Thursday, May 28, 2009

Emma Gardner

Clearly I'm a big fan of Emma Gardner's designs.  I'm always drawn to her feminine approach to modern living.  Whether it's the color's she uses, the movement of her motifs, or her signature style of modernizing nature - Emma always pushes the envelope while placing her signature stamp on each design.

At this year's ICFF, Emma Gardner Design introduced the new Whisper collection.  In an effort to neutralize the bright colors she's known for, Emma adds, "It was a challenge for me as a designer to find neutral colors that complement my traditionally vibrant palette, and to reinterpret my designs this way... Response from the market has been very positive, so we feel that we will really be able to broaden our appeal with Whisper."

As much as I loved the variety of rugs from Whisper, I couldn't help to be like a magnet on a fridge to the color blanket that showcased all the colors that are used for special custom projects.  I immediately thought of a runner rug with these fun pops of color.  This would make for one happy hallway.  

Thanks to Joseph, Elizabeth and Patrick for fun times visiting Emma Gardner's booth!  For more information on Emma Gardner Design, check out the website right here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More ICFF + Diane Paparo Studio

I'm so not over reporting back to you on beautiful rugs that I found at ICFF.  I know many amazing blogs in the blogahood wrapped up this hot topic last week, but oh no, not here on Rug Design, I just got warmed up.  There are soooo many fantastic rugs to show you, stories to share along the way and some major floor candy to drool over.      

DPS (Diane Paparo Studio) is a New York based Furniture lifestyle company that produces modern and luxurious rugs, furniture and linens.  What caught my eye the most about about these rugs is the unpredictable color combinations, composition and the three level pile heights in one rug!  I'm obsessed with that.  Whenever I see a rug with more than two piles, it is like a playground in rug form.  The designs appeared so playful and bright but the actual motifs were a combination of organic free form shapes and sophisticated scrolls.  I love the contrast of so many different elements going on at one time.  Color makes it all cohesive and of course, how could I not think of my favorite design movement, mid-century modern?  

And how much do I love that the tufted rugs are produced in New Jersey and the higher-end hand-knotted in Nepal!  There's just something about pairing these two places that I adore.  One last thing that must be noted cause I've never heard of this before - Diane was so gracious to share with me every rug is recyclable.  Yes, recyclable.  DPS' Rug Recycling initiative applies to all their rugs.  Each new rug is identified with a serial number that will allow DPS to arrange future recycling.  The used rug will be refurbished, gifted to an organization, disassembled for materials for reuse or incinerated at a local power facility to create electricity for a nearby town; paid for by DPS.  Now that's one heck of a green initiative program.  Thanks DPS for inspiring us with these fantastic designs and for more information, check out their website right here.  
Lastly... I was pretty stoked to look down and see how nicely my yellow shoes happily complimented these rugs.  Now I just need to work on my summer tan :)  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Trove is another very cool company I just happened to stroll by.  A New York based wallpaper company that has expanded into lighting, rugs and window film that really make a lovely point-of-view.  I loved the wallpaper designs turned printed rugs.  The rugs serve more of a wall-to-wall purpose, but I don't think I've ever seen such a creative wall-to-wall carpet product before.  From 20 patterns total to choose from, Trove really made me rethink that wall-to-wall still has a place in this world and it's taking this category into an entirely new direction.  Love that!  

When I entered Trove's booth, I felt so calm and taken back by the lightness of everything.  I was like, "I'm a girl and I love it!"  Everything was so ethereal, tranquil, delicate and graceful.  For a second I had to catch myself cause I thought I was walking on air.  The patterns are not so much in repeat but rather murals on the floor.  To check out more of Trove's beautiful products, visit their website right here.  Thanks for inspiring Trove! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

MAD rugs by Bennett Bean Studio

I met a lot of amazing people (and rugs) this week at ICFF, so there's no way I'm holding back now!  As I continued upon my rug scouting mission, I came across the HILARIOUS duo of Bennett Bean and Elizabeth Rand.  I was initially drawn into the booth due to the vibrant, almost water color-like looking designs, but what made me not want to leave was a good time with these two designers who cracked me up!  

