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An Inside Look

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.
  • When sky hooks meet hand knots

      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a three-time NCAA men’s basketball champion with UCLA. He’s a six-time NBA MVP and champion from his time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. He’s the greatest scorer in NBA history, with 38,387 points amassed during a  20-year, Hall of Fame career in which his sky hook shot was mimicked in playgrounds and gyms across the country. (I can attest to attempting – and failing at – his signature shot often) He advocates for tolerance and many social issues and writes passionately about the subjects in frequent contributions to Time and to the ... Read More
  • The pillow that went viral

    Nearly four years ago, designer Aviva Stanoff introduced her Mermaid pillow, which changes appearances when a hand is swept over its surface. A video featuring the sequined pillows recently went viral – garnering more than 30 million views – after appearing on NBC’s The Today Show on Jan. 21. Dallas-based newscaster Steve Noviello of KDFW visited Nebraska Furniture Mart recently and videoed his experience, in which the Mermaid pillow made its introduction to millions. Stanoff designed the pillow to celebrate her move to California from New York. She found the fabric in the Big Apple and said she loved the idea ... Read More
  • New venture offers direct path to one-of-a-kind rugs

    It’s never been easy to find the perfect one-of-a-kind rug. Traditionally, consumers have had to pore through stacks of carpets at a boutique rug shop; that is, if they happen to live close enough to a metropolitan area that has one. Noah Krinick, a principal of Solo Rugs, believes he has created a solution to this with a direct-to-consumer website that features high-end, one-of-a-kind rugs imported from Pakistan and India, as well as an assortment of pre-embargo Persian rugs. “At the end of the day, it’s a simple premise,” he said. “We’re taking the rugs we’ve ... Read More
  • The sales approach of a rug specialist

    As any smart retailer will tell you, a great way to make furniture vignettes pop is with accessories. Rugs, lamps, pillows, throws and more can turn an ordinary brown sofa into a true eye-catcher. Those who get this are no doubt setting themselves up for success by virtue of making their furniture settings more attractive and in the process, helping a customer see how a piece might look inside her home. So while rugs can help set the stage for furniture, is it out of the realm of possibility to think that furniture can help accentuate a rug? That’s ... Read More
  • New NYICS operator advocates for education

    Murtaza Ahmadi has seen plenty in two decades as an area rug importer and market exhibitor. Ahmadi, whose family owns and operates Amadi Carpets, a high-end resource, is leaning on those experiences as he takes the reins of the New York International Carpet Show, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 W. 18th St. in Midtown Manhattan. “I have a vision for the show. I certainly want this to become more of a resource for the design community,” Ahmadi said. “We want to expand in the coming years besides hand-knotted rugs. We want to bring in ... Read More
  • From the floor up: Vendors adding rugs into furnishings mix

    Good showroom merchandising nearly always includes area rugs, and years of setting up showrooms and finding rugs from other sources has encouraged some furnishings manufacturers to try to produce a rug line themselves. Several multi-category companies, including Uttermost and Currey & Company, added rugs over the last few years, and now even more are finding themselves in the business of rug production, importing and sales as they look to expand their product lines, add new revenue streams and attract more customers. Leather upholstery producer W. Schillig’s initial foray into area rugs in April at the High Point Market was a ... Read More
  • Rug producers reaching out to help in Nepal

    The images from Nepal are heartbreaking. On April 25, an earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale shook Nepal, with catastrophe left in its wake. More than 5,000 people have been confirmed killed in the quake and its aftershocks while thousands remain missing. Homes, businesses and timeless landmarks have been reduced to rubble. As the country begins to rebuild, the worldwide rug community is reaching out to help as it can. Nepal is a major source of area rugs and many importers and producers have a presence in the nation. Goodweave, which is dedicated to eradicating child labor ... Read More
  • What color is...?

    It's the latest thing to "break the internet." In case you were buried underneath the deluge of snow that hit the southeastern U.S. and couldn't get to social media, a photo of a dress, posted to Tumblr on Feb. 25 created quite the stir online. The debate rages on whether the dress in question is white and gold or blue and black with the hashtag #thedress. Personally, I see light blue and taupe, but then again I've always done things my own way.       Here's a sampling of how the home décor industry has gotten ... Read More
  • Game takes aim at furniture assembly

    As one whose youth took place in the 1980s and early 1990s, I grew up knowing gaming names like Mario, Sonic and others. Today, I still dabble a bit (I’ve recently been reintroduced to my bass guitar through Rocksmith) when I’m not busy covering the home furnishings industry and doing things with my family. So when a Facebook link to a game called Home Improvisation appeared on my feed, I was intrigued. The premise of the game is simple. A box of furniture appears in a room and the gamer is tasked with assembling it, similar to the ... Read More
  • A piece of Thanksgiving comes to life

    It’s a Thanksgiving tradition as much as family, football and falling asleep on the sofa after too much turkey at dinner. Across the country, households tune into the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to see marching bands, performers, celebrities and colorful balloons make their way down the streets of New York. Macy’s employees have the opportunity to be balloon handlers in the parade, an honor that was given to Richard Kennedy, senior vice president of sales for The Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s during this year’s festivities. So Kennedy controlled the left foot of the ... Read More
  • Remodeling a condo with Jennifer Adams

    Fresh off the debut of her line of rugs and soft goods for Jaipur at Las Vegas in July, designer Jennifer Adams launched a new project dedicated to home remodeling. Adams, who is a regular on HGTV and The Better Show and host of her own online series of DIY tips, recently introduced a new YouTube series called Love Coming Home. The pilot episode, which was uploaded Oct. 8, introduces the task of remodeling a beachfront condo in the historic district of Del Mar, Calif. Each week, the project comes closer to completion with Adams explaining what went into each ... Read More
  • What a view!

    Have you ever looked out of the window of an airplane, amazed at the landscape below you? Austrian architect and designer Florian Pucher did, which led to an eye-catching series of rugs, patterned after the bird’s-eye view of landscapes that can only be seen from the air. “Being a notorious ‘window seater’ on planes I have always appreciated the beauty of nature, landscape and cities and preferred watching countries from above rather than movies on tiny screens or taking naps in uncomfortable seats,” Pucher said. “It all came together when I met a rug maker during an interior project ... Read More