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Karastan

New Styles and Collaborations Announced in Las Vegas

Earlier this month, the City of Lights sparkled with style yet again as the Karastan design team reopened their showroom doors at the highly anticipated Las Vegas Market.  Held biannually in Las Vegas’s World Market Center, the Las Vegas Market is the West Coast’s only home furnishings market and a top destination for style seekers in search of the freshest fashions for home interiors.  With upwards of 4,000 luxury gift and home brands, in addition to at least 600 temporary exhibitors, packed inside the market’s surplus of 5.4 million square feet of sprawling showroom space, it’s no wonder that the Las Vegas Market attracts the attention of top tastemakers, retail leaders, interior designers and design celebrities from around the world!

Karastan wowed attendees at this summer’s market with the most product debuts launched in recent history!  Such launches included the unveiling of Karastan’s new Elements Collection, featuring 12 original designs in opening price points spanning a spectrum of styles ranging from timeless traditional all the way to cutting edge contemporary.  While officially launched earlier at this season’s Atlanta market, Karastan’s Meraki Collection was equally well received on the West Coast.  Consciously crafted with eco-friendly Everstrand™ recycled polyester yarn, the collection is comprised of 15 traditional patterns revamped with rich color combinations and distressed details.  The Meraki Collection’s globally inspired bohemian designs made waves in haute hues like magenta pink, indigo blue, tangerine orange, lime green and teal sapphire.

Karastan expanded on existing collections as well.  Ten new designs were added to the popular Spice Market Collection, including five creations styled by the antique inspired artisans of Patina Vie, four patterns designed by legendary textile designer, Virginia Langley, and one debut dreamed possible by Karastan Vice President of Design, Tracy Pruitt.  The contemporary Cosmopolitan Collection grew by 14 new designs as well, five of which were created in collaboration with Patina Vie.  Silver, oxblood, emerald and clay colors were also added to the Cosmopolitan Collection, with emerald in particular anticipated to be a rising trend.  Three new colorways of Virginia Langley’s “Nirvana” design were introduced, including jade, smoky grey and brushed gold.  Fifteen new designs were also presented in the Enigma Collection, many of which incorporated pastel colors, another rising trend.  Topping off all the newness included round rug size options released in the Euphoria and Touchstone Collections.

However, the biggest news announced at the market included the unveiling of two new collections licensed in collaboration with Scott Living, a lifestyle brand owned by Jonathan and Drew Scott, hosts of HGTV’s Property Brothers series.  The Scotts collaborated with Tracy Pruitt to create 21 new designs for their two collections, named Artisan and Expressions.

Upscale art-deco inspired styles, polished by shimmering touches of gold and cream viscose, comprise the luxurious Artisan Collection.  Those craving more of a casual, masculine inspired style influenced by coastal California vibes will gravitate toward the Expressions Collection.  This carefree collection includes a denim and indigo blue color palette, balanced with neutral hues of beige, grey, black and white.  The “Elan Onyx” style from the Expressions Collection even served as the backdrop for fan photos with the Scotts during a packed cocktail party hosted in the Karastan showroom on Sunday, July 29, to celebrate the collections’ launch.

While this season’s market concluded earlier this month, the Karastan design team is already at work preparing a slew of more stylish surprises for next winter’s Las Vegas Market, scheduled for January 27-31, 2019.

Categories
Room Ideas

A Custom Rug Helps To Define An Oversized Family Room

 

Self-taught designer Mollie Surratt shares her living room makeover featuring our cut and bound Ashland broadloom carpet.

When the weather turns warmer, my creativity is awakened along with the fresh rain drops and blossoming flowers. And this spring, I opted to focus my creative attention in my home, so that my entire family could enjoy the fruits of my labor. Along with sprucing up our kitchen, my husband and I decided to give our well-loved family room an overhaul.

Although interior design is my life’s passion, I have two active little girls, Caroline (6) and Charlotte (3) as well as three small dogs. This means that my design choices must be family-friend first—and beautiful second. While I would love the all-white monochromatic look in my family room, it just isn’t practical during this hectic season of life. In fact, I’ve oftentimes considered wrapping everything I own in bubble wrap until they turn 18.

Since bubble wrap isn’t exactly chic, I selected my family room textiles with care. The family room is large and open with a ton of natural light pouring in from the oversized two-story windows. My walls throughout the main floor are painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter with trim in Benjamin Moore Navajo White. To ground the room and provide dimension, the built-in bookshelves and mantle are painted Benjamin Moore Galveston Gray. This is one of my favorite warm gray paints because of its taupe undertones.

 

When creating a room of this size, I always begin with the floor. A great rug defines the space and sets the tone for the feel of the whole room. After thorough research, I opted to create a 12’ X 13’ cut and bound area rug crafted from Karastan’s Ashland broadloom carpet. A cut and bound area rug made from broadloom carpet is the perfect choice for large rooms like this—and provides comfort as well as space coverage. Just ask your local Karastan retailer about Karastan’s Cut Above program for more information. Our new rug is absolutely perfect and gives the space the definition it needed.

