I recently visited the Brooklyn Museum, where I stumbled upon a fascinating exhibit: Decorative Arts & Period Rooms. The rooms in the Brooklyn Museum are focused largely on local domestic spaces that have been carefully dismantled from original homes to be displayed in the museum.

In the collection preserved from The Cupola House in Edenton, N.C., circa 1725, I found a real treasure: painted floor cloths. These cloths were the most popular floor coverings in 18th-Century American interiors, and they were imported from England or painted locally to simulate marbles and other elegant stone floors. The cloths were practical for heavily used rooms and easy to clean, much like linoleum. It made me smile to see that even then, homeowners were chasing the look they wanted in theirs floors, much like the simulated wood and stone we see emulated in tile and resilient floors today.

It’s always interesting to see where design gets its inspiration. Speaking of getting inspired, NeoCon marks its 51st edition June 10-12 as the world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial design industry. The show continues to expand as the lines between disciplines increasingly blur and synergies emerge. The 2019 show will feature an increased focus on hospitality design through its educational programming, as well as the hundreds of exhibitor product launches that address the needs of the vertical market. Complemented by exciting off-site tours, NeoCon will be a great resource for designers and architects in the hospitality sector and beyond.

The NeoCon product introductions showcased in this issue of Floor Trends have us eagerly anticipating the show. Tied to our NeoCon coverage, this month’s Women in Flooring feature is a conversation with Royce Epstein, A&D design director, Mohawk Industries, who gives advice to young people aspiring for big-time careers in the flooring industry. Hint: create your own role and work your tail off to make it happen—don’t wait for someone to invite you to do it.

On the topic of retail, this month we get an inside look at Got You Floored, a flooring enterprise in Greensboro, N.C., where owner Matt Ketterman has a unique take on making the most of the flooring business and—get this—only works about 20 to 25 hours a week. Go to his Zen-like office and you will see him painting (a side business), taking time to exercise, and is even teaching others in his community about personal finance. He is investing time and strategy into Congoleum’s Cleo Home resilient brand in the hopes of fighting the race-to-the bottom pricing mentality on flooring. Since we can all learn a thing or two from Matt, we invited him to be our newest columnist for Floor Trends. Check out his debut article in this month’s issue and learn about the snowball effect of doing good and word-of-mouth referrals.