Every May, the New York design industry showcases what’s new and next – taking over the city’s boroughs in a marathon month that encompasses five fairs (ICFF, Wanted Design Brooklyn and Manhattan, Sight Unseen, and Brooklyn Designs) and countless events, in what seems more like a cultural event than a trade show. This year’s edition saw cross-disciplinary collaborations, show stopping showroom installations, emerging independent work and passionate debates amongst industry thought leaders – the most ambitious yet! A non-stop party for the eyeballs and constant inspiring “aha!” moments — we’ve distilled the whole spectrum of events into our top four lasting impressions. Let’s begin.

1. BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN INDOOR, OUTDOOR AND BEYOND

Lighter, brighter surrounds to enhance productivity and wellbeing is the resounding focus for interiors this year. We saw strong botanical influences in lighting, flooring and furniture throughout showrooms and installations, combining natural elements with conventionally indoor settings and products to give environments a new and fresh perspective.

Top left: Kartell lighting. Top right, clockwise: WANTED Design Manhattan installation, Tom Dixon showroom, Kartell floral lighting, Deloitte Digital NYC ceiling. Bottom right: Luvere Studio at Wanted Manhattan. Bottom left, clockwise: Kartell & and La Double J Collaboration – seating and prints, Alessandra Branca interiors, Marcia Tucker interiors, A/D/O initiative.

The “mash up” of different environments creates a fully realised experience and we’re seeing this approach extend further with selected elements from spaces such as work, theatre, hospitality and outdoor combining and coexisting to reflect a more connected and integrated environment. Spaces are evolving to enhance our experience and benefit our wellbeing and lives. 

The Etsy mission fully realised through their new Brooklyn, New York HQ by Genzler. Image via http://bit.ly/2xPDNyP
Revealing the local landscape, beauty of Japanese history, craft and materials whilst highlighting the delicate cuisine to create geographically relevant materials and a fully immersive space by the Rockwell Group. Images via http://bit.ly/2JB7rN1

2. MEMPHIS MAXIMALISM

In case you’ve been living off the grid the past year, the 80s Memphis design movement has reemerged featuring loud colours and punchy graphics with maximum appeal to the visual currency of Instagram. As in the past, it seems this resurgence of maximalism is reactive to the abundance of sleek, “tasteful”, mid-century minimalism which has become so repetitive. The look has extended beyond fashion to become extensive installations seen at Sasha Bikoff’s technicolour staircase, Raquel’s Dream House and Camille Walala’s monolithic mural of an Industry City building facade… amongst others.

Top left, clockwise: Sasha Bikoff staircase, Ettore Sottsass Ultrafragola mirror and Steve Leonard gold chairs, Camille Walala mural, Raquel Cayre x Vibes Studio coloured stairs, R & Company furniture, Raquel’s Dream House Pink Cookie Monster, Barbara Ostrom Associates ceiling, Aliahn and Annie at Dream Machine Museum.
Staircase views by Sasha Bikoff Interiors at the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse.
Gaetano Pesce at Raquel’s Dream House.

An emerging theme at the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse – Maximalism is also taking on a 70s retro glamour look with chunky geometries, clean lines, tubular forms, soft furnishings and graphic patterns in muted, pastel colours such as peachy terracota, sage, olive green and mustards. We’re also seeing spots of bold retro colour and metallic finishes to add more luxury and glamour – taking strong influences from the fashion industry. Many cross-disciplinary collaborators this year included trendy downtown boutiques such as Opening Ceremony, Creatures of Comfort and Philip Lim in Sight Unseen’s curatorial project, further emphasising fashion’s collide with furniture and interiors this year.

Top row from L to R: Stefan Steil Interiors, DDC gold chair, Enylee Parker at ICFF. 2nd row from L to R: Drake / Anderson lighting, Rosie Li at ICFF, Emotional Brands at ICFF. Bottom row from L to R: R and Company “SuperDesign” leopard works, Opening Ceremony x Crosby Studios for Sight Unseen, MOOOI showroom.
Seductive salon moods by Drake / Anderson for the Kips Bay Design Showhouse.

