‘Home Town’ strong with United Way Women’s Leadership Council | Lifestyles | dailycitizen.news

It was a huge honor and pleasure to be a part of this wonderful and inspiring luncheon with HGTV’s Erin & Ben Napier, hosted by United Way Women’s Leadership Council…Congratulations and thank yous go out to Amanda Burt, Andrea Ross, Dixie Kinnard, Lynn Whitworth, Brenda Knowles and all the other talented people involved in coordinating and planning the day! I am so proud of #MYHOMETOWN Dalton, Georgia.

United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council held its sixth annual Spring Symposium on April 18 at Walnut Hill Farm. Erin and Ben Napier from HGTV’s “Home Town”
— Read on www.dailycitizen.news/content/tncms/live/

United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council held its sixth annual Spring Symposium on April 18 at Walnut Hill Farm. Erin and Ben Napier from HGTV’s “Home Town” were the featured speakers.

United Way Board Member Emily Finkell of Emily Morrow Home facilitated the event with 250 in attendance. Patti Renz, United Way board member and realtor at Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty, and Marianne Murry, United Way Volunteer Center Council member and director of marketing at Engineered Floors, shared their journey to join United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Erin and Ben Napier live and restore homes in small town Mississippi. When they aren’t renovating homes, the couple and four of their best friends sell heirloom wares and durable goods at their made in the USA shop, Laurel Mercantile Co. Erin and Ben reside in Laurel, Miss., believing quality of life is best in a small town.

United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council invited the Napiers to share their passion for revitalizing small towns and products made in America. Their dedication to improving their home town is perfectly aligned with United Way’s commitment to building a better community and enhancing quality of life.

Erin and Ben’s journey to becoming stars of their HGTV show was a bit of an accident as they were discovered on Instagram. However, their commitment to making their hometown of Laurel a great place to live was very intentional. When they began sharing the story of Laurel, they realized that there were a lot of perceived problems that didn’t really exist. It was really all about perception, and perception can be changed. Erin stated, “I started painting this picture of Laurel the way I saw it, as a beautiful town to live and raise a family in.” She began sharing photos of the exciting things they were doing in Laurel, and people took notice. Eventually, the Napiers were approached about hosting a show on HGTV and the rest is history.

“The discussion led by Emily Finkell was perfect for our community as we look to the future and seek ways to make our community a better place and more appealing for both residents and prospective residents,” United Way President Amanda Burt said. “The Napiers shared many great truths that spoke to our community. Their home town of Laurel, Miss., evolved because of the industry, much like our own community. They are strong advocates of American manufacturing and shared that anyone who is serious about revitalizing small towns has to be serious about American manufacturing. ”

The Napiers made sure to explain that change doesn’t happen overnight. They shared that an overnight success takes 10 years. Part of that, they explained, is looking at where you want to be in three to four years and listening to and only saying yes to things that will get you there.

There is a role for everyone to play. The revitalization of their town took many people with very different backgrounds and talents working together to accomplish their shared goal of making their town great. It also takes boldness. Erin mentioned that one of her favorite quotes is “The ones who say it can’t be fixed are the ones who need to get out of the way.” Their entire message boils down to this: we are the ones who decide how our community looks. As Finkell said, “We are all ambassadors for our hometown.”

This year’s Spring Symposium would not have been possible without generous sponsors. United Way thanks the following sponsors:

Gold Level

• Engineered Floors

• Debbie Macon

• Shaw Industries Women’s Innovation Network

• Textile Rubber and Chemical Co. Inc.

Silver Level

• Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty

• Emily Morrow Home

• Dixie Kinard

• Kim L. Woods Construction Inc.

• Simply Outrageous

• Walnut Hill Farm

• The Yellow Bird

For more information on United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council contact amy.ross@ourunitedway.org or call (706) 876-2552

Something to Bark About…A Dog’s Life, Emily Morrow Finkell for NWFA Hardwood Floors Magazine 

https://hardwoodfloorsmag.com/2017/03/28/a-dogs-life/
Every dog has its day…right? These days it seems as if dogs are living the high life. We’ve seen a growing number of adorable pooches who have their own Instagram and Facebook profile pages as well as a large following. Everywhere I’ve traveled recently, it’s been easy to find hotels that are “pet friendly” complete with dog treats and courtesy leashes in the lobbies.

