Product design begins early—two years in advance, in fact—at Mohawk. This spring, Mohawk’s color and design team invited five seasoned retailers and product experts to help them curate palettes for Mohawk and Karastan 2024 soft surface launches.
Participants came from across the country and included: Sarah Carlson, sales consultant for Brentwood Flooring America in Raleigh, North Carolina; Andrea Lauer-Mummau, VP soft surface buying for CCA Global; Alison Russell, director of operations, NY Carpets & Flooring in Anaheim, California; Annette Sandhu, retail sales associate, Springs Carpets in Houston, Texas; and Lori Vaynstein, designer shower room manager, Worldwide Wholesale Carpet in Edison, New Jersey.
Each participant was selected for their savvy design sense, eye for color, and keen understanding of what consumers want—and will want—in the coming years.
“We are having so much fun creating a color line,” said retailer Alison Russell. “We have a large flooring store and work with a lot of consumers in residential, and so for us, we are working hand-in-hand with consumers and what they want and what designers are looking for, so it’s important to have this connection with the manufacturer.”
The women were led by Mohawk’s newest design team members, Audra Keiber, director of design and development, and colorist Elizabeth Pace. Keiber comes to Mohawk with 30 years of experience working in global product design and innovation in a range of markets including consumer goods, automotive and aviation. Pace has been in the flooring industry since 2008 when her father opened the family business in central California. In 2016, she began working as a sales rep for high-end fashion at Royalty Carpet Mills, and when the company shut down in 2017, she landed a role as a sales rep with Mohawk in the San Francisco Bay area.
“The goals today were to bring all of the trends from the different regions, align them into one deck, go through them collectively as a team, and see where the crossovers were,” Keiber said. “We dilute that into color lines for the Mohawk brand and the Karastan brand. Next, we will take these color lines and the other feedback that we learned from the ladies here today and take action on those to make our products and color lines better.”
In advance of the event, each participant was asked to send a trend story and a suggested color palette of what they envision will be trending in 2024. After discussion with the group, they spent a full day at the Mohawk Design Studio where they worked together to come to consensus on the two brand palettes. They worked with the Mohawk manufacturing team who created the correct hues for each colors swatch and watched the tufting machine produce instant samples of actual carpet for them to work with.
The designers’ efforts resulted in two beautiful palettes. For Karastan, the palette called Renewed Transformation incorporates warm hues—neutrals with slightly pink undertones alongside more saturated hues of blue, blue-green, gray and rust. The Nature’s Serenity palette for Mohawk features a blend of warm and cool neutrals alongside pastel green and blue.