 

Not only is the rug an ideal size, it’s made from Karastan’s SmartStrand Silk fiber and carries the All Pet Protection and Warranty. SmartStrand Silk provides luxurious softness that is also family-friendly because of its built-in stain and soil protection that never washes or wears off. It’s almost as good as bubble wrap but a whole lot more beautiful. To clean up spills and accidents which are inevitable in our house, you simply need a mild detergent and white cloth. As my Caroline says, easy peasy lemon squeezy!

To compliment the rug, I selected oversized gray sofas with a single long cushion to avoid any more surprises found in the cracks. The modern sofa is accented with rustic-chic pillows in neutral tones of taupe, blue and gray. To bring the eye upward, we hung authentic tobacco baskets over each bookshelf and selected accent tables made of reclaimed wood to scatter throughout the room. Accessories are an eclectic mix of treasures from throughout our journey, including favorite books, family photos, preserved boxwood wreath and antique-store finds.

 

The finished room is a gorgeous blend of old and new—and my entire family, even the furbabies, love hanging out in here. Most of all, I love that it’s stylish enough for entertaining but comfortable enough for family movie night. In my opinion, that what’s real luxury is all about. Thank you, Karastan, for truly helping my family Live Beautifully in our new family room!

 

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Karastan

Karastan Returns to it Roots and Celebrates 90 Years at High Point Market

Earlier this season, Karastan continued its 90th anniversary celebration at North Carolina’s famed High Point Market.  Held April 14-18, this internationally renowned event has earned its reputation as, ‘The World’s Home for Home Furnishings.’  Regarded as the largest furnishings industry trade show, High Point Market biannually attracts attention from a surplus of 75,000 industry insiders, representing over 100 different countries.  Each April and October, upwards of 2,000 exhibitors flood the 11.5 million square feet of show space, spanning over 180 buildings, for five fashion filled days previewing the freshest and finest décor for the season ahead.  With tens of thousands of new product introductions at each market, it’s no wonder many have arrived at the conclusion that if it can’t be found at High Point, it probably doesn’t exist!

(Shown: Designs from Karastan’s new high fashion collection inspired by abstract art, Decollage.) 

This past April officially marked Karastan’s 90th anniversary.  The brand was born April 8, 1928 at 2:02 p.m. when the first rug rolled off an innovative groundbreaking loom created by American retailer and textile manufacturer, Marshall Field, in Eden, North Carolina, where the company remains based today.  Touted as the Karastan ‘Wonder Rug’, this elegant machine-made design rivaled handmade imported counterparts and quickly gained patronage for its unique quality, beauty and durability.  Popularity for Karastan’s revolutionary craftsmanship soared as the ‘Wonder Rug’ wowed tens of thousands of visitors at two World Fairs.

In celebration of the brand’s 90th anniversary, Karastan revisited its roaring twenties roots and invited market attendees to take a step back in time with its 1920’s themed showroom.  A leading sponsor of the High Point Market Design Bloggers Spring Tour 2018, Karastan hosted a 1920’s inspired Garden Party for the blogger event, in which Product Manager Erika Banks and Vice President of Design Tracy Pruitt led an exclusive showroom tour and revealed some of the brand’s latest designs.

(VP of Design Tracy Pruitt leads a showroom tour for design bloggers during High Point market.)

New introductions at this market included Karastan’s Simpatico Collection.  Inspired by the successful launch of the Kismet Collection, the Simpatico Collection is crafted from the combination of Karastan’s best-selling SmartStrand Silk™ yarn and legendary fully worsted New Zealand wool.  Together, this marriage of fibers achieves a luxurious product that optimizes the quality of each:  the sophisticated matte finish of the New Zealand wool cleverly contrasted with the silky sheen and stain resistant strength of Smartstrand Silk™.  Carefully crafted with Karastan’s Van de Wiele Woven Construction, the Simpatico Collection showcases a spectacular spectrum of modern transitional patterns, set to be stocked in over 30 sizes to offer consumers the unique option to create a custom size perfect for any space.

(New designs from Karastan’s Simpatico collection are revealed at High Point market.)

Additionally, the Karastan design team expanded product offerings in several of its best-selling existing collections, including the plush Euphoria Collection, the glamorous Cosmopolitan Collection, the tantalizingly textural Enigma Collection, the eclectic Touchstone Collection and the globally inspired Spice Market Collection.  Though Karastan’s showroom doors have since been sealed as of the conclusion of this spring’s High Point Market, the creative process is already well underway for the High Point Market’s highly anticipated return this fall, scheduled for October 13-17, 2018.

