Thursday, January 31, 2008

By the Foot

Image compliments of A Place By the Sea
For my birthday last year, my friend Megan told me to put on a pair of flip flops (in 45 degree temperatures) and join her for a surprise. A bit apprehensive about the no-shoes policy, I went along with her, mostly because her new car had seat warmers.

I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled up in front of Ginger Bay, a very nice, extremely reputable salon and spa. For the next 45 minutes, our tootsies were soaked, moisturized, buffed, massaged and coaxed into an unrecognizably good condition. My friend had given me the gift of a pedicure, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

It's very rare that I, along with many women (and most men), take the time to pamper my puppies. Our feet take us from place to place, we run, walk, jog and jump on them, they support us (literally), and we rely on them for balance. So why don't we take better care of them? We here at the Carpetology blog are firm believers in the benefits of healthy feet. Taking care of them means a lifetime of long walks, slow strolls, healthy runs, and hours of toe wiggling in soft, cozy carpets.

Still not convinced that pedis are just as beneficial as they are superficial?

According to an article published in October, pedicures offer more than just a pretty polish. They moisturize feet, helping to prevent blisters, callouses and corns. With someone else trimming your toenails, you eliminate the awkward bending and stretching it takes to reach your feet, avoiding the risk of tearing nails and thus, developing ingrown toenails. InSpa Corporation, a network of spas on the west coast, tells us that "One-fourth of the bones in the entire human body are in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment, it can affect your entire body." Their website adds that pedis are not only physical, but emotional as well - a monthly pampering relaxes the body and releases tension.

Think of your feet as a mode of transportation. You wouldn't go over 3,000 miles without giving your car an oil change, so why would you walk hundreds of thousands steps without caring for your feet? Because they work as hard as they do, our feet deserve a little extra attention. Go ahead - love your feet.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

"Feet Appreciate Beauty"

“Feet appreciate beauty in their own right. A little pedicure, foot rub and some nail polish and that once ho-hum foot is now ready for a night on the town. Throw a pair of strappy stilettos in the mix and your now sexy little left and right will be turning heads right and left. Like everything, feet like to be admired. No different than the carpet in your home.”

That excerpt is from the award winning Wear-Dated brochure, By The Foot – a foot’s perspective of beauty. Life. Carpet.

Some fourteen months ago we determined it was time to update the Wear-Dated marketing materials. Past brand marketing efforts had resulted in a very fine reputation for producing durable carpet fiber….nothing wrong with that! So why change? The challenge we presented to ourselves was to maintain our coveted reputation for durability while making the way in which we communicate our message more relevant to our audience, the female consumer. While a durable product is certainly relevant, we know beauty and comfort are important characteristics for her as well.

Now you may not know it, but the very best type of nylon fiber is nylon 6,6. That's the kind of nylon carpet fiber we make. Nylon 6,6 is actually the result of some pretty sophisticated organic chemistry, created by really intelligent chemical engineers. Our challenge? How to tell the female consumer that good chemistry means durability, beauty, and comfort in her home. We decided the very best way to tell the story of good chemistry would be to engage her with color and quirkiness, simplify the content into a more consumer friendly format that educates about the benefits of Wear-Dated carpet fiber, and then connect with her on an emotional level.

By The Foot of course is a take off on the way in which carpet is planned within a room, but it is something far more interesting than just measurement. If we picked just one part of the body that should have a legitimate say about the sensory experience of carpet – or any flooring material for that matter – feet should have the first and last word. Thus, we wanted to create a unique visual experience that would sell the benefits of our Wear-Dated carpet fiber from the perspective of……feet! The result is an interesting and unique story that connects in a casual, sassy kind of way. The graphic design, colors, illustrations, and copy all come together in a way that is her best friend explaining the ‘how & why’ rather than the stodgy salesman…..informative but with lots of feminine personality.

This was an adventurous concept for carpet industry literature, but we’ve heard it described as eccentric but fun…, informative and smart..., whimsical yet serious…, sometimes strong, sometimes beautiful… Just like a woman. Coincidence?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Magic Flying Carpets

Do you remember tales of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves? Or other stories with Magic Carpets from the Arabian Nights? Those tales enthralled me. They were filled with visions of mystery and adventure, magic and ... flying carpets.