The collection that they featured was a series designed for the Museum of Art and Design (MAD).  Bennett is quite the ceramic artist who seems to have his hand in many different art forms.  He teamed up with Elizabeth, a textile designer, and since then they have been quite the creative pair!  The collection is inspired by the beautiful ceramic pieces that Bennett created, then translated into beautiful rugs that compliment the ceramics.  I loved the unique craftsmanship of the designs.  The shapes were abstract and textural.  The colorful palette appeared to have a smooth gradation, from one color "bleeding" into the next.  It really did look like a water color painting in wool and silk form.  The askew modern layouts featured in some of the designs were so original and had a strong artistic painterly point-of-view.  For more information on Bennett Bean Studio, check out their website right here.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Florence Broadhurst Collection by CADRYS

I truly believe that there are certain people in life that we are meant to cross paths with.  I don't even know where to begin this post because I'm still in a state of shock over this amazing experience, so here it goes...

ICFF was a sea of beautiful contemporary designs.  One booth after the next was a dose of delicious design candy!  I approached CADRYS display wall and was captivated by the colorful, whimsical and sophisticated modern rug designs.  I was familiar with many of the designs after drooling over them in various editorials, so I was excited to learn more about the company.  

I first met Jessica Cadrys, the sweetest and most beautiful Australian gal who I enjoyed chatting it up with.  I shared with her that my Mother is from Sydney, and we discovered that they are from the same town!  Too small of a world!  An unforeseen sisterhood was in the works :)  Then I met the amazing Bob Cadrys ("Uncle Bob") and Ali Nikrooz.  I don't know how to explain it really, but I felt an unusual gut feeling inside, there was a certain familiarity about the Cadrys that I was naturally drawn to.  Bob and I started delving deeper into our family history and it turns out that my mom (aka mum) and him grew up just a couple houses down from each other in the suburbs of Sydney!  We all flipped out and group hugs all around!  Oh but it doesn't stop there, by this point we were making toasts over chocolate covered champagne and bonding over memories of Coogee Beach.  It was too much fun!  But the world was about to get even smaller...       

...Bob shared with me some more about his background in the rug business and like a flash within a sentence mentioned that his parents are from Iran.  "What?... Iran?  Did you just say Iran?"  Well, I had no intention to share all  this random bit of information of my background on Rug Design Blog (it is about the rugs after all), but after this experience, how could I not?  Just so happens my dad is Iranian.  Now, just so you know... I am 110% mutt.  I have NEVER in my life met anyone with both Australian and Iranian roots.  My teary eyes were about to fill up quickly as we all went for another round of group hugs and added Persian style kisses on both cheeks.  Unbelievable!  I'll admit, my heritage is a bit unique, I grew up on a combination of meat pies, sausage rolls,  khoresht and chelow kabab.  But for the first time in my life, outside of my siblings, I was able to relate to other people on this planet Earth in a way I never have before.  All of a sudden I have this urge to see if there are others out there, maybe I'll start a club on Facebook?  Ya just never know for crying out loud!   

But like I said, it's about the rugs, so back to them.  CADRYS was featuring their gorgeous Florence Broadhurst collection.  Florence was a fascinating design renaissance woman who had her hand in tons of different mediums.  She lived an intriguing life who started out as an actress, singer and dancer.  She globe trotted around the world before making her return to Australia, and then established her wallpaper company in the 1960's.  Her motto was "I'm trying to cure the timid decorator syndrome".  Well, her mission is clearly still curing the syndrome even today as a result of the beautiful designs that are now produced by CADRYS.  Every design can be customized to suit the color you desire from a pool of 96 colors to choose from.      

 The designs are truly unique.  The one above is called Horses Stampede.  Look closely to find horses in a seamless repeat charge across the surface of the rug.  Below is Florence Broadhurst herself.  She lived an adventurous life and her creative legacy is honored today thanks to the Cadrys.  For more information on the collection, have a peek at the website, right here

Thanks to Jessica, Bob, Ali and Christine for a wonderful experience learning and sharing beautiful design and heritage.


Do you remember the Tulip Farms?  The BEAUTIFUL bright colored stripes that graced planet Earth in northern Holland?  Well, when I met designer Freek Verhoeven of C&F Design, based in the Netherlands, that's the first thing that popped into my head!  I was walking down a loooong hallway through ICFF (eyes on the floor, don't want miss a rug beat), when out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the great loves of my life - color.  

Freek (love saying that by the way) was one of the nicest guys I think I've ever come across in the design community.  Just oozing joy and a passion for his product, and so was I!  This indoor/outdoor rug, also called FREEK, is just glowing with color.  Made of resilient nylon fibers at the bottom and durable polyethylene on top, give FREEK a soft grassy feel underfoot.  It has little holes engineered on the bottom of the rug that allow 15 gallons of water to run through per square meter, per minute.  