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Karastan Trends

Karastan Goes Glamping at High Point Market

Last month, Karastan reached the final destination of their 2017 market tour at North Carolina’s High Point Market.  The largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, High Point Market biannually attracts attention from over 75,000 industry insiders from over 100 different countries.  Each April and October, over 2,000 exhibitors flood the 11.5 million square feet of show space for five fashion filled days showcasing the freshest and the finest home décor for the season ahead.  It’s no wonder the market is touted as, ‘The World’s Home for Home Furnishings.’

glamping, karastan

Once inside the Karastan showroom doors, both patrons and professionals alike relished in a retreat from reality with Karastan’s dreamy bohemian glamping getaway!  The ‘glamping’ themed showroom, short for glam camping, was inspired by the debut of Karastan’s latest collaboration collection with the intriguingly luxurious and invitingly livable lifestyle brand, Patina Vie.

glamping, karastan

Old world panache is woven with modern functionality in the luxurious new Vintage Tapis Collection.  Honoring the timeless artistry of rustic hand knotted Persian rugs, the Vintage Tapis Collection elegantly emulates traditional craftsmanship in a fresh palette of the season’s most coveted colors.  The low profile, flat weave designs of this collection offer a relaxed drape, allowing for the ability to fold like traditional style rugs and strike a beautiful balance of antique elegance.  Individually imparting an authentic aesthetic and luxurious heirloom quality, the debuts of the Vintage Tapis Collection are steeped in vintage style and crafted with care.

glamping, karastan

While Karastan’s showroom doors are since sealed until the next market held in April, we invite you to sneak a peek at some of the moments captured from this industry insider exclusive event!

 

Categories
Trends

How to Find the Perfect Carpet for Fall

From pumpkins to daisies and woven baskets to autumn leaves, the colors and styles of fall are some of the most beautiful of the year. Orange tones brighten up your home while earthy browns and splashes of gold dot your décor and showcase the beauty of natural color.

With so many different options, what are your favorite ways to update your fall décor? Do you like to touch up some paint, purchase new furniture or simply add a pumpkin to your front porch? One thing that people don’t often realize is how big of a role the perfect carpet plays in tying together your décor! The perfect fall carpet needs to keep your feet warm and cozy while still able to stand up to the mud and slush of fall, all while still maintaining a beautiful color.

Check out our guide to finding the perfect fall carpet:

Step #1: Choose Your Location

Where you plan on putting a carpet will dictate what type of carpet you purchase. Places like living rooms and stairs receive the most direct traffic and will require denser, more durable carpets with heavier weights. These are great areas for wool carpets, due to their superior durability and ease of cleaning. If you’re looking to upgrade the carpet in your bedroom or guest room, these areas receive less traffic and allows you to be more flexible in the type of carpet you purchase. These areas are great for fibers like SmartStrand because of the silky softness that they give to your feet, but we’ll get more into fibers later!

fall carpet

 

Step #2: Choose a Color

It may seem like one of the most obvious things to do, but it’s also one of the most important! A lighter tone is much more resistant to fading than a deep, rich color. For a sunroom or area with large bay windows, a softer hue like our Bergeron in Peach Parfait is a great choice.  When designing a fun fall guest room, go bold! A rich orange or gold carpet like our Fifth Avenue Flair in 18 Karat well help your guest feel like they’re stepping into a luxurious new world. To outfit the man cave, think about adding a distressed carpet like Kingsley in Chantilly. Kingsley gives your room a rustic look with a luxurious feel. Your feet sink into the carpet while you’re relaxing in your personal oasis.

fall carpet

 

Step #3: Choose a Fiber

When it comes to finding the perfect fall carpet, durability and ease of cleaning has to be near the top of your list. A fiber like our elegant New Zealand wool is the epitome of durability and beauty. Wool also helps insulate your floor and keeps you warm as the temperatures continue to drop. Other fibers like our SmartStrand fibers are created with superior durability and extreme softness in mind. These carpets, like Berkeley, are crafted to protect against spills and pet stains yet allow the silky fibers to slide between your toes and surround your feet in softness.

 

Step #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold

To find the perfect carpet, don’t be afraid to look to nature for inspiration. Think about animals that thrive in the declining temperatures and snowy weather. A carpet like our Savanna Scenes in Antelope gives you a whole new way to be creative and design your home for the fall.

Have you found your perfect fall carpet? Share with us in the comments!

Categories
Trends

Pantone Fall 2017 Colors Influence Karastan Area Rugs

Each season, the color trend experts at the Pantone Color Institute evaluate top designers’ runway collections at New York Fashion Week and most recently, London Fashion Week, to create the prestigious Pantone Fashion Color Report for the season ahead. A color trend road map for the season ahead, the team then forecasts the top ten colors in men’s and women’s fashion. As we concluded our appearance at North Carolina’s renowned High Point Market last week, we noticed some similarities between our latest color creels and Pantone’s Fall 2017 palette. Chic coincidence or not? Read on for more on how Karastan’s latest collections beautifully align with Pantone’s predictions for Fall.

Pictured above is the Karastan Saigon Area Rug in Multicolor from the Spice Market Collection. With a subtle nod towards exotic Aztec style influences, the Saigon showcases horizontal rows of cultural inspired artistry cast in the Spice Market Collection’s mesmerizing Mediterranean inspired palette. On par with Pantone’s Fall 2017 Fashion Color Report, most notably look for pops of Navy Peony, Autumn Maple, Neutral Gray and Shaded Spruce.

