Saturday, February 4, 2012

...about a tale of two rugs: Design on a Dime, 2012!

And so it begins: the process of designing from donations, for my sophomore entry into Design on a Dime, the annual fundraiser to benefit Housing Works here in New York City. It’s an amazing event, and an absolute honor to be included, but the selection, solicitation and assembly of donated goods is not without its challenges!

Unlike last year, I have a bit more time (a blessing and a curse: blessing, since it gives me and my donors a little more breathing—and shipping!-- room; a curse, since it has a way of leaving me too much time to overthink!) Like last year, one of my first Yes's was from the generous and lovely folks at Niba Rugs (headed by Beth Arrowood, whose happy confection of a Miami home was featured here.)

But I'm faced with a lovely dilemma: There are two rugs, mine for the taking (and subsequent sale at GREATLY reduced rates during the Design on a Dime sale). But which to choose??

The first, my front runner (no rug pun intended) pictured top: the Ikat-inspired 9 x 12 (the booth is 10 x 12). The pros: It's a traffic-stopper, the kind of rug you SHOULD build a room around. Its scale will command the space. I wanted a warmer palette than my watery blue-greens of last year. Ikats are red-hot right now. It's perfect with my front-runner for a wall covering, a SEXY embossed vinyl ("Alligator," in Bourbon!) from the equally generous folks at Koroseal. And since I love dark and moody masculine rooms with a reference to the global and exotic, this rug seems a no-brainer. Also LOVE that the near-random placement of the pattern lets me position furniture anywhere, without a center medallion or border to dictate a furniture plan. Flexibility is CRUCIAL this far out on Design on a Dime, since I’m not certain what’s still headed my way…

The probable wall covering, "Alligator," in Bourbon, courtesy Koroseal.

The cons: Will people buy a 9 x 12 rug on the spot? (This IS after all, a sale… and every decision is being run through that filter.) The second hesitation: A new donor this year (I am DELIGHTED to report!), Bungalow 5, tends to be lighter and airier, and I can see more of their pieces pairing with a lighter, paler rug.

The second choice, a modern organic, the branch-y Belleview. The pluses: It’s an 8 x 10, so perhaps an easier sale for the Manhattan space-challenged. I love bringing organic motifs into modern spaces, to soften and temper the hard edges (especially helpful in a three-walled booth with no architectural saving graces). It’s lighter and the event is a Spring event (April 26th! Mark your calendars!) Plus, I could see it working seamlessly with the lighter side of Bungalow 5.

The challenge, too, is I won’t be able to see either rug in person until they arrive on install day… so I am gauging colors (as designers often have to do) from small yarn samples (“poms”), to help guide my next round of choices, probably my upholstered pieces. The poms for the Belleview look a little less green-and-gold than the images… hmmm, what to do, what to do?

What would YOU do? SELL ME on your favorite rug!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

...about Agustin Sanders.

My favorite part of doing House Tours for Apartment Therapy is the interview (a close second to being a total voyeur into how other people create and shape their spaces), and it's a special treat when the conversation is with a fellow designer. My latest House Tour is of the home of San Francisco-based Agustin Sanders, graduate of the Academy of Art University (School of Interior Architecture and Design), where he is now on staff. Listen in here:

Agustin shares his designer tips and secrets on how he makes one room serve the purpose of at least three, how to turn a rental into a home with just two tricks, what's hiding in his closet at Thanksgiving, and what he picks up on the streets of San Francisco...! TOLD YA it's a good one!

Read the full post, and see all the pictures, here. You can catch up on my past Tours and Posts for Apartment Therapy here.

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Photo: Patrick J. Hamilton for Apartment Therapy.