Archive for April, 2010

Foscarini and Tetrazzini

April 30, 2010

SR Hughes is pleased to announce that we have added a new lighting line to the mix. The Italian brand Foscarini is known for its progressive work with many top designers including Tom Dixon, Rodolfo Dordoni, Karim Rashid, Ferruccio Laviani and Marc Sadler. The Foscarini identity has spread to over fifty countries due to its focus on quality of production, innovative techniques and its forward-thinking attitude in the commitment to fostering the abilities and talents of young designers.

Caboche was designed by Patricia Urquiola and Eliana Gerroto in 2005. This fixture is on display in our showroom and is available in a table, wall sconce and floor versions. Two finish options are crystal and amber. It took three of our staff members to assemble this feature!

Big Bang is one of the most affordable features while possibly the most dramatic in the Foscarini line.

 

Marc Sadler created Twiggy in 2006. Featured in many high-end interiors, Twiggy provides elegance in white, black, red, or a yellow color. If you're in need of light from above without the trouble of putting in a suspended fixture, this lamp is an excellent option. Floating above a sofa or dining table creates drama white remaining unobtrusive.

The link above is a little movie about Foscarini. We hope it provides you with a little education and much inspiration!

And now for something wildly different:

According to The History of Poultry Dishes Luisa Tetrazzini had no earthy idea that someone had named the popular chicken casserole after her. Luisa was quite the “hot dish” herself, a premier opera singer near the turn of the 19th Century. Apparently many chefs of the day were naming their culinary creations after popular stars. Carnegie’s Carrots, George Bernard Shaw’s Slaw, Buffalo Bill’s Bison Burger, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s Carne Asada. The list goes on. As for Ms. Tetrazzini, her legacy lives on due to the efforts of some designer gastronomique. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Timeless design. And judging from the picture above, Luisa Tetrazzini, The Florentine nightingale, enjoyed herself quite a bit of chicken and noodles.

Experience the Modern Mix with One-of-a-Kind Primitives

April 21, 2010

SR Hughes Featured in Online Magazine

April 20, 2010

The April edition of  LOCALE magazine features one of  SR Hughes’ interior design projects.  View the article and the complete issue, available here. This Tulsa home is a brilliant mix of traditional and contemporary styles. The featured project highlights our design team’s ability to execute balanced and beautiful residences for long-lasting, comfortable and elegant living.

KWGS: Stephanie Odegard: Sustainable Design and Social Responsibility

April 14, 2010

Stephanie talks with Rich Fisher.  Follow the link below to hear and then visit Philbrook April 15th at 5:30 to learn more.

KWGS: Stephanie Odegard: Sustainable Design and Social Responsibility (2010-04-14).

Designer Weaving a Better World

April 13, 2010

Stephanie Odegard at Home

April 12, 2010

For her Manhattan apartment, premier carpet purveyor Stephanie Odegard collected furnishings from all over the globe and anchored them with rugs of her own design.  See more courtesy of Elle Decor online.

Up close and personal:  see Odegard rugs, furniture, and lighting at the SR Hughes Showroom.  Tuesdays – Saturdays 10:30am to 5:30pm.

 

Apples and Oranges

April 10, 2010

In our current retail economy, we have seen an explosion of lower end copies designed to look like their higher end counterparts.  From mid-town to downtown, the streets of New York are filled with vendors and their carts.  It is a virtual global market where products ranging from purses and scarves to jewelry and watches are sold at amazingly low prices.  The day following the Oscar awards, knock-offs of red carpet couture gowns are designed to be sold for a fraction of their original cost.  But we aren’t really fooled.  We know what we are buying.

When it comes to home furnishings what justifies a higher cost? Interior designers are working daily in a business where finite budgets run up against infinite wants and needs.  If all products were created equally there would be no issues.  Of course, the least expensive item could still be the best choice.  At SR Hughes, education is an ongoing process designed to help the client make an informed decision.

Purchasing a quality area rug for your home or business can be a substantial investment.  The finely crafted rugs from the Odegard Collection are known for their unique designs, quality construction and depth of color.  They are works of art, handcrafted in Nepal by master weavers specializing in a technique dating back to 2000 B.C.  Let’s look at what truly sets these rugs apart from their lower priced imitations.

The process begins with a unique, lanolin rich, long staple wool which is highly compact and elastic.  Wool from much drier regions tends to be shorter and made up of fibers with very little oil, making it brittle and susceptible to pilling and felting.  After being sheared by highland nomads, the virgin Tibetan wool is carried to Nepal where it is hand carded and hand spun into yarn.  These yarns are far superior to the recycled wool which is the basis for many less costly rugs.  This type of lower quality fiber has irregularities in color and texture and does not hold knots well.  Pile falls out more rapidly and the rugs do not hold shape for long.  Many are also chemically washed which strips the lanolin from the wool and weakens the fibers.

The next step is an age-old dyeing process which uses minerals and botanicals that are indigenous to Nepal and India.  Like cooking or wine making, recipes for these dyes are passed from person to person.  It is the continuation of a cultural tradition connecting work life with nature.  The cost is higher but in direct contrast to chemical dyes, vegetal dye is harmless to humans and protects the environment.  The dyes permeate deeply into the long fibers providing exceptional luster and depth of field.  The yarn is also resistant to fading, staining and abrading.

