I love that in my job I am often able to see cutting edge design products just as they are coming on the market, as well as work with a work with a multitude of talented trades! During my recent book signing at Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries, I was so excited to see the amazing new rug collection that Matt, a leader in the rug indusry with showrooms in Houston, Dallas, Denver, Chicago and Scottsdale, is developing with wallpaper and fabric designer Rusty Arena, who is known for his couture designs which combine hand printing with hand painting.
The collection is stunning!! Hung like the pieces of art that they are, they literally took my breath away!! Combining Rusty's unique process with Matt's attention to detail and knowledge of how dyes and materials wear - I feel these are must-see items. The rugs are currently being made from cotton or wool, and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable these works of arts are!! When I get my dining room back from book storage I am buying the first rug to the left!! I love it!!!
Here is the famed design team!! Rusty to the left, then Matt with his beautiful daughter, Sarah, who joined her dad two years ago after leaving a financial consulting job no less!! Look at the depth and variation to the rugs. It's due to the silk screening process and layering of colors, absorbing each time differently into the cotton or wool giving each rug a unique one of a kind feel!!
These are some of Rusty's Designs on fabric and wallpaper. He is the only wallpaper artist in my book. Visit his website to see how he does the process--way interesting.
Matt has been an innovator in the rug industry for years!! He was born Iran, and he graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Electircal Engineering. He started out as a collector of antique and rare tribal pieces, and in 1979, Matt eventually left his career in oil and gas to open a showroom featuring his collection. Sarah told me that he finds it “hard to be both a collector and a dealer because it’s difficult to sell the pieces you love!”.
According to Sarah who makes a beautiful model, the floor covering market follows fashion. Fabric houses set the season’s trends with new colors and the introduction of particular patterns and motifs. Ikat and suzani textiles have been around for centuries, but once these prints showed up in the collections of Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenburg, they became a huge trend! At Matt Camron, they’ve been seeing more vibrant colors coming back, though grays and soft blues are still very popular, and oushaks never go out of style.
Sarah, following in her father's footsteps, has taken her role as creative director for the family business. She recently launched her first collection of original, vibrant, flat woven rugs, which are created from the finest handspun wool that is hand-woven and hand-dyed. Available in custom sizes and colors, the collection of stripes and geometrics offers a fresh take on designer rugs. Sarah was inspired by old antique tiles and ancient textiles, then reworked the patterns into a rug design by changing elements and the scale of these patterns. "With color-matching and exclusive sizing abilities, the custom capabilities are endless,” says Sarah!!! Sometimes seeing a chip of paint, a fabric, or upholstery sample, Sarah can design a custom a flat woven rug which is knotted differently than the majority rugs at Matt Camron, offering a quicker turnaround of 10-12 weeks. While the hand-woven and hand-dyed rugs can be specifically tailored, the Flat Woven Wool Collection by Matt Camron is also available in stock.
Though the Grenada design is one of their bestsellers, Matt Camron does a lot of custom order pieces. By adjusting graphic elements and colors, they create the perfect rug for customers that are having a hard time finding the right one ready-made. Sarah believes in "choosing a piece you love rather than something that is trendy. If you love the piece, you will be able to use it in your house even when the styles change”.
She also suggests starting a room with a rug: “It’s much easier to find the perfect rug and then find fabrics to match than the other way around.” I couldn’t agree more! When working with clients, I often pull colors from their rugs into plaster and special finishes on walls and cabinetry. Because they typically have several different tones, rugs can be a great inspiration for the overall color palette of the space. Just like finishes, rugs warm the room and bring definition to the space.
It’s very important to educate yourself on what you’re looking for and what you’re thinking about buying. To ensure that you get a quality product, Matt Camron recommends asking where the rug is made, which knotting technique was used, what type of material it consists of. Fine rugs can be woven in wools, cottons and silks, with wools being the most durable and stain resistant. Be sure to research the vendor or dealer, and choose one that’s been in business for several years and has a good reputation. Matt Camron tries to give all of their customers a 101 crash course to explain the different types of products on the market and the range of rugs they carry.
I was so happy to be able to talk to Rusty in person, as I have always been an admirer or his work. He started out as a finisher (such as myself) and then moved to the design of fabrics and papers. I think he probably thought I was a stalker - I ran up and hugged him so hard when I first met him.
Along with running a successful business, Matt and his wife are among the Founding Benefactors of the Arts of the Islamic World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and currently serve on the Arts of the Islamic World Sub-Committee of the MFAH. There is an AMAZING rug on display at the MFAH housed in its own room. It's a 17th-century Persian piece that was purchased by Ima Hogg and used in her home Bayou Bend... As usual, Miss Hogg only had the best. Go visit! It's stunning! Thanks, Matt and Sarah for sharing some of your knowledge of the rug industry and opening up your wonderful showroom located at 2702 Sackett Street Houston, Texas 77098 Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries. I love your rugs and fun personalities. I am fortunate to own several Matt Camron rugs myself!!
A big thanks to Tina from The Enchanted Home blog who did such a beautiful review of our work. If you haven't visited her blog it is a must see and read. She is renovating a most amazing home and is letting us in on the process!!!
Come see me Friday, March 2 at 11:30 am and Saturday, March 3rd at the HADA show this weekend at The George R. Brown Convention Center for a book signing. 1001 Avenida De Las Americas. www.hadaantiques.com. Till next week!! xo Leslie