Pictured (from left to right): Grace Corbin, Tracey Reinberg, Renee Labbe, Kelly Betts and Wanda McLarty.

Armstrong Commercial Flooring recently hosted its design council, which brings together designers and architects from different firms to explore design trends and trade expert advice on concepts, prototypes, ideas, colors and new collections.

Interior designers share their knowledge and opinions with each other and members of the Armstrong commercial floor design team via interactive round table discussions to review trends and participate in innovation thought leadership.

“Design is critical for us,” said Julia Pierce, Armstrong’s director of commercial marketing & product design. “The number one reason people buy our floors is because they like the look of the product. Armstrong is a leader in design and we want to ensure we stay a leader. It is extremely valuable to us to get outside opinions and address our customer needs as part of our ongoing design process,”

Armstrong’s design legacy began more than 150 years ago when the company started manufacturing floors for homes and commercial environments.   Its early entry into the U.S. flooring market established Armstrong as a leader, but remaining in that position is a continual challenge, the company said.

“On one hand, this personal connection to the designer illustrates how much we value their business. On the other hand, we benefit from the design feedback of our customers,” said Pierce.  “We learn first-hand about issues and trends that they observe in their practice – and then create fabulous new floors that exceed their expectations.”

Pierce said the councils are an invaluable way to explore important trends well before designs are developed, independent of product launches.

“We want to evaluate the design thinking by listening to our customers through the decision making process, “ Pierce said.  Engaging designers in a dialogue about their business and ours helps us to shape a relevant marketing program that supports our customers' success – ultimately making the interiors they create for their customers, the best that is possible.”

The Armstrong Commercial Flooring Design Council was established in 2010, and is held about twice annually. The most recent 2011 Armstrong Design Council Members included*:
  • Renee Labbe, SVP Global Trends, Stylesight, Los Angeles, CA
  • Kelly Betts, Interior Designer, HOK, Tampa, FL
  • Tracey Reinberg, Owner, Tracey Reinberg Design, Seattle, WA
  • Grace Corbin, Senior Associate, Christner, Inc., St. Louis, MO 
  • Wanda McLarty, Interior Designer, Willis-Knighton Health System, Shreveport, LA 
  • Di Anna Borders, Principal Designer, Armstrong
  • Julia Pierce, Director, Commercial Marketing & Product Design, Armstrong
  • Kate McDermott, Design Analyst, Armstrong

* Council members rotate with each session.