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July 24
GB&D Features Milliken's Sustainable Approach to the Workplace

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The Milliken Athenaeum, home to the floor covering division in Spartanburg, S.C. Photography by Eric Laignel. 

People’s relationships with their work places are evolving. Many are no longer satisfied with yesterday’s status quo of bland cubicles, monotonous hours, and the sacrifice of life and health for financial gain.

As more associates from younger generations enter the work force, the priorities of employers are shifting to cater to them. The goal: a true work-life balance with engaging, comfortable, and colorful work environments.

The younger generation’s priorities are an extension of sustainability. As Kay Sargent, this month’s Green Building & Design (GB&D) guest editor notes, “When we look at the workplace of the future, we’re actually kind of evolving beyond that title – it’s the lifestyle of the future we’re looking at. There is truly a blending between work and life.”

GB&D’s July issue features three companies that are embracing these changes and catering to improved work-life balance. Milliken made the list.

The article notes our long history of sustainability, a building block of our family of companies for 150 years. Sustainability is a multi-faceted principle at Milliken. The environment is prioritized with a zero waste-to-landfill benchmark, investments in renewable energy, and a 115-yea​r-old recycling program. 

However, Milliken’s approach to sustainability goes beyond environmental stewardship. It is a holistic concept that puts Milliken associates first. As Philip Ivey, strategic sustainability leader for the Milliken floor covering division, notes in the article, “Culturally, our management structure is designed to empower each associate to own their role at Milliken, their impact on the environment, and their influence in the local community. The results compel our associates to ‘do good’ for the world in every aspect of their work.”

On that basis, Milliken’s boasts multiple LEED Gold facilities, as well as carbon-negative designation form the Leonardo Academy Cleaner and Greener Program. Our corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, also features a beautiful arboretum and 600 acres of green outdoor space, along with dynamic, light-filled, colorful working spaces for our associates.

Our priority to do good in the world is clear. It is holistically reflected in our products, policies, and the environments we strive to create – both interior and exterior. 

Click here to read the full article about our sustainable workplaces along with two other companies, Xylem and Petzl, setting the precedent for green offices.

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July 21
Channel Inspiration Through 2 Building Blocks of Graphic Design

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Graphic design has become ubiquitous. Our ever-increasing exposure to media online and apps means that we are constantly consuming digital art and design.

How often do you see an eye-catching piece of graphic design and wish that you could create something like it?

With access to a plethora of design applications and software at our fingertips, there are no barriers to what we can create. 

The most basic foundation of graphic design consists of color and typography. With that base, the options for creativity are endless. Today, we’ll explore creative applications and online portfolios that you can use to channel your inspiration, and bring out your inner artist.

Color

Color is the building block of art. Whether you choose high saturation and vibrant tones or keep it classic in black and white, color is the starting point of design. Exploring color combinations and understanding the relationship between different hues can spark inspiration that you can use in your favorite medium. From painting to interior design, furthering your appreciation of color can enhance your artistic work.

There are countless websites that allow users to examine color in interactive, new ways. Here are a few of our favorites:

Typography

Font is the vehicle through which messages are conveyed. It’s the first impression of written communication. Whether you want to add existing fonts to your arsenal, explore exciting, new typefaces, or learn how to create your own alphabet, there’s a website that can help.

Typography inspiration:

For a regular delivery of font inspiration, subscribe to the MyFonts Rising Stars and Creative Characters newsletters. You’ll receive monthly updates on popular new fonts.

Behance showcases cutting-edge design of all sorts, including an amazing selection of typography. Some are even available for free download.

Create your own typography:

Metaflop is a sleekly designed site that allows you to design your own typeface with an easy-to-use control board. Simply slide controls around parameters like width, height, and shape, and voila! New font.

Related articles:

July 16
Make a Clean Break for Your Summer Vacation

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The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport rolls out the red carpet for passengers with Milliken's OBEX entryway solutions. 

Did you know that almost half of Americans take a vacation during the summer?

There’s a pretty good chance that if you’re reaching your destination of choice by air, you’ll travel through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. It’s the busiest airport on the globe, serving some 90 million domestic and international passengers.

If you find yourself leaving the country this summer, particularly if you fancy a trip to Asia, you may well find yourself passing through the Beijing International Airport in China. This Chinese travel hub is Asia’s busiest airport, and is the second busiest in the world. 

In addition to serving as global gateways to innumerable destinations and adventures, both of these airports employ identical products to help provide its passengers with clean, safe experiences inside their airports – they use Milliken's OBEX® entryway solutions. 

