Issue Date: 2018 NOVEMBER, Posted On: 11/20/2018

11202018 Area Rug Vendors Ramp Up Hospitality Focus
By Lisa Vincenti
New names, new constructions and new looks -- area rug players double down on the lucrative hospitality market. Shown, from left to right, top row, OW Hospitality, Nourison, Liora Manne; center, Stark Hospitality, Couristan, Samad; bottom row. Warp & Weft, Obeetee, Surya Contract

NEW YORK -- A booming boutique hospitality market is becoming a boon for a growing number of area rug makers, and many established residential brands are doubling down on their commitment to this market segment as an attractive source of new revenue.

In fact, at the just-closed hospitality design show, BDNY, several area rug players largely known for their residential area rug capabilities are now actively targeting this commercial segment by launching new products specifically geared toward the category, staffing up with contract experts, and/or creating new hospitality divisions within their businesses.

At the 2018 BDNY, held in New York City Nov. 11-12, new area rug players included inaugural exhibitor Stark, and Warp & Weft, which had participated in the show several years back. They joined returning exhibitors Couristan, Liora Manne, Nourison, Obeetee, Samad, Surya and OW Hospitality -- all of which announced major news at the fair.

(Don't miss our Best of BDNY coverage, click here for Part 1.)


Nourison's Andrew Peykar, Peter Lipkin, Jonathan Peykar and new creative director, hospitality, Dipesh Haria showcased various weaves at BDNY, including the hand-knotted Christopher Guy Cosmopolitan rug behind them.
"Hospitality is definitely growing for us," said Jonathan Peykar, Nourison Hospitality. "We are adding a lot of personnel -- we are growing that division and adding new reps across the country. It is definitely expanding." Nourison used the BDNY as a platform to showcase its various rug capabilities from hand-tufted and hand-knotted to Axminster. The company also used the show to introduce its newly hired hospitality creative director Dipesh Haria (read full story.)
Haria, who has long roots in the hospitality carpet segment, actually began his first day on the job at Nourison on opening day of BDNY. "This is a new position for the company," he told RugNews.com on day two of the show. "As you know, Nourison is a well-respected name in the residential market and they have fantastic product, and have amazing relationships with clients. Now they want to expand and grow in the hospitality market and part of that is to get the message out there about Nourison's design excellence."

Le Reve, a photo-real digitally printed collection, was a hit at Nourison's BDNY exhibit stand. 
The Nourison booth featured samples from several popular area rug programs ranging from hand-knotted Christopher Guy area rugs, to the abstract hand-tufted Prismatic collection, and the company's new Le Reve graphic printed rug line. "We wanted to show all our capabilities -- and also that we can do any of these constructions (with the exception of hand-knotteds), in our broadloom for spaces like corridors and ballrooms," Peykar explained. "Our display shows off our hand carving skill and our abrash -- a unique dye system on our Axminster that we have had great reaction to."

Samantha James, VP hospitality for Stark, introduces the high-end residential rug atelier's new hospitality products, including a soft 80/20 nylon Axminster behind her.
Likewise Stark, a top name in the high-end residential arena, not only introduced its new head of hospitality, Samantha James, VP hospitality, at BDNY, it also officially took the wraps off its Stark Hospitality & Contract division, rolling out its first commercial-grade products.
"Stark is renowned for its high-end residential and they have been dabbling in hospitality in the past but never really focused their energies on the market,"  said James, who hails from a hospitality carpet background. "So now with the start of this new division ... this is Stark being serious in the hospitality market."
Among the inaugural Stark offerings are the company's first high-quality broadlooms in hospitality qualities, such as an Axminster that looks and feels like a hand-tufted product, intended for high-traffic areas. The focus of Stark's introductions though is its new 80/20 Axminster, which features "a softness and heathering that you previously could only find in residential 100 percent wool carpets that are not durable enough for hospitality environment -- and that is what we have been showcasing here," James said of the company's BDNY booth display.

Stark Hospitality rolls out new Axminsters with the look and feel of both hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs.

Obeetee's Patricia Ben-Zvi, who joined the rug maker earlier this year (read full story) from West Elm, introduced the company's new hospitality driven Paradise Dreamscapes, which featured fresh modern designs in constructions developed for the hotel design segment. 

