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December 18
Top 5 Moments from 2014: Welcoming New Milliken Team Members

​We deem our employees as our most valuable asset. As such, number three in our top moments countdown for 2014 goes to welcoming new valued members to the Milliken team. We are always looking for new talent​ and bright, idea-driven creative minds. And this past year brought new members who are essential to continuing our heritage of innovation as an award-winning floor covering manufacturer.

Fresh perspectives inspire our team and bring about new innovation. With this in mind, we were excited to welcome Jim McCallum as the president of Milliken's global floor covering division. Jim has led our award-winning division to​ continue to create unique floor covering with beautifully-crafted aesthetics, superior functionality, and inspired textures and patterns that invite designers to reimagine the floor plane. 

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Jim McCallum, President of the Milliken global floor covering division

We also welcomed another valuable member to the Milliken family in 2014: Bob Hutchison joined us as the Vice President of Global Design. Since joining the team in June, Bob has continued the respected Milliken tradition of superior quality and design of broadloom carpet, modular carpet tile, and entryway matting systems. He brings forth extensive industry experience and product knowledge as we continue to provide innovative floor covering solutions with unparalleled aesthetics and performance.

These leaders are just two of the many exceptional new members of our team, and we are honored to call them all our own.

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December 16
Top 5 Moments from 2014: Inspired Social Media Conversations

​Continuing with our Top 5 countdown, we celebrate another incredible moment from the past year: Inspiring conversations with the architecture and design community on social media.

Engaging at the highest level in the A&D industry means being active on social media to connect directly with you - which is why we value our social media platforms. We interacted with many users during the year through various creative and motivational ways, always aiming for inspiring and relevant conversations.

Joining Instagram this year opened up a new window to connect in a more photographic way with floor covering collections, inspiring images, fun holiday posts, photos of Milliken events - and our favorite, reposts of photos that users share of Milliken. We are excited to continue utilizing Instagram and challenging our followers to redefine design.

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The homepage of Milliken Carpet's Instagram which features posts on upcycled products, recent projects and inspiring images.

We also enjoyed our online Twitter Chats that addressed very pertinent industry issues on sustainability. By partnering with Interiors & Sources Magazine​, we provided a platform, created questions and invited our industry to share and learn from one another's expertise as we work to build a greener world. 

Recap key takeaways from both Twitter Chats by visiting the blog posts Recycling in Architecture and Design and Achieving Environmental Health in Design.

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Examples of the #DesignRecycled Twitter Chat with Interiors & Sources Magazine on America Recycles Day.

Are you on social media? Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as we aspire to inspire you through our conversations. 

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December 11
Top 5 Moments from 2014: Welcoming Visitors to the Milliken Athenaeum

​With our sights set on investing for the future, we're taking time to reflect on incredible moments from the past year. Welcome to the first of our five-part blog series as we celebrate the highlights of 2014 at Milliken.

Number 5: Customer Visits to the Milliken Athenaeum 

Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., Milliken's design studio welcomed numerous visitors throughout the year, reaching a total of 117 customer groups in 2014. The Athenaeum, designed by M Moser Associates, has not only kept our designers creative and collaborative, but has also been a wonderful location for various visitors to experience the culture at Milliken.

Screen shot 2014-12-10 at 7.21.16 PM.png​ The Milliken Athenaeum, Photo courtesy of Eric Laignel. 

From industry organization board retreats for IIDA and IFMA, to customer events and global Milliken team meetings, the Athenaeum was host to a variety of events. Customer groups of different sizes and purposes chose to meet at our global headquarters and take advantage of the incredible space and inspiration it offers. Members of our global team also joined us at the headquarters, making true of our aim for purposeful design around the world. We're honored to have the opportunity to host such an array of important events for our customers. 

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The IIDA Carolinas Chapter Board Members met at Athenaeum for their annual board retreat. The retreat was a great time to carry out board matters, transition officers, and enjoy whimsical and inspired art activities.

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Members of our Latin America team (left) and their customers (right) join us at our global headquarters.

