Grays, “Fixer Upper” farmhouse style, minimalist – just a few of the many trends right now when it comes to interior design.
Forecasting trends in any industry is hard. Determining wood flooring trends is no different, so we turned to the experts – our customers. They understand better what is going on in their markets and what homeowners are looking for better than anyone else.
In lieu of a traditional trade show, we hosted three open houses in St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City. This was a pilot event to gather opinions about our prefinished flooring colors. We focused on learning which colors and textures are popular for prefinished wood flooring in these regions. We asked our local retailers and designers, “What’s trending in 2018?”
We displayed over 100 flooring samples of both current and new flooring. Attendees provided feedback on current products, like “Vintage Loft” and “Saltbox” from Real Wood Floors as well as “Durango” and “Lake Tahoe” from Tradewinds. We also displayed flooring options for two new collections.
Our purchasing director, Justin Aiken, curated a mix of products and color options for these events. We wanted to see how well our current products stood up to new ones. We also wanted to get a gauge about what our customers thought about the new colors.
Participants rated their top colors in each collection. They also answered follow-up questions such as, “Do paint and cabinet colors strongly influence trends in flooring color?” and “What design trends are you seeing in your market? What is in or out?”
“I was surprised by how much each customer saw color choices so differently,” noted Omaha territory manager Curt Knight, “Certain markets want certain groups of colors, while other markets and their customers want something totally different.”
At our St. Louis Open House, customers participate in a roundtable discussion about the new options. They reviewed our samples in detail and talked about what they’ve been hearing from homeowners.
“Often homeowners come in wanting a gray floor, but after seeing our gray options, they’ll end up buying a more traditional brown floor,” observed one retailer.
Not only did we use this as an information gathering event, but we also saw it as a chance to learn more about how we could better serve our customers in the new year. We enjoyed getting to chat and share some good food with local experts.
“I felt the event was a great opportunity to meet with our customers and give them a sneak peek of some of our newest flooring lines,” said Kansas City assistant manager Jordan Guth, “During our busy days we don’t always have time to chat in detail. I really enjoyed having time intentionally devoted to educating our customers about our products.”
We greatly appreciate everyone who took the time to come to these events. We’re looking forward to what’s in store for 2018!
View the recaps from all of these events:
Interested in our current prefinished products? Check out our prefinished flooring gallery here to view all of our flooring from Real Wood Floors, Tradewinds, and Palladio.