Elizabeth Wine -- Interior Design, 2/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
No Shoes Required
Confetti, candy, parties. They all inspired Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg to design Tekla for Kasthall. The wool-linen rug fairly twinkles with speckled colors and bristles with hand-tufted long-pile yarns of varying heights. Among a variety of mouthwatering colorways is Toffee. Or perhaps you prefer Caramel, Mint, Menthol, or Liquorice? Custom sizes available. P.O. Box 254, 511 23 Kinna, Sweden; 46-320-20-59-00; kasthall.com. circle 321
Fields of Dreams
At his Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, Philip Johnson set his Barcelona daybed on a perfect rectangle of tufted white wool from Edward Fields. The company also famously supplied rugs to Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, Eero Saarinen and Associates's TWA Flight Center at Idlewild International Airport in New York, and Air Force One.
Just two years ago, when Tai Ping Carpets International acquired the business, now renamed Edward Fields Carpet Makers, the lion's share of that legacy was stashed in a jumble of dusty cardboard boxes. Tai Ping's CEO, James Kaplan, recalls his first giddy forays into the archive like this: "We were kids in a candy store."
Signature patterns and rich textures have returned in fresh colorways as the Archive Edition, divided into six collections of patterns. For example, the classic Terra, which Van Day Truex invented for Brooke Astor in the late 1950's, belongs to the Free Forms collection. The Geometrics include Raymond Loewy's Picnic Blanket from the early '50's, now updated with earth tones.
Relaunches are only the beginning. The company was an attractive acquisition, in part, for its extensive sales network, and Kaplan wasted no time rechristening Fields showrooms across the U.S. with the Tai Ping name. As of this spring, the showrooms will also feature 400-square-foot alcoves rededicated to Fields—essentially smaller versions of the flagship studio and showroom that recently opened in New York's A&D Building.
BR Design Associates founding principal Michael Rait cleaned up the 4,200-square-foot space, all the way up to the track lighting. Scott Fellows of BassamFellows contributed by crystallizing Edward Fields brand values in the phrase "craftsman modern." And it was Fellows who phoned Style Council principal John Krenek, a former employee when both men worked at Salvatore Ferragamo. "John, I think I have a perfect job for you," Fellows said.
His fellow Style Council principal, Martin Nederpelt—a Ferragamo alum who specializes in window displays—takes credit for woodwork in the Fields showrooms. "I brought in a piece of walnut, and everybody loved it," he says with a laugh. Walnut was used exclusively for shelving, flat files, even counters. All were fabricated in Style Council's studio. As Nederpelt says, "If you source out, you never know what quality you're going to get."
The finished flagship resembles a slicked-up workshop, complete with exposed mechanical systems, a massive work table, and even a battered metal filing cabinet. "In old photos of Salvatore Ferragamo himself, you see Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, and other big stars sitting with him in an environment like that," Nederpelt says.
Hans Wegner occasional chairs, which surround a table near the sample wall, earned their patina through years of service in former Fields showrooms. A dip into the storage boxes yielded the reception desk's marble lamp by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. To prop the walnut shelving, Krenek brought in highly collectible West German studio ceramics from his upstate store, Spruce Design + Décor. Also on the shelves, vintage design books are intended to inspire new bespoke rugs and carpet.
Samples hang from blackened-steel rails that will eventually double in number as the company "grows into the space," Krenek says. That coincides with Kaplan's goal. Now that the Archive Edition has been launched, he's eager to see designers and customers start sketching from a blank canvas. 232 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022; 212-310-0400; edwardfields.com. circle 322 —Craig Kellogg
Take a ride on Jet Stream, one of Kyle Bunting's punchy cowhide designs—which can be pressed into service as rugs, upholstery, wall coverings, and furniture panels. They're chameleons, too. Note how the same construction, dreamed up by the team of Neri & Hu, looks very different in a wild fiesta of colors and patterns versus a cooler palette of solids. Inspired? The company will customize any offering that your heart desires. 5004 Bee Creek Road, Spicewood, TX 78669; 512-264-1148; kylebunting.com. circle 323
This manufacturer's in-house designers toured the fashion houses of Paris and New York and came back with a study in contrasts: smooth versus textured. Witness Cross Weave, Sleek Rib, Flat Weave, Exaggerated Weave, and Structure Weave, each offered in a selection of shimmering grays. 380 South Industrial Boulevard, Calhoun, GA 30701; 800-257-7429; shawcontractgroup.com. circle 324
Floor to Heaven
