The atrium at the corporate offices of Belk Department Stores features commercial carpet from Mohawk Industries' Lago Collection.

Integrating the old with the new in an interior space can be a difficult task. It requires both the designer and installer to incorporate elements from new designs with elements in the existing environment. Ultimately, their goal is to create a seamless atmosphere, where the old cannot be distinguished from the new.

When Belk Department Stores decided to replace the flooring at its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., those charged with the project knew they needed flooring that would be both durable and stylish. Belk sought a carpet that would complement the existing furniture and hard-surface floors until they could be replaced at a later date.

During their research, Belk’s design team extensively tested different carpets for durability, and selection of color and design. It was deemed important that the carpet they chose would hold up over the years and feature a modern, yet classic style that would endure.

In the end, they didn’t need to look far to find the carpet that would work for them. In 1999, Belk had chosen Mohawk Commercial Carpet to address the carpet installation needs of its 207 stores. In fact, the retailer had recently renewed its national accounts contract with the mill. Belk’s project team decided that Mohawk provided the product selection they needed.

“With so many names under the Mohawk umbrella, there really were no design limitations,” explains Laura Robinson, Belk’s senior interior designer. In addition, she adds, Mohawk offered Belk access to its wide array of resources.

“Before working with Mohawk, we would have to coordinate each installation through independent installers,” says Rob Jordahl, director of interior construction for Belk. “Now, all we have to do is make one call to Mohawk Team Services and they take care of everything.”

Mohawk's Lugano also graces the floors of the cafeteria at Belk's headquarters.
Luganofrom Mohawk’sLago Collectionwas installed in the atrium and cafeteria of the Belk headquarters. An organic leaf pattern in a mixture of blues and greens,Luganois tufted with DuPont Lumena nylon and constructed with Mohawk Commercial’s Ultima Performance System (UPS).

“We chose Lugano for its durability and beauty,” explains Robinson. “With Lugano, we were able to include our corporate color, teal, in a way that reflects today’s interior fashions.”

Southern Flooring was contracted to install the carpet. The job went smoothly, with the installers lining up the pattern to match perfectly and adding all finishing touches to the satisfaction of the client.

“One of the reasons the installation went so well was because Mohawk Team Services sent their best representative — who got Southern Flooring started by showing them how to put the pattern down — and he got them started in the most important area of the installation, which was the center of the atrium,” notes Martha Stewart, special projects coordinator for Belk.

The alliance between the Mohawk representative and the installation team proved to be wildly successful. Mohawk offered Belk a wealth of design opportunities and then saw the design concept through to fruition by sending out a Team Services representative who worked with installers to ensure that the carpet was installed to maximum effect.

The team effort produced a renovated environment that was both striking and seamless. All the design elements, from the pattern chosen to the color scheme, blended together without drawing contrast between the old and the new. The result was a progressive and modern environment that should readily withstand the test of time.