This past week, I listened to some entertaining “dog tales” from the National Wood Flooring Association team about Michael Martin’s dog “Woodrow Forest Barker” aka “Woody”. He’s become the NWFA’s adored mascot. As the NWFA team told cute stories on Woody, I couldn’t help but think there are a lot of “Woodys” out there who hold special places in the hearts of the homeowners who are also choosing furnishings and flooring for their homes.

“Woody” Barker Forest

Homeowners are now designing their own spaces around the needs of pets and are choosing products for their home that will live up to the daily wear of tiny (or large) paws. If you spend any time searching HGTV.com, Pinterest or Houzz you will easily find posted photos of “pet projects” which feature custom-tiled dog bathing areas, comfy indoor air-conditioned and heated kennels fit for a king or a King Charles Spaniel. Beyond “dog specific” areas, the human-occupied spaces also include custom details like built-in dog feeding areas within the kitchen cabinets and fashionable dog sofas and beds with cushions upholstered in colorfully patterned fabrics. Speaking of fabric, check out the expansive selection of upholstery fabrics by companies like Sunbrella, Crypton and other “performance” brands. For years, the family dog wasn’t allowed on the furniture becasue of the damage it could cause but now the upholstery choices are made based on what would be “pet friendly” and easily cleaned. Now the family dog might have its own sofa covered in Crypton fabric with designs by either “William Wegman” or “Thibaut”.

According to a 2015-2016 survey conducted by the APPA, sixty-five percent of U.S. households, or about 79.7 million families, own a pet. The pet industry is expected to surpass its $62 billion dollar record set in 2016 according to the American Pet Products Association. “The pet humanization trend is alive and well and continues to drive growth at the premium end of the market,” said Bob Vetere, CEO of APPA. “As millennials prepare to take the reins from the baby boomer generation as the primary demographic of pet owners, they stand to further develop this trend.” Pet owners are a very diverse group of consumers. Young singles, newly married couples, young familes, empty nesters, retired seniors are just some of the types who are dog owners. Regardless of the age or phase in life, dogs enhance our lives in some wonderful ways.Whether it’s young professionals or retired seniors who otherwise would live alone, they feel that owning a dog is an ideal solution. Pet ownership can provide for social opportunities with other pet owners. Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people, helping reduce stress, loneliness and giving a sense of responsibility and sense of purpose which contributes to overall well-being.

We’ve witnessed the influx of “Pet Protect” carpet, resilient and WPC flooring over the past few years as the demand for products that perform has continued to grow. It goes without saying that stone, porcelain, ceramic tile, LVT, WPC are easier maintenance for cleaning up not only spills but also pet accidents and muddy paws. Don’t forget though that there are endless hardwood floor options which are incredibly durable and stand up to daily wear quite impressively. Aluminum oxide finishes have elimated a large percentage of typical surface scratches and current flooring trends happen to include many species like white oak and hickory species which are inherently harder than others. Further current hardwood trends such as low to zero-gloss, face-sawn, wire-brushed and various other hand-scraping techniques make for a very forgiving flooring aesthetic as compared to the higher gloss smooth wood floors of the twenty years ago. Suffice it to say, homeowners need not compromise on the style or quality of their hardwood floors if they have a dog to consider, merely to be cognizant of the wood species, the type of finish, UV or oil-rubbed, as well as adhering to the manufacturers recommended maintenance for cleaning.

As we move into this economy which follows the recent presidential election, we’ll continue to see the introduction of more and more pet services, pet-centric products and pet-home products. Hopefully we will also see more hardwood flooring companies provide comprehensive and relevant information to consumers on dog-friendly products.

http://media.americanpetproducts.org/press.php?include=146062

http://fortune.com/2016/08/26/pet-industry/

http://www.traditionalhome.com/design/decorating-ideas-making-pet-friendly-home

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/13-tips-for-a-stylish-and-pet-friendly-space-pictures

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/9-tips-for-a-chic-pet-friendly-home

http://crypton.com/something-to-bark-about/

FCW The Green Mile: Don Finkell talks sustainability in hardwood flooring  

This Floor Covering Weekly article is too good not to share. There are so many reasons to specify authentic hardwood flooring, especially when it’s our luxurious 5/8″ thick, sliced Emily Morrow Home engineered hardwood flooring proudly made in Tennessee.

