Design History & Culture

Custom Office of "The Grommet"

The other day while I was reading an article online and I saw an ad for "The Grommet - Buy Differently" embedded in the page. I NEVER click on those ads but for some reason it intrigued me, partially because I've never heard of it and also because I was in the shopping frame of mine for some client projects. 

I learned that The Grommet is a product launching platform that takes undiscovered products from makers and artists and provides them a platform for selling. In the era of kickstarter and other crowdsourcing options The Grommet gives an opportunity for the artists to tell their stories and sell their products to a larger audience. 

What also intrigued me though was the custom office of The Grommet! They had artists custom make their cubicles (which they call pods) and they added a lot of personal touches to the space. I love to see collaborations between designers and small businesses because the possibilities are endless! This is a good case study showing how brand identity & interior design go hand in hand. 

So now for some pictures! 

They designed their "pods" to look like shipping palettes since they ship all their products. 

They also created a custom video backdrop where they film the launch of their new products. 

Some other details of their office, an industrial look with exposed brick and ductwork.

And of course I'd be remiss if I didn't say to check out their products! They do have a wide variety of unique products with stories. It's perfect to keep in mind for the upcoming holiday season!

So what do you think of their custom office and product lines? 

Cheers,

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The Mansion in Detail- part 2

I hope many of you are getting ready to enjoy a long weekend! I wanted to share part 2 of my Blairsden Mansion recap, again focusing on the details rather than the full room. If you missed "Part 1" check it out here! 

Let's begin with fellow Interior Redecorator Susan Hayes! Congratulations!
Love this puppy portrait and wallpaper in the Puppy's Suite #29 by Re-Feather Your Nest Decorating, LLC

Plaster moldings & upholstered walls #30 James Yarosh Associates Fine Art Gallery

Quarter stool #30

Original glass doorknob and lock

Layered bedding with lighting #31 Sandra John Interior Design

The Mansion in Detail- part 1

I was so excited to see Blairsden Mansion last weekend with my mom! If you haven't heard me mention Mansions in May before it's an event hosted in Morris County NJ every 2 years by the Woman's Association of Morristown Medical Center. The fundraising efforts this year went to two great causes: to expand the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and the New Autism Center. Not only is it a great cause to support, but it helps showcase designers in the area, help build their portfolio, and is a fun way to try new things! It was very competitive to get a room this year and so it's even more exciting for those who got one! 

So for this post I thought rather than show photos of the entire room (which is very hard to do) it would be fun to show a few details that I found beautiful or interesting. Not only are the architectural details of the mansion stunning, but the way each decorator styled their room is beautiful. These small details are things you can apply to your own home to add more interest. There were 52 rooms in the mansion so I will break the posts into two parts. So without further adieu in the order of the tour.... post number one! 

Check out the carved details above!!

Gorgeous inlaid floor detail: #2 by Van Cleef Tile & Stone

Bookshelf styling #3 by Barbara Ostrom Associates

Original leather wallpaper with painted molding - #6 Billiard Room by Bjorn Bjornsson Interior Design

Table vignette #11 by Hope Sferra Interiors Inc.

Tufted Rug Construction

I love it when my worlds collide, with a background in product design and having my own decorating business I am fascinated to learn how the products we buy and love are made. Last week I attended a seminar presented by Delos Rugs at J&S Designer Flooring and was so excited to learn more about their rug construction. With different construction methods, materials, and styles the options are seemingly endless, so in this post I will focus on how tufted rugs are made. I think it's hard to visual the process so I've included lots of video to demonstrate how it works! Have fun looking around!


Design Phase 1: image source Delos Rugs

Color Selection Phase 2: image source Delos Rugs

To Begin

There are many steps involved before you can actually begin creating the rug, such as design, color selection, pattern transfer, and many more. Once you get to the tufting stage you create the rug by pushing the yarn through a fabric backing with a tufting gun, like this image shown below. Here are the key steps in the tufting process from CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute)

  • Yarn comes from cones on creel racks (or from big spools called beams) into the machine.
  • The primary backing feeds into the machine.
  • Yarn and primary backing come together in the machine (full shot of machine)
  • Yarn is fed through needles on a needlebar of a tufting machine. Needles repeatedly penetrate or tuft into the primary backing.
  • The tufted carpet is mended and inspected.
  • Carpet is rolled onto large rolls for the next step (whether it’s to be dyed or to be backed.)

(image source)

Types of Tufting

There are also several ways a tufted rug can be made:

- Hand tufting with handheld gun

- Hand tufting with automatic gun

- Machine tufting

 

Finishing

There are many steps involved in finishing a rug, and most depend on the style and design. In order to keep the yarn in place, all tufted rugs have a layer of latex that is painted or sprayed on the back which serves as glue. Then a piece of fabric is laid on top which covers the latex and the generally messy looking back from the tufting process. That's actually one way you can tell if a rug has been tufted is if it's covered on the back. 

(image source)

It sheds from shearing...

The face pile of a tufted rug needs to go through some finishing steps, which include shearing to create a flush uniform surface. Depending on the design the yarn fibers are color sorted by hand to keep the pattern clean and defined. Sometimes the edges are even carved for a more dimensional look. The first video is a bit dated but it shows all the steps concisely: latex, shear, carving. 

This second video shows an alternative carving tool. 

 

The End...

Well actually that's only a small fraction of one type of rug construction but I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as I have! It's great to learn and gain a better understanding of what goes into a tufted rug so you can see the value of what you are buying and be an informed consumer!

Cheers, 

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Oktoberfest and a nod to German Design

Technically speaking... Oktoberfest in Germany is a 16-18 day festival that begins late September and continues into the first weekend of October. It's (one of?) the worlds largest festivals and the roundup from this years event says 6.4 million visitors attended and consumed 114 oxen, 58 calves and 6.7 million liters of beer. The music was a tough competition in the beer tents but the most popular was "Applaus, Applaus" by Sportfreude Stiller and "Rock mi" by Voxxclub. Among the lost and found waiting to be picked up are 1056 passports, 520 wallets, 320 mobile phones, a Segway, and "the unavoidable, annual artificial set of false teeth." Sounds like a blast! (research from the official website here.)

Beer tent gallery

Bavarian costume parade

Here in America we extend the Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the entire month of October and enjoy beer festivals and beer gardens. There is a fantastic German restaurant down the street from us and I am still hoping we can get down there in time for some celebrations! Here is a list I found of OktoberfestNYC events and highlights in other cities.

So in theme with Oktoberfest and celebrating all things German I'd like to give a nod to some of my favorite German designs and designers.

Susanne Kaiser

(source)

Dünenpalais Seebad Ahlbeck,, No.15

Dünenpalais-Ahlbeck-Nr.17

The COOLEST hotel check in counter ever - a tufted room key organizer!!

A Decorating History: The White House

This week following the Presidents Day holiday we've looked at chandeliers and artwork that is decorating the White House.  In this post we'll take a look back through some decorating trends that had their moment in the White House. To think of the White House as a living "decorating history book" is kind of fun!

Some of the public rooms are more limited in what can change (such as the blue room, red room, green room), so we focused more on the residence part that showed strong evolution through the years. As the rooms evolved the unused furniture and decor was stored away for possible reuse again for another redesign. It's fascinating to take a look though how the rooms changed over the years, especially in the function. Some converted from living room to bedroom. This post just skims the surface, so you can click here, here, and here for more information.