Showing posts with label Yabu Pushelberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yabu Pushelberg. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The story behind our carpets at the new Park Hyatt New York

Photo: Ben Schlappig, One Mile at a Time

In August, the media was abuzz with the opening of the Park Hyatt hotel in New York. Eight years in the making, it was intended to be a New York icon. Even so, the vision for the interior design was created by the Toronto firm Yabu Pushelberg (YP) which has been our client for many years.

We started work on this project in May 2009 but the carpets were not installed until August 2014. Through experience, we have become accustomed to the lengthy process attached to carpets in iconic hotels, but we thought it would be interesting for our blog readers to see how a carpet project might extend over five years.

Ana Cunningham was the Creative Matters designer assigned to this project from start to end and here she explains the process.  

How many pieces did you create for the Park Hyatt New York?
There were five rugs in the Glow design (from our Aerial Collection) for the lobby and one custom piece for a lounge named the "Courtyard."

Glow in the lobby at the Park Hyatt New York 
90% wool, 10% silk : 72 oz : hand tufted in a low, tight loop with 30% tip shearing

What were the creative considerations of the spaces?
When we started the design process, Alienor Guilhem - who was at that time based in YP’s Toronto office - had some of the finishes selected. Metal finishes, a sample of the marble floor and some fabrics gave us direction for selecting the colour palettes. She printed out imagery as inspiration for the Courtyard design.

In both locations, we knew we were working with spaces that were fairly neutral, giving the rugs centre stage. With the Courtyard, we were really able to play with the design and include a variety of colours (the rug ended up with 14 colours and 18 blends). With Glow, the organic orbs gave relief to the undulating linework in both the walls and floor.

The custom carpet for the Courtyard at the Park Hyatt New York
90% wool, 10% silk : 72 oz : hand tufted cut pile : 14 colours with 18 blends

How did you and YP eventually decide to use a customized version of Glow?
After the preliminary concepts were complete (we had to reconfigure the Glow pattern for each of the five different sizes), we started asking the mill to supply samples. Only one sample of the Courtyard carpet was required for approval. However, the Glow colouration required many samples before the final colourway was selected. We initially thought the original Glow design in silver would work but the marble floor was much warmer in tone, causing this colourway to look much greener than anticipated. We tried various approaches. Some matched the warm taupe of the floor too closely, causing it to blend in (which was not the desired effect). The final approved custom colourway was on the bluer side grey, with a hint of violet to inject a touch more life.

What were the practical considerations?
When it came to quality of the carpets, we suggested a low tight loop for the Glow design which we knew from experience would stand up to the heavy foot traffic expected in a hotel lobby. For the quieter Courtyard, we recommended a cut pile quality which created a more residential look. 

Detail in the custom carpet for the Courtyard

What influenced your mill selection for this project?
From early on in the project,  we planned to use a mill in Thailand that we have been working with since Creative Matters opened for business 25 years ago. We were confident their handtufted quality would be the best for a busy hotel.

You said you went through many samples – how does that work?
To have a sample made, we need to select colour poms. Because the Glow design requires a very specific tonal transition from one colour to the next, we needed to ensure that none of the areas were too low or too high in contrast. Essentially, if one colour turned out to be incorrect, it would throw the whole design off.

Grey poms

For each sample, we sent an email to the Thai mill specifying the colour by referring to poms from our ARS pom box (the mill has the same box). If the ARS box did not have the appropriate tones, we would have to send custom poms. Our orders always include a quick computer rendering of the sample but what appears on a screen will never be accurate. Poms are the only way to understand the colours we need to achieve. Once the mill completes the sample, it is sent to us via FedEx. Generally it takes four to six weeks to receive a sample but if necessary we can expedite the process.

Once the final sample has been approved, how to you continue to play a role in the production of the carpet?
Once the sample is approved, we prepare the production order and send it to the mill. We tag the sample noting approved colours, quality and techniques such as the 30% tip shearing which adds another level of dimension to the rugs. The mill then completes a CAD (a computer design) where our designs are placed into the required format for production. The CAD is sent to us for final approval prior to commencing. During production, we ask for photos because it’s always useful to see the goods on the loom - a last chance for changes before latex is applied to the back. We also follow the shipping of the carpets to ensure they arrive on time.

The Park Hyatt rugs arrived at our New York warehouse in July 2013 where they were inspected by the client and YP with rave reviews. They remained in storage until shortly before the hotel opened its doors this August. Carpets are generally the last items to go in, once all the other trades are done.

Photo: Ben Schlappig, One Mile at a Time

For budgetary reasons, you often never see your finished work – how does that feel?
True, we don’t all get to see the rugs we worked on in person but for this project I have had the unexpected pleasure of seeing the Glow carpet well displayed in the October issue of Surface Magazine with none other than Mario Testino artfully placed upon it. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trade show here we come

Just like fashion designers, we have our custom pieces (haute couture) and our collections (ready-to-wear). However, we don’t walk our carpets down the runway, so trade shows are where we present our collections “in the wool” to current and potential retailers.

