en-US > Design Center > Blog
April 17
Milliken Named in 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies List

Fall at Milliken Arboretum.jpg

We are pleased to share that Milliken has once more been named to the World's Most Ethical Companies list by the Ethisphere Institute for 2014. This marks the eighth consecutive year that we have been recognized, every year since the list was first published.  

We are honored that our efforts to "Do Good" have led to a continuation of this distinction. We believe that a healthy enterprise and healthy earth are vitally linked - and we are inspired by the strong sense of purpose to do good. In fact, innovation across Milliken is aimed at "Doing Good" in one way or another. 

We work to carry out this mantra by exceeding customer expectations and challenging what is possible in floor covering innovations. By holding ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards, Milliken continues to discover new ways to make this world more sustainable.

Through true innovation, our promise is to "Do Good," adding value to people's lives, improving health and safety, and making this world more sustainable.

To learn more about the distinction​, please read a release announcing the award on milliken.comAlso, view Milliken's Code of Conduct and see how respect for one another - and the world we live in - guides our actions every day. 

April 15
What is Inspiration?

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 1.29.37 PM.png
Inspiration is when the world speaks to you loudly and clearly, making your heart and mind race with passion and possibility. It's as if the world has whispered - or screamed or sung - directly into your ear. 

And suddenly​, life brims bright with opportunity. You are enthused, empowered, and engaged. You see the world anew, afresh, and aglow. You never know from where this inspiration might come from or even how to find it. But when it strikes, your world is forever changed.

Discover inspiring images that challenge us to see the world through a new lens at www.inspiredinspiring.com​

April 10
Three Uses For Pinterest Secret Boards

Milliken Pinterest Secret Board.jpg 

Milliken recently used a secret board to create a collaboration board with Amy Campos, the 2013 International Interior Design Association's Educator of the Year. Amy secretly pinned inspiring images, her design work, and more, before presenting it to the public. This allowed us to make sure the board was presented in a finished and complete state before allowing any other viewers.

With the addition of Pinterest Secret Boards in 2012, the architecture and design community has a whole new way of searching for and collecting ideas, products, and inspiring spaces online. Below are three ways that Secret Boards can enhance you daily design process. 

3 Uses for Pinterest Secret Boards

  • Help define clients' tastes and interior preferences. Visuals are a great way to communicate the details of design when words are not enough. With Secret Boards, clients can pin images and spaces that inspire them, and designers can also provide images of interiors to gain their perspective. Pinterest offers a great case study on how one residential interior designer used group boards to identify her client's style.  

  • Gather ideas and images when brainstorming new design concepts.  Secret boards allow users to compile images, ideas, and inspirations behind the scenes, without anyone else able to view the board's content. Once the board is picture perfect and ready to be shared with another user, whether it is a colleague or a client, a new collaborator can be added to the board. We love how the tool allows for a working collection of images, only visible to certain people in specific stages of the design process. 

  • Keep a personal collection of things that inspire you. Don't want to give away your design inspirations to others? Keep them in secret board that only you can view, while still enjoying the benefits of using Pinterest.

Are you interested in learning about how the architecture and design community can take advantage of what Pinterest has to offer? Ask your local Milliken sales representative about our CEU course, "Pinterest and the A&D Community: Sharing and Inspiring in a Digital World​," or email millikecarpet@milliken.com for more information. 

For step-by-step instructions​ to create a secret board, visit Pinterest

April 08
Take Interiors Down Two Paths with Walk the Line

WalkTheLine_Folsom-140-27_NickajackCave-152-27_Combo_Overhead_Props-2_low res.jpeg
Milliken's new Walk the Line collection brings the straight path of the roadway to interiors. Sharp, contrasting lines in varying tones invite designers to obey the rules or find their freedom. Neutral and graphic or fast and furious with a splash of color, the balance of vivid accents and asphalt-like background are sure to inspire the journey ahead. 

The modular carpet with an open linear pattern brings sophisticated movement to the floor plane. Available in 16 colors, accent options from bright pops and neutrals also add versatility to the range of interior aesthetics possible through the design. 

Many benefits and features of the collection include:

  • Available in modular carpet tile (50 cm x 50 cm) for increased functionality and design flexibility
  • A tufted, loop construction of Universal® Fibers Solution-Dyed Nylon Type 6,6
  • Rated for severe traffic
  • Standard with PVC-free UnderscoreTM ES ​Cushion Backing and can be specified with UnderscoreTM ESP Cushion Backing 
  • Total Recycled Content of 31 percent 

      WalkTheLine_Memphis-122-120_MONO_SelectiveFocus_V_Props_low res.jpeg    WalkTheLine_LasVegas-109-120_QT_Perspective_V_Props_low res.jpeg

How will you challenge the status quo and Walk the Line with your designs? 

April 03
Part 2: Trends Reshaping Today's Workplace

Zipcar 2.jpg Zipcar office.jpg
The award-winning Zipcar® headquarters in Boston incorporates all of the innovations of the modern work environment, including a comfortable, inviting design and creative spaces for brainstorming.  