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IFMA chapter board members also visited Milliken for events and board retreats, including the Atlanta Chapter (left), Greater Triangle Chapter (right) and the IFMA International Board.

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December 09
Milliken Wins Two Best of Year Awards for 2014

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Last week was very exciting for Milliken as Interior Design honored us with two 2014 Best of Year Awards! Altered Form received Best of Year for the Flooring: Carpet/Broadloom category, and the InisMór Collection won for New Low Environmental Impact Solution. 

These awards are so gratifying for Milliken as the finalists and winners were chosen by members of the architecture and design community. They confirm that our belief in good design and sustainable design are valued and respected in our industry. 

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 Altered Form in Dandelion Rug (left) and Grain Fields with Micro Crops (right)

The Altered Form Collection, which received Best of Year for Carpet: Broadloom highlights what is possible when a modern abstraction of different perspectives is left up to ones own interpretation. Inspired by the first law of thermodynamics, Altered Form takes an inquisitive view of the earth's natural resources as it transitions from one form to another - and through that transition, creates pattern formations.

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 Inis Mór in Kilronan (left) and Ballybane and Kilronan (right)

Inis Mór won New Low Environmental Impact Solution - a new category for the Best of Year Awards, which celebrates sustainably designed and manufactured design solutions. The modular carpet collection features Aquafil Econyl yarn, the first and only 100 percent sustainable polymer, and built-in PVC-free cushion backing, which extends the life of the carpet by up to 50 percent. 

Installation is also made friendly with TractionBack®, an environmentally-superior alternative backing system for laying modular carpet tile. In addition to eliminating the need for wet adhesives or peel and stick techniques, the high friction coating doesn't require any additional tools for installation and uses less materials and energy.

Responsible manufacturing practices add to the sustainability​ of Inis Mór, as well as all Milliken floor covering collections. The collection is carbon-neutral thanks to the Milliken family of companies, a third-party certified carbon-negative manufacturer by the respected Leonardo Academy. 

It is an honor to receive these distinguished awards. Thank you to all who voted, and congratulations to all 2014 Best of Year winners. 

To see a full list of Best of Year 2014 project and product winners, visit InteriorDesign.net.  

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December 04
Milliken Celebrates Mid-Century Design with Surf-Inspired Floor Covering

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Originating in Polynesia and embraced by Hawaiian culture, the act of surfing was considered a spiritual and ritualistic part of daily life, a way to connect with nature. Eventually reaching the West Coast, the surfing phenomenon became a counter culture by the post-war 1950's in California.

Designed by Susan Fitzgerald, the new Kai Collection from Milliken pays homage to the classic American surf culture of the 1950's and 1960's. The series of graphic mid-century designs incorporates fluid shapes that transition from dense to dissipating, much like the incoming ocean tide. Clean and modern lines are paired with textures of Polynesian bark cloth, creating a harmony of patterns with various treatment.

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Three patterns interpret iconic symbols of the surfing counter culture with a range of scale and texture.

    • Tapa, inspired by traditional Polynesian bark cloth fabric, provides a small-scale, near solid pattern.
    • Nalu, meaning 'to surf,' features a mid-scale wood grain aesthetic inspired by the woodie wagons surfers drove to the California shore.
    • Fin, inspired by the fin of a surfboard, offers a bold statement piece with color vibes, which allow multi-color customization in a standard collection.

The mid-century aesthetics of Kai are modernized through industry-leading sustainable qualities. A PVC-free​ cushion backing extends the life of the carpet up to 50 percent, and the collection is carbon neutral, thanks to the carbon-negative certified Milliken family of companies. Additionally, Kai carries an EPD, HPD, Declare label and is certified to NSF 140.

To learn more about the collection, click here. ​

December 02
IIDA Carolinas: Understand & Align to Create Unique Spaces

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​Our guest blogger program continues with IIDA Carolinas as chapter member share their approach to creating unique and innovative spaces for every project. The answer is clear: by understanding and aligning with each client, each space will, in turn, meet their unique needs. (P
ictured above: A Freeman White project featuring Op Art from Milliken's Art Media collection, courtesy of Leigh Stephenson of IIDA Carolinas Charlotte City Center.)