Cleanliness and comfort are two things on everyone’s mind when planning a trip to the airport. Usually, our carry-on bags are stocked with eye masks, hand sanitizer, neck pillows, and extra vitamin C to ensure a healthy, comfortable voyage.

We don’t often think about the entrances and exits from airports we frequent. Thankfully, the engineers and designers of our favorite travel hubs do. Many of them, including those charged with managing Atlanta and Beijing’s airports, have chosen OBEX® to provide safe environments for these heavily trafficked areas subjected to the elements.

These mats stop up to 80% of dirt, dust, and moisture that might otherwise be tracked into a building within the first 10 to 30 feet. This gives travelers​ some peace of mind: Kids playing on terminal floors don’t get dirty before departure; passengers leave snow, ice, and rain behind; and, when people exit the airport, they enter their taxis free of grit or dirt on their well-travelled soles. 

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July 14
Take Off With Milliken This Summer

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Custom Milliken modular carpet at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (left) and Tokyo International Airport (right)

School is in recess, the sun is out, and warm weather abounds. Each summer, scores of travelers make their way to airports to embark on various adventures around the world.

We take all kinds of things into consideration when planning summer vacations, depending on what kind of experience we’re looking for. 

Those of us looking for art and history might be drawn to the wealth of renowned museums in Washington, D.C. Maybe you’re picturing a European holiday someplace like alluring Paris, France. Or perhaps you’re seeking out a destination that balances centuries of history with cutting-edge technology, like Tokyo, Japan. 

What do Washington, Paris, and Tokyo have in common - besides being storied cities with unique attractions? 

Visitors reach these three cities through heavily trafficked airport hubs: Baltimore-Washington International, Tokyo International, and Charles De Gaulle International.

Most of us are familiar with the hustle and bustle of airports like these. Serving as arteries that connect cities, countries, and co​​​ntine​nts, these transportation centers rely on many moving pieces falling into just the right place. 

What about the pieces that make up the airport? We seldom think about the walls, runways, and interiors that compose them.

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Milliken carpet at Charles De Gaulle International Airport (left) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (right)

Milliken floor covering graces the terminals, gates, or lounges of all three of these well-known airports in Washington, Tokyo, and Paris. Deliberately designed patterns help guide travelers through the terminals while cushion backing adds a welcomed comfort underfoot for those racing to catch flight connections or taking a moment to relax between take off – all while keeping up appearances. 

The experience of traveling is one that begins before you arrive at your destination – it starts the moment you walk through the sliding glass doors of the airport. According to Carpets for Airports’ George Pendel, “The floor beneath the sky above your feet,” sets the tone from the ground up. For more airport flooring from around the world, peruse Pendle’s website Carpets for Airports. Can you tell which ones Milliken created? 

As you look up at departing planes as you embark on your next adventure, remember to glance down, too.

July 08
Color Field Takes the Spotlight

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One of Milliken’s newest floor covering collections, Color Field, was beautifully featured in the newest issue of Green Building & Design (GB&D). The Product Spotlight by Vincent Caruso recalls the historical roots of the collection, which was inspired by a branch of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

In the 1940s, a group of artists in New York started experimenting with removing the distinction between the beginning of one form and the end of another. They did this by allowing color to take center stage, becoming both medium and subject. This artistic genre would come to be known as color field painting, associated with famous names like Rothko.

Milliken’s interpretation of color field painting utilizes an impressive 64 hues. Texture is used to create beautiful dimensions through simple patterns and various combinations of color and tonal movement.

Vince Caruso writes that, “Milliken’s latest carpet breakthrough inherits both the name of this pivotal artistic revelation as well as its artistic principles while also utilizing signature Milliken proprietary technologies to usher the singular aesthetic to a new frontier. With a color palette composed of 64 hues spanning the spectrum from neutrals to brights and multi-colors, the potential for novel patterns and gradations is seemingly endless. ‘There is virtually no limit to the pattern scale we can achieve,’ affirms Milliken global director of customer experience, Stacy Walker. ‘Color Field is an excellent illustration of the rich layers of texture that we can create through color.’ The harmony of the color palette and the detailed texture of carpet tiles result in the formulation of visual layers, adding a new dimension to how a room is experienced.”

The feature in GB&D highlights the sustainable component of the collection, which boasts a composition of 31% recycled content. The modular carpet is free of PVC, instead electing to use a cushion backing that improves both insulation, product lifespan, and delivers a softer, more luxurious feel.

