A Material Girl dishes on what's new, what's now and WHAT'S NEXT® in interior finishes


2017: The Year of Mindfulness

A current buzz word popping up, but not to be mistaken as the latest fad, is the art of mindfulness. Although it's been practiced for centuries, today, more so than ever, people are focusing on how to achieve health and happiness. What does this mean for Interior Design? I’ve captured some trends we are seeing and also share transformational products that offer Inspiration and well being.

1. Creating modern yet minimalistic work places that allow employees to feel calm, relaxed and comfortable

Quicken Loans Call Center, Cleveland, OH

It's easiest to be productive and collaborative when your mind and body are at ease. Corporate spaces such as Quicken Loans, are capitalizing on this notion, introducing inspiring work places that emphasize an airy and open-concept.  Finishing details that include hardwoods and materials that simulate natural woods make an office environment feel warm, approachable and less formal.

2. Hospitality design for mind, body and spirit

Even Hotel Times Square South, New York, NY

In this new lifestyle concept by IHG, amenities such as yoga mats and curated workout equipment are standard features in all the guest rooms throughout the Even Hotel; bright and colorfully decorated, imparting a high-energy respite yet comfortable ambiance for rejuvination. The property's restaurant fare is health-centric so guests can eat mindfully while on the road. There are free filtered water stations available, too! The Even stay focuses on helping guests maintain their personal wellness lifestyle while traveling.

3. Drive authenticity through sensory experiences

Take your inside out and outside in with natural materials. Achieve balance with the serene, spa-like effect Natural Stone quarried from the earth provides. The muted color palette and movement of the stone create a feeling of tranquility and peacefulness.

      ASI Natural Stone                 Interwoven Eco-Panels                      Cork Flooring 

The sustainable Interwoven Eco-Panels and rapidly renewable Cork Flooring products are great examples of materials with organic textures and subtle variations in color that can also contribute to a centered and revitalized sense of place.

4. Meditation Centers


Research proves that mindful meditation increases creativity, productivity and decreases stress. Centers for mindfulness are opening in major US cities. Just around the block from the ASI Showroom is Inscape, a studio that holds classes for meditation. Renowned architect Winka Dubbeldam designed a center to offer a multi-sensory experience, a physical oasis away from the outside world.


The design vision was to make an immersive environment of light, sound and air, enabling all of the senses. Comprising of two rooms - one, a majestic dome for seated meditation with soothing, colored lighting reflecting off the hardwood floors, and a second room, with an impactful display of rope installed from the floor to the ceiling, the acoustics create sound baths for horizontal meditation.

Wishing everyone the best on your spiritual journey to mindfulness and holistic design. Share your creativity with us, email materialista@archsystems.com with your wellness design ideas! Namaste! 

Posted at 2/24/2017 10:41 AM

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New Year, New Trends

Happy 2017!  To kick off the (already busy) new year, I've forecasted emerging product trends and given you an inside look at what new finishes are in the pipeline for ASI. Think color, unexpected material fusions, dimensional finishes and more! 

1. Cork Makes A Comeback

This stylish, sound absorbing material, adds warmth and texture to any contract environment. With the awareness of "wellness" in hotel brands, hospitality influenced corporate spaces and places, cork is slated to be an instant designer fave.

ASI is formally launching Composition Cork next month. Available in colorful 3-D Geometric Shapes, Dimensional Bricks, and Rounds made of recycled wine corks.

2. Farmhouse Meets Urban Warehouse

A mix of reclaimed woods with metallic finishes will be this year's signature look.  

ASI introduced Made in the USA collections from antiquated structures which include Reclaimed Barn Wood (1) wall panels, Reclaimed Timber Flooring (2), and stunning colorations in the Americana Hardwoods (3) for any design criteria where a rustic look is desired.  For an industrial feel, check out the new patterns from the ASI Concrete Vinyl Collection (4), Embossed Woods- Gemoetrix- Expressionism- Bauble (5) with a silver lacquered foil and Serenity Hardwoods (6) with real metallic pigments!