 

 

By, Amy Rush-Imber: The Green Mile: Don Finkell talks sustainability.

[Burns, Tenn.] Don Finkell, CEO of American OEM, has been a champion of sustainable practices, particularly in the hardwood category, long before it was commonplace in the floor covering industry. He was, in fact, honored with FCW’s GreenStep Pinnacle Environmental Leadership Award in the program’s debut year 2009.

Finkell was recognized for his work as the chairman of the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) Environment Committee where he lobbied for the passing of the Lacey Act and helped develop the Responsible Procurement Program. And while these were not conversations spoken of industry-wide, he had the sense that they were necessary.

“I thought there was an opportunity to sell environmentally-conscious wood flooring products,” he said, noting that he got involved in the FSC in the mid- 90s.

Back then, Finkell was involved in procuring product from around the world. “I was fascinated by all the wood species and their looks,” he said, adding, “There were some people out there sounding the alarm on what was going on in the tropics. I started thinking about what was going on in the industry.”

Taking it to the streets
Armed with new-found knowledge, Finkell created a presentation called Seeking Sustainability that charted what was going on around the world in key forests. “I showed it to environmental groups trying to get to something that we could all agree was correct. The Hardwood Federation’s mood was to keep environmental issues far away from us. It was a different kind of environment then but we came out of it, despite the antagonistic relationship with environmental groups. We have a good story here in the U.S., especially in comparison to other parts of the world,” Finkell explained.

He also met with the NWFA board. “I said that, at the very least, we need to be against illegal logging. Everyone agreed and they formed an environmental committee (for which he became chair),” Finkell said, adding that combating illegal logging was a key target because, “It was something we would regret as human kind if all these wonderful forests were just gone — some are already gone and will probably never be back. But it occurred to me too that our product is 60 percent to 70 percent the cost of wood and if people can buy it cheaper or steal it, we would have issues.”

 

“The Lacey act needs to be enforced. Most of the enforcement with the Lacey Act has been environmental groups worrying about certain species. They’ve been courageous but our government needs to help.” – Don Finkell

Finkell’s green journey took him to Capitol Hill and the ITC on a number of occasions — first to lobby for the Lacy Act and then later for parity. “It’s hard to know what’s happening on the other side of the world. Here in America, the anti-trust laws are such that companies are restricted and unable to collaborate much. In China, the industry is very collaborative and the government is active in setting strategy. I worry that we are fundamentally in a non-competitive situation.” But while he looks to level the playing field, it’s illegal logging that remains his biggest concern.

Pushing forward
The many efforts, however, have resulted in progress. “I think the biggest thing in the U.S. is that with the Lacey Act, the U.S. took a leadership position on illegal logging and other major countries, including those in the E.U., have passed Lacey-type laws. In Japan and in Australia, too. Its created a worldwide effort to stop illegal logging and caused people to be aware of it.”

The other change Finkell has seen take hold is around the misconception of cutting trees down in general, even for himself. “When I first came into business, I thought cutting a tree was bad. Before I agreed to go to work at Anderson, I asked that question and went through a several months process going through forests. I came to the conclusion completely erroneous. The U.S. is in good position to grow back. I think one of the bigger achievements we’ve accomplished as an industry is that American hardwoods are recognized as a good environmental choice.”

“I think some of the things that FCW did at time of the Lacey Act gave it good press and had a hand in getting it passed. And the GreenStep Awards have created a whole movement.” – Don Finkell

Finkell also applauds the work being done by some of the industry’s biggest flooring providers. “Good things have happened — major companies like Shaw and Mohawk now do very rigorous due diligence around products that are coming in. It’s pretty extensive. For those that have a brand to protect, they are very diligent. You still have renegades but the big guys are really doing it right,” he said, adding, “I used to feel like the lone guy out there crying wolf. But now there are detail-oriented people out there with check lists. It’s taken on a life of its own, and that’s a very good thing.”

