RUG MAKERS SCORE WITH HOTEL DESIGNERS AT BDNY, PART 1
NEW YORK -- The boutique hospitality design fair BDNY's 2017 edition was bustling on its two days of business and featured a robust assortment of area rug makers, including several prominent newcomers, hoping to leave their mark.
Debuting at the November fair, which ran Nov. 11-12 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, were ABC Custom, Obeetee, Samad and Warp & Weft (which returns after a hiatus) -- all familiar names in the bespoke residential segment but interested in growing their share of this hot hospitality niche. They join returning exhibitors including Couristan, Lexmark, Liora Manne, Marc Partial, Nanimarquina, Nourison, Oriental Weavers and Surya, all of whom note that area rugs are an increasingly popular choice, not only in the lobby area but also in guest rooms and suites.
Almost all of the area rug exhibitors surveyed by RugNews.com said the 2017 edition was busier than 2016 with a dynamic high-quality attendance. Hospitality, especially in the boutique segment, has become increasingly important to the area rug industry as more and more properties begin to specify hard surfaces in guest rooms in an effort to create a more relaxed, home-like feel. In addition, designers and property developers are selecting area rugs area to create more luxurious and unique settings.
"Everyone from the larger Marriotts and Hiltons of the world to boutique properties are going toward hard-surface in the rooms," Frances Phillips, with Shaw Hospitality, told RugNews.com.
"We have seen that as use of hard surface increases, the need for rugs is increasing too. We are seeing rugs become more important in hospitality -- and crossing over into the workplace and other market segments as well." A sentiment echoed again and again by other show participants surveyed by RugNews.com.
While natural and simple sophisticated looks were on display, many exhibitors opted for bold graphic styles and vibrant palettes to grab attention. The diversity of styles was impressive but most looks featured contemporary designs.
"I have gone to Las Vegas [HD] every year for the past six years," said hospitality designer Susan Jacobson, with LSE Architects in Minneapolis, who attended BDNY for the first time and stopped by Oriental Weaver's booth. "I decided to come here, and I really like this show. It's a little smaller, the booths aren't so big, and I'm enjoying it. I'm getting a lot of work done for a hotel I'm designing. And, I like to take postcards from companies I don't know, and then use their websites to do more research."
Below, follow RugNews.com as it surveys BDNY 2017 to discover the hottest designs and to hear from top area rug players. Below, in Part 1 of this exclusive report we stop by exhibitors from ABC Custom to Nourison. Make sure to check out Part 2
ABC debuts its new custom division which showcased an assortment of hand-knotted, hand-woven, and hand-tufted looks.
Luxe retailer ABC Carpet & Home not only debuted at BDNY but used the show as a launch pad of its new contract and hospitality division, ABC Custom (read full story
). The company showcased an assortment of hand-knotted, hand-woven and hand-tufted looks, which can be engineered in multiple qualities to achieve a variety of price points. Two top qualities for the hospitality segment include ABC's high-density hand-tufted products and also its hand-knotted vintage-style rugs.
"We feel there is a stronger demand for more unique products that are difficult to source," Bill Ward, ABC Carpet executive vice president, told RugNews.com in an exclusive interview. "We've been buying these products for years for our retail business, and we saw a demand coming from a different batch of people. We're not really into selling widgets. We want to sell unique, handmade products that will distinguish a boutique or five-star property from the crowd."
Couristan's new creative director Marlys Giordano poses with the company's graphic black-and-white theme.
Couristan's booth was busy with show attendees stopping in to take a selfie in front of its dramatic black and white skull design. The company relocated its booth to a larger more prominent location and the move paid off. Couristan showcased its bold black-and-white Memento Mori range, which includes a floral and skull motif for dramatic effect.
Marlys Giordano, creative director, said, "This skull is very big and gothic; there is a nod to the simplicity of it and the edginess of it." Giordano noted that she is trying to bring some of that edginess and more of fashion-forward approach to the company's residential designs, which has been run as a distinct group within the company.
"Hopefully for January we will see a tie in between our hospitality and residential. A little more color and fashion," she pointed out. "First, Couristan was a handmade house and it slowly evolved into machine-mades. Now we have the machine-made line established [in residential rugs], we have those hand-made looks we are known for and our color creels established, so we want to evolve back into the handmade with a little more color, a little more edginess -- things that can sit side-by-side with hospitality."
