FCW: “Southern Living”, Caroline Alkire

It was such a pleasure sharing some thoughts on what I believe embodies “southern style” for Floor Covering Weekly’s Caroline Alkire. Among those interviewed are some of the most creative professionals in the industry whom I consider cherished friends and I was honored to be among the list. As an interior designer, a native born Daltonian and a design contributor to Floor Covering Weekly, it was a fun reversal of roles to not be in the driver’s seat for a change.

Caroline’s research provided a thought-provoking topics that, after answering, made me feel extra grateful for having been born and raised in the south. I cherish our roots here in Dalton, Georgia and can personally count back to at least five or six generations of Kikers and Felkers who resided here in the northwest Georgia region. Whether you’re born in the south or are a transplant to the south, I hope you read and enjoy Caroline’s article as well as the profiles of the other interviewees contained within for your own design inspiration.


Southerners are known for their hospitality and a certain style. FCW asked a few industry friends to share what Southern style means to them and how their home reflects that sensibility. Emily Morrow Finkell discusses with FCW what Southern Design means to her…

Emily Morrow Finkell, EF Floors & design
“Southern style can mean so many things to different people depending on their age, their roots and even their attitude. For me, it means making my family and friends feel welcomed and comfortable the moment they step onto our front porch,” said Emily Morrow Finkell, CEO, EF Floors & Design.

To Finkell, Southern style is as commonplace as good etiquette — it’s meant to make others feel completely at ease. She believes small details (a soothing color palette or cozy seating) make the biggest impact. The inspiration for her home’s décor comes from a somewhat surprising character: her dog Donatella, “the reigning queen of the backyard.”

With a dog running around, friends stopping in and family staying over, it’s no wonder Finkell focuses on transitional design, comfort, timelessness and longevity. “I value the fact that delicate surfaces don’t become the number one priority over spending quality time with those I love,” she offered.

“Medium value colors are my happy place since they still feel light enough but allow us all to maybe spill a little coffee or wipe up some muddy paw prints after a walk,” said Finkell.

Much of Finkell’s home décor is inspired by our dog, Donatella, queen of the backyard. Everything has been tough tested by her…if it can stand up to her paw prints after a walk in the great outdoors, it can stand up to practically anything.

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Finkell’s favorite design element in the living room area is her culmination of years of blue and white porcelains, some of which belonged to her great-grandmother.

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“It would be so easy to go out and select all new pieces and simply discard our existing furnishings, but in my opinion, that also erases the personalities of our home as a family,” Finkell said.

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“We congregate around the island of our kitchen which is made of a slab of reclaimed walnut, and within this open-layout space, we do showcase a collection of our treasures we have gathered from all our travel and adventures,” revealed Finkell.




Design Spectator for FCW: It’s a Small World…Global Views on Design

Design Spectator for FCW: It’s a Small World…Global Views on Design

Going Global | Style & Design | Floor Covering Weekly
Have you noticed that the world keeps getting smaller and smaller? As I’ve traveled from markets and shows, and counted up the vast number of miles it takes to go from Paris, France to Hannover, Germany to Las Vegas, Nevada and High Point, North Carolina, and then to observe how many similarities that there are between the shows, mind you the subtle differences are the flavor and culture of the cities themselves, you should know that the global marketplace is thriving and filling up with interesting new trends.
Luxurious materials and textures are among the biggest trends spotted at Maison et Objet, one of the first shows of the year in Paris. Engaging the sense of touch with tactile softness and in softened pastel color palettes make for a dynamic duo, although done is a subtle approach. Check out the brand, Amara at https://us.amara.com for more looks like this in their throws, bedding and layered textiles.

The combination of luxurious materials with metallic finishes also made a statement at Maison throughout accessories. While pastels and luxury are quiet and comforting, matte black and shiny golden metallics were wow-factors and all out glamorous, like from the 40’s decade of hollywood glamour. From High POint’s Style Spotters, here are some examples of the brass and gold pieces which exemplify this trend in the USA http://www.highpointmarket.org/products-and-trends/summer-fall-2017-style-report


1. Michael S. Smith for Mirror Image Home
2. Ralph Lauren for Visual Comfort
3. Baker Furniture


Recalling recent interviews about trends from European shows, the “tropical/greenery/foliage” trend continues to evolve. Colorful green lacquered finishes on chairs by Ercol, a British brand since 1920, at http://www.ercol.com speak to the “jungle-inspired” greening of the palette, found in their collections of furnishings http://online.flipbuilder.com/yrjp/tzgl/#p=22. Stateside in High Point, green could be found in an unexpected place, in The Bentley Chandelier by Bunny Williams for Currey & Company.



“Tropical fronds: Head south for the season with a trend that transmits a burst of the botanical: Tropical Fronds. Turn over a languorous leaf with a selection of equator‐inspired patterns, prints and other pops of design that are destined to transform any designer into the queen or king of the jungle.”


This imaginative made-in-Spain upholstery from the Colony Collection features playful monkeys climbing across a leafy, inviting jungle. duralee.com

Whimsical watercolors in this framed giclee canvas translate the theme in emerald and kelly greens without going over the top. barclaybutera.com

Interpreted in luxe sculpted velvet, the brand’s toss pillows bring the leaves of the outside world, in. Yet thanks to naturally fade- and microbe-resistant solution-dyed acrylic, they’re usable both indoors and out. shopjanusetcie.com

The brand’s new line of coordinating wallpaper and fabrics plays up the palm, masterfully communicating the tropics’ signature frond. thibautdesign.com

5 JAIPUR’S COASTAL TIDES RUG.                                                                                          Marine-themed, muted and understated, Jaipur’s hand-tufted polyester rug, in oxford tan and bone white, brings a bit of underwater appeal into the home. jaipurliving.com

The Unexpected Chandelier

The Bentley Chandelier by Bunny Williams for Currey & Company found at emilymorrowhome.com under lighting


Natural elements that have been refined or digitized are among the top trends also revealed at the start of the year in Paris. Exactly how “nature” is interpreted varies from designer to designer, but expect to see more and more florals, vines and forest foliage in fabrics and wall coverings, as well as horn and bone looks made from combinations of resins in chalky finishes among accessories. Within the “natural” elements trend, there also lies the same tie back to various green hues, some however here are silvery sage greens when and where it makes the most sense for the materials used. Mixing and layering of differing greens also perpetuates this trend. Christian Lacroix dinnerware is an ideal example of the aesthetic described here. For visuals, go to http://christian-lacroix.com/fra/collections/2_art_de_vivre/7_art_de_la_table . From tableware to textiles, the natural and jungle greens are easily located and make for an instant update to most every design style. If applied in an avocado or silvery sage green, the trend can feel mid century modern or art deco.

Animals of all kinds were at the shows, starting at IMM and Maison et Objet and traveled on to High Point as well as Las Vegas. Animal prints, marine life, bengal tigers, butterflies, birds and regal dog and cats were popular images used for wall art, pillows and a variety of porcelain or ceramic accessories.

The Accent of All Accent Pillows

Ardmore Lovebird Leopard Silk Pillow Covers by Ngala Trading Co.

The Lovebird Leopard Silk Pillows are as luxe as they sound, and each is handmade in South Africa.

Going Global | Style & Design | Floor Covering Weekly

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