Home Grown
In 2014, Don Finkell launched a new hardwood flooring provider, American OEM, shaped in part by his experiences and understanding of the global hardwood market.

“I wanted to have an American alternative to private labeling products (from other countries). America used to lead in style and design but the Chinese kind of got ahead. We would be 100 percent American sourced, American wood and American made. And we would be innovative with longer, wider boards that weren’t already being met by American made.”

 

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Made In USA Flag  Barcode On White
Made in USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EVOLUTION OF HARDWOOD: Amazing Trends that Will Reinspire Your Love for Authentic Wood, Emily Morrow Finkell

Understanding hardwood trends requires a high level of awareness of what is being shown in multiple places and sources. It’s a never-ending cycle if you are a trend spotter. Twenty-plus years ago, hardwood flooring was mainly produced in narrow strip gunstock, red oak in high gloss finishes, and was found on the floors of McMansions and spec homes all across the U.S. … that was then, and this is now. What has transpired since has been nothing less than warp-speed innovations and changes, some due in part to all of the global and economic ups and downs, political changes, and even trade agreements. What we can deduce is that the market has been flooded with endless wood look-alikes. For this article, I will remove all the various and continually expanding categories that look like wood, and just address what is identified as genuine wood.

Wood looks began morphing after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, around 2008 and 2009. If we created a timeline of this transition, it would also include runway fashion collections in various parts of the world that began to include gray and gray-beige, and no red or reddish-orange. It gradually went from high gloss to medium gloss, to now our matte finish. I’ve said it many times: if we stay in an industry long enough, you can see the pendulum swing one way, and eventually, it will swing back, always with some modernizations made to improve the original versions.

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EMH “Refined Side” a warm gray sliced white oak offers a smoother surface with textural depth and dimension that speaks more to the luxurious quality of the materials and the steps taken to reach this level of sophistication. 

Our tastes and appetites have expanded along with our digital abilities to see the world, experience world cultures, and to lurk into the living spaces of our social media friends. One cannot unsee something they like online, and thanks to the technological advances of digital media, we can “find” and “follow” the things we like more easily.

reading mobile phone beside windowFrom the days of solid, glossy, thin, gunstock planks to today’s wider, longer, matte, barn wood gray boards, homes have also changed in size. I referenced the McMansions of the 1990s and early 2000s because they were being built on spec and flipped just before our housing bubble burst. When this was happening, I was practicing interior design in custom built luxury offices and homes and eventually transitioned. in 2002 to color, style, and design development for Shaw’s carpet and hard surfaces. Large parts of the flooring products were going into the builder’s design showrooms, and as homeowners built homes to be flipped, they worked with materials like travertine and travertine nocce, which was deliberately coordinated with the carpeting and hardwood flooring.

Hardwood in those days had expanded from the gunstock strip to hand-scraped looks. The scraped looks became “the big thing” as it offered homeowners and designers something different and new that they had not seen before in flooring options. This innovation served as a catalyst for other similar changes across the other flooring categories. We saw Berber flecks and heathered tweeds introduced in carpeting and a lessening of gloss and shine of the fibers. All of these colors fell within the neutral zone of warm golden- and red-based beiges. In hardwood, it was frequently called cider. Once the hand-scraped looks were knocked off by the cheap look-alikes, eventually and slowly, consumers started looking for something new.

That is until the recession hit and all bets were off. We hit the pause button on our taste evolution except to say we all migrated to the safe zones. Consumers’ big investments moved from home improvements to wardrobe improvements to maintain much-needed jobs in a tough market or to interview for new jobs. Wardrobes became a sensible mix of black, navy blue for reliability, and gray for safe and non-threatening career colors. The grays and navy blues in fashion were so new that the surrounding segments of shoes and accessories had to run to catch up with the clothing. The same changes occurred in the interiors market. Many designers had been let go or had evolved from residential to commercial interiors, taking with them their tastes and strengths.