Pictured above is the Karastan European Cottage Area Rug from the Vintage Tapis Collection, hand-designed by Patina Vie’s Sarah Willet. Honoring the timeless artistry of rustic hand knotted Persian rugs, the debuts of the Vintage Tapis Collection elegantly emulate traditional craftsmanship with a relaxed drape, allowing the rugs to be folded, similar to antique heirloom styles. Take a step back in time to the Provincial French countryside with the enduringly elegant style of the European Cottage Area Rug, featuring Pantone’s Autumn Maple, Butterum and Tawny Port.

Pictured above is the Karastan Serene Area Rug in Denim from the Kismet Collection. This area rug’s modern marbleized aesthetic is executed through a serendipitous union of Karastan’s luxurious New Zealand Wool and innovative Smartstrand Silk™. Showcasing Pantone’s Neutral Gray, Butterum and Navy Peony, the Serene Area Rug is radiantly right on trend.

Be sure to check out the complete collections on our website for all our latest style debuts and more fresh-for-fall Pantone inspired color combinations!

 

 

Categories
Trends

Fashion and Flooring: The Impact of New York Fashion Week

With New York Fashion Week upon us, we’re excited to see all the luxurious new spring styles from the most famous designers around the world. With models strutting down the runway this week, unveiling the spring’s most anticipated styles, it’s easy to see the impact that these creations have on flooring as well.

Here are the biggest trends we see making their way into flooring design:

The Color of Fall

Red has always been a popular color, but this season, it’s whites and creams that are stealing the show. Regal hues, like the creamy Sandstorm from the Worstead Elegance collection, is a perfect base for a monochromatically designed space or paired with a bright pastel.

fashion

(Worstead Elegance)

Power in Plaid

As New York Fashion Week continues, a trend we expect to see is the re-emergence of plaid. The timeless style has the versatility to be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the rest of the out.  When it comes to flooring, designs like our Woolston Plaid follows along as one of this season’s hottest, most adaptable looks.

fashion

(Woolston Plaid)

Mix and Match

One of our favorite styles on the rise this week is the mix-and-match look. Clothing designers are pairing sleek leather jackets with bright, tattered pants in gorgeous innovative designs. In flooring like Karastan’s Patina Multi rug, flooring designers are combining random clouds of color with a distressed rug appearance.

fashion

(Patina Multi)

Gold is Good

For many, yellow isn’t the obvious color choice when choosing an outfit to wear or what flooring to purchase. This season, Stylecaster predicts that golden tones like saffron and goldenrod will bring the luxury of gold back to the forefront. Live like royalty and keep your room in style with luxurious comfort and a brilliant golden glow Karastan’s Modern Vision in Winter Wheat.

fashion

(Modern Vision)

Flower Power

Florals are another trend on the rise. From Warhol inspired neon shades to simple vines dancing across the floor, flowers are taking over all corners of fashion. In flooring, floral patterns are a timeless trend that adds texture without overpowering the rest of the room.

fashion

(Glovenia)

Big and Bold

Flashy and extravagant styles are what we look forward to during fashion week. Bold statements like big boots, bright colors and layered designs will be seen at shows throughout the week. If your personality is bold, we recommend rich carpets with intricate layered designs to keep your home looking chic.

fashion

(Empress Kirman Black)

What are your favorite fashion week trends? Share with us in the comments!

Categories
Design Concepts

The Man Behind the Magic: Interview with Karastan’s Jeff Seagle

Karastan’s showroom at Atlanta’s AmericasMart attracted some extra eyes last month at the summer edition of the International Area Rug Market.  Recently recognized as ‘Best in Flooring- Outstanding Visual Display’, the Karastan showroom is one of over 1,400 unique showrooms and over 2,500 temporary exhibits that help make the biannual market a ‘can’t miss’ event for industry insiders and interior designers alike.

Following the market, we were able to track down the man behind the magic, Director of Marketing and Product Merchandising Jeff Seagle, for an exclusive behind the scenes story of Seagle and his team’s showroom design process, from bare to beautiful!

karastan

It is our understanding that you are the driving force behind the marketing and styling efforts of the Karastan showrooms. Can you tell us a little more about your specific role and history with the company?

First of all, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I am incredibly blessed to have some of the best, most creative people on my team working incredibly hard throughout the entire process.

There are hundreds of things that have to happen prior to opening the showroom doors. Everyone in the creative services department and the sample department have a role to play, and they play it extremely well. Quite frankly, it would be an impossible task if it were not for their collective efforts and desire for excellence. I can tell you that the reason for our success is that everyone has a genuine love for doing showrooms and it shows.

Between Karastan and Mohawk Home, we do approximately eight shows a year.