As Caruso notes in the article, “The sustainable new carpet line is designed to suit the functional purpose or aesthetic predisposition of any given room and is easy on the planet, too.”

Read the full article here, and explore the variations of the collection on Milliken’s website.

 

July 07
The Power of Color

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Every day, our emotions and feelings are affected by the colors that surround us. The hues that grace the sky, or a label on a product we purchase, or even the walls in a waiting room all affect us and color our experiences, if you will.

On a basic level, our brains take cues from nature – a blue sky and sunshine can make you feel happy or peaceful, while storms or clouds can make you feel a little glum (or make you crave naptime). The same idea – that color elicits a certain feeling – is true in every facet of life. 

Advertisers have known this for decades. You’ve probably noticed color patterns in labels and branding. Green conveys a sense of peace, growth, and health – think of the labels of Whole Foods or Tropicana. Red is a bold choice associated with youth and excitement, like the labels of Coca Cola or Nintendo. Blue is calming, as it communicates dependability, strength, and trust – think credit cards, like Visa and American Express or tech companies, like Facebook, Twitter, or Vimeo.

The properties that help organizations decide how to brand themselves are also factored into design choices. You wouldn’t want to walk into a hospital waiting room or exam room and be bombarded with red or black – that would either excited you or frighten you. Instead, healthcare facilities usually opt for blue and blue-green hues. 

As Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams said, “The color of nature, and leaves, and trees – those are always wonderful colors to have in a facility.” She went on to explain that, “Cool colors tend to be more calming, so things that are in the blues and the blue-greens, those types of colors really put people at ease because they do bring a sense of tranquility.”

This can be applied to interior design at home, too.  Choosing a shade of blue, or another muted, dusty color like a pale gray or light sage, might help you drift off to sleep a little bit easier or reduce your stress level in general.

Color and design also affect the way that students progress in school. One 2012 study showed that six design parameters – “color, choice, complexity, flexibility, connection, and light – had a significant effect on learning. Complexity and color both have to do with providing an ample amount of visual stimulation for students in the classroom.” Another study noted, “73% of the variation in pupil performance driven at the class level can be explained by the building environment factors.”

​Are there other feelings you’d like to promote in your space? Here are a few more color-feeling relationships you can explore. 

Related articles:

July 03
Everyday Tips to Live a Greener Life

The world is a big place, and keeping the water, air and land around us can seem daunting at times. Thankfully, there are lots of small adjustments we can all make in our daily lives to do our part in keeping our planet healthy.

Here are some tips on how to make some small changes that will add up to some very green steps forward:

Go Local

  • Buying local produce is more environmentally friendly than purchasing produce that has been shipped over long distances – it cuts down on pollution and emissions generated during transport.
  • Added Bonus: Some evidence shows that eating locally grown produce is better for your health because the shorter distance between farm and table prevents the food’s nutrients from decreasing.


Cut Down On Trash

  • Invest in your own coffee mug and water bottle. Remember to take your reusable bags with you when you go grocery shopping or run other errands rather than using plastic bags.
  • Recycle your glass, aluminum, and plastic. It takes plastic an average of 450 years to decompose, and it can take glass up to million years. Aluminum actually pays for its own recycling because of how quickly it can bounce back into production. Once you toss an aluminum can into the recycling bin, it can make its way back to a store shelf in less than two months.
  • Start composting – your plants will thank you. Composts come in all shapes and sizes, so look into options that will fit your needs and space and get one started outside. Use the compost to fertilize your plants and start a food cycle!


Cut Down on Water

  • You’ve heard to take shorter showers and turn the water off when you brush your teeth since you were little. The advice is solid. Turning off the water while you brush can save up to five gallons of water a day.
  • Instead of choosing a hot-hot cycle when you wash your clothes, switch to warm-cold. If every household in the U.S. followed suit, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.


Save Energy

  • Many of us sleep better at night in cooler rooms, which boast some health benefits. Just remember to turn the temperature up in the morning, and particularly when you’re going to be out of the house or on vacation.
  • Unplug your devices when they aren’t in use – they use energy even if they aren’t on when they’re plugged in.
  • Replace your light bulbs with more efficient options. Traditional light bulbs give off energy in the form of heat, which wastes money, uses extra energy and heats up your living space. Choose an energy-efficient bulb like halogen incandescents, CFLS, or LEDs to save money and energy.


Over time, making small changes benefit the environment in very big ways. Click here to learn more about how you can make your everyday life even greener.