Couristan's Memento Mori's skull design had attendees stopping in for dramatic photo ops.
Lexmark's Amy Jaekal, director of creative design, and designer Theresa Helgren pose in front of Contours.
Lexmark debuted two organic looks with the Contour and Alloy collections in the company's vivid technology, which can produce carpets in up to 24 colors with both cut and loop areas. "The response has been really good. We have run out of materials [on the new collections]," said Amy Jaekal, director of creative design, noting that the show's traffic seems heavier in 2017 than in 2016.
Adds Contour designer Theresa Helgren, "I personally think any of our designs could be used in a guest room along with LVT [luxury vinyl tile] or any type of hard surface. We are getting some requests for that already."
Lexmark's new Alloy collection, shown with gold metallic accents, is made in the company's new vivid technology, which can produce carpets in up to 24 colors with both cut and loop areas.
Liora Manne takes a break with designers Alison Corcoran and Lillian Park, both with design practice StreetSense.
Liora Manne's signature Lamontage was on display at BDNY and it was stopping attendees in their tracks. "The show has been great, it is a very dynamic show with people coming in all the time, both new customers and people we have done business with," said New York-based designer Liora Manne, who debuted a range of all-new patterns for the boutique design show, including Bali Stripe and Salineras.
"Normally we are all about color but this is our play on black and white," Manne continued. The 2017 edition of BDNY was busier than a year ago, she noted, adding that hospitality represents about 50 percent of her studio's business, but has been growing.
Liora Manne debuts a new line of impressive black-and-white patterns for BDNY shoppers in her signature Lamontage process.
New York studio Marc Phillips returns to the show with Justin Goodall on hand to assist show shoppers.
"This might be the best show of the year in terms of the quality of the client and traffic," said Justin Goodall with New York area rug resource Marc Phillips. "ICFF is a close second. Our indoor-outdoor is defiantly growing and we added new patterns for the show," he explained.
The company has been growing its rather new indoor/outdoor collection, made of 100 percent olefin. The rugs are available in custom sizes and are appropriate for residential, commercial and contract applications.
"Also people appreciate the texture and patterns of our Moroccans -- they have a weathered kind of look," added Goodall.
The texture and patterns of Marc Phillips' Moroccan rugs where a hit with BDNY shoppers.
Maria Piera Marquina, managing director, and Ben Anicet, CEO North America, pose in front of a recent design by Jaime Hayon for Nanimarquina.
Spanish-based luxe rug maker Nanimarquina returns to BDNY highlighting its recently introduced Hayon x Nani collection, designed by artist Jaime Hayon, to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary. Crafted using a hand-tufting technique where a manually operated gun adds strands of wool to the design, the new Hayon designs are based on the Spanish artist's surreal sketches.
Also on show were designer Begüm Cana Özgür's new ombre-like Shade collection of flat-weaves, handmade using a complex technical process to achieve the density, regularity, and fluidity of the gradient colors, which converge in each rug, one vertical and one horizontal.
"The commercial segment is growing and we are starting to work more in hospitality," said Maria Marquina, noting that the company's rugs were featured in the lobby and rooftop lounge of the Made Hotel in Brooklyn.
Jonathan Peykar, left, and Peter Lipkin showcased the company's recently completed W Times Square hotel project at BDNY.
Nourison chose to feature a prestigious New York project, the W Times Square, at its 2017 BDNY booth. The bold graphic design, made of 80 percent wool and 20 percent nylon is a hand-carved, electronic jacquard Axminster.
Jonathan Peykar, who heads up the company's hospitality division, noted that not only are Axminister carpets an upgrade in a guest room, but the hand-carving of the showcased design, which is a non-repeating pattern, lends a handmade quality as well.
"BDNY is busy for us. We always look forward to the show; we get to see clients and grow our business year after year. Hospitality is growing and it has a lot of potential," he said. "As more properties specify area rugs in their guest suites it's a great opportunity for Nourison."
This Nourison design, a hand-carved, electronic jacquard Axminster. was used in the guest suites at New York City's W Times Square.