During the 2018 NeoCon commercial design show, one of Milliken floor covering’s latest innovative introductions, Textured Sky, was honored with a prestigious Best of NeoCon Editor’s Choice award presented by Contract magazine. Designed by Katelyn Campbell — soon to celebrate eight years with Milliken — the collection also was named an Interior Design magazine HiP Award finalist in the workplace carpet flooring category.
Katelyn’s collection highlights the best of what the creative process has to offer with a multi-faceted approach inspired by her artistic background. Through working with various sales, manufacturing and marketing teams, she is in constant pursuit of the creative collaboration inherent in the Milliken spirit. In this week’s associate spotlight, Katelyn speaks to her creative approach, shares what is trending in the world of design and offers advice to fellow Milliken associates.
What does your daily role look like as a Milliken advanced floor covering designer?
My day to day ultimately consists of finding the next big idea. In order to produce new and fresh designs, I like to begin my morning with research, immersing myself in design and fashion publications and blogs for inspiration. Once an idea sparks my interest, I work closely with the Milliken sales and manufacturing teams to ensure my concept will appeal to interior designers and will work in a functional sense.
Color also plays an important role in the development process of a new collection. I spend a significant amount of time sampling and creating colors, and ensuring they are on trend in the market.
One of my favorite elements of my job is working with the marketing team to craft the story of our collections, through the naming process and through developing supporting photography. These creative avenues allow me to dig in and explore the design vision fully realized for real-world application.
What is new in the world of design? Can you share a few highlights from this year’s NeoCon?
We thoroughly enjoyed all NeoCon had to offer this year. In addition to exploring the show in full, we also were excited to present our updated Milliken Chicago showroom — the first-ever WELL Certified™ Platinum showroom in Chicago.
In terms of design trends, we are seeing muted dusty tones paired with vibrant accent colors to modernize interiors. One of these vibrant accent colors is the 2018 PANTONE Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. Another notable trend, hexagon shapes of all materials, are surfacing as “the new circle” in the design world.
Can you share your inspiration behind the Textured Sky floor covering collection? What about its design benefits for today’s modern spaces?
As a classically trained landscape artist at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), I teach art on the side and paint in my free time. I’ve always been inspired by landscapes and skyscapes, and how nature influences our life. Textured Sky is an ode to the idea of atmosphere, and highlights skyscapes with soft, natural gradients and all-over texture. In fact, just as the clouds above drift and form new skyscapes every day, unique variation is also found in each color of Textured Sky. At NeoCon this year, I actually wore a pair of shoes that I painted in a nod to the collection.
From a functionality perspective, the biophilic-inspired collection is ideal for modern commercial and hospitality spaces. The collection is comprised of both carpet squares and planks, which encourages a greater degree of design flexibility. Textured Sky’s natural elements invite a warm aesthetic to the floor, providing subtle contrast to the sharp lines of today’s contemporary environments. Additionally, the collection comes standard with PVC-free Comfort Plus® ES Cushion backing, enhancing the comfort underfoot for those who use the space.
What is one piece of advice you want to share with other Milliken associates?
From a designer standpoint, I would share that critique can be a positive thing. See the value in the constructive comments, and look at your work with fresh eyes; but at the same time, remember to stay true to your heart.
In general, I believe that, no matter the industry, continuous, open communication is key. I like to take time to pause and be sure my colleagues have a mutual and shared understanding of my concept. As a visual artist, I have to be able to verbally communicate a visual idea to my marketing and engineering team members. Whether communicating across divisions or within a small team, two or more perspectives always help to elevate the initial idea and ultimately, achieve a cohesive vision.
At Milliken, we are a global community of innovators creating solutions for a breadth of markets. If you are looking to problem solve through meaningful designs, visit our careers page to explore design-related roles on our team.