I am currently the Director of Marketing and Product Merchandising with Mohawk Home. I have been with Mohawk Home for 8 years. I would say my most im­portant role within Mohawk Home/Karastan is to maximize and grow our sales and profitability using the combined talents of our creative services, merchandising and brand management teams. Our goal and is to deliver an engaging experience to each of our retail partners customers every time.

karastan

High Point Market showroom, 2017.  

Did you wake up one morning and decide this was what you were born to do? Or rather, what experiences and education lead you to this point in your career?

Not at all, my design career began after graduating from Maryville College in 1986. After spending a year with an ad agency designing billboards, I began working for a government contractor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This particular firm held various government contracts with The United States Department of Energy. The largest of which, was to manage and operate The American Museum of Science and Energy.

My first assignment was to create an exhibit for the History of Y-12, a nuclear weapons facility located in Tennessee. Obviously, I had never designed anything to that scale or magnitude. The subject matter ranged from radioactive isotopes to the history of the atomic bomb. It was literally a sink or swim type proposition. Luckily, I learned to swim rather quickly and became the lead designer for the museum, as well as the company.

After ten years, I looked to do something in a completely new direction and began working as marketing director for a log home manufacturer based in Jarven­paa, Finland. We had over a hundred model homes and sales offices in Scandinavia. Eventually they entered the US market, and we were the first company to work with a newly formed company – Home and Garden Television. We were the first to give away a completely furnished home to a lucky winner, a highly successful promotion that continues to this day. It was at that time, working with a variety of designers, photographers and marketing professionals that I became even more interested in the power of visual merchandising.

Eventually, I worked my way into home textiles with stops at Burlington Rugs and Shaw Living.

How does your creative process begin when you’re tasked with designing a fresh, new showroom concept? Where do you start?

The creative process always starts with the product. We work very closely with the product designers to gain a greater understanding of the inspiration, vision, usage, features and benefits that differentiates it from the competition.

With our retail partners, differentiation is the name of the game. This applies to showrooms as well. There are monumental shifts in the retail landscape and consumer behavior. It is no longer enough to simply manufacture a great product. You must demonstrate a willingness to think outside the box – create curated collections, tell a story, create an environment, provide the customer with the right information in the right format, and whenever possible, create whenever a customer experi­ence that evokes all the senses.

karastan

Patina Vie display at Las Vegas market, 2017.

A typical buying team sees hundreds and even thousands of rugs within any market week. Our goal is relatively simple: always be the standard of excellence in product and visual presentations. We strive to create somewhat of a logical connection with the product via a story or environment. If it comes naturally that’s great; if not, we challenge ourselves to think outside the box. Many times, the most unorthodox environments and approaches are the most well received.

 

Let’s talk about themes, the crux of the showroom! No pressure… right? How do you and your team identify a new theme? What are some factors you look toward to guide that decision process?

The theme is really born out of the product assortment we will be featuring. It also depends upon the amount of space we have to work with as well. But in the end, the final theme is born out of collaborative “brain storming” sessions with the creative team. The biggest factors that guide the decision process are space allocation, budget and, of course, the story or inspiration behind the product.

Where do you look for inspiration? Do you follow any designers, bloggers or publications?

Inspiration comes from a multitude of sources. One source of inspiration comes from small, boutique type retail shops and antique stores. These places are “goldmines” for inspiration. Not all, but many small boutiques are much better at creating more curated collections and do not have to follow strict merchandising and visual standards that big box retailers must follow. They are much more apt to be creative with signage, fixtures, photography and props.

Single biggest? Without question Disney. I am a Disney fanatic. I am fascinated by all aspects of their business – resorts, theme parks and retail areas. It absolute­ly amazes me how the Disney interior designers, architects, graphic designers, visual merchandisers, landscape architects, etc. maintain such high standards of creativity, excellence and continuity. No detail is too small…nothing. I have visited virtually every resort within Disney World the past 17 to 18 years and still walk away completely amazed. For me, it is not only a vacation but a tremendous and wonderful source of inspiration. Anyone who has ever walked down Main Street USA at dusk cannot be unimpressed with how they have incorporated, sight, sound and smell into the customer or visitor experience. I have thousands of photo­graphs—from the interior decor of the hotels to the retail shops on main street that I refer back to for inspiration.

Once the concept is conceived, the real work of bringing the vision to life must begin. Tell us a little about what all goes on behind the scenes when building a showroom. How long can this part of the process take? What roles help turn the idea into a reality?

Numerous things happen once we have decided on our approach. As the product is being designed and manufactured, we begin putting together working drawings for carpenters or contractors to make whatever we need that cannot be purchased.

We also begin shopping for furniture, props, clothing, signage – whatever we need. Once we have those things, our sample department will wrap and label every piece and package it for transport. We usually have one to two trucks filled with product, props and fixtures that go to every showroom.

Behind the scenes there is a tremendous amount of work. We begin work early each morning and usually work late into the evening. Everything from painting to replacing light bulbs are our responsibility. People would be amazed how disorganized and messy the showroom becomes in a matter of minutes once the trucks are unloaded. It generally looks like a bomb exploded.

karastan

Construction underway at the Mohawk Home showroom in New York City.

