With major collections under her belt, TSAR Carpets and Rugs designer Julia Gentil is inspired by the world around her. Whether it’s in the form of scattered leaves, a concrete path or a rural lake, Gentil is fully aware of the potential TSAR Rugs and Carpets provides for all spaces. What’s most important for Gentil is her direct awareness of the potential rug designs have on all of our daily and visual experiences. Gentil’s background is accomplished, and innovative to say the least. Her hi-end retail branding experience in Sydney led her to Melbourne where she transitioned her skills and began to dedicate her time to the passionate and creative team at TSAR.
Tell us how you got started with TSAR, and all it’s wonderful beginnings?
I started working with TSAR in 2010. With a background in hi-end retail branding in Sydney, I had enjoyed a transition into rug design specializing in handknotted rugs. When I moved to Melbourne and joined TSAR I had to translate that knowledge across to hand tufted rugs and learn the business. TSAR is a family owned company with a team of dedicated and passionate people. With all the idiosyncrasies that come with a smaller company, there also comes a huge amount of autonomy and potential to create and push boundaries. TSAR is unique in this way. There is an ethos of celebrating the new and constantly challenging the known.
What collections have you designed for TSAR Carpets and Rugs?
I have designed many one offs, custom client designs and collections for TSAR. Among my favorite are:
– Individual House Colleciton rugs: Autumnal and Berridale 2011
– The Royale Collection 2012 (Brocade Royale, Patti, Doiley and Castallo)
– co-creating the Mirage Collection 2013 (Thirlmere and Jindabyne)
– The Neva Fade Collection 2014
– The Aquarelle Collection 2014
– The Cetak Collection 2015 (Daun, Renda, Pita etc)
What made these collections successful in your opinion?
The jury is still out on the latest ones as to whether they are a success. It is really over time (9-18mths) where we see what has worked. Often we will have a range online and/or in the showroom and it will get lots of admiration but not actually take off commercially until after 8-9 months. Internally we like to console ourselves by exclaiming that we are “ahead of our time”. In general terms though, a collection that both aesthetically and conceptually engages with contemporary colours and themes, is forgiving to everyday living and fits into comfortable price ranges tend to succeed in Australia.
What inspires you to bring your designs and visions to life?
Mostly I’m inspired by what’s around me. Whether it be scattered autumn leaves on the concrete path, a reflection of reeds at twilight on a rural lake, the splotches of a water colour palette… it is a real joy to be living with an awareness of potential rug designs in any visual experience. It keeps me on my toes and my eyes open to the textures and details of life.
What’s the one piece of advice you can give to a TSAR Customer shopping for a prospective rug or carpet?
My advice is consistent. Take a photo of your space you need “rugged”. Measure up, take pictures of anything that surrounds the space, paintings, lighting, the view. Collect swatches from the upholstery in the room and note what colour timbers are used if any. Set yourself a budget and take this information to a TSAR consultant. And then trust them. TSAR have been doing this a long time and are really good at tailoring the best design for the space. The best designs have come from the brief being thorough to begin with.
TSAR has a prolific portfolio, spanning just over 30 years. Where do you see the future of TSAR at this moment in time?
TSAR have been tackling the US market for the last few years and this has been both challenging and exciting for the business. It has opened up doors for bigger markets and therefore more diverse aesthetics. I work a lot on R&D and the US potential has allowed this to be feasible. Exploring new fibers, techniques and suppliers all rely on having the market to embrace it. –