For me, flying carpets bundled practicality and luxury, creating a strong vehicle for personal independence. I'm not sure that I so specifically acknowledged all of that as a child, but should a flying carpet become available, I wanted one!

As an adult, I encountered magic carpet rides while following the adventures of Glen Cook's Black Company and specifically in Shadows Linger. Definitely useful, although best to keep to your own personal flying carpet! More dependable, you know.

Recently, I caught sight of an article about magic carpet rides. Naturally, my heart jumped. Perhaps I had in my hands the means to a new business venture? The title though, said it all: Magic carpet rides to remain magical.
Did you know that manta rays, sting rays and skates are considered flying carpets - from a physicist's perspective. In the article, Chris Lee, the author, makes a case for magic carpet possibilities down the road - underwater as a propulsion method, or possibly for surveillance cameras. Interesting, no?

What if more were possible?

Magic Carpet Rides can bring magic adventures to others especially others who might not otherwise have the opportunity. Similarly, they can lead to Travel for the adventurous or be the basis for education as experienced through the story of Ali and the Magic Carpet from the British Council. Or, consider taking A magic carpet ride through Islamic culture as described in the Providence Journal.

Or, perhaps it's best to take a cue from Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride. Simply close your eyes and fantasy will set you free.... on that magic flying carpet!

[Done best with bare toes sunk into a luxuriously thick carpet made with Wear-Dated carpet fiber...]

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet Marianne Cone, Director of Passion!

Thank you for visiting our blog!

I’m Marianne Cone. I'm officially the Director of Marketing for Solutia's Wear-Dated and Ultron carpet fiber brands. Wear-Dated is the fiber used by mills such as Mohawk, Tuftex, Gulistan, and Karastan, to make the most beautiful and durable residential carpet you'll see in the market. The Ultron carpet fiber brand is renowned in the commercial market for its rich, saturated color and superior floor performance.

What I’d really like to be called is the director of passion because that’s what I am, and that’s what I do: create passion for the brands! Why a passion for carpet, you might ask. Well, why a passion for shoes? Shoes are just something to protect your feet from the harsh realities of snow, pavement and crowded subways, right? Same goes for carpet! More than just a soft surface it represents functional beauty. A purposefully designed interior finish. But as function is as important a role for carpet as beauty is, it's important to get the message out that not all fiber -- and therefore not all carpet -- is created equal and that is where the fun begins for a marketer!

I’m passionate about more than just Ultron and Wear-Dated carpet fiber – as an Army mom I’m passionate about honoring and serving men and women in uniform, and I have great passion for my long time roommate Aly, a goofy Golden Retriever!

I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career, both in the U.S. and abroad, in the company of truly gifted people who create magnificent buildings and inspiring interior spaces from a vision in their mind's eye. I am in constant awe of the way in which they shape the spaces in which we live, work and play with technical expertise, creative flair, and with a singular passion for their vision. Architects and designers are the unsung heroes who have challenged us as makers of goods, not only to create products that translate their vision into reality, but to do so in a socially responsible way.

The lessons of that experience with contract architects and designers have been especially helpful in creating communication for consumers. In both segments as a marketer I must accomplish two things. First I must understand my target audience. And then I must create a message that is relevant to my that resonates with the issues my audience considers important.

We look forward to sharing our blog with you, and to continuing our lifelong learning as we read your comments!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Keeping Carpet Clean

Carpet Cleaning originally uploaded by amorphity.
"Your carpet can hold its weight in dirt."

That's how The clean carpet quandary, a 01/05/2008 article from the South Bend Tribune by Jennifer Ochstein starts out. The article continues "so when it begins to look dirty to you, it's likely saturated." Yikes!

What to do?

I asked our resident expert, Annette Smith, for some perspective on both carpet cleaning and the article. Here goes.

