remind them of home. According to an article on Quartz Media citing Morgan Stanley Research, these guests are most likely to try Airbnb, reinforcing the notion that hotels should aim to cater to these preferences.

Designing spaces for activities is a great way to incorporate a home-like feel into hotels. A library stocked with popular literature and or an exercise room equipped with convenient storage cubbies, yoga mats and air diffusers can create a calming atmosphere. Arclin provides TFL designs that can help create this homey feel. Designs like Stinson Umber have the fidelity of real wood that provides a wonderful, natural accent in shelving units and desk spaces. 

Stinson Umber by Arclin TFL in Hospitality Design

Design+Convenience

Guests expect to have the same at-home conveniences in their hotel rooms. For example, many hotel rooms are now equipped with several USB ports and outlets, some are even included within the furniture itself to make the design look more elegant. You can achieve that elegant look with the dark, rich design of Noce Moscato — a stunning choice for accent walls, room built-ins and sitting areas. All can help create a warm, welcoming space.  

Offering updated storage solutions for long-term guests is another design feature growing in popularity. Traditional closets and drawers used to be standard, but now many hotels are opting for nooks, open closets for exposed clothing and storage underneath beds for bags.

Noce Moscato by Arclin TFL in Hotel Design

Before you jump into your next hospitality design projects, read our article on Alternative Building Materials That Create a Luxury Look Without a Luxe Price for some more great ideas.

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!

arclintfl_ikea_billy_bookcase-brown_

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.

arclintfl_ikea_malm-bed-frame-high-white

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 https://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.