Simultaneously, while we are beginning to assemble vignettes there are hundreds of large, heavy rugs that must be hung, folded, etc. Our sample department does a tremendous job hanging rugs, anyone who has ever tried to lift an 8 x10 wool rug 12 feet in the air knows it can wear you out fast.

Generally, it takes a couple of weeks in actual construction time to completely “tear down” a showroom and change out the product for the next show. Planning time takes far more time. One day we’re going to place a time lapse camera in a showroom to illustrate the process.

 

Is there a moment when you know the showroom is complete or is it a constant work in progress? If it’s the former, tell us about that moment and what signals to you that the showroom is ready to be revealed?

There is definitely a moment when it is complete from a timing standpoint, but you are always looking back thinking I could have, or should have changed this or that.

Though the themes may change, how do you preserve Karastan’s brand identity? Are there any core components (besides beautiful rugs!) that you try to maintain in each showroom?

It really is all about the product. The designers and product development teams do a superb job at providing the market with the most beautiful rugs in the world. The Karastan brand identity as it relates to the showrooms is really based on the beauty of the product and the creativity, care and professionalism of the environment that our customers see or experience.

Probably one of the most important core components that we implement in any of our showrooms is the attention to detail. Whether it’s distressing a chair, installing wainscot or selecting the right magazines or books for display, it’s very important to the team. In the end, that is what differentiates us form the rest of the market and is what I am proudest of.

karastan

Details of a retro-themed vignette at the Las Vegas showroom in 2016.  

How often must the showroom be redesigned? Does this always involve a complete overhaul or can elements of previous themes evolve into the next?

We typically do one major renovation per year on each of our showrooms. Generally, we don’t like to repeat any theme unless of course it has been well received and the sales or management team requests we keep it in place. We reuse many of our props and furniture. As a matter of fact, when we purchase props or finalize a design we always want to look to the future and determine is this something we can use again and again in a multitude of different environments.

Can you recall any favorite showroom displays over the years?

There are a few that are my favorite. One in particular, was our “Speakeasy Bar” that we constructed for Atlanta Market. We featured collections of beautiful, traditional Karastan rugs in the setting of a 1920’s prohibition era bar. We actually had a bookcase and library shelves constructed that would swing open to reveal a “hidden” section of the showroom.

karastan

The “Speakeasy” theme, along with a hidden bookcase display, was a big hit during Atlanta market 2015.

The section was filled with an eclectic blend of furniture, photography and artifacts from that time period. Our team spent a couple of days installing new wallpaper and then distressing it with sandpaper, razor blades and stain.
karastan
karastan
Much time and effort is spent in the weeks leading up to market, making sure every detail looks and feels authentic.

We also purchased beer mugs with our Karastan “Speakeasy” logo that was used later in the evenings for customer receptions. Old beer barrels, whiskey and beer bottles with fake dust and cobwebs were also used in the vignettes. If you really look at the photographs you can see the attention to the details in most every shot.

karastan

Notice the ‘cobwebs’ hanging on the chandelier, created by the merchandising/design teams.

As we mentioned earlier, last month’s Atlanta showroom was recently recognized as ‘Best in Flooring-Outstanding Visual Display’. For those of us who couldn’t see it in person, tell us a few of your favorite highlights! What were you most proud of?

I think the last showroom in Atlanta was probably the most complete. We launched a new collection of rugs called Kismet. The setting for Kismet was contemporary and somewhat a “California Casual” look and feel.

karastan

The Kismet collection was a big hit at Atlanta market this summer. The Karastan showroom earned the ‘Best in Flooring- Outstanding Visual Display’.

Our Spice market section was filled with baskets and architectural pieces filled with actual spices that not only were visually interesting but created a wonderful exotic fragrance upon entering that section of the showroom.

karastan

We also had a very unique window vignette featuring our Indoor/outdoor rugs. In this vignette, we wanted to create a patio area in the back of a typical home. However, we chose to present it in a very unusual way. We decided to place the floor of the patio on the wall, with the walls of the house hung from the ceiling. This created an optical illusion that confused and delighted many of our customers. Everything from the outdoor stone fireplace to the furniture all had to be secured to the wall. Everything was literally hung for the ceiling, secured to the wall or affixed to the floor.

karastan

Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at market? Be sure to follow Karastan on Facebook for the latest updates and images.

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Karastan

Serendipitous Style with Karastan’s Kismet Collection

This past market season, Karastan revealed a chance meeting in their newest collection by uniting two of their most coveted fibers, luxurious Smartstrand Silk™ and legendary New Zealand Wool. Aptly named the Kismet Collection, we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Karastan’s Vice President of Design, Tracy Pruitt, to learn more about this fateful collection.

Karastan: Recently you were quoted describing Kismet as, “something significant happening that comes about by fate”.  Can you elaborate on how this serendipitous definition corresponds with Karastan’s latest collection, the Kismet Collection?