Q: How do you approach each design project differently?

A: Because every client is different, every design approach is different. Understanding and aligning with a client is the most important element of success in a project. 

     - Anita Holland, IIDA; IIDA Carolinas Chapter VP of Membership   

A: Every client and every site has its own unique story. Design is discovering this story and how you can enhance it through the power of design.

     - Scott MacMeekin, IIDA, LEED AP, BD+C; IIDA Carolinas Chapter President-Elect, Charlotte City Center

A: I like to start each new project with a visioning session with the client. Depending on the size of the project, this can range from a few hours to a full day. During this time, we like to review inspirational past projects that our firm has worked on and dive deep into work styles. We go through range of interior finish materials to get the client's feedback on color, texture, and pattern as well as review interesting new furniture ideas to make the space as efficient and beautiful as possible. This session allows us to get to know the client, what makes them tick, what their likes and dislikes are, and ultimately, what they expect the team to deliver at the end of the project. This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and get really excited about a new project. 

     - Emma Butler, Assoc. IIDA, LEED AP; IIDA Carolinas City Center Director, Charlotte City Center

A: Easy. There are no two projects alike, so there is never one cookie cutter answer. You have to start each project with an open mind and your creative problem-solving hat on. This is my favorite part of the project, the beginning where everything is a possibility, until things like budgets and construction documents get in the way. We are a creative group of people, and we wouldn't be happy and satisfied if each project looked like the next. If we ever get to that place then it's probably time to retire. 

     - Danielle Tipton, NCIDQ; Owner and Interior Designer, DT Designs; IIDA Carolinas, Triad City Center

A: If a project is meaningful and speaks to its surrounding community, then it is successful. This comes from engaging both the client and the community. 

     - Andrea Kuhfuss, IIDA; IIDA Carolinas Chapter Past President 2013-2014, Upstate City Center

A: With our design projects, it is critical to have a clear understanding of our client's target market. The bulk of our work is multi-family, and often times our clients are each other's competition. It is our responsibility to be sensitive to that, while providing innovative and competitive designs that uniquely benefit each client, and their bottom line. By identifying the core target market, researching, and working closely with the client to understand the lifestyle each project is selling, we make design decisions that build and enhance the brand of each property. 

     - Katie Henderson, IIDA; Triangle City Center 


About IIDA Carolinas

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA), founded in 1994, is the result of a merger of the Institute of Business Designers (IBD); the International Society of Interior Designers (ISID); and the Council of Federal Interior Designers (CFID). The goal of the merger was to create an international association with a united mission that would represent interior designers worldwide and speak on their behalf with a single voice. 

With over 500 members, the IIDA Carolinas Chapter is comprise of seven City Centers and one Campus Center in North Carolina and South Carolina. ​

 



November 25
A Seasonal Sip From Our Home to Yours

Coming together for the holidays means opening one's home to the company of friends and family. Welcome your guests with a festive libation and seasonal cocktail from our very own Chef Jim McCallister with the Milliken Guest House. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Milliken family. 

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Maple-Bourbon Cider 

Yields four cocktails

6 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces apple schnapps 
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick 
Cayenne​ pepper to taste
Ice

1. Steep 1 cinnamon stick in apple cider and let cool. 

2. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add bourbon, schnapps, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider; shake vigorously. 

3. Strain into four glasses and top each with cayenne pepper, if desired. 

November 20
Milliken Hosts First-Ever Student Design Competition

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At Milliken, we value programs that advance our communities, further education and 'do good' in our world. 

We recently put this mission into practice by connecting with the Rowan-Salisbury School District in North Carolina for the first-ever Milliken-RSS E3 District Design Competition - a challenge meant to inspire students' imaginations and further valuable skill sets, such as presentation skills.

Students across the district in elementary, middle and high school were challenged to create their ideal learning environment that exemplified Extraordinary Education Everyday (E3). The task: create artwork showcasing their designs and produce a video presentation to present their work. 