Patricia Ben-Zvi, president Obeetee North America., stands on Paradise Dreamscapes' signature rug. Behind her are samples from the new Kuba Moroccan quality developed for hospitality.

In addition, the company is creating fresh looks to appeal to designers seeking more contemporary designs. Obeetee's just-released Paradise Dreamscapes collection (read full story) features several new constructions some which are specifically developed for the hospitality segment. 

For example, the assortment's signature piece, also called Paradise Dreamscapes, is a multi-level, hand-carved tufted rug made of 100 percent New Zealand wool. This hand-tufted construction is created in a density that is ideal for both contract and residential, Ben-Zvi said  In addition, Obeetee developed a new elevated Kuba Moroccan quality, a high-pile, hand-knotted  construction that has been altered and engineered to be more suitable for contract and hospitality.  

The debuting Paradise Dreamscapes collection by Obeetee includes designs hand-tufted of New Zealand wool, and then hand-carved for pattern definition.

At Couristan's BDNY stand, hospitality designers were drawn to eye-catching rug designs encouraging customization and creativity.
Couristan showcased a booth full of diverse custom designs at BDNY 2018 showing off the creative options available to designers, said Richard Swindells, global design director, Couristan Carpets (UK). In addition, he pointed out that Couristan also upped its game introducing an enhanced Axminster that features nylon tufting for a luxe finish. 

"We rekindled the Art of Creative Flooring, which was an advertising campaign we did in the '80s and '90s for this gallery look. Essentially we were looking at how to create pieces of design that look a bit like art. And we also enhanced the basic Axminster with shiny nylon, barber poles, high over-tufting, etc... so it's kind of interesting to have all of those techniques -- it's an enhanced version of Axminster."

A trompe l'oeil graphic design by Couristan showcases the relevance of the Art of Creative Flooring, an ad campaign from the 80s and 90s.

Couristan showcased the broad assortment of constructions that designers could key into from high-end woven to printed carpets and updated Axminister. "The main thing about what we are doing is it is bringing something new and fresh to the way that you approach design. Axminster carpets are a hundreds of years old technology - so to bring something new and fresh to it is quite exciting."

OW Hospitality's Gavin McDowell and TinaMarie Montone introduce the in-house designed Eshta collection, inspired by the work of artist Deena Fadel.

Oriental Weavers has been investing in and retooling its OW Hospitality division, which has participated in BDNY since the show's inception nine years ago. Gavin McDowel, OW Hospitality's global design director, said that the hospitality design fair has just been getting better and better and participation has boosted OW's profile in the sector. 

In addition, the international company has put a new management structure in place during the past couple of years and brought on board more experts from the field of Axminster rugs to up its offering. The result: a design driven group that has expanded the range of options available to the segment. "We have gathered together significant people from the industry and we are serious about design and serious about product," McDowel said. "What we are trying to do is build a brand that is different from our competitors. One way we are differentiating is with product. The high luster nylon we introduced, for example, adds a little bit of bling to an Axminster product that makes it a little more interesting and a lot more like a hand-tufted." 

OW Hospitality's new Eshta collection is inspired by a commissioned painting by Cairo artist Deena Fadel, pictured, and features a number of constructions from printed to Axminster to tufted.

In fact, the showpiece of the OW booth at BDNY was its new Eshta collection inspired by a specially commissioned work of art by young, award-winning Cairo artist Deena Fadel, which was also prominently displayed. "Eshta, our new in-house design collection, comprises woven Axminster, hand-tufted and printed carpets and fabrics inspired by the artwork of Fadel. Eshta is a global design collaborative to celebrate our Egyptian roots," McDowell said. 

The new Eshta assortment illustrates the latest techniques that OW has developed to differentiate its product. "We now have a high-luster nylon in our Axminster. We are also showcasing a bunch of different techniques in our hand-tufting and we are also showing some print with carving. In many ways, our hospitality business is a startup in essence and feel."

Liora Manne's Bonnie Lasek introduces buyers to Liora Manne's patented Lamontage textiles and flooring. Shown on wall, right, Canvas, on the floor, Fireworks in neutral palette

At Liora Manne's 2018 BDNY booth innovation was also on display. Show attendees were treated to a first look of the NYC designer's next generation Lamontage products, mixing Manne's  patented needle-punched technique with other mediums. One new example, the Canvas collection, which includes textiles and decorative floor mats, is a fully customizable mix of Lamontage and jute which can feature a relaxed or playful energy. As part of Canvas, the company rolled out a range of earthy tribal designs called Kenya.