We are shortly off to NYICS – the New York International Carpet Show - taking place this year from September 7 – 9. It’s been interesting to see this relatively new fair (10 years) steadily growing. Domotex in Germany and Forza Tappeti in Italy are longer-running and among the ones we have attended regularly during our 25 years in the business.

While a show is always a special time to connect with trusted retailers, friends and trends, two particularly exciting things are happening for us this year. After XX years of introducing collections, this is the first time we will present a collection made with natural dyes. And, it’s also the first time we will host a draw at our booth when, in collaboration with our fair trade endorser Label STEP, we will draw the winner of a stunning (if we say so ourselves) handknotted rug.

The Natural Dye Collection was only set into motion during Carol Sebert’s spring trip to Nepal when she finally discovered a dye master with the requisite skill in natural dyes. Once the design “Percolate” was established, then came the inevitable of  toing and froing with samples in various colourways. We finally settled on five for the launch of the collection but only one of them has made it off the loom in time for the show. Mulberry, which will take pride of place at our booth, thankfully arrived in Toronto last week.

Unlike fashion, our collections are not tied to a particular year and season. While rugs within collections continue to be popular with our retailers, we continue to add designs and colourways.  Consequently, also up front and centre in the booth, will be Drift and Shale, two new designs for the XXV Collection released in 2013. Within that collection, we will also premiere three new colourways of the highly popular Dream design, and a blue version of  much-loved Suspension.

In our Toronto office, Abigail Williams is the chief logistician for trade shows because - in addition to her design work - she also manages CMI’s relationships with retailers. In order to have the new designs in time for the show, she is in constant communication with the different mills. She, more than anyone, breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Shale left Nepal on Monday headed directly to New York via Fedex.

Last week, Abigail was busy was selecting all the rugs she wanted for the show and physically  loading them up on a skid. In New York, she will unload them and make them all pretty with the input of president Carol Sebert who is naturally an essential member of the trade show delegation.

Abigail still has to finalize the details of the draw with Reto Aschwandan who will travel to New York from Label STEP’s headquarters in Switzerland. The rug raffle has an interesting history dating back to our anniversary celebrations last November when many visitors were invited to take part in the design process. From the 60 designs that emerged, six were selected for online voting and “#58” was the design that headed off to Nepal. No doubt, Abigail is looking forward to making the call that tells someone they are the lucky winner of a one-of-kind rug valued at $5,000.

And when business moves from the trade show to somewhere more comfortable, our favourite place to entertain clients in New York is the Soho Grand hotel where many of our rugs can be appreciated in situ. Nothing is more apt than discussing floorcoverings in the bar area while gazing upon a splendid sweep of our woven axminster.

Abigail doesn’t know it yet, but once the trade show business is complete, there’ll be a quick trip to the Park Hyatt. The hotel only opened last week, so it will be the first opportunity to inspect our lobby carpeting. And thinking back to our collections, it’s interesting to note that although the Park Hyatt was a custom project, the designer at Yabu Pushelberg actually chose to use the Glow design from our Aerial collection which was remastered in an exclusive colour combination.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello, March!

February was a busy month! After IDS13 we received some great press, and then even more great press, about our wallcoverings. We're happy to have made a splash with our newest venture!

So we've made it to March! It's the time of year when winter finally starts to ease up to spring, holidays with the family abound, and (if the snow's still good) we pack in as much end of season tobogganing as we can.

In Ancient Rome, March was the first month of the year. As wikipedia can tell you, this month is named after the Roman god, Mars, who you may know better as the Greek god of war, Ares. This month was traditionally (or rather, hellenistically) the month to start military campaigns. Similarly, in these contemporary times, many people choose March as the month to attack their homes with an annual onslaught of spring cleaning 

It's also a luxurious time of year. Well, we consider it a luxurious time of year. 

As the snow melts away and the sun shines a bit longer each day, we can see the world beyond winter once more. To us, this is luxury. On a nice March day you can wear shoes... luxury! The birds fill the air with songs... luxury!

Or maybe March is still cold, and you're tired of being inside. So you decide to make it luxurious by going away for the weekend and staying in a nice hotel, or going out (window) shopping for your favourite luxury designs.

If you're into making luxury your March experience, we recommend the following:

1. Enjoying a night or two in New York.

The James Hotel in NYC is a boutique experience. It's also a great place to kick off your shoes and step down on some lovely carpet.

Creative Matters Inc. with Amanda Sullivan Studio Architect, New York, NY 

Our rugs have a way of making you feel right at home.

2. Shopping in Paris.

If you're interested in seeing some beautiful designs underfoot, while enjoying some sophisticated shopping, check out the department store Printemps.

Creative Matters Inc. with Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto, ON

Our custom carpets add to the luxury of the space!

3. Shopping in Hong Kong.

Maybe you really want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your city, to enjoy the luxurious hustle and bustle of one of the world's economic capitals. 

While you're there you may be interested in stepping onto some great design, so why not visit Louis Vuitton?

Creative Matters Inc. with Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto, ON

Original carpet designs to compliment an original design house.

So as the spring season starts, take a moment to reflect on the luxury around you, and especially the luxury under your feet.

And happy tobogganing!