3. EXPRESSION, MOVEMENT & PERSPECTIVES

Its been a tough year for brick and mortar retailers, with a string of closures on previously bustling streets, which explains showrooms and retail spaces thinking deeper and exploring the potential of the physical space. Kartell, Tom Dixon and MOOOI (just to name a few) covered every inch of their space with sensorially magical compositions through colour, form, materiality and sound. It was an organised flow through the set-ups, a journey of exploration to uncover moments of surprise and delight. The time spent in the space was memorable, conversations were created and connections were formed not only with each other but with the uniquely designed environment.

Surprise and delight moments at the new Tom Dixon showroom launch on Greene St, NYC.

Designs are more expressive with familiar products now in motion and changing to redefine our experiences. Objects need to be observed from different angles to see the entire perspective and its varying forms such as Tom Dixon’s new MELT range – giving birth to completely new designs and expressions. We attended an exhibit of upcoming artists who created multi-disciplinary works with emotion and expressions of feeling as the core function – re-thinking built constructs.

Emerging artists creating work with emotion as function at the ‘Thing-like Being’ exhibit

New developments such as OLED and 3D-knitting technology allows common products to be flexible, with new possibilities to bend and move. The Spun Chair phenomenon by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis gives conventional materials a twist and adds rotational movement to the sitting experience. Technology is advancing traditional materials, manufacturing and application, allowing us to rethink and experiment to provoke change, more expression and dynamic uses.

Top Left: Rhode Island School of Design works. Top right: Luke Lamp Company. Bottom right, clockwise: MOOOI stool with moving tassels, MOLO shape shifting urchin light at ICFF, The Coast Studio Either/Or lighting concept. Bottom left: Susan on the Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis.
Vases by Gaetano Pesce made by resin to add movement and expression, reimagining conventional forms

4. INTERGALACTIC WONDERS

If Elon Musk is doing it, it must be worth exploring! The moon, stars, space and beyond have always been sources of inspiration but there seems to be a larger focus on the subtle textures, forms and abstract interpretations this year. We saw cosmic drivers throughout our visit in installations, lightings and furnishings – an influence we’re interested to see develop into the stupendous wonder and mystery that our galaxy inhabits.

Top left, clockwise: MOOOI showroom, Liz Collins Cave of Secrets installation, Artemide Skydro, Artemide Light, ABC Home cushion, Richard Clarkson Studio cloud light, Wanted Design Manhattan Lighting, ABC Home Moon Table.
Lighting by Ayala Serfaty

… and some more splendid moments from NYCxDESIGN below.

Spring time in Lower East Side, Manhattan NYC.
The Principal’s “Golden Arch” installation for Sight Unseen at Saturdays NYC.
Heavenly Bodies at the Met.
The Sharpley family before SOHO Design District opening night.

What an absolute feast for the senses! It was a trip that made us wish for more hours in the day AND collapse from over stimulation at the same time – so many inspiring and motivating moments to take away.  We’ve tried our hardest to condense our thoughts into four main takeaways but if you’d like more information please get in touch via aming@tsar.com.au. 

 

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Rohan Riley’s breadth of experience in hands-on furniture design, 3/D modelling, and construction has allowed him to create stark, prolific, and seamless interior design. His techniques emphasize the importance of allowing for improvisation with an innate desire to create flexible simplicity. These tools have given Riley license to transform what was once just a house nestled inside of a bay, into a bespoke, majestic, and timeless creation.

How did the Caraar Creek Brief project come about?

To begin with, the house itself needed a major overhaul, not just a minor update. Our goal was to make it more contemporary. Also, our clients love to entertain a lot, so their lifestyle as it pertains to the structure needed to operate like a hotel. At the beginning, we had to completely demolish the whole house and start over again. The advantage of this move is that it allowed us to re-position the house in a way that made the views more accessible and more beautiful. Now we could push the positioning of the house closer to the bay. So instead of following a simple brief for the client to make it more contemporary and simplified, the brief was then expanded. Overall, we ended up with this amazing structure.
What was the design brief for the carpets regarding the project?