Said Bonnie Lasek, vice president sales,"Liora Manne is a familiar name in hospitality circles and we have seen our revenues continue to grow from this market segment." The company, which started with a line of synthetic Lamontage rugs, later developed Lamontage textiles and a line of hand-tufted rugs called Lush, crafted from New Zealand wool and wool-viscose blends.

Lasek added that Liora Manne's hospitality business continues to grow -- "it's very important." -- and that much of that growth is the result of the wall coverings taking off. "They are doing very well. And, now we are introducing other mediums into the Lamontage process." 

The new Canvas collection's Kenya series of textiles, pillows and floor cloths marries Liora Manne's proprietary Lamontage blended, needle-punched technique with natural woven jute cloth.


Surya Contract showcased its custom capabilities at the 2018 BDNY with an organic shaped-edge hand-tufted design that had designers stopping by to take a closer look, Jackie Paulsen, marketing director Surya, said.

Cut-out designs, like this organic one from Surya Contract, are becoming increasingly popular in the hospitality sector.

"Our contract business, which focuses on rugs and lighting, continues to grow," she continued. "We see a tremendous amount of synergy between the hospitality market and our capabilities, especially within rugs. 

"Surya's strength lies in our ability to fulfill unique custom rug orders, while also offering a breadth of semi-custom and in-stock rug options," Paulsen said. "We see more residential interior designs popping over to do hospitality projects... the rising popularity of boutique hotels is a perfect fit for a residential designer." 

In fact, as more boutique property developers continue to seek out homey, residential looks for their hotels they are increasingly turning to residential interior designers, several residential area rug makers told RugNews.com. So as residential interior designers enter the hospitality sector, often they are relying on area rug vendors they have worked with in the past.

Designers shopping BDNY 2018 for residential looks in rug qualities suitable for hospitality installations found several qualities with custom options at Surya's booth.

"If an architecture or design firm is looking to create a one-of-a-kind statement piece, we are more than capable of making that a reality," Paulsen continued. "We are also able to accommodate the specifications that need to hit a target price range or supply a large volume of rugs quickly." She also noted that another way in which Surya serves the hospitality and contract sector is through its growing lighting assortment, which includes a variety of in-stock table, floor, task, ceiling lights and now wall sconces -- that in many cases can also be customized to fit hotelier specifications.


Interior designer Charles Pavarini III, Samad's new licensing partner, shows off his debuting CPIII collection of hospitality rugs at BDNY.
Returning to BDNY for a second time, New York rug showroom Samad also had some major announcements. At the fall 2018 event, the company introduced its new licensing partner: Charles Pavarini III, a luxury interior designer based in New York, whose family built several New York landmarks including the Seagrams Tower and the United Nations (read full story). 

The CPIII collection represents not only Pavarinis's first area rug collection (he just introduced a furniture line with Swaim at the recent High Point Market), but also Samad's debut in the hand-tufted rug category.  Said Nicole Samad, "Hand-tufted is brand new to us and developed specifically for hospitality. And, the look of the Pavarini designs is hospitality." The inaugural Pavarini collection includes six designs based on original works by the designer. "I think this new collection is going to give Samad an edge in the market," Pavarini told RugNews.com.

Based on original works by Charles Pavarini III, Samad's colorful new CPIII collection represents the company's foray into hand-tufted product for hospitality end-use.

Warp & Weft, which returned to BDNY after a five year hiatus, reported a busy show and debuted novel constructions specifically geared toward the hospitality sector. The New York showroom, known for its collection of hand-knotted modern and traditional rugs, introduced an Axminster construction, said Kristy Krivitsky at the Warp & Weft booth.
One way the company showcased its new capabilities was to recast for commercial applications its popular Tangent design from a collaboration with Yabu Pushelberg, an interior design practice active in the hospitality and commercial segment. In addition, the company rolled out a new Lucent nylon tufted area rug quality.

Warp & Weft debuts its first Axminster construction shown in the Tangent design from Grid by Yabu Pushelberg.
"Our business is moving in this direction and it has just evolved in a natural way with our designers," Krivitsky said. "We bring our approach to our hand-knotteds, with excellent design and excellent quality, to our new hospitality products, so they are still boutique."

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