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An Inside Look

Lester
Thomas Lester is an assistant editor of Home Accents Today. A veteran journalist and storyteller, Lester will bring the stories behind the partnerships, product innovations and personalities in the home accents industry to life in this blog.
  • Seeing red in a new light

    During the January Las Vegas Market, Laurie Pressman from the Pantone Color Institute discussed the influence of color. In High Point, Carolyn Noble, designer marketing manager of the Southeast Division for Sherwin-Williams, opted to focus on the power of red. Noble’s presentation, “Seeing Red,” took place in Surya’s Showplace 4100 showroom on April 8 during the High Point Market, tying it all together with a quote from Diana Vreeland: “Red is the great clarifier – bright and revealing. I can’t imagine becoming bored with red; it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.” Noble noted ... Read More
  • Coloring the way we view the world

    It goes without saying that color is one of the most prevalent powers in this industry. Never is that more apparent than shortly after color authority Pantone reveals its color of the year every December. In touring the winter markets, it would be remarkably difficult to miss 2014 Color of the Year Radiant Orchid, much like 2013's showrooms were clad in Emerald. At the recently completed Las Vegas Market, Oriental Weavers (which has a licensed Pantone Universe rug collection) hosted Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, to talk about color and Radiant Orchid. "Color is a ... Read More
  • Going to the dogs

    As an avid sports fan, one of the biggest days of the year in my home is Super Bowl Sunday.But with a small child present, it's important to find balance (plus, it's always good to step away from the TV and find other things to do for a while). Rather than the hours upon hours of pregame coverage from the talking heads charged with covering the game in the background, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl has become the pregame entertainment of choice. The frolicking puppies doing puppy things provide the right kind of entertainment that you can ... Read More
  • Reaction to Shaw's decision to exit rug business

    With word getting out about Shaw's impending exit from the area rug sector, we thought it would be a good idea to collect the thoughts from people in the industry. This blog post will be updated as additional reactions come in. You're welcome to share your thoughts by emailing me at tlester@homeaccentstoday.com. Jim Slagle, president Bob Timberlake, Inc.It's early. We just got the call from them (Monday). Our initial reaction is Shaw's been a great partner. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire process from developing the programs and partnering with them to launch the ... Read More
  • Many paths can lead to success

    Color wasn't the only thing bright coming out of rug showrooms near the end of the Oct. 19-24 High Point Market. In many spaces, outlooks matched the cheery displays hanging on rug racks. A number of officials in the rug world said they had buyer and/or sales numbers at or near record levels during the busy week that concluded last month. Many companies introduced new products in hopes of wrapping up a good year. Those introductions were reportedly well-received. Capel had the initial presentation of its Hableland rugs in partnership with Hable Construction. Nourison officially launched its full ... Read More
  • Emotionally durable ideas at work

    At the Sustainable Furnishings Council's Innovations in Sustainable Furnishings forum at Elon University on Sept. 20, keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Chapman presented his thoughts on emotionally durable design - the practice of creating product that will pass the physical test of time and will be something that the consumer wants to keep for years."We surround ourselves with objects to comfort us but they also project. They tell everybody else about who you are and who you wish you were. The problem with that is that the self, our concept of self and our identity and the things we aspire ... Read More
  • Hail to the Rug!

    In order to be sure I'm doing my best to stay on top of industry news, from time to time, I'll do a quick Google News scan for items containing the keyword "rug." Often, the stories I find are things I already wrote about, tips for rug placement in the home or best cleaning practices. On occasion, I'll find something truly unique or interesting, such as this article from the Webster-Kirkwood Times in St. Louis. While sisters Nola Heidbreder and Linda Pietz already teach rug making, the duo could probably do well giving American history tutorials - they ... Read More
  • Rug pays homage to Punk era

    The anti-establishment Punk movement shook popular music to its core in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its fast and loud sound and attitude were intentionally opposite from the musical stylings that had been increasingly taking hold in the industry.It also spawned a style all its own, with edginess and nonconformity moving to the fore as Punk carved out its niche in culture.Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of New York put on a Punk exhibition, looking back on the era. British-born artist and textile designer Rosemary Hallgarten took inspiration from the exhibit and created the Punk Rug, featuring zippers ... Read More
  • Ten points for successful celebrity licensing

    Licensing is a major staple in the home furnishings industry. From HGTV to Kathy Ireland to Angelo Surmelis to Biltmore to Tommy Bahama to the Duck Dynasty crew to Paula Deen (as of this writing), it's not uncommon to see the names, logos and visages of famous people or brands on or associated with products.During the American Home Furnishings Alliance's June 24-26 marketing meeting held in Raleigh, N.C., industry veteran and home furnishings consultant Ed Tashjian gave a presentation on celebrity licensing in the home furnishings industry, including what to look for and what to watch ... Read More
  • Persian rug fetches record price at auction

    A Persian rug that once belonged to a U.S. Senator fetched a record price of almost $33.8 million at auction on June 5. The 17th Century Persian Kirman rug, which once belonged to Senator William Clark (for whom Clark County, Nev. is named), was auctioned in New York by Sotheby's. It shattered the previous top rug auction price of $9.5 million for another 17th Century Persian Kirman rug during a Christie's auction in London in 2010.The record-setting rug was put up for auction by Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery of Art. The gallery ... Read More
  • Getting a handle on the industry

    Coming into this new position as assistant editor for Home Accents Today, I knew I would be getting to know lots about all sorts of different product categories, with a little more time spent on the rug side of the business. Prior to coming to work here, I knew very little about rugs. In the broadest strokes possible, my knowledge consisted of the following: Rug making is one of the world's oldest industries, rugs can have fascinating designs, and used well, they can really tie a room together.Perhaps that's overstating it, but the point is the best ... Read More