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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.
  • 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
  • Nothing 'campy' about this rug

    As a longtime and avid camper, one of the inevitable (albeit minor) aggravations of spending a few nights in the great outdoors is all the debris that always ends up getting tracked inside my tent, no matter how hard I try to keep it from happening. At a recent camping excursion at a nearby beach and after sweeping up sand for what felt like the 10th time that day, my wife made mention that a small rug inside our tent would have been most welcome if only to keep the floor from feeling so gritty. One interesting solution to this ... Read More
  • A third option in online vs. in-store debate?

    What would happen if you took the best aspects of brick-and-mortar rug sales and combined them with popular online selling techniques? If you’re Colorado entrepreneur Harlan Snyder, the answer might look like your newest business venture, called Just Floor Fun. The concept merges the customization available through online sales with the in-person experience of shopping in a store, puts it all in a vehicle and brings it to the customer’s home. Snyder, who has been in the home improvement industry for more than 12 years as a design consultant, sales manager and sales coach, said he came up ... Read More
  • The value of in-store events

    During the June 1-3 Home Furnishings Networking Conference presented by the North American Home Furnishings Association, one of the more interesting breakout events I attended dealt with the value of in-store events. In-store events are important for retailers because they get people into the store for fun or educational activities. They’ll associate the good time they had with your business, and they might also be compelled to do a little shopping when the event is finished. Hosted by Carmine Caruso, the “in-store event” we participated in was creating decorative table-settings. Each person in the room received a stapled brown ... Read More
  • 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