First - don't ever underestimate the power of vacuuming your carpet, and doing so frequently. Frequent vacuuming keeps soil from becoming embedded in the carpet. If you love to vacuum, you should do so to your heart's content! Do it daily. Do it hourly. It's absolutely the best thing you can do to keep your carpet clean.

Something to consider, though, while vacuuming is to make sure that the vacuum is adjusted correctly for pile height. In fact, for some carpet constructions [e.g., very plush shag], carpet manufacturers will warn against using beater bars, preferring suction instead.

Regardless, vacuuming is your friend and your carpet's best friend. Don't skip it! When soil becomes embedded in carpet, it's harder to remove it. To make matters worse, embedded soil particles are abrasive [think what would happen if you took sandpaper, even an ultra-fine grade and wiped your glasses with it]. They pit and scratch the fiber creating a dull, faded appearance. This will contribute to making the carpet look worn.

Although the article touches on vacuuming [especially before steam cleaning your carpet], it primarily addresses [steam] cleaning carpet and whether to do so professionally or on your own.

Why not to do it yourself
Most rental or non-professional equipment lacks suction power.

Then there are operator issues... "You can do a lot of damage if you don't know what you're doing."

Why go professional
Better equipment and better cleaning power with more pressure and that use less water or no water depending on the system.

You still need to make sure to get written quotes and references to ensure that the company is reputable.

Back to Annette's words of wisdom.

Annette points out that many warranties require professional cleaning at certain intervals (our Wear-Dated warranty requires professional hot water extraction at least once every 2 years) to keep the provisions of any warranties in effect. One exception is if your carpet carries the 3M warranty [e.g., Wear-Dated carpet fiber carpet from Mohawk with 3M Protector Advanced Repel Technology] which states that you can use Bissell ProHeat or ProHeat Pro-Tech deep cleaning machine every 12 months. Note that you must have a receipt for the machine and receipts every 12 months showing your purchased the Bissell cleaning formula.]

Definitely check the fine print on your carpet-related warranties in case you have other requirements like more frequent professional cleaning than every 24 months, etc.

Another plus for professional cleaning is the reapplication of topical fluorocarbon (again a requirement of our warranty after each even numbered cleaning) which preserves the beauty of the carpet.

Annette strongly recommends professional carpet cleaning every 12 to 24 months or often enough to prevent the carpet from becoming excessively soiled (light colored carpet depending on your lifestyle may need cleaning more often).

So there you have it.

Another resource to consider is Carpet Cleaning For Dummies from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Create Your Own Red Carpet Experience!

Red Carpet originally uploaded by Matt Gilluley.

Elizabeth's post about Red Carpet Treatment caught my imagination. Especially with so much bah-humbug going on as a result of the WGA strike.

So let me share with you ideas on how to create your own Red Carpet Experience.

First off, Hannah Mello from shares Golden Globes Withdrawal? Fight It Off With Our Red-Carpet Fashion Quiz. That's right. You can easily test your red carpet IQ! The questions are great fun, and the photos say it all. Both let you relive "some of the most glorious (and notorious) Oscar fashion moments."

Next, it's time to subject your nails - both finger and toe - to Live From The Red Carpet - It's Essie! Essie embodies red carpet in a bottle, all for your nails. It's available until the end of February at salons and other beauty outlets [e.g., ULTA].

If you are so inclined, you can imagine yourself living a red carpet moment by visiting where the various red carpet events take place. Close your eyes to get the full effect. Otherwise, you might be taken aback by A ‘surreal’ Golden Globes night by Ruben V. Nepales from the 01/15/2008 Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Then, the clothes. My greatest pleasure from red carpet events comes from the clothes, the amazing creations that designers pluck from their brains and turn into reality. Both from up-and-coming designers - as described in Writers' strike is cutting fashion industry's red-carpet exposure from 01/14/08 by LaMont Jones of the Pittsburgh Pot-Gazette [check out Halle Barre's amazing concoction] and established ones.

In fact, it's amazing to realize how many red carpet events there are out there. Per The New York Times' On Fashion Are Awards Really Awards Without a Red Carpet? by Cathy Horyn from 01/14/08, "more prestigious houses are choosing to dress fewer stars. "It's all about exclusivity now." So much for showing off creativity and newness and letting all with talent bask in the red carpet glow!