It all evolved, but to tell you the truth, it was very improvised around the outside elements and in communicating a festive atmosphere. Each room is color-coded and has a theme. We also took a nod from surrounding elements in the environment. All the colors come back to the garden, the bay, and so on. We wanted to touch on the oranges and blues. We even talked to the landscapers and ideas began to flow. So our color palette began to develop organically.

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Did the resulting design and specifications meet the brief?

Absolutely. We walked through the site and touched base with our clients pretty much every week. The whole process was absolutely fun. It was a true collaboration between the builder, landscaper, and client. Even though the original footprint was set in stone, we were still able to change things around because our client was so flexible.

 What were the moods, tones, and themes driving the project?

As you walk through the house you see the outside elements peaking in, even in the festive-colored carpets. These clients love to have a good party so they have rooms titled “The Sherry Room” “The Tequila Room” “The Wine Room” and so on. Also, we didn’t want to “over-design” anything. We wanted to keep things simple and understated because our client wanted to keep that boutique-hotel feel. As you walk through the house you see the outside elements peaking in, even in the festive-colored carpets.

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What are some of the challenges and hurdles you faced during this project?

The only challenges were in the planning, but they were minor. We had a 5-meter height limit and there was an imaginary line on the site that we were not allowed to build on. That’s basically why the house is divided in two and why it’s at an angle.

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What were the benchmark moments or memorable highlights that you took away from it?

Really, it’s the ideas that come into fruition. The biggest highlight is in knowing that you’re looking at an old house that’s going to be demolished in the beginning of the project, only to see it completely transform into something totally unrecognizable and different in the end. The process was actually a great highlight. When this project was being built, it became much better than what we all originally thought. This happened many times during the actual landscaping and building process. The view from the house was also an important benchmark, plus seeing the clients happy with their finished product.

You specialize in sketch design, 3D modeling, landscape, and furniture design/manufacturing. In what ways have these aspects helped you stand out as an Interior Designer?

I believe in putting all these practices together, because it helps us and our clients get the results they really need. When we envisage a project, we design from the ground up. I think having a landscape background allows a lot of freedom in how you reshape a building site. Having these skills helps tremendously, especially in adding to the scope of the projects, whether it’s an area for children to play in or a special area for dogs, the possibilities are endless. Having a background in furniture and construction really helps because it also provides a bespoke element in everything we do for the client.

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Can you tell us what motivated you to use TSAR?

It’s about the quality. TSAR makes an overall good quality carpet and rug. We took samples to the client who wanted to get carpets made and she was struck by the colors. It spurred on from there. TSAR’s line of colors and the quality is what ultimately sold us, especially when our client fell in love with the bold oranges. Our client was also very particular about fiber, fabric, touch and feel specifications and TSAR met these requests. Also, the blue carpet we put in the lounge room had an uncanny ability to really change with the environment. This particular blue carpet complimented the water in the bay, down to the tiles in the swimming pool and the stones on the wall. That carpet really brings the bay into the whole house. One other aspect, as soon as you take your shoes off and walk around on a TSAR carpet it gives the most luxurious feeling underfoot. You find yourself immediately relaxed enough to enjoy your surroundings.

Visit Rohan Riley Interior Design

 

 

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Chysanthemum Rug

So you’ve ogled your friends’ rugs, poured over interior design magazines, and window-licked up and down the streets from here to Timbuktu. Now it’s time to take the plunge and find yourself The One. How exactly does one go about buying a rug?

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Over 30 years of experience in the industry have lead David Sharpley, owner of Tsar Carpets USA and AUS, to become a passionate authority on rugs and carpets.

David’s philosophy is that rugs are the ultimate canvas for creativity. They are tactile and artistic, yet functional and liveable.  They are key elements in converting house to home. The challenge lies in striking balance between quality, fiber, style, cost and performance.

David has given us the coveted top FAQs for buying a rug that ensures your interior design endeavor is a successful one.

1. WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS FOR BUYING A RUG?

Porcelein Rug

  1. Once you have decided where a rug is required, take photo of the space from two or more angles.
  1. Next, mark out and measure the area that you want to be covered by the rug. This can easily be done by laying down masking tape or newspaper.
  1. Re-enter the room and walk around, sit down to see how you like the arrangement.
  1. When you have settled on the layout, you can take the measurements and pictures to a rug and carpet retailer.

QUICK TIP: in a living room, having ⅓ of the rug under the couch and sofa chairs is a good rule of thumb. This ensures a sense of flow through the room.

For a dining room, allow the rug to peak out about 70cm from under the table. This leaves enough room for chairs to be pulled in and out without falling off the edge of the rug.

There are two options when purchasing a rug: you can buy one ‘off the rack’, or you can have one custom made.

Both are great options, but custom designing a rug can cut your search time in half by ensuring you get the exact size, color scheme and design you’re after.

Tsar offers a design service by which you can tweak any in-house design to your liking, or create a rug from scratch. They’ll even make a mock-up of your space with your potential rug designs in it, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

If you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to jump right in and start discussing fibers, colors and designs with one of Tsar’s in-house designers!

2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAND-TUFTED AND HAND-KNOTTED  RUGS? 

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Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique. It’s a fantastically fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unsurpassable.

handknotting

Hand-knotting is the traditional way to weave rugs. It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed and will last for centuries.

Read more about the difference between hand-tufting and hand-knotting here.

3. SHOULD I PICK A NATURAL FIBER OR SYNTHETIC?

For rugs, the best fibers are the natural fibers. Quality wool performs better than any fiber: it’s stain resistant, naturally warm or cold depending on the season, lasts for years, and it looks newer for longer.

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However, synthetic fibers like nylon have come a long way, and can be a good choice for a particularly high traffic area, like a hotel foyer, as nylon is stiffer than wool and won’t flatten overtime.

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Other man made fibers, like viscose and bamboo silk, also have their place, as cheaper alternatives to silk.

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While the price of synthetic fibers can be lower than than that if natural fibers, the difference in quality is like solid gold vs gold plated jewellery- both look great, but only one will last forever.

4. SHORT PILE vs. LONG PILE?

Malachite - Stipples in NZ copy

Short pile (where the fiber tufts are 7-9mm high) should be used in most cases as it gives density, which helps to ensure the pile won’t crush underfoot.

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Longer pile is often used in bedrooms for softer feel, but it will compact and flatten over time in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic.

5. WHAT ELEMENTS DO I NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHEN LOOKING AT DESIGNS? 

First, think about some practical factors to set the parameters.

Do you have an animal that sheds white hair? Steer clear of designs with large areas of dark colors.

Do you have messy toddlers? Busier designs will be more forgiving to spills and wear and tear.

Is it a heavy traffic area? Stay away from light colors, especially yellow.

Small room? Minimal designs in lighter colors can make a room feel more spacious.

Also consider the amount of natural light in the room, as this can influence how brightly colors show up. Once you have taken the practical elements into account, you can have fun playing with designs and colors that reflect with your personal taste.

Knotted example

6. WHY IS THERE SUCH A PRICE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN RUGS ON THE MARKET?

There are five factors that determine the price of a rug: fiber content, manufacturing technique, complexity of design, pile height, and weight.

Each of these factors affect the longevity and beauty of your rug. A higher quality rug will last a long time, and retain its original texture and design.

Read more about the 5 factors that contribute to the price of a rug here.

7. SO HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON A RUG?

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While rugs can be made to accommodate any budget, it is important to remember that a lower price range can mean compromising the quality and longevity of the product.

Determine which of the five factors that contribute to the price of a rug are most important to you, and figure your budget out from there.

A rug is an investment, and it’s never a bad idea to invest in a quality product that you love, and that will last a lifetime.