So often we stereotype outdoor design with an earthy organic style, muted color palette and a look that's just so one with nature (come to think of it, maybe it's just me who does that).  Well, this rug really opened my eyes and made me rethink outdoor design.  How fun and unique would the stripe be in place of a small urban backyard or rooftop?  

For more information on FREEK check out their amazing interactive website.  Explore all the tabs and have fun with it.  It feels like your playing an online game.  Thank you Freek for this very innovative product!

Stay tuned for more ICFF coverage...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Classic Rug Collection, Ottoman Collection

Classic Rug Collection featured the Ottoman Collection at this years ICFF.  All different shades of beautiful blues drew me into this booth.  Showcased were many different styles and the variety of blues linked them all together.  Designer Barbara Barran was inspired by her visit to Turkey and her love for Iznik pottery.  All I have to say is, I need a vacation!  It appears that almost every designer I chatted with produced their collections based on profound inspirations they received while traveling.     

Manufactured in Nepal, these beautiful designs can be completely customized to suit your unique taste.  I thought it was interesting that the buyer has unlimited options - you can choose your pattern, fiber and knot count.  80% of their business is to create one-of-a-kind rugs, for you to work closely with the designer and get exactly what you want.  I guess you can call yourself a rug designer now.  Something to brag about over your dinner par-tays shall we?  

Thank you to Meredith and designer Barbara for inspiring!  That wraps up ICFF coverage for today, come back and visit tomorrow for some more fabulous ICFF floor candy :) and some really fun people I met along the way!

Liza Phillips

Next up is the lovely Liza Phillips and her beautiful modern, organic approach to design.  I was really captivated by Liza's inspiration and design point-of-view.  Top left, pictured with the lovely Liza, is a graphic design, called Barberry, that is actually inspired by barberry bushes that she photographed against the snow while cross country skiing.  This is just so beautiful to me, that something in nature that we see everyday in the dead of winter, can be translated into an intriguing modern design.  Love that!  The photo to the top right is called the Linden Rug, which is of a linden leaf eaten away by insects made of wool and silk.  The design is such a nice merger of modern and delicacy.  The color choices are purely natural, literally.  The wool is undyed sheep tones.  Now that's eco-friendly living.  

After our lovely sharing of some of the most eco-friendly rug products I think I've come across, I was very interested upon a unique twist to a stair runner.  These rug steps, called ALTO, is a really fresh approach to finding innovative rug applications.  It sort of makes me wonder where this product has been for the past 30 years!  So practical, so clean and.. well... neat, and the best part is they come in all different patterns and colors for a customized look.  No two steps are alike, yet each package works as a cohesive group.  For more information on Liza Phillips Design, check out her website, right here.  Thanks Liza for inspiring us!  

Stay tuned for more inspiration from ICFF!     

ICFF Coverage + Amy Helfand

Around two weeks ago I started counting down the days until my absolute favorite show was coming to New York... drum roll please... The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, (aka ICFF) yessss!  If you're in the NY area and want to be blown away by the most innovative products for the home, the last day is today and is open to the public.  Anyhoo, I was on a mission to scout out some of the most creative designers in the rug industry and low and behold, I totally succeeded and made some great new rug design friends from all over the world that I can't wait to share with you!  First up, the creative designs of Amy Helfand...

Amy is a Red Hook, Brooklyn based artist who has taken on many forms over the years, from photography to sculpture, and her influences range from Matisse to Minimalism.  At this years show she was debuting a new series called Devotion.  As an artist, inspiration can hit you over the head when you least expect it!  Last year, while Amy was traveling to Nepal to oversee production on her rugs, she was struck by the abundance of shrines, temples, Tibetan prayer flags, and moved by the deep faith of the people, both Hindu and Buddhist.  This inspired her to incorporate her experience and the imagery that she saw, transforming it into her signature contemporary and abstract style.  She adds, "I am very grateful that I was able to finally meet and express my gratitude personally to the people who are responsible for translating my artwork in these rugs." 