3. Keep Things Light

As we saw with the ultra-chic 11 Howard hotel Featured Project, light hardwoods are stronger than ever!

ASI Is excited to debut the Malibu Hardwoods collection, and also for your inspiration, view the Artisanal Hardwoods- Light

4. Capturing Modern Minimalism with Quarried Stone

Always timeless, Marble is projected to be an uber popular design choice in 2017. Available for any design criteria - from natural stone to porcelain, to LVT to wall surfaces - expect to see this finish specified across all market segments... and ASI has got you covered! 

Stone: ASI has a new robust ASI Natural Stone offering with tiles, trim pieces, and mosaics.

Porcelain: Marbled Porcelain illustrates the romance of natural marble while providing an emotive and distinctive sustainable design choice.

Luxury Vinyl: Hudson Yards Vinyl is an easy to install, durable and cost effective product solution.

Wall Panels, Furniture, Display Elements: The new GlamStone Acrylics are made from scratch-resistant PMMA acrylic, which is recyclable and non-toxic for both vertical and horizontal applications.

Glass Tiles: Infused Glass Mosaics (Coming soon!) in hexagons and squares both flat and raised shapes or patterns - all from recycled content.

5. Go Green!

Pantone’s color of the year "Greenery" will be seen in everything from fashion to interior design, even in the Infused Glass Mosaics, which will feature a zesty yellow-green shade for a refreshing visual statement.

ASI remains committed to bringing you innovative interior finishes throughout the year. Check back for new product launches (and remember- you heard it here first) for what's new, what's now and WHAT'S NEXT®!

Posted at 1/25/2017 8:29 AM

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Best of BDNY 2016

It's all about the influence of boutique design! Coming back from an exuberant BDNY 2016 Show, here's a recap capturing the excitement at the ASI Booth, the industry buzz around the show and my personal #BoothFavs!

Let’s Talk Trends! The lively “Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast and Panel Discussion” gave us industry insight, here are some of the highlights from the Power Players:

Hostels Are Here To Stay: Hostels are becoming a more popular place to stay for friends both young and old and also families. Attention to detail includes thoughtful design, the small space should feel warm and useful and the larger rooms with bunk beds - special and cool.

Trend Alert: "PoshTEL"- aka combining the style and comfort of a hotel with the sensibilities of a hostel. 

Thoughtful Design: Today the direction of boutique hotels is that anyone can walk in and feel comfortable. Inclusive design for all types of people, this is a property to rest, recharge, and be purposeful.

Trend Alert: Socially-Conscious Hotels

The New Luxury: The definition of luxury is changing. From millennials to the wealthiest travelers, the continued demand is for an authentic and personalized experience. The modern traveler expects unparalleled service and a connection to the local neighborhood. (Example: They want to go out and catch a fish and have it prepared by the hotel's Master Chef for dinner).  

Trend Alert: Connect to the community 

Everyone Should Feel At Home: Timeless design incorporates classic spaces that age gracefully like an old friend's home. Uber hip is not always inviting. Service should include courteous and empathetic problem solvers and provide a culture of security to ensure a restful and meaningful stay. 

Trend Alert: Home Away From Home


Architectural Systems Launched TEN collections at BDNY 16

Americana Hardwoods, Reclaimed Barn Wood, and Reclaimed Timber Flooring
The Born in the USA collections were an instant hit. Americana HardwoodsPalm Springs bright blue coloration caught the eye and hearts of hospitality designers.

ASI Natural Stone Collection
The enhanced and expanded collection includes a broader selection of tile sizes and finishes, trim pieces and must see mosaic patterns. 

A crowd favorite and will be a WOW factor anywhere the  was Infused Glass Mosaics- Shimmer Raised Pearl especially for its classy look and ecologic appeal.

And talk about #InnovationCurated ASI launched Embossed Wood Geometrix™ Collection - Expressionism- End Grain wood panels.  Advanced technology creates the extraordinary effect of natural hardwood end graining on real wood veneers for walls or tabletops. 