Last critical element and the most important part of your experience: the red carpet itself! My personal red carpet favorite is Target Red carpet available exclusively from Mannington Mills. Definitely eye-catching!

There are certainly other aspects to creating your own red carpet experience and maybe this Advertising Age article titled Writers strike takes a $300 million hostage [reg. requ'd] will spark some other critical ideas [clothes' PR, limos, parties, advertising.... you name it!]

So, there you have it. Your very own red carpet experience. Don't forget to send me pictures!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How To Sell Your Home

Claysville originally uploaded by nessachan.
I'm fascinated with the ability that good real estate agents have to size up a house and each of the individual rooms within. They have an innate ability to figure out how best to showcase each to full advantage. Similar to a beauty makeover, transforming the ugly duckling into a swan.

How to sell your home by Barry Cashin from 01/06/2008, although offering a perspective from across the Atlantic, offers great advice on how best to showcase one's house for optimal appeal.

The advice, specifically:

1. Clean, declutter and neutralize the rooms. "It... comes down to presentation and whether the buyer can visualize themselves living in your home." Touche'!

2. Work on the curb appeal: repaint, fix outside details, add flowers or other shrubs. "Purchasers form strong and immediate impressions about how a home looks from the outside, so make sure yours halts them in their tracks."

3. Make the inside warm and welcoming. Make sure that anyone entering your home understands immediately what each room's function is.

4. If the hallway seems too dark, add a "strategically placed" mirror. "Carefully positioned, it will add space and maximise the light." Citrus smells are better than baked goods' smells. Fresh flowers are a must.

5. Replace old, worn, dirty carpet. "It will life the appearance of the room and your buyers won't be imagining the extra cost of replacing the carpet themselves..." Consider cleaning your carpets, too. Add new curtains, clean the carpet and generally brighten up spaces with throws and pillows. Be sure to de-personalize the spaces.

6. In the kitchen and bathrooms, change the faucets and accessories. Add stick-on transfers to convey style to otherwise bland tiles.

7. Reposition furniture in bedrooms to optimize for space. Don't forget the flowers.

8. Ask your pets to stay somewhere else...

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Red Carpet Treatment

Red Carpet Treatment originally uploaded by o6scura.
As the new year rolls around, the red carpets get rolled out, leading the way to the biggest award shows of the year. Celebrities from the A-list, the B-list and every list in between show up dressed to the nines. Within a month, the pages of fashion magazines will fill with best and worst dressed photos, and somebody is bound to be scrutinized for her Gap t-shirt, her feathery swan dress, or her wardrobe malfunction (which didn't happen on the red carpet, but is a mildly amusing fashion incident worth mentioning).

The sight of all that red seems to stir everyone into a frenzy. But apparently, red carpet isn't such a new concept. The Red Carpet Foundation claims that the tradition of the red carpet began during the opening of the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. That night, October 18, 1922, introduced the film Robin Hood to massive crowds. Wikipedia, however, claims that red carpet was originally introduced in a play by the Greek playwright Aeschylus back in 485 B.C. The term "red carpet treatment" was then born when the New York Central Railroad welcomed passengers to the 20th Century Limited, a luxury train operating between New York and Chicago.

No matter how it originated, red carpet is synonymous with all things glamorous. Type "red carpet" into Google and you'll discover a plethora of celebrities bedecked in jewels and dresses walking down yards and yards of luxurious crimson carpets. The Academy Awards offers a lottery for bleacher seats to view its annual red carpet event - perhaps one of the only opportunities for many fans to catch a glimpse of Hollywood red carpet glamour and glitz. Blogs like the Red Carpet Fashion Awards are devoted almost entirely to the fashion statements found at red carpet events. And apparently, Essie and E! Entertainment Television have created a nail polish this year called Live from the Red Carpet, paying homage to fashion found at awards events.

