Emily Morrow, Shaw Flooring’s director of color, style and design, discusses flooring while Designer Visions panelists Alexa Hampton, Victor Ermoli and Linda Woodrum look on.

NEW YORK – As younger people move into the workplace, their attitudes about flooring will differ dramatically from what homeowners demand today, a panel of designers said at the recent Designer Visions forum sponsored by Shaw Flooring that explored the industry’s future.

“The next generation of professionals and flooring consumers are going to be very different than what we have now,” said Victor Ermoli, dean of the School of Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “They will have between 15 and 20 jobs in their lives and that will affect the way they see the home.”

As a result, Ermoli and the two other panelists said dark wood floors that are easily scratched and uniquely colored carpets could give way to lighter colored wood and neutral colored carpets. In addition, they said, more emphasis will be placed on the texture and sustainability of the materials.

“Floors are the foundation of a home,” noted Linda Woodrum, owner of T.S. Hudson Interiors and the designer of the HGTV Dream House and Green Home projects. “They are so significant that when they are not right there is really nowhere you can go from there.”

Still, the designers on the panel stressed the future of flooring will continue to offer unique options for a wide variety of tastes. “Carpet is [still] so important,” explained Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton LLC. “It makes a statement about who you are.”

-Richard Monks