Well, Amy could not have been a cooler and nicer gal, and her designs are so unique!  I was particularly drawn to her choice of unexpected color combinations and graphic interpretation of her powerful life experiences.  She was so generous to share with me how as an artist, she is captivated by the connection of humanism and nature.  Lastly, what I got a kick out of, is that one of her favorite hobbies is skateboarding near the water in Brooklyn with her husband and three sons.  How cool is she?  Seriously.  So cool.  To check out more of Amy's rugs on her website, click here.  Thanks Amy :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Runway to Rug, L.R. Resources + Louis Vuitton

I have a friend who is known for her happy greetings.  Whenever I, or any other fellow girlfriend of ours encounters her, she says "hello Lady!".  She practically sings it as if she's in a musical.  It's precious and cheerful and I feel like Holly Golightly just walked into the room every time I hear it. 

That's exactly how I feel about this week's Runway to Rug :)  I'm not too familiar with L.R. Resources but I came across this very pretty traditional rug and thought how feminine and soft the colors and lines are.  I decided to pair it with this Louis Vuitton fashion ensemble because not only do the dusty blush colors team up nicely, but I feel like they both are traditional with a twist.  The loosely pleated waistline of the dress combined with the black layered leggings is a youthful approach to a sophisticated look.  The rug also has a tailored daintiness thing about it.  Perhaps it's the wide set repeat of the pattern that is less common in more dense traditional designs.  I love how it clearly has traditional classic motifs with softer girly creamy colors.  It sort of reminds me how fun vintage shopping is by mixing and matching unexpected pieces that just work so perfect together.      

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roost Jute Rug at Velocity

I'm really into this whole decorative organic thing lately.  I mean, green living isn't a new idea or anything (unless you've been living under a rock, and in that case you're already green living), but the designs are developing such a fresh aesthetic.  Green products are becoming more and more oh so eco-chic.  

For the first green design wave, everything was taken so literal.  A branch on a tree was still just a branch off a tree, now taken into the home and used as a coat rack.  I still really like that whole literal look by the way, but nowadays raw sustainable materials are still kept in their natural state but are manipulated, twisted and transformed to create even more beautiful shapes.  It's less of 'keeping natural resources in their pure form', and more of 'building upon the natural resources to maximize it's beauty and be creative with creation'.    

Here is a gorgeous coiled jute pattern rug by Roost for Velocity.  It doesn't get any more organic than this.  Circles upon circles is just one of those eternal motifs that have and will exist... um... forever.  It never gets old, it's always modern, fresh, and to me, there's something very feminine to this side of nature.    

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Playing with Tradition

via Moco Loco
via Yatzer

These rugs by Richard Hutten stopped me in my tracks and made me look real hard.  So bold, so daring, such contrast and just plain fascinating.  I love how the yarns sort of had a brain freeze, just gave up the traditional design and opted for a smooth stripe instead.  Hand woven meets the digital era.  Or is it the other way around?  Are we so tired of racing after efficiency that we are craving something of value, something to appreciate and that took time? Either way, I'm happy to be enjoying this time in history where we can bring thousands of years of tradition together and put our twist on it - "ours" meaning Richard Hutton and all of the creative minds of 2009.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Floor Candy, Flora by FLOR

Good Morning Sunshine!  Yeah you!  This carpet tile by FLOR is speaking to me, and that's pretty much what it just said.  Here is another addition to FLOR's summer collection from the Alexander Girard Collection.  Where do I even begin!  First of all, I LOVE Girard's work!  I've always been a mega fan, as it's very in line with my personal taste and his patterns have been a huge influence on me throughout the years.  This Carpet tile represents his signature pattern so well.  To me, it's happiness on a rug.  And how about this photo styling!  The mid-century modern floor combined with a classic Victorian chair, the exquisite pre-war molding, those shoes, and is that... is that a mirrored side table?  Ooooh delicious eclecticness!  The colors are so playful!  I love how these happy colors are coming into sophisticated environments.  If I ever grow up, this is what I want to be.    

Friday, May 8, 2009

Runway to Rug, FLOR's Summer Preview

I was so thrilled to be a part of FLOR's Summer Trends and Collection Preview yesterday.  I was really impressed by their apparel fashion inspiration to design application.  I remember first hearing about FLOR six years ago, and to be a bystander within the industry observing their success, is a true testament to witness how quality design and consumer friendly DIY functionality can really push a product.  FLOR's strength is in presenting a brand new approach of carpeting to the consumer.  Their passion is about design and responding to different lifestyle changes.  In a world where we are constantly moving, our lifestyles are changing more frequently, many of us own pets, have children, etc..., that's where FLOR's unique customized modular tile system takes the floor.  Beautiful design meets practical use, this is what makes them unique.  