Because of the writer's strike this year, NBC didn't broadcast the Golden Globes yesterday, and speculators believe that the strike might hinder the broadcast of the Oscars as well. But red carpet junkies can still get their fix online and in fashion magazines, and this little glitch in the program won't stop the gossip machine from working overtime. It is Hollywood after all, and as always, the show must go on.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

This is Vegas. Part Australian Shepherd and part Border Collie, Vegas runs like the wind, herds other dogs (and humans) and is generally smarter than most people I know.

However, Vegas is still a dog, and as a dog, she tends to get pretty dirty, especially in the winter. You know those little ice balls that gather on the bottom of dogs' feet after a romp in the snow? She collects those like Elizabeth Taylor collects husbands.

All of this ice, the salt that goes with it, mud and dirt wreak havoc on the inside of Vegas' human's house - and on his carpet. That being said, there are a multitude of preventative measures he (and you, if you're a dog owner) can take to keep his home looking like Vegas really doesn't live there.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends that you vacuum daily in high traffic or pet areas. I know, it seems like a lot of time spend vacuuming. But because vacuuming is the easiest and most effective way to keep carpets clean, it makes sense. Especially for pet owners.

To protect your dog's feet as well as your carpet during winter months, purchase a set of boots for your dog to wear during walks. Canis Major Publications, the publisher of Dog Owner's Guide (DOG), a newspaper for pet and show dog owners, says that many dogs don't like to wear them though -- and really, who can blame them? Instead, these experts suggest washing your dog's paws in warm water, then drying them thoroughly after walks. This not only protects your pooch, but your carpet as well.

As for those pesky ice balls, make sure your dog's feet are properly groomed, trimming hair between paw pads and keeping nails down to a minimum. These tips ensure that your dog has enough traction during walks, and prevents ice from packing in between her toes. And then melting onto your floor.

If, perchance, your puppy just happens to traipse rock salt across your carpet, never fear - the Salt Institute has a few suggestions. First, vacuum the dry, excess salt from your carpet. Then apply cool to warm water and a small amount of carpet shampoo and allow it to dissolve the salt deposit. Blot the spot, then rinse with clear, lukewarm water. Blot again, and if the solution didn't work, repeat the process. If this isn't effective, try a mixture of vinegar and water, rinse and blot.

When the snow and ice melt, and mud has become the carpet covering du jour, it doesn't have to stain. Wear-Dated suggests letting mud dry, breaking it up with the handle of a knife, then vacuuming up the dry pieces. Try applying a detergent solution to the spot, then blot with a white paper towel to work the solution into the stain. Continue until the spot is removed, then rinse with clean water in a spray bottle. Next, blot to remove excess moisture, spray lightly with water, cover with a pad of paper towels, and weigh them down with a brick (or other heavy object) and allow to dry. If this doesn't work, check out other options here -- and keep in mind that you may need to contact a certified professional cleaner.

Having a dog in your world makes it a better place to be - just don't let your carpet lose out on the experience. Vegas and her friends will thank you in the long run.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thom Filicia's Design Inspiration Tips

I'm a fan of Thom Filicia!

I enjoyed him in Queer Eye's [f.k.a. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy], but he was one of a fabulous five-some. I recognized him, but couldn't remember his name for the life of me. Having met him, having attended three of his Designing From The Floor Up events, I've become a fan.

Such a fan, that I've set up Google alerts in case interesting articles showcasing his design talent pop up. All for a good cause, though, as I plan to share those with you.

I posted about Thom's recent Designing From The Floor Up events [events that Wear-Dated sponsored with Karastan] in Flooring The Consumer. Here are the links:

- Come Decorate From The Floor Up with Thom Filicia
- Time for Decorating From The Floor Up!
- Thom Filicia Is Coming To Phoenix, October 6, 2007
- Thom Filicia: Last Stop Seattle - Oct. 12 and Phoenix Observations

And some of Thom's Design Tips:

Your home should tell YOUR story. It should look just like you. It should be an interesting and smart backdrop for your life. Never be satisfied with an impersonal room! There is nothing worse.