Inspired by the belief that skeleton heads ward off evil spirits, Indian Circle features a subtly inserted ring of skulls with crossbones. This Tibetan rug, hand-knotted in wool and silk, comes in standard dimensions of 79 by 110 inches as well as custom sizes. 21 Brüsselerstrasse, 50674 Cologne, Germany; 49-221-99-868-26; floortoheaven.com. circle 325
Vineyard creates texture in hand-carved pile, then enhances the visual interest with eight colorways: Bordeaux, deep red, fuchsia, mustard, bronze, deep taupe, linen, and white. The woven acrylic rugs belong to a range called Line A, notable for an ultrasoft hand. 2 Wakkensteenweg, 8710 St. Baafs–Vijve, Belgium; 32-56-62-22-11; baltagroup.com. circle 326
The patterns of Art Fusion are based on drawings and paintings that this company commissioned years ago. Mix its extensive archive with recent color trends, and the result is fabulous. Red Vine, Turquoise Floral, Green Abstract, and Red Leaves are all woven from wool and nylon. 1000 Cobb Place Boulevard, Building 200, Suite 200, Kennesaw, GA 30144; 877-332-9013; brintons.net. circle 327
Referencing items from her own wardrobe as well as Mother Nature's, interiors maven Kelly Wearstler is a perfect fit for the fashion-forward styling of the Rug Company, as evidenced by this collection of hand-knotted designs. Taking a cue from marble, Tracery's shimmering veining comes courtesy of silk yarn. A graffiti-covered door in New York inspired the paint-drip pattern of Tibetan wool Zephyr. Using some of her own needlepoint to jump-start the design process on Tibetan wool Maze, Wearstler then incorporated the op art aesthetic of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Highly stylized shells overlap in wool and silk Nautilus. And Tibetan wool Bijoux derives from the fish-scale motif on one of Wearstler's favorite vintage dresses.
The collection also includes three other patterns. All measure 9 by 12 feet. 8202 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046; 323-653-0303; therugcompany.info. circle 328
Rhythm and Flow
The Basic collection of mosaic tiles from Sicis gets back to, well, the essentials. A wide variety of materials—from saturated porcelain to iridescent glass—explores the contrasts of opacity and transparency, light and shadow, positive and neg ative space. Consider the pairing of sturdy cherry and ethereal mother-of-pearl. Meanwhile, geometric shapes such as circles, ovals, and squares combine in an infinite number of intricate patterns.
At 5/16 inch thick, the tiles carry themselves with grace in residential settings and are also able to withstand high-traffic contract use. 470 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013; 877-839-8900; sicis.com. circle 329
Welcome to the Playpen
Consider this trio of Nanimarquina offerings for rooms where either precocious children or adults might be at play. Bichos y Flores is a roughly circular composition of flora and fauna artfully drawn in hot colors—pink, pistachio, orange, and red. Rangoli recalls Hindu mosaic patterns, rendered in either burgundy or blackon a natural ground. (The smallest of three standard sizes features a single motif; concentric borders increase the diameter.) Shaped like a foot without its toes, Despertar comes in subdued shades of ivory, blue, and brown. All three rugs are hand-tufted in 100 percent New Zealand wool. 10 Carrer Església, 3rd Floor, 08024 Barcelona, Spain; 34-93-237-6465; nanimarquina.com. circle 330
Next time you feel like the royal treatment, may we suggest a floor fit for a czarina? The Mega medallion pattern won Floor of the Year from the National Wood Flooring Association. Little wonder. The giant inlay, the largest in its class, covers 1,600 square feet, assembled from precision-cut hardwood segments. Choose from a variety of patterns, or customize. 107 Ann Drive, Richboro, PA 18954; 800-577-2927; czarfloors.com. circle 331
Large-format Metro Life flaunts its urban look, produced by a random mixing of clay. Because this is a through-body tile, it can take anything that high-traffic areas dish out while staying true to its lovely colors: graphite charcoal, cinnabar red, Melted Bronze, and Macchiato brown. A wide range of rectangles and squares is available, some in sheet form. 3501 NW 115th Avenue, Doral, FL 33178; 305-718-5091; mediterranea-usa.com. circle 332
Company founder Alon Langotsky has translated his own primitive-inspired artwork into the Root line of carpets. Woven from wool and silk, Root 2 has the delicacy of an ink drawing. Standard rugs measure 8 by 10 feet, with custom sizes available. 537 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-924-0394; chista.net. circle 333
Comercial Lledó Mas
For texture, hand-tufted wool Tribeca features dots in a higher pile. The rug is available in two standard sizes, measuring approximately 55 by 79 inches and 67 by 94½ inches. 4 Plaza Urquinaona, 08010 Barcelona, Spain; 34-93-301-4100. circle 334
With its subtle pattern and texture, Decoupage is nothing if not flexible. Offered both as modular tile and as broad loom, the cut-and-loop construction is nylon and comes in 24 colors. 200 Fair Street, Calhoun, GA 30701; 800-308-4344; constantine-carpet.com. circle 335