Karastan Vice President of Design, Tracy Pruitt
Karastan Vice President of Design, Tracy Pruitt

Tracy: “Yes. Karastan was built on a foundation of beautiful wool rugs.  That is what we have been known for since the 1920’s.  A few years ago, we introduced Smartstrand Silk™, a proprietary synthetic performance fiber that really revolutionized the carpet and rug industry. It was fate that the two should come together in one beautiful rug collection, so I called it Kismet.”

Karastan: When you were first dreaming this new collection to life, what was the starting point?  How was the idea born?

Tracy: “I’m always looking at ways to innovate, not only within color and pattern, but also in construction.  How can we make a more interesting product?  What are we doing right? How can we make a more compelling product? These are the questions that I ask myself.  Once the idea is conceived, like combining these two great fibers, it’s just a matter of experimenting to see what makes the nicest quality of rug.”

Karastan: Where do you look for inspiration and more specifically, what inspired this collection?

Tracy: “I’d like to say that it was all divine intervention, but it was quite strategic.  First, I looked at our collections that are either all wool or all Smartstrand™ and analyzed what I know is working best in those collections.  I drew first from and created sort of a ‘best of the best’ scenario.  Then I built on that.”

Karastan: I understand the Kismet Collection’s unique blend of premium wool and Smartstrand Silk™ yarn is quite surprising.  Can you elaborate on the chemistry behind this unlikely pairing and what makes it so special?

Tracy: “As I mentioned, it’s a pairing of our two most popular yarns.  But what is so intriguing is that the pairing gives the rugs a beautiful texture.  The wool has an elegant matte finish and the Smartstrand Silk™ has a really nice sheen, creating a subtle contrast of surface interest.”

Karastan: Let’s talk color.  What was the thought process behind this collection’s cool neutral color palette?  How does this color palette transcend to today’s home interiors?

Kismet_1

Tracy: “Most of the colors are creams, grays and neutrals.  We all know that these are the colors that the majority of America and even abroad are currently employing for a decorating foundation. However, I always try to incorporate something new and exciting as accent colors. In this collection, there are a few stand-outs. One is a beautiful steel blue that speaks to the current trend in nocturne décor; colors that are dark and moody.  Probably the most edgy color is a blush.  If you’ve shopped for apparel lately, you can’t have missed the fact that there is an abundance of choices for both women and men in various shades of pink.  This is spilling over into home décor and people are really embracing it as sort of a ‘new neutral’.”

Karastan: You’ve mentioned the patterns of this collection were derived from both new and old.  Can you elaborate on that and explain how you selected which archival patterns to reawaken?

Tracy: “There is currently a renewed trend toward traditional patterns.  We went through a phase where nobody was interested in traditional patterns; everything was modern and transitional.  But recently even millennials are appreciating rugs that have a traditional foundation.  While the rugs are anchored in traditional patterns, like serapis and agras, they are totally reimagined with the updated colors we talked about and new techniques like distressing and washes of color floating through the patterns.”

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Karastan: Tell us a little more about your future vision for the Kismet Collection.  Can we expect to see more of this style in the seasons to come?

Tracy: “I really would have liked to have done more traditional patterns.  The mix of the collection is currently traditional, transitional and modern.  But I really enjoy playing with the traditional patterns, reinventing them, and rethinking how they might be interpreted.”

What do you think about our upcoming Kismet collection? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Categories
Design Concepts

A Penny for Your Thoughts with Patina Vie

Earlier this year, Karastan announced its latest collaboration with the intriguingly luxurious and invitingly livable lifestyle brand, Patina Vie. Since then, the style obsessed team at Patina Vie has partnered with Karastan on more than a few covetable collections, infusing their timeless taste in every piece. This month, we were over the moon at the chance to sit down with the brand’s creator and founder, Sarah Willett, and share some snapshots of the forever fashionable inner workings of this design doyenne.

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Sarah Willett, Founder and Creator of Patina Vie

KARASTAN: In the ‘about’ section of Patina Vie’s website, it states, “We’re a passionate team of vintage collectors, product designers, artists and style-makers… ever-charmed by the warm layers of time.” Can you tell us a little more about that and what originally inspired you to found Patina Vie?

SARAH WILLETT: Patina Vie has simply allowed me to share the casual lifestyle that I live in a quaint hamlet in Wisconsin’s emerald countryside.   Our happy little cottage is filled with inspired goods and treasures from all of my travels… stylish touches that are authentic, personal, gathered and layered with a creative eye. Patina Vie is a design house, where we have the honor of designing products that have a soulful spin (KARASTAN RUGS et al); and also collect, curate and sell one-of-a kind antiques and vintage (which make my heart flutter). The combination of old and new inspired our tag line, HISTORY + STYLE COLLLIDE.

KARASTAN: Now, nearly two decades later, where do you draw your design inspiration from today?