Office environments continue to evolve to meet the changing work habits of today's culture. In Part 1 of our discussion about trends reshaping today's workplace, we noted how the three trends of co-working, the multi-generational office and the need to focus are a main topic of importance. It is also known that flexible work environments, corporate identity and talent management, and wellness and productivity are challenging offices to provide the best possible experience for employees.

4. Flexible work environments 

Technology and the new working cultures it allows may have freed us to work in previously inconceivable ways but what is most intriguing about the ongoing debate is how it has shifted perceptions of the workplace. Far from spelling the end of the office as futurologists thought around twenty years ago, flexible working has changed our relationship with the workplace. It is many things to many people, especially those for whom the 9 to 5 is no more (or never was). It is a link to the firm, a repository of knowledge, a meeting place, a social space, a source of identity and a source of comfort.  

This enduring human attraction to bricks and mortar, despite whatever technology makes possible, is what made flexible working a big workplace debate of today. The desire for flexible work environments has been accompanied with data showing that employees are not as effective in specific ways when working apart from one another. This is especially evident as innovative companies around the world provide offices designed to encourage in-office collaboration, noting the importance of physically being at work.   

5. Corporate identity and talent management

There has always been a close link between the labor market and office design. In the wider business community, the conundrum that has dominated management thinking over the last two decades is this: if your main asset is knowledge and that knowledge is largely locked up in people’s heads, how do you attract those heads to your organization? Then, how do you make them stay there?

It is this riddle that has led to the dominance of ‘soft’ issues in management thinking and why workplace design has focused increasingly on softer business issues such as corporate culture, the environment and knowledge management. It has driven the growth of flexible work practices as organizations have tried to give people a better work-life balance. It has driven the softening of the workplace itself, the growth of break-out space and the focus on the team. And, of course, it has pushed on the idea of employer branding and how to convey identity at work.

Branding in the workplace may largely have focused on replicating a corporate identity, but now there is a far greater focus on reflecting important values to staff. Where once you had logos in the carpet and walls in corporate colors, now we have visualizations of how the company addresses business and environmental issues, the intelligent use of colors and materials to convey ideas and emotions, imagery from packaging and marketing campaigns and manifestations of the outside world.

6. Wellness and productivity

We know that workplace design has an impact on individual productivity and business performance. At some level, whether through academic research or personal experience, everybody knows that there is a link between our surroundings and our wellbeing and happiness. That is why what we find in practice is that most people work in decent, if not exceptional, workplaces and are provided with a fair degree of comfort, natural light, fresh air and control over how they work along with all other features of the contemporary office.

How do you see these trends affecting workplaces? Are there any trends you think should also be included in this discussion? We would love to know. 
April 01
Part 1: Trends Reshaping Today's Workplace

Cisco Color Wash installation.jpg
 Designed by O+A, the Cisco headquarters in San Francisco highlight many workplace trends in today's offices.

It’s nothing new to suggest that the workplace is in a state of flux. Yet, while the underlying drivers of change remain largely the same, what does change each year is the focus on different aspects of the revolution in the places we work. Some are new and some represent a more informed and sophisticated take on things we were already aware of.

1. Co-working

Primarily a way for the new generation of small businesses, freelancers and contractors to share space, the co-working phenomenon is also influencing ideas about office design and property management for larger organizations. It has even prompted the British Government to pilot a program that would see nearly all of its vast portfolio established as shared space for all public sector departments. 

​The growth in the use of co-working spaces is rapid. A report from real estate trade association NAIOP estimates there are now around 800 of them in the U.S. compared to just one in 2005, increasing by 83 percent last year alone. They are often found in tech hubs serving start-ups and freelancers, but are increasingly applicable to the larger corporate workforce.

2. The multi-generational office

While there is a great deal of talk about the influence of Gen Y in the office, it turns out that the workplace is increasingly multigenerational. According to data from the U.K.’s Department of Work and Pensions, there have never been more over 50s in work in the U.K. There are now 2 million more over-50s in jobs than there were 15 years ago and they will form a third of the workforce by 2020.

The workplace will not be dominated by one specific generation, but shared by everybody. This will mean finding ways of balancing the needs, attitudes and skills of different generations. It also means challenging stereotypes. For example, research published last year by the Max Planck Institute in Berlin found that older workers perform more consistently in memory tests than younger people and that there is a great deal of variability between the performance of individuals within age groups.

3. Focus

The challenge of providing a degree of solitude, peace and quiet in an office is an issue that most people in A&D deem very important. Yet it has proved to be one of those intractable issues that suffers both from and to need to balance it against other factors, including the shift to open plan working. Hence why there has been so much talk over recent years about acoustics in the workplace. But the debate is now moving on as more research emerges to suggest that what we need is not silence, but an ability to focus.