Another Designer Fave of the show was GlamStone Acrylics. The stunning glossy Carrara stone look on scratch resistant acrylic sheets can be used on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. What’s not to love?


To see the full list of collections introduced and more, visit the ASI BDNY site here 

And be sure to check out #ASIMaterials on Instagram for more highlights from the show!

BDNY brings everyone together, it was great meeting with designers and hotel brands in the booth. #InspirationAndConversation

#ASIOutAndAbout Concluding the show on Monday evening, Rachel Cooper, SVP of Sales, and Andrew Cooper, SVP of National Accounts, attended the 36th Gold Key Awards sponsored by BDNY. The awards showcased winning projects in 21 different categories across the industry.  

(L to R): Rachel Cooper and Barbara Lazaroff, Interior Designer and Restaurateur; David Ashen of Dash Design and Andrew Cooper

ASI President, Nancy Jackson and CEO Ron Jackson once again attended the Platinum Circle Awards Gala and congratulated Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International on receiving the HD Visionary Award! 




 I love walking around the show for new ideas and inspiration. Here are some of my #Boothfavs I discovered while exploring the expo!

Next up Retail Design Collective! ASI is hosting a panel discussion on A branded Life moderated by ASI's Nancy Jackson on December 8th! This must see event is almost sold out, be sure to get your ticket and visit the showroom during market week for materials with an edge that capture brand loyalty.

Posted at 11/21/2016 7:45 AM

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Materialista on The Pulse: ImPRESSive

Hot off the Press! From Creativity and Collaboration® on projects to ASI product spotlights, here is a recap of the hottest news this month #ASIinThePress

Not Just Quilted Bags Anymore!

Vera Bradley made the cover story in design:retail magazine with its fresh, revamped branding #Itsgoodtobeagirl, a new customer base and stores popping up across the country. ASI is proud to be part of the Vera Bradley store concept! As Harry Cunningham, Head of Store Development stated, “One of Vera Bradley's signature materials is a warm grey hardwood flooring supplied by ASI for our national rollout that really allows the product to shine in a much fresher way."

(ICYMI-  Creativity and Collaboration® Series- Vera Bradley)

TERMS TO KNOW: “The Daymaker” – The new target audience of Vera Bradley: “An aspiration-driven, sophisticated Millennial woman”

“Exceptional Design Changes People’s Lives”


California Closets gives a peak of its new, fabulously organized showroom with ASI Resilient Flooring in design:retail magazine. The new concept focuses on the customer by avoiding distractions in the space and creating a collaborative environment.


Pro Tip: Complete A Project Ahead of Schedule

Restaurant Development & Design includes this handy checklist to ensure your project will be done ahead of schedule. A perfect example is Mr. Crabby’s Seafood Shack. Maxey Hayse Design Studios worked diligently to set achievable goals and predesigned and preordered materials, including Chroma Wood Panels, Designer Laminate Collection and Shore Hardwoods from Architectural Systems.

(ICYMI-  Creativity and Collaboration® Series- Mr. Crabby’s)  

Porcelain In 140 Characters or Less

Plus, the material was featured on the homepage of Kitchen & Bath Business. How’s that for trending!

Industrial Chic

Sneak a glimpse of just one of our many sustainable offerings in Commercial Architecture’s October issue. Organic Vinyl Flooring provides eco-friendly textures inspired by natural materials.

Green is the New Black in Retail

In this month’s sustainability issue of shop! Retail Environments Magazine, the annual survey indicated 82% of retail projects this year incorporate sustainable strategies. So what’s being specified? According to the study,  83% of the products specified have sustainable traits. Included in the sustainable product focus was ASI’s latest hardwood flooring launch: Serenity® Engineered and Solid Hardwoods. Coming in 13 Shades of Grey and meeting the highest standards of sustainability including:

☑ FSC®-Certified    ☑ Lacey Act Compliant   ☑ CARB (California Air Resources Board) Compliant   ☑  LEED®: Can contribute to EQ Credit 4: Low-Emitting Materials; ID Credit 1: Innovation in Design

Request Samples here!

Attending #BDNY 2016?

