Once a year, Sunset magazine opens its doors and invites tens of thousands of Sunset fans to Celebration Weekend, a two-day tribute to the best home, food, garden, travel and wine trends in the West. Fans have the opportunity to meet the magazine’s editors, celebrity chefs home and garden experts as well as get a behind-the-scenes look at its historic seven-acre campus located in the heart of Northern California’s Bay Area region.
This year, Sunset asked five talented, young designers to “reimagine the Sunset home” by designing rooms inspired by iconic Sunset interiors and incorporating both Armstrong Residential Flooring and Armstrong Residential Ceilings for a complete floor-to-ceiling showcase as part of the magazine’s homage to Western-inspired design. Visitors were invited to walk through the living, dining, kitchen, master bedroom and playroom that made up the 4,000-square-foot exhibit space to discover inspiring ideas for today’s homes. Event attendance was 21,000, with more than 8,000 people visiting the exhibit.
“This was my first Celebration Weekend as home editor and I was so excited to have had the chance to meet our readers face-to-face while celebrating all the reasons we love the West,” said Joanna Linberg, who joined Sunset as home editor in April 2013. “The floors and ceilings fit right in, and they helped each designer to articulate a very unique look, and gave each area a finished, fluid quality.”
“We were thrilled to take part in Sunset Magazine’s Sunset Home along with our residential flooring counterparts,” said Lori Rowley, marketing manager, Armstrong residential eilings. “It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the breadth of Armstrong’s product portfolio and introduce people to a truly whole room solution. This was a great setting to be able to show consumers how easy our residential ceiling products are to install and how much a ceiling can really finish a room.”
“Our floor products got significant attention. Flooring is all about touch and look, so to be able to portray that – as well as to show products that may not be top-of-mind for some – is invaluable,” said Mara Villanueva-Heras, vice president, marketing, Armstrong Floor Products . “The design vignettes looked great and lots of people came asking specifically for ceilings and flooring. We even had a few folks stop to shop the colors of American Scrape for their own projects. While designers say that fashion trends begin on the West Coast and trickle down East, it was apparent that American Scrape was definitely on-trend in this upscale market.”
The primary flooring used in the Sunset Home was American Scrape hardwood from Armstrong. This rustic, hand-scraped look was designed to “capture the beauty and the diversity of the American landscape,” according to Armstrong. Available in Hickory, Red Oak and White Oak in a variety of colors, the American Scrape collection comes in both solid and engineered planks. In addition, a portion of all of the sales of American Scraped goods from 2013 goes to support Homes For Our Troops, a national, non-profit agency that builds specially-adapted homes for those veterans returning from war with severe injuries.
Alterna Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) was used in the bathroom space and as an accent in the entry. Available in 12” x 12” and 16” x 16” these groutable engineered stone tiles made from limestone, are manufactured in Kankakee, IL. Alterna offers warmth and comfort underfoot vs. stone or ceramic, and are easier to maintain. The tiles include modern, on-trend, classic colorations and realistic textures. This combination with virtually no pattern repeat creates beautiful natural looking floors.
“The flooring really made this former office space feel like a home,” said Linberg. “People were taken with the hand-hewn look and rich color of hardwood. Beautiful and a perfect back-drop for almost every style brought to life by the five different vignettes. The luxury vinyl was the highlight in the master bath. At first glance, people could not believe it was not stone – or that it was vinyl.”
“Every editor that went through the exhibit commented on the ceilings,” said Sarah Gaffney, senior homes marketing manager, Sunset. “They loved that it was a DIY product, paintable, lightweight, and how the tiles could dramatically change the look of a room with relative ease. We had ‘look up’ logo signs in the locations with the tiles and all weekend I witnessed people pointing up to the ceilings in delight. The product was the finishing touch in two of the most photographed spaces in the exhibit: The kitchen and home office.”
Armstrong’s coffered ceiling pattern, Easy Elegance, was used in the Sunset Home in the kitchen. According to Sunset, it was used in the space above the island in the room to draw attention to the center. Used in the office, Armstrong’s Metallaire collection comes in five traditional colors – white, chrome, lacquered steel, brass and copper – and 12 intricately detailed, historical patterns. It is made of real metal to prevent rusting and can also be used as a kitchen backsplash.