Going Green

Milliken’s carbon-neutral* family of companies practices its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in every facet of production. From design to manufacturing to reusing and recycling products, we keep the health of the environment in mind. We hope you do the same as you go about your daily life. 

*The Milliken family of companies is a certified carbon-negative manufacturer by the Leonardo Academy Cleaner and Greener® program.


June 30
Milliken Opens New London Showroom in Creative Clerkenwell

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The doors to the Milliken London Showroom reopened on May 14, 2015 after six months of renovation, revealing a larger, more engaging, multilevel location. The new Milliken Showroom at 5 Berry Street, designed by M. Moser Associates, features three floors of studio and carpet showroom space and is now three times its original size. 

The showroom is located in the heart of Clerkenwell, a design district that has long been synonymous with creative talent and the arts and crafts movement. Clerkenwell is now home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

In 2001, we were one of the first companies to see the potential of the area, opening one of Clerkenwell’s first showrooms - and the district’s very first carpet showroom. 

With the recent expansion and redesign, Milliken aimed to create an impactful new showroom that caters to the needs of both staff and clients, with areas to showcase, work, interact, and socialize. 

M. Moser achieved this by creating multiple settings within one space and connecting the original showroom to the first and lower ground floors through two striking architectural staircases.

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The building at 5 Berry Street that now houses the Milliken showroom was originally a Victorian warehouse, which presented its own challenges during the redesign. 

“We had to be aware of the implications and restrictions of the original structure on our design; particularly when installing the staircases,” explains Richard Fisher of M. Moser.  

The building’s original features were harnessed to create a unique space that stands out from other showrooms in the area. Some elements are raw, like the exposed brickwork, while others were highly finished.

Richard Fisher noted that, “The closer the proximity of materials to the Milliken product, for example, the floors and joinery, the more finished and carefully detailed the solution becomes."

As the Milliken product portfolio swells, so does the need for more space in which to display the array of floor covering. The London showroom was designed to function as a creative environment in which clients can interact meaningfully with the product to create beautiful flooring solutions.

“The new Clerkenwell showroom is true to the Milliken brand standard established by M. Moser in New York, Chicago, Shanghai and Beijing but still captures the vibrant and bohemian spirit that uniquely defines Clerkenwell,” shared Alison Kitchingman, director of marketing and design, Milliken EMEIA. 

“You are certainly aware that you are in a Milliken environment, but at the same time, the space has been designed to connect with the outside and you feel very much a part of the Clerkenwell community.” 

June 29
Milliken in the Media

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Have you spotted Milliken floor covering products and associates in the media recently? Browse through a selection of publications where you'll discover the latest and greatest from Milliken, from new modular carpets designed for contract and hospitality spaces to our venture into luxury vinyl tile. 

Products


People

  • Green Operations Magazine - Interview with Jim McCallum, Milliken global floor covering division president
  • Floor Daily - Interview with Alan Fennell, Milliken resilient flooring marketing director
  • Hospitality Design - Interview with Stacy Walker, Milliken global director of customer experience 
  • Interior Design - HiP at NeoCon Celebration with Juliet Schwalbach, Milliken sales associate 

June 25
4 Ways to spark Inspiration

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Where can we look for inspiration? The short answer: everywhere​. Artists, psychologists and designers all agree that the continuous search for inspiration is internal and external, online and offline, inside and outside. 

A person's individual perspective allows each of us to find inspiration in various places. Whether it is mining creative pins on Pinterest, listening to a new song playlist or taking a different route on a run and observing new homes and landscapes, inspiration is all around us​. 

Mix up your mode of inspiration with these four tips:

1. LOOK TO OTHERS

Peruse creative blogs and websites. Listen to music. Read a book or watch a movie. Go to a craft fair or click around artistic websites, such as Etsy, Pinterest, or Design Milk. Consider these websites, newsletters, and magazines to kick-start inspiration:

2. GO OUTSIDE

Reconnect with nature. Travel. Eat at a new restaurant. Take a walk and study local architecture or landscape.

3. SHOP AROUND

Check out package designs, logos and branding. Look at fashion blogs or scope out street style. Pick up the latest issue of Vogue or even scroll through an enticing Instagram feed.

4. PRACTICE SELF-CARE

While it's true that breakthroughs sometimes come in times of exhaustion, or maybe after your evening glass of Pinot Noir, there are other healthy ways to enhance creativity. Consider meditating. Practice yoga. Clear your mind and make space for inspiration with physical activity. 

The quest for inspiration is ever evolving. Mix up your normal routine and see what happens!

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