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“Meet your new best friend, neutral gray”

This is when and where we our new best friend, neutral gray… Get to know it because it’s not going away and will be staying for a while. With this influx of gray, we saw a tidal wave of looks and visuals in furnishings and flooring to match.

Without a doubt, we all fell in love with the looks of Restoration Hardware. Practically everyone received the stacks of massive catalogs beautifully designed to showcase the practicality and beauty of greige, reclaimed wood, and rustic metallics. We saw flooring in these shelter catalogs that looked different from those in our homes of that time, all of a sudden creating an urge to update our looks, finally moving homeowners to make an investment in their homes that they’d fought hard to keep from losing during the housing bubble, and held tightly to their budgets for as long as possible.

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Emily Morrow Home’s “Suddenly Sonoma” luxury engineered flooring.

The channels to pay attention to had gone from the builders market to retail replacement. Not suddenly, but eventually, we had homeowners looking for higher- end materials for their homes that they’d decided they not only were happy to own, but also wanted to make very personal choices of ways to upgrade its interior.

We saw the launch of upscale programs and collections at price points not seen before, sophisticated de-lustered matte hardwood styles that were clear of most character, in reclaimed grays and gray-browns.

These looks were not hand-scraped, but clean and smooth-ish, not narrow, but mixed widths of three, five, and seven inches to recreate the look of reclaimed at affordable price points with all the bells and whistles of engineered hardwood flooring. Consumers were able to buy hardwood looks in new engineered hardwood introductions that historically were unattainable in solid wood plank because of engineered hardwood’s versatility, multi-ply construction, and superior dimensional stability.

Thanks to advancements in engineered hardwood flooring, consumers were
able to use hardwood flooring on slab construction, in basements, and over radiant heated floors, and to find faces in veneers that efficiently used species that would not ordinarily have been available to the average consumer.

Homeowners were delighted to finally replace aged carpet that looked tired, finally releasing pent-up appetites to the plethora of hardwood flooring styles. Here’s when we see carpet lose significant market share to hardwood flooring, and solid hardwood flooring losing position to engineered hardwood flooring, significantly causing all the big companies to shift focus and attention from mostly carpet to more hardwood, specifically engineered hardwood. We saw companies make capital investments in hardwood manufacturing across the country and the world.

What’s next?

There has recently been a refinement of design styles. In the U.S., we have evolved from the travertine nocce of the pre-recession era to the timeless and classic Carrara marble’s white-and-gray veining and other similar Carrara-looking composite and natural stones. these interior design refinements are impacting a majority of our hardwood flooring

and furniture finishes. That does include special effects, some perhaps so subtle the human eye can barely perceive what it is other than it is beautiful and new. Look to the leaders of special effects, lighting, and accessories companies for these effects, coming soon to a floor near you.

Expect to see more magazine and online editorials about American-made and American-sourced products. In speaking and meeting with members of the media, I hear over and over that readers and viewers want to know where they can nd American-made home products.

Made In USA Flag Barcode On White
All of Emily Morrow Home Hardwood is sourced and made in the USA by American OEM in the heart of Tennessee where there’s an abundance of hardwood forests that are responsibly forested for future generations to enjoy.

We can also expect to see darker matte black accents as the opposing trend to the white- filled, cerused, sliced, white oak hardwood grain. There will be an expansion of existing trends; grays will continue to expand into silvery-effects, warm-gold accented grays, and even some more flaxen-gold clean white oak hardwoods for more of the blank canvas options. We will continue to see our skilled and talented installers and designers create more parquetry projects as herringbones and chevrons grow across the U.S..

Homeowners who want to invest in their homes will be specific about purchasing 100 percent genuine hardwood because nothing else looks, sounds, feels, and even smells, quite like hardwood.

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Maritime by Emily Morrow Home 

Emily Morrow Finkell is an interior designer and CEO of Emily Morrow Home, a subsidiary of EF Floors & Design, LLC in Dalton, Georgia, a provider of hardwood floors and furnishings and an NWFA design contributor. She can be reached by email at emily@emilymorrowhome.com or 1.866.775.3877. Text “EmilyMorrow” to 96000 for a brief glimpse into the luxurious collection of EMH hardwood flooring.

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Spring 2018

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