A great room starts with something that inspires you. Use that inspiration throughout the rest of the room. For example, a beautiful rug is a great source of inspiration and an opportunity to bring color, pattern and textures into a room. Simply start with the floor when designing a space [i.e., consider the floor the 5th wall].

Design is about combining "what's in" with how we live today: modern, clean lines combined with comfort. [Check out HomePortfolio's Designer Dish - Thom Filicia for more "Thom Tips".]

Tips for Specific Situations:
+ If you have a layout where you want wall-to-wall carpet throughout the house, but not the same color/style in every room, create within the different rooms a 'border' from the common hallway carpet and inserting another carpet selection in the middle [i.e., similar to placing an area rug on a hard surface].

+ Go for balance rather than symmetry in mantelpiece design.

+ Hang pictures low. If near a lamp, hang them below or above the top of the lampshade.

+ Balance material choices. For example, houses with a mostly Southwestern design motif use lots of hard materials like tile. Balancing the choices means eliminating that monotonous feel throughout the space. When you're in a hotel where all of the furniture pieces match, the effect is uninteresting, boring, too matchey. Mix and match materials. Pieces should form a relationship, rather than compete with one another. So, don't have the same of everything.

+ If you have too many cold elements -- e.g., stone, tile or granite throughout the house, plain sheet rock with paint on the walls -- then add warm elements like wood, rugs, carpet, woven wall coverings. Definitely select a primary floor surface product to unify the overall look and feel of the house, but create points of difference in each of the individual spaces.

In Thom Filicia talks designing from the ground up by Nicole Tsong from 10/20/2007, Thom offers practical tips for selecting rugs. I love how he takes the pressure out of design decisions, relating picking a rug to selecting a favorite sweater.

Which is the basis for his latest series, Dress My Nest, focused this time on finding design inspiration in women's closets. Per The Washington Post's Q&A: Thom Filicia of 'Dress My Nest', Thom suggests mixing and matching expensive and inexpensive items based on your unique, individual sense of style.

Don't forget to edit! ["Lots of times, people just have way too many things..."]

Finally, I hit paydirt with Lucire Insider and some really fun Thom Filicia video clips dispelling design myths.

+ When beige is bad. Enough said - ditch beige.
+ Thom Filicia dispels myth No. 2 that all furniture must match.
+ Thom Filicia dispels myth No. 6 that furniture has to be up against the wall.
+ Thom Filicia dispels myth no. 12: no need for a single pattern in a room.
+ Dress My Nest: feng-shui and clutter - they don't go together!

Do check out the column that Thom writes for Karastan called Elements of Design with Thom Filicia.

Happy design inspiration!

PS: You'll note in the Fashion, Color and Trend Links section in the left sidebar a link to ::Surroundings by Linda Merrill. She and I connected as a result of the Boston Desigining From The Floor Up event and her blog is full of terrific design inspiration. Check it out.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Presidential Design and Carpet

My initial memory of a presidential election took place in my first grade classroom in 1988. I was six, Ronald Reagan was leaving office, and Weekly Reader had featured photos of contenders George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis that week, along with a poll for us to take in our classrooms. As many people do, I (very solemnly and self-importantly) voted based on how nice I thought the candidates looked. And because my choice, Bush, was elected to office a few months later, I believed that somehow, I had a mystical sway in his election.

For me, this aura of mystery has never really left the White House. I’m so far removed from the president and his family that they seem almost unreal. Do they swap stories around the dinner table? Do they have to walk the family dog in the pouring rain? Do they ever have to clean the bathtub?

Recently, my curiosity was mildly alleviated when I came across a Washington Post story from 2006 about President George W. Bush. Unbeknownst to me, each president designs a carpet for the Oval Office when he (or she?) is elected to office. According to this particular article, President Bush is just like many men in the U.S. – he turned to his wife to help him decorate. Apparently, the presidential family is closer to normal than I suspected.

President Bush’s only stipulation about the carpet was that it would reflect him as an “optimistic person.” So the First Lady designed the carpet with yellow sunbeams emanating from the presidential seal in the center, the one consistent design element in all Oval Office carpets to date. According to the Washington Post article, President Bush really likes his carpet. Translation: he loves his carpet. The White House communications director is quoted as saying that the carpet is a constant source of conversation for him; mentions of the carpet come up in tours, in interviews and even online. Because of the bright yellow color and the rays of sun, the carpet truly reflects the optimism the President wanted to convey.