Patina Vie Mademoiselle Candles -3

Patina Vie Mademoiselle Candles

SARAH WILLETT: Our process is ever-changing and wildly inspired (thank goodness)!! We love to have lots of projects all in the works at once… which allows us to layer “pretty” onto many different products as we go.   We adore nostalgic touches and subtle, artful details that celebrate craftsmanship. We’re inspired by nature, vintage textiles, travel, European architecture, soulful music, barefoot days with our dogs snoozing under our desks… you name it… we’re obsessed with just about anything we can get our hands on!

KARASTAN: What are some of your favorite home décor trends of 2017?

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Patina Vie French Petite Urn Lamp

SARAH WILLETT: I’m coveting the casual art of UNDECORATED looks… natural woods, easy fabrics, rugs that have a subtle imperfection (as if they’ve already lived), pops of earthy-saturated colors.

KARASTAN: What color trends are you loving right now?

SARAH WILLETT: I’m craving matte WHITE, vintage WARM GOLD, deep INDIGO, subtle BLUSH + dirty LAVENDER (I could go on and on……)!!

Vintage European Deconstructed Sofa

Vintage European Deconstructed Sofa

KARASTAN: Patina Vie is known for its appreciation of vintage style. Have you noticed any timeless trends that continue to inspire your designs, season after season?

SARAH WILLETT: Forever and ever I will be a fan of vintage architectural touches… they give a home nostalgia and a gorgeous connection to the past (I have a set of 5 horse stable shutter doors all lined up in a room just leaning against the wall to create delicious drama… I smile every time I walk past). On my patio I hoard crumbling old European urns and concrete garden pots… I have a true problem : ) Timeless forevermore!!

Vintage Belgian Beer Crate & Bottles, 13 Pcs

Vintage Belgian Beer Crate & Bottles, 13 Pcs

KARASTAN: Summer is such a fun season to play with new colors, patterns and textures. What is currently on your list of summer ‘must-haves’ for the home?

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Patina Vie Vintage Caning Pillow/ Silver

SARAH WILLETT: It’s about 95 degrees here right now… we are in the heart of a luscious Wisconsin summer. I’m CRAVING indigo and white dip dye SHIBORI in every room.   Rugs, curtain panels, throw pillows, ceramics… so, so good!

KARASTAN: For those of us who aren’t designers, the creative process of decorating a space can sometimes feel overwhelming. Where do you usually start when redecorating or starting fresh in a new space?

SARAH WILLETT: Such a great question… as the process can be very overwhelming… but no need!   I tend to start with one piece that I am in LOVE with… (you know what I mean here)… a fresh new pillow that you HAD to have… the RUG that you can’t stop dreaming about.. the sofa that you’ve told all your friends to check out on your Pinterest board.   START WITH WHAT YOU LOVE.   It will inspire all the other layers and choices you need to make…!!

KARASTAN: Do you have any tried-and-true tips for pulling the look of a room together?

SARAH WILLETT: I also always throw in something special and nostalgic to me… a great old photo, a framed hand-written note or keepsake that gives my space more soul.   We all want to live in a home that is authentic to us… that feels uniquely personal… this will make your heart sing every time (I promise).

KARASTAN: What are your favorite blogs or publications to follow?

SARAH WILLETT: This question is absolute TROUBLE!   My magazine subscription list is insane. I adore paper pages that I can scribble notes on… tear out … and tuck into any project we’re working on. A few forever-favorites: The World of Interiors (British, the photos are so to-die-for… I’m left breathless with every issue), ELLE DÉCOR (inspiring features, trends, covetable rooms), WHERE WOMEN CREATE (coolest collection of inspiring, creative women) , AFAR (I’m on an airplane almost every week… But generally just zipping to meetings… AFAR is littered with destinations from my dreams), WALLPAPER (British, if you want bits of cool from ever corner), VANITY FAIR (I always buy the latest copy in airports… a great flip when you’re tucked back in the middle seat of row 38! Fashion, celebrities, gossip, design, politics, art, a little sass thrown in…. love the vibe).

Blogs are such fun… truth-be-told… we’re addicted to pretty photos… the more we can drool over the better!! Modern Hepburn Tumblr (pretty, pretty, pretty), A Daily Something (a celebration of daily somethings), Honey Pie Living (enchantingly beautiful photos and writings), Home-Mint-Home Tumblr (inspiring interiors).

KARASTAN: Okay… we’re dying to know! Out of all the beautiful area rugs you’ve collaborated with Karastan to design, do you have a favorite?

SARAH WILLETT:   My answer is in honor of my grandmother, Barb… as we both are obsessed with our country garden flowers. Every time I see her, I ask… what is your favorite? Her answer never lets me down, “whatever is blooming today”..!!

It’s my same problem with our Karastan/Patina Vie rugs too… I love them all.   They all make my mouth water and my palms a little sweaty. The opportunity to see our artwork come to life on such a grand scale has been an absolute honor.   We couldn’t be more delighted… cheers + thanks!!

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Pictured above is the Martinique Area Rug in Hazelnut, a piece designed in partnership with Patina Vie

Curate your own inspired interior with these hand-picked pieces and dreamy designs courtesy of our fashionable friends at Patina Vie!