Perhaps the best thing about our exclusive visit to BlogTour London sponsor Amtico ‘s stand at 100% Design was our time with their head designers. How often do you get to meet the creative minds behind a major brand, to hear what motivates them and what goes into the creation of their product? One of the lead designers, Karen Quarterman, gave me some insight into what goes into the creation of a new line of Amtico’s vast offering of vinyl flooring. Cue the inspiration boards. They’re like a cross between a mood board and a scrapbook. Amtico’s designers travel all over the world to document and study emerging style trends across different industries. They then filter through their discoveries and isolate those trends that can be used as inspiration for a new flooring product. That’s how an inspiration board is born, kids.
A bold, circus-themed feature in a Stockholm hotel translates as inspiration for the fun, new colorful tile options. Irreverent mixing of concrete and wood flooring in Japanese retail stores influence new ideas for combining different tiles and textures to create bespoke flooring options. Amtico designers source inspiration from any and all industries, locations, and designs. It’s clear when you look at their products that passion and a lot of hard work went into their creation, but I had no idea exactly how much work that was. And it doesn’t end with the inspiration boards, there’s a lengthy experimentation process as the Amtico team works to create the perfect product, capturing the visual depth of stone or emulating the rough texture of unfinished wood. Each line is a work of art in itself, the result of months of research and discarded prototypes.
Karen’s enthusiasm was infectious, her excitement growing as we asked more involved questions. She had stories and inspiration boards for every product line, pulling more and more boards out for us to see until a small mountain was perched precariously on the edge of the table. There were carefully explained rationales for every characteristic of each product: color, depth, reflectivity, and texture.
If I had to define a main point of Karen’s talk with us, it would be that not enough people have fun with their flooring. We pick bright colors to paint our rooms, luxurious fabrics to decorate them, and statement pieces of furniture to fill them. But how much thought do we really give our flooring? Amtico is aiming to change that, pairing strips of bright orange with aged oak and entwining metallic tiles with concrete-esque ones. They’ve created entirely unique flooring options and combined them in ways you’d never think to try independently. Amtico is promoting flooring from supporting actor to leading lady (or man, whatever’s cool.) If Amtico have their way, flooring will become the most important consideration in your home or business – and I have a sneaking suspicion they’ll be successful.