It’s strange, but this carpet comforts me somehow. The President of the United States has such a high-pressure job, his family must really feel the strain of his position. But even under all that weight, he can still be happy about his sunny yellow carpet, and use it as a metaphor for life. It just shows that even the things that seem small, like flooring and color selection, can make a big impact on mood and outlook.

The next time you redecorate, consider the Oval Office carpet. In your own home, do you want to feel cheerful and optimistic? Relaxed and content? Color alone can have a huge impact, and coupled with design, your décor can say a great deal about who you are.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Meet Elizabeth Hise: "Aren't I Lucky...?"

"Aren’t I Lucky to Have Been Born in My Favorite City?"

I just didn’t live there – until three years ago. I was born in St. Louis, but my family lived (and still lives) just across the Mississippi River in Illinois. I started working in the city four years ago, claiming it as my own after I graduated from college. The quote in the title of this post is from the youngest daughter of the Smith family in the 1944 musical, Meet Me In St. Louis. The story revolves around a wealthy family around the time of the 1904 World’s Fair, back when St. Louis wasn’t considered the second most dangerous city in the United States (Seriously, folks, will someone please take another look at those stats?).

I love my life. I work for a marketing agency called Hughes, where I am a public relations manager for a variety of clients. I’m on the Young Friends board for the St. Louis Science Center. And I edit a small magazine here in the city. So how did I start writing for a blog about carpet, you ask? Wear-Dated carpet fiber has been a client at Hughes for quite a few years, and Christine Whittemore and I have worked together for the past year, drafting news releases, chatting about carpet and home design, and preparing ourselves for this blog and Wear-Dated’s upcoming new website in 2008.

But the thing is, I don’t exactly consider this work. Just please don’t tell my boss. My background is in writing, so drafting conversational vignettes for a witty, fun blog offers a bit of an escape from news releases and phone calls. And I love good design, furniture, paint, accessories, and, of course, carpet. I’m a twenty-something, so houses and condos are a main topic of conversation among my friends (Should I buy? Should I sell? How do I decorate?). Soon enough, my lease will be up, and I’ll need to make some of these same decisions myself. The more I know about carpet, its composition, how to clean it, and how it can enhance my home, the better these decisions will be.

I hope you'll find The Carpetology Blog just as much fun as I do. And I hope that wherever you lay your carpet, you're living in your favorite city.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Fashion Trends: Color-Emotion from Mohawk

I am mad for color.

And, I love information that puts into perspective the various social, economic, cultural and fashion trends swirling around us.

For that reason, I was delighted when Vickie Gilstrap, Vice President, Residential Color and Design for Mohawk and Karastan Woven Product Development, and her team -- Nathan Hammett, Lauren Campbell, Luanne Holloway, Rebecca Frazee, Cliff Lyles, Susie Bell, Katherine Bugsch, and Michael Thompson -- shared with us their 2007 color presentation titled "Color-Emotion."

Here is the backdrop for the presentation:

"The American Consumer is made up of different genders, age groups, and cultural backgrounds.

We all agree that color selection is very important. You can make a statement with color; you'll get a reaction to color. But, color is a very personal choice because emotion comes into play. Different people are going to see, appreciate and accept color in different ways."

I bet color matters to you.

Experience the full Color-Emotion presentation, then, by visiting these links on Flooring The Consumer:

+ Color-Emotion From Mohawk - Part I
+ Part II - White
+ Part III - Going For Baroque
+ Part IV - Desert Neutrals
+ Part V - Eco-Chic/Eco-Elegance

And, then, let us know what you think. Is there a trend that really resonates with you? Which is your favorite color?

By the way, you can also learn more about how Mohawk gets perspective on which carpet colors and patterns are popular around the country in Flooring Inspiration From Mohawk.

Disclaimer: Mohawk and Karastan are Wear-Dated's customers.

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