Contemporary artists Carol Rama, Francesco Casorati, Bartolomeo Migliore, and Gosia Turzeniecka each designed a pattern for the ArtLab collection. The rugs are hand-knotted in Nepal by Tibetan weavers, who use high-quality wool and silk. Sizes can be customized, but hurry—only 20 of each design will be made. 52F Via Mazzini, 10123 Turin, Italy; 704-819-6972; stilebk.com. circle 336
Milliken & Company
Hit every note with Perfect Pitch, a symphony of complex neutrals and saturated accents from the Intervals collection. Made of this company's Certified WearOn Type 6,6 nylon, the tile comes in numerous colorways—26 of them, to be exact. Standouts are Mountain Haze, Mirage, Parrot, Crocus, and Lobster. 201 Lukken Industrial Drive West, LaGrange, GA 30240; 800-334-7740; millikencarpet.com. circle 337
This designer-manufacturer is often influenced by modern textiles, but we can't help being drawn to unabashedly old-fashioned Lace. Magnified, what was once a delicate pattern becomes a bold Tibetan rug in red and pink silk on a ground of white cashmere or wool. Also available in blue and silver on gray in addition to dye-to-match options. 1 Simms Street, Suite 250, San Rafael, CA 94901; 415-456-2588; rosemaryhallgarten.com. circle 338
Several years ago, Wenlan Chia expanded her scope from chunky sweaters, beloved by young Hollywood, to rugs, bedding, pillows, and throws. Beads, which channels her fashion persona, is a hand-tufted wool rug measuring 6 by 8 feet. 545 Eighth Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10018; 212-625-8710; twinkleliving.com. circle 339
Designs in this collection from Carving add a soft layer of complexity to interiors schemes. Moonstone's playful array of wool dots comes in a variety of amphibious greens or chocolate browns. With Fricks, similar dots of various sizes are stitched together without backing, so the floor beneath becomes another element in the design. Loxton encompasses quadrants of two giant wool circles, separated by a field of pebble-shape cutouts that reveal different colors of leather below. The leather backing of Jackson leaves not an inch of floor visible between the overlapping hair-on hide dots. In an orthogonal departure, Christopher features a simple grid of dashes cut out of the wool pile.
The rugs are handmade in India and come in three standard sizes, approximately 55 by 78 inches, 67 by 94½ inches, and 79 by 118 inches. Custom dimensions also available. 1 Rua Dr. Manuel Madeira, 1st Floor, 3030-303 Coimbra, Portugal; 351-239-496-363; carving.pt. circle 340
From the Land of the Shahs
Saying that Iran has a rug tradition is a little like saying that Italy has a pasta legacy. But just as one fettuccini is superb while another is merely adequate, all Persian rugs are not created equal. For museum-worthy examples, Jehan Gallery's fifth-generation owner, Nasser Nishaburi, is simultaneously a curator and a purveyor, overseeing an inventory that mixes new, vintage, and antique.
Epitomizing the Bakhtiar tradition of what is now central Iran, an 80-year-old rug depicts a surprisingly accurate world map, framed by astrological signs and cartouches incorporating a Farsi poem that speaks of happiness, youth, and spring. In a finely woven example produced in Kashan in the early 20th century, the keyhole enclosure around the mythical tree of life suggests a view through the door of Paradise.
Afsari, a famous female weaver who lived in Kashan in the late 19th century, made a rug that tells the tale of a patriotic archer who gave his life to establish Persia's border against enemy forces. A paisley rug bordered by verse dedicated to the making of love, wine, and merriment—woven at 1,100 knots per inch—was a gift for a shah's daughter. Amore humorous love rug, from Tabriz in the 1960's, is based on the legend of Shirin and Farhad, a princess and the suitor who manages to carry both her and her horse. 26 Dempsey Road, Suite 01-01/02, Singapore 249686; 65-6334-43-33; jehan.com.sg. circle 341
Tai Ping Carpets International
An array of gray tones cascades down a red ground in Techtonia I from the Revanche line of rugs in styles inspired by primitive art. The designs make lavish use of organic fibers, including silk, sisal, cotton, and soy. Available in custom dimensions. 860 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003; 212-979-2233; taipingcarpets.com. circle 342
Blue Ridge Commercial Carpet
Some of the greenest carpet tile around, Color Blocks takes formerly unusable tail-outs and reprocesses them to create a rainbow effect. The yarn is Zeftron Enviro6ix, which is 66 percent repurposed material; the Enviroflex Performance Engineered backing has a 40 percent recycled content. P.O. Box 507, Ellijay, GA 30540; 800-241-5945; blueridgecarpet.com. circle 343
American Marazzi Tile
Who says Vanity's a sin? This line's through-body porcelain puts a pretty face on tiles that can stand up to bitter cold and heavy traffic. They're available in a square format, at 12 or 24 inches, and as a rectangle, at 12 by 24 inches. Offered in rust as well as black and Frost, all with metallic hints to capture the light. 359 Clay Road, Sunnyvale, TX 75182; 972-226-0110; marazzitile.com. circle 344