This required students to use creativity and imagination for their concepts and also gave vital training in soft skills, which are necessary for future careers. A panel comprised of Milliken and Rowan County District leaders judged their final presentations and selected three winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) from each school level.

To award their outstanding achievement, the winning designs will be printed on individual custom Milliken logo floor mats​​. The winners will also visit Milliken's headquarters for a personal tour and will meet with various Milliken associates to discuss different career possibilities.

Click here​ to view a video of the winning entries, and to watch select Milliken-RSS E3 District Design Competition participants present the ideal learning environments, click here. Enjoy a sneak peek of two of the winning entries below.

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Congratulations to all of the design contest winners and participants for showing us what learning environments inspire them most. 

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November 18
Recycling in Architecture & Design

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In honor of America​ Recycles Day (Saturday, November 15), we partnered with Interiors & Sources for a Twitter Chat on recycling in the architecture and design industry. 

More than 60 interior designers, manufacturing partners and leaders in the recycling industry joined to discuss relevant topics involving recycling in architecture and design. Enjoy highlights from this Q&A and discover what conversations are happening now to improve our environment. You can also see the entire conversation on Twitter by searching #DesignRecycled. 

Q1: How can interior designers make a difference in the industry through recycling?

  • Set an example for clients and educate them on recycle programs and available re/upcycled products and their benefits to the environment. 
  • Refurbish furnishings, buy and repurpose vintage items and turn existing products into new and useful items. 
  • Partner with manufacturers with recycling policies that take responsibility for a product's end of life, and always consider a manufacturer's product sample take-back programs. Check out this reuse of Milliken modular carpet samples, and Milliken's Renaissance Sample Return Program​.
  • Create spaces that promote a culture of post-consumer recycling with accessible recycling bins and filtered water fountains in place of plastic water bottles.
  • Transparency from manufacturers is critical to create sustainable environments. 

Q2: How can the A&D industry improve upon the upcycling process to get the most out of a material?

  • ​Stop thinking of used materials with a negative connotation and instead embrace them as an exciting design challenge. 
  • Be willing to work with and learn from each other at all stages of the process and share knowledge.
  • Recycled content in building products and furniture is thought of as a bonus, but not a requirement. If we demand green products and push our vendors to incorporate more recycled components, the industry will act.
  • Look for durable products designed for longevity and maintain products to maximize their first life. The longer a product lasts, the less that will need to be manufactured for replacements.

Q3: More products are being made with used/old items, such as carpet. What are the possibilities for used/old carpet in the future?

  • Focus on increasing the first life of carpets by considering proper construction, care and maintenance. This can reduce energy usage for downcycling old carpet and creating new products.
  • Donate used carpet in good condition to organizations like PlanetReuse to find second homes for used building products. 
  • Turn old into new. For example, find reuse opportunities for products that can be revitalized with a thorough cleaning, such as carpet. Reuse is considered the highest form of recovery. 
  • Incorporate textile fibers into more consumer products. For example, the Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition (RE) is made from 100% recycled residential carpet. 

Q4: How can the A&D industry improve upon its recycling/landfill diversion programs?

  • Strive to become a zero-waste company and incentivize the effort in some way so that all employees are on board. Partner with manufacturing organizations who have the same zero-waste mission.
  • Join forces with industry organizations, such as CARE​, to find local recycling partners and decrease environmental impacts of transportation.
  • Develop lifecycle recycling manuals to inform clients of what products can be recycled and who to contact to facilitate take-back.
  • Sustainability is constantly changing. Continuing education is key for manufacturers, designers and end users to stay updated on the latest environmental best practices​.

How do you promote recycling in design projects? We would love to know.

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November 13
Landfill Diversion: What Happens to Carpet?

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Did you know that carpet was once the second highest contributor to landfill waste? 

That statistic didn't settle well with us, so we took action by creating the Milliken Carpet Landfill Diversion Program as part of our "No Carpet to Landfill Pledge.

We invite you to join us in our pledge by preventing your old carpet from entering landfills. Click here to discover how we can help.

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