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Once you find the find the right rug that fits your interiors, you can rest easy knowing that you’re on the way to realizing your vision. But remember, custom made will always ensure you get 100% quality in terms of fiber, design, and pile height. Take the time to find something perfect for your space, and no matter the house, it’ll always feel like home.

 

 

David Sharpley_Exhibition

We spoke to David Sharpley CEO and founder of Tsar Carpets to find out what’s what in rug manufacturing techniques. With 30 years experience he is well qualified to break it down for us!

Tufted example - trixiTrixi Design – Hand-Tufted with natural undyed NZ Wool, and dyed Bamboo Silk”

Generally, there are two main techniques used in rug and carpet manufacturing: hand knotting, and hand tufting.

Hand-Tufting

tuftingmaster

Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique by which the fibers are punctured through a large canvas to create the rug.

Tufted - frontTUFTED – Hand-Tufted Front

The threads on the back are then secured by a latex backing, and the front is hand-shorn and sculpted as required.

Tufted - backTUFTED BACK-Hand-Tufted Back

It is an impressively fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unbeatable.

 

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It is a great option for custom carpets and rugs where excellence of fiber and a speedy delivery are priorities.

Tufted example - autumnal

Hand-Knotting

handknotting

Hand-knotted rugs are the original way of weaving rugs. Cotton threads are strung up on a loom and the fibers are woven and knotted through by hand.

knot2_14Traditionally, the knotting technique used differs from region to region, and is carried out by specialized artisans, as it is an extremely intricate technique that requires a great level of expertise.

Knotted - frontHand-Knotted Front 

It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed, and will last for centuries.

Knotted - back(1)Hand-Knotted Back 

Both techniques have their place in finding the perfect rug for your home. Chat to one of the in-house designers at TSAR about which technique works best for you!

Halo Rug

For more tips on what to look for when buying a rug visit TSAR NEWS.

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Finding a foothold on visions and dreams is never as easy as it seems. With a passion for the French countryside and plenty of will power to boot, two determined Aussie couples embarked on the tireless quest of acquiring a breathtaking property. After an arduous hunt, Ian and Ruth Bird decided it was time to go back to their home in the U.K. while Ian’s brother David and his wife Marie returned to Australia from France. Once home Marie discovered an email highlighting clues to an undiscovered gem. With some deliberation, they decided it was time to take the irresistible, yet challenging opportunity to purchase a magnificently positioned property.

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The glorious house appropriately titled La Maison Oiseux (House of Bird), is made up of two residences, and quietly nestled in the French countryside located in Cordes-Sur-Ciel. After signing on the dotted line, both couples realized that was only half the battle. Ultimately, they would have to begin the herculean task by designing the interiors remotely.

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Faced with a major renovation, they decided to stay away from dark rooms with little daylight, mixed with garish color contrasts they had previously seen in the area. “The house has that special something that makes you throw caution to the wind,” says Ruth. That meant renovating from a distance and calling on the services of TSAR.

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With the help of an architect, space was redesigned in order to maximize the views across the front of the property. Each of the partners relished the task of designing the interiors.

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Paint colors were chosen to reflect the view and with the help of the design team at TSAR, two gorgeous rugs were designed to invite the colours from the magnificent countryside inside. One rug features wonderful sunflowers that are abundant in the fields nearby.

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One could say that the property offers a home away from home, encompassing the epitome of true Joie de Vivre! Coupled with the secret essence of the beautiful French countryside, history, food and culture, TSAR has truly brought the bon vivant outside to the inside of La Maison Oiseaux.

The house is now available for rent. For inquiries and further information please contact Marie Bird: mariebird@birdgroup.net.au

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TSAR Designer Julia Gentil

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.

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From the Mirage Collection in “Thirlmere Cardamom”

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)

Autumnal Fawn
“Autumnal Fawn”- An original design by Julia Gentil

 

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“Berridale Dusk” – An original design by Julia Gentil 
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“Autumnal Fawn” Stairs

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.

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From the Aquarelle Collection in “Fabien”

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.

 

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From the Cetak Collection in “Renda Mist”

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.

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From the Cetak Collection in “Pita Fig”

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. –