This Just In! Boutique Design Magazine’s October issue has a sneak peak of the hottest products being launched at the show. Shimmer Raised Pearl, Part of Infused Glass Mosaics will debut at the show in ASI Booth #1263. Register here!

Check back next month for highlights from BDNY 2016! 

Posted at 10/17/2016 1:2 PM

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Fall Market Preview

                                                                                                      Interlock Eco-Panels - Custom

As we welcome fall, taste all things pumpkin-spiced, and embrace our favorite sweaters, I wanted to provide you with a handy list of the new and upcoming product introductions from Architectural Systems.

Bonus - With all of the industry events and conferences ASI is sponsoring and attending this month, I included some quotes from the influencers. #ASIoutandAbout

ASI Wood Panels

"Natural wood panels reflect a holistic concept in the Even Hotel."  - Glen Coben, Principal Glen and Co.

Interlock Eco-Panels - Ushering in a new collection of streamlined interlocking patterns of the uber-popular Interwoven Eco-Panels, Interlock comes in modern artistic color washes with wider scaled panels.

Want to have it all? Get the layers and textures of Interwoven with the colors of Interlock with the ease of self-adhesive application with Envision® Wood! Watch how easy they are to install!

ASI Hardwood

"A warm grey hardwood flooring really allows the product to shine in a much fresher way." - Harry Cunningham, Head of Store Development Vera Bradley

We did it - we made hardwoods COOL! This month, ASI is launching Serenity® Engineered and Solid Hardwoods collection which uniquely offers a trending grey palette with ultra-matte and metallic finishes

ASI Resilient Flooring

"Vinyl wood grain flooring has the warm tone of hardwood and compliments the cool tones in the guest rooms of The Paul Hotel." - Ronica Sharma, Developer, Sharma Group Development

ASI launched  Organic Vinyl Collection, part of ASI Resilient. This is a go-to choice for effortless function, sustainable and cost-effective luxury vinyl with a mix of textures in tile sizes and resilient wood planks with nature-inspired graining.

ASI Specialty Products

ASI will be launching a gorgeous recycled glass collection, Infused Glass Mosaics at BDNY (Boutique Design New York) from November 13-14 in ASI Booth #1263

One of my favorites from this collection is the chic Shimmer Raised Pearl that channels modern day sustainability and a global design influence which includes a beautiful color trifecta of mesh-backed sheets.

ASI has many new products to launch this fall! Interested in discovering What’s Next®?  Here’s how:

Explore the Power of Materials®:
Schedule an appointment with me in the  ASI Showroom, email:materialista@archsystems.com and see materials installed in actual applications!

Be In The know: 
Do you receive our Let’s Talk Materials and What’s Next® e-blasts? Sign up here!

Join the Conversation: Materialista® Blog:
Let us know your initial reaction and where you envision using these materials in the Comment section below!

Request Samples:
Contact sales@archsystems.com if you would like to request sample. 

Posted at 9/15/2016 2:14 PM

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How Summertime Inspires Design, from our Guest Blogger

There’s something about the relaxed energy of summer, that makes me want to rejuvenate and take advantage of long weekends to enjoy the sun and sand with friends and family! I also like to hit the pavement during the work week visiting designers, especially to give a sneak preview of new products that ASI will be launching while we are all in a more laid back frame of mind, for a couple of months, that is! (ICYMI- Check out these awesome new self-adhesive wood planks - Envision® Wood!)

Recently I caught up with Laura Saltzmann, Senior Design at Joe Ginsberg Design to discuss our next great Creativity and Collaboration® project.See below the recently completed Marama Park Avenue Hotel , an award winning property that featured many ASI materials.  Laura agreed to share her summer time inspiration and creative process with us.


Materialista®: What is your favorite thing about the summer?  Where do you find inspiration?

Laura Saltzmann: For me, enjoying summer is embracing your time outside- a retreat for the senses. Sunlight, winding nature paths and beautiful illuminations that set the mood for outdoor dining at dusk are my favorite.