A recent survey of 90,000 people by architects Gensler found that ‘the most significant factor in workplace effectiveness is not collaboration, it is individual focus work’ and that ‘focus is also the workplace environment’s least effectively supported activity.’ The idea is backed up by researchers  at the University of Sydney who found in a survey of 43,000 U.S. office workers site lack of privacy as the top frustration.

In practice this means that designers and facilities managers not only have to manage levels of noise at work but also offer staff choices about where they work, so they can strike the right balance between working with colleagues and staying focused on specific tasks.

Stay tuned as we continue to discuss relevant trends reshaping today's workplace and their involvement within architecture and design conversations. 

March 27
Three Ways to Spark Creativity
Ways to Spark Creativity.png 
Creativity can be slow to spark if you don't have effective ways to combat a creative block. Our designers have shared tips and tricks they use to make sure that ideas at Milliken are always fresh and inspired. 

Three Ways to Spark Creativity

  • Do research. Look at old books and paintings. Throughout history, art, pattern and design have evolved differently around the world. Find inspiration in the various aesthetics of traditional designs within each unique culture.   

  • Pull in team members. A fresh perspective from someone who is removed from a project can help you develop a new viewpoint. Collaboration is key to breaking a creative block.  

  • Collect and reference things that inspire you. Keep a file of thought-provoking images, textures and fun, unique ideas. Thumb through your collection and see how time alters your interpretation.  

How do you break a creative block? We would love to know. 
March 25
USGBC Announces LEED Innovation Catalog

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.23.47 PM.png

Innovation is a highly valued component of sustainable building design, so much so that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has introduced the LEED Innovation Catalog, a new credit reference resource for architects. According to Batya Metalitz from USGBC​, the catalog is "a place for project teams to find innovative strategies for use on their projects."

The catalog includes a number of innovation credits, including:

  • Credits from other LEED rating systems that can double as innovation credits 
  • Retired pilot credits with materials to make completing the credit easier
  • Historically accepted innovation strategies, like green education 

How do you feel about incorporating credits for innovation strategies with LEED ratings? Will the Innovation Catalog be useful for projects you submit for LEED certification? 

Read more about the new LEED Innovation Catalog on the USGBC website.  

March 20
Four Design Trends Worth Taking Note

From graphic and pixelated patterns to interior furnishings with handmade details, we are constantly taking note of new design trends. We hope you find the following four trends as exciting as we do. 

  • Computer generated patterns with pixelated graphics. Interior Design shares great examples of how these designs are an interesting addition to interiors. 

  • Traditional design aesthetics blurring across industries. Check out this post ​as Milliken Designer Kristin Gruenefeld shares how commercial design is taking on bold colors and patterns normally seen as hospitality.​

  • Top stitch in interior furnishings with a handmade aesthetic. Visit Azure to view a selection of chairs with beautiful top stitching details.  

  • Custom spaces designed to accommodate​ a variety of functions. The Tailored Salon by Amy Campos is a great example of purposefully creating a space to meet specific needs. 

What design trends are you seeing in the architecture and design industry? 

March 18
Explore the Richness of a Looped Textile with Inis Mór

Inis Mor_Low res.jpg 

 Inis Mór in Ballybane and Kilronan installed in multiple colors on the diagonal provides a structured argyle pattern.

Inspired by the structure of Irish fishermen's sweaters, Milliken's new Inis Mór collection draws upon the influence of a traditional looped stitch - of the most basic, yet complex forms of textile creation. Two designs, Ballybane and Kilronan, provide small and large-scales of organic pattern that offer ease of movement across the floor plane. 

Reflected in both pattern and construction, the all loop textile delivers incredible resilience and withstands the extreme wear and tear of high traffic areas. 

A blend of various yarns with twisted, chunky textures gives the collection a beautiful flecking and heathering effect as individual yarns capture light differently. The visual interest resulting from these irregularities ties into the inspiration of a hand-made knitted sweater. These imperfections illustrate the beauty in the organic quality. 

The collection boasts many features and benefits, including:

  • 18 colors with coordinating collections and colors easily found through Milliken's Color Reference System
  • Modular carpet tile (50 cm x 50 cm) for increased functionality
  • Tufted, textured loop construction of Aquafil Econyl® Solution-Dyed Nylon Type 6
  • Total Recycled Content of 44 percent
  • TractionBack® Technology - there's no "peel," just "stick" with TractionBack®
  • Standard with PVC-free UnderscoreTM ​Cushion Backing

Designers can easily tailor the collection using multiple hues from the color line to create a gradation of color. Creatively placing tiles also brings a new dimension to the design. If installed on the diagonal, the cable knit pattern is more visible, which provides a more linear structure.

How would you use the Inis Mór collection to create unique interior environments? 

Inis_Mor_Kilronan-Ballybane_144-Helm_Overhead_low res.jpg
 Inis Mór in Ballybane and Kilronan in Helm, a light color reminiscent of traditional Irish wool sweaters. 

1 - 10Next