|INTRODUCING CELEBRITY DESIGNER HILARY FARR -- & HER RUGS BY KALEEN
Love It or List It Star Shows Off Her Signature Style
Hilary Farr heads to High Point Market to introduce Hilary Farr Designs and her debuting area rugs for Kaleen. Shown, hand-tufted PET designs from the in-out Peranakan Tile collection.
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- When interior designer and TV personality Hilary Farr's new licensed collections debut at this week's High Point Market, the industry will be treated to what she calls a balanced mix of "quirky whimsy-ness" and "spare design."
Farr, who stars in the HGTV show, Love it or List It, will make quite the statement at the fall 2019 Market -- with her name emblazoned on premiere collections of area rugs by Kaleen, upholstered furniture by Braxton Culler, fabrics by Covington, and lighting by Grandview Gallery. These brands join her bedding collection from Sky Home, which debuted in September.
Hilary Farr rolls out her first area rug designs for Kaleen in a range of constructions and price points. Shown, a Knotted Earth collection design hand-knotted in premium wool.
Farr told RugNews.com in an exclusive interview that she was compelled to dip her toes into licensing by "a brain that just won't shut up -- It just keeps coming up with images and 'why isn't there' and 'who's done this -- I thought I'd just jump in and do it."
While Farr worked with a high-end clientele via her firm, Design Build, prior to becoming an HGTV superstar, it wasn't until working on Love it or List It that she got a taste of having to design spaces with a strict budget. "I was a little resentful that I couldn't just fly with design and not worry about cost," she said. "But I've come to embrace it and appreciate the challenge."
This is why she chose to focus her introductory licensed lines at mid-level prices that deliver high-concept design and good quality at accessible price points.
Hilary Farr poses with the Critter Comforts collection's Butterfly rug, a jacquard loomed piece that illustrates her penchant for quirky, light-hearted designs.
A LIKE-MINDED PARTNERSHIP
Farr says she partnered with Kaleen for her area rug collection because she appreciated "their enthusiasm and their willingness to go outside of the box of their normal designs to embrace what I wanted to do." She also liked the company's approach to sustainability and social and environmental responsibility.
"This is a design collaboration that has taken them to a place they've never been before," she said. Included in the launch are hand-knotted rugs that feature classic designs in unexpected colors, including "Gothy" off-blacks, fuchsia, lime and acid yellow. There are also machine-made rugs, and Jacquard weaves, as well as a hand-tufted indoor-outdoor range in a synthetic PET fiber derived from recycled plastic bottles with a high-low construction.
Designs for the Global Altitude collection were inspired by the birds-eye views Farr has seen during the many plane trips she's logged. Abstract designs are reminiscent of looking down over glaciers, deserts, or clouds. Another collection, Creature Comforts features insects, because, said Farr, "I love bugs." Look for butterflies, beetles, and distorted floral motifs. Wildlife patterns, like zebra and giraffe prints, also make an appearance in the Forever Fauna collection.
Hilary Farr's inaugural rugs feature a number of qualities, including machine-made. Shown, a Global Altitude collection Cloud design.
"We are covering all the distribution channels with four different products from a machine made indoor collection, to a polyester and chenille jacquard collection, a PET indoor-outdoor hand-tufted collection, and finally a hand-knotted wool collection," explained Monty Rathi, Kaleen COO. "There is something for everyone in Hilary Farr's collections."
Rathi said the line is geared to the full complement of High Point shoppers: furniture stores, both regional and national, designers, brick and mortar stores and e-commerce.
Developing the line with Kaleen was a crash course in the rug industry for Farr. "I think I've learned probably more than I understood and about a thousand percent less than I need to know," she admitted. "I understood design already, but the fabrication and how that translates into rugs -- it was a whole different world."
Above all, Farr said the goal was to create area rugs that are affordable and accessible. "Any one of these designs could be developed into a $7,000 or $8,000 rug -- but why?"
RUGS: AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT
Hilary Farr introduces her Fauna Forever collection of jacquard loomed rugs, which includes the Giraffe design.
As with most designers, area rugs have an important place in Farr's mind when she's working on any sort of design project.
"It's interesting how you can [use rugs to] play with a space," she said. "We all know about defining areas within a space by using area rugs. I love how you can have a rug make its own statement, or be the backdrop to an extraordinary piece of furniture. It can be the one place to introduce color or drama, the place that begs you to take off your shoes, or a safe spot for a child to roll around. It truly is essential to any design."
Rugs in her Kaleen collection can stand alone, and they will also complement the other licensed home furnishings collections in Farr's launch at market. She looks forward to using her licensed products on her show, which airs its next season in late November. "One of the episodes is going to be my own home," she said. "I'll be able to go all out, and not have to worry about someone else's likes and dislikes."
She also expects to sign on with more home furnishings companies to expand her foray into the world of licensed collections. Next up is a garden collection with Unique Stone. Home accessories are also on her radar, as are case goods, and she wants to find a partner for a mattress collection.
"It's been a really fun ride so far."
Abstract Floral from the playful Flora Fantasies collection by Hilary Farr for Kaleen is made of hand-tufted PET yarn, and features a fresh combination of colors for indoor-outdoor use.
MEET HILARY AT HER HIGH POINT EVENTS
Saturday, Oct. 19, 4:30 p.m.
310 South Elm St.
Braxton Culler Furniture - Ribbon cutting followed by launch party p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m.
Kaleen Rugs - Farr Out Tea Party - Launch Party, Showplace space 2345
Monday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m.
High Point Theatre
High Point Market Keynote "Harnessing the Brand Building Power of TV"
Monday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m.
High Point University Congdon School of Health Sciences, Grandview Gallery
2019 Pinnacle Awards