The inspiration for me starts with personal comfort. You have to know your style, and being confident in the look that is being achieved. It doesn't just have to be one style, but it should always have a sense of direction to feel cohesive.

Complementary colors provide continuity and flow. Furniture directions that are eclectic creates intrigue and depth. Embracing a feeling for history, object or nostalgia even in a minimal way brings interest & weight to any space. I enjoy this juxtaposition for visual balance in a public space.

M: Where is your go-to restaurant in the summertime?

L: 15 years living in Manhattan, provides many incredible dining opportunities, it's quite hard to pick just one!  But, three great restaurants in Chelsea that I frequent are Bottino - indoors or out, The Americano, and the quaint patio at Trestle on Tenth.

M: What is the most fun thing about designing for hospitality? What is the most challenging?

L: The most fun thing about designing for Hospitality would be the diversity for creativity. I believe the goals today are set a bit higher than before. People enjoy visiting destination spots, going to see featured art, unexpected design details and inventive environments that set a mood. Creating spaces for social appeal is BIG. An "instagrammable"space is something to remember while designing.

M: What is one of your favorite ASI materials and why?

L: ASI provides a wide range of original options for both hospitality, commercial and residential. Textured surfaces are quite big in the industry now and ASI has many solutions to achieve a custom look.

ASI Flooring,  which we have used on The Marmara Park Avenue was a great success (It won the Hospitality Design Award for Luxury/Upscale Hotel). The color, species & finish of the engineered wood was everything we were looking for to create the end result. They have products to fit all budgets which I feel is the best asset ASI offers.

M: Any last pieces of advice?

L: You make your own challenges. Stick to what you know, but be creative in the process.

I hope everyone is having a great summer! I would love to hear how you are inspired by the season. Drop me a line with your story at materialista@archsystems.com.

Posted at 7/28/2016 8:43 AM

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What's Trending in Corporate Design

This month, interior finishes from ASI were highlighted in the Materials Pavilion at NeoCon, North America's most important design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. NeoCon had a focus on products that inspire collaborative corporate environments.

ASI President Nancy Jackson, Marketing Director Amanda Zapp and Chicago Account Executive Shelly Ave walked the show, making key stops at the Materials Pavillion, the Knoll Showroom for Rockwell Unscripted™ and the Haworth Showroom.

Let's Talk Trends!

1. Social Spaces

Companies today desire offices that will foster creativity. Influences from the Hospitality industry are driving corporate design with social areas in the workplace which include open, flexible hotel lobby inspired social spaces or "The third space" where employees can collaborate and socialize.

2. Immersive Planning

Blur the lines between workspace types to enhance interaction and invite connected experience. #HospitalityInTheWorkplace

3. Adaptive Planning

Offer a variety of assigned and unassigned places to support working together on diverse projects

4. Core Planning

Provide abundant access to natural light with open spaces

5. Technology for social interactions

Haworth's interactive bluescape technology was a huge hit (ICYMI: Always ahead of the trends, ASI incorporated this technology at the IIDA Hospitality Forum last year, held in the NYC Haworth Showroom) The screen enables everyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize, strategize and socialize! 

In the Materials Pavilion, ASI showcased distinctive finishes that encourage optimum workplace engagement. Product collections selected included Techno® Recycled Glass Surfaces, Quarto™ Stone Veneers, Haute Décor Wall Tile, QuarryStone Vinyl Flooring, Ornamental Surfaces, Embossed Wood- Geometrix™ Collection, Interfuse™ Wood Panels, Interwoven Eco-Panels, Fusion Wood PanelsMarbled Porcelain, Structura™ Eco-Panels and Cast Stone Dimensional Panels. When these materials are installed, they support the common thread trending this year at NeoCon, creating collaborative work environments!

ASI enjoyed walking around the show for corporate design ideas and inspiration. Here were some favorites:

          @steelcase                                  @wolfgordon                           @buzzispace

What did you like best at NeoCon? Share your story in the comments below!

Next up, brand identity in boutique hotels. Have a favorite example, drop me a line at materialista@archsystems.com

Posted at 6/20/2016 10:26 AM

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