I was also impressed to learn that the goal of the company is to become completely sustainable by the year 2010.  What motivates and inspires their product development team?  Their answer - "self expression and eclecticism."  Meaning, they are constantly keeping their eyes open and they don't pigeon hole themselves into one style.  Lastly, the company really has a pulse on technology.  When they invited me to join them on Facebook and Twitter, I realized I first need to register on Twitter (how out of touch I have become!).  Plus, I'm looking forward to checking out their company blog that's launching soon!  Welcome to the blogoshphere FLOR :) 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trend Spotting, Facets

It all started at Church on Easter Sunday.  I was meeting my fiance at a VERY packed Church service on Park Avenue.  There was no way I was wrestling with the crowd to get to a seat. That's what I deserved for not getting there an hour early, it was Easter after all.  Standing room only for me this Easter.  Let's just say God works in mysterious ways because if it wasn't for this little happenstance, I would have never have noticed the gorgeous marble floors of this 100 + year old Church!  I loved the angular geometric shapes and the multi colored tile.  It was so modern and decorative.  I'm that girl who carries her camera with her everywhere she goes.  It's a good thing I live in New York and could pass easily for a tourist, because you never know when the next dose of inspiration will hit you...  
The gorgeous day (verging on spring) continued on and I had a few hours for myself to enjoy.  So, with some encouragement from one of my favorite bloggers, Holly of Decor8, I decided to get lost at the MOMA...
I loved every second of it!  That is until my feet told me to settle down.  I easily took over 50 photos of some unbelievable masterpieces and fueled up on design inspiration for years to come.  I was admiring Picasso's that I've only seen in my art books... Kandinsky, Klimt... all those crazy kids!  But there was something about Picasso, something so familiar, something very present and current, so jagged and angular...

It got me thinking about this whole facet thing that has been the talk of the town (design blogging town that is) for over a solid year now.  It's slowly started hitting home for me last year as I noticed some very cool indie artist on etsy (my fave) drawing linear jagged geometrics and architectural-like motifs.  Last weekend I was shopping at Foot Locker, and again, had to pull the camera out at the sight of this sneaker... 

It's ever so present in architecture, interior design and has infiltrated every product category for the home...

And so that brings this little Easter Adventure here.  Back to rugs.  Yep, facets is a strong motif trend in rugs and I love the variety that so many different companies are executing the look in.  Facets can be seen as very textural and clean, to rough with bold contrast.  Here is a beautiful design by Esti Barnes for Top Floor.  I just want to reach into the photo and brush my hand across the surface of the pile, or better yet, I can imagine what an interesting impression in would leave on your feet.
From Tai Ping comes this very graphic Levi Rug...

To round out my favorite facet rug designs, in the image above (clockwise starting from upper left hand corner), is the Camouflage rug by Cappellini.  With it's wide planes of constructed geometric shapes, the cherry, burgundy and white color palette gives this design a lovely warm touch.  

In the middle is a beautiful design by Fiona Curran for the Rug Company.  I love the the combination of dusty creams, greys and blush pinks with pops of color.  It truly reminds me of a faceted diamond.  There's something so feminine and crystallized about this design.

Next we have a felt rug by Melina Raissnia for Peace Industry called the Fuller Rug.  With it's tonal simplified facet shapes, it gives the illusion of paper folds.  I love the modern simplicity of this design.

In a similar thread of grey tonal color is this Ikea Stockholm rug.  The Nike sneaker above reminds me the most of this design.  These triangle facets are much more ordered and structured than the others.  It's a safe neutral tonal rug, with some bold interest.

Lastly, from Momeni's popular New Wave collection comes this design.  The jagged shapes and deep warm ombre color palette create a great layout and movement, which makes for an interesting balance.  

The facet trend is a look that I feel will constantly be reinventing itself, as it's a design often found in nature and is a nice contrast to the softer lines that are always present in the market.  Whenever I think of facets, I don't necessarily think harsh and aggressive, but rather beautiful like a crystallized mineral.  The great thing about facets is that it can come across as strong, industrial and masculine or translucent, feminine and imbuing light.  It can be sophisticated and mature or youthful and funky.  Looks like we have Picasso to thank for getting the ball rolling on this trend, but perhaps he was just admiring Church floors?