The rugs are then woven on vertical looms creating an interlocking foundation with up to 120 knots per square inch.  Thousands of hours are spent weaving, combing and carving the rugs by hand.  Lesser quality carpets are often woven by machine and without this strong interlocking knot method.  Natural fibers and the artisan’s hand elevate these rugs into contemporary pieces which now grace the exceptional interiors of museums, restaurants and homes around the world.

And in the end, the production of wool uses a fraction of the energy used to make synthetic fibers.  No synthetic carpet fiber will ever have the natural or inherent qualities and attributes of these natural fiber rugs used daily by commercial and residential clients alike.  The “Good Weave” label also insures that the carpets are made free of child labor and allow a living wage to be paid to adult craftsman and workers.

“Sustainable”, “renewable”, “non-toxic”, “biodegradable” and “socially conscious” — these are all important buzz words that apply to Odegard carpets and furnishings.  So, before you consider buying an inferior “throw away” product, consider all of the positive aspects of owning one of these exceptionally beautiful and long-lasting textiles from a company which has been successful in raising the standard of living for thousands of people.

Do you see the difference between apples and oranges??

Wool Is Sheep’s Clothing…

April 9, 2010

…and happily, for humans, that clothing can be “sheared” and “shared” (with no harm to the sheep!)  Wool is one of the earth’s most versatile fibers and so complex that modern science has not been able to duplicate or synthesize it.

But have you ever wondered why things labeled “wool” can feel and wear so differently?  Types of wool vary according to breed and climate.  And the absolute best wool for quality rugs and carpets comes from the fleece of sheep that live and graze in one of the most extreme climates in the wold.  High in the mountains of Tibet at 14,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level, the sheep have evolved a highly efficient covering.  The story of an Odegard rug starts with this unique fiber.  The end result is an amazing work of art which can last for generations and can also benefit entire communities.

But let’s look at this story from another angle.  What is the price of quality?  When faced with the choice between rugs which, at first glance, may look very similar — Buyer Beware — all rugs are not created equally!  And some rug production is actually harmful to people and to the earth … but more about that later.

A higher price may be one reflection of quality,  But while shortcuts during manufacturing can produce a lower price, most often true quality and sustainability are compromised.  So before you place a rug in your home, take some time to think about not only the look and design, but also your investment and what type of manufacturing your purchase is supporting.

At SR Hughes, we are proud to represent Odegard for what we think are all of the right reasons.  In the next installment of this blog, we will look at the life of an Odegard rug.  From the wool to the weave, we will see what sets it apart from one of lesser quality.  And a bonus … Odegard furnishings are eco-friendly and people-friendly!

Odegard’s Journey

April 8, 2010

The travelogue of Stephanie Odegard’s adult life gives voice to artists and craftspeople in developing countries.  How did she arrive at this place?   She grew up in Minnesota where, as she recalls, “Whether it was bread or a porch, somebody was building it or making it or designing it.”  So, the notion of using her own two hands to shape the world around her was no strange idea.  And although she heard of far away places where missionaries were helping people in poorer countries, she’d never been anywhere.  But luckily, a job as a buyer at Dayton Hudson and owning a textile arts business eventually led to world travel.

By the 1980’s, after years of work for the Peace Corps and World Bank, Stephanie ended up in Nepal working as a consultant for the emerging carpet industry being developed by Tibetan refugees.  Nepal afforded the people relative safety and the prized, lanolin-rich wool of the Himalayan sheep that graze above 14,000 feet.  Living among the Tibetans for several years helping to stabilize their wool market, she was uniquely poised to assist them with translating their goods into a commercially viable entity which she hoped would elevate their standard of living.  She was convinced that producing high-end crafts would create a need for more skilled and better paid workers. It would also revitalize and grow a disintegrating part of their culture.  On the other side of things, it meant someone would want to purchase their product.

Stephanie sought to do this without disrupting the distinct cultural heritage of Tibetan craft.  Her experience in marketing and selling for a major department store and managing her own business had familiarized her with consumer buying habits and motivations. She understood that using only the traditional motifs and constructions of the Tibetan rug industry would make rugs too limited for the people she imagined as her buyers.  She added her artistic sensibility to the process by making sure we see the traditional handmade craftsmanship and the people behind the product and by introducing colors and designs that play forward the story of the artisans she employs — visible traits of every Odegard carpet.  “My goal is to employ as many people as possible. People first of all need to have their stomachs full before they can think straight about how to educate their children and how to better their lives in real solid ways . . . .” she says.

Today, Odegard‘s experience, artistry, and heart enable her to employ more than 10,000 people.  Add to this her staunch commitment to Goodweave, an organization which certifies that carpets are made without child labor, and you can sense the indigenous culture of Tibet and Nepal in every handmade carpet while knowing that no person has been exploited in its manufacture.  Travis Price sums up the journey succinctly, “She has looked at the mythology; she’s tapped into it in a modern venue.  That keeps the culture alive;  spirits are reborn into the modern industrial realm.  She’s on the cutting edge of what needs to be done globally.”

Proof in Numbers

April 7, 2010


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