Back to Nature: Wool

The story of wool began long ago, and has been one of the most widely used and useful materials on the planet.  Dating back 10,000 years ago, wool was introduced to Europe from the Near East and has traveled even farther since then. Wool is obtained from different types of sheep and the quality varies based on the breed of sheep and their environment. Here at Joseph Carini Carpets we use Himalayan highland wool, which is especially excellent for carpets. Wool processed in the Himalayas is stronger, more insulating and has a natural resistance to soil and dirt. The high altitude of the Himalayas produces a soft texture and makes for perfect material for rug weaving. Along with sheep, other types of wool are extracted from different breeds of goats, such as mohair and cashmere.

Find out more about each type of wool below:      

 
 

The processing of wool is categorized into shearing and scouring. Sheep shearing is when the woolen fleece is cut off and separated into four categories: fleece, broken, bellies, and locks. Wool straight from the sheep has a high level of lanolin (a natural grease), and has to be scoured in order to remove some grease from the wool. The quality of wool is determined by its fiber diameter, crimp, yield, color, and staple strength. Overall the fiber diameter is the most important wool characteristic.

Wool serves as a natural insulator and the fibers absorb and release water vapor making wool carpets perfect for every season. Wool's insulating factors help to reduce energy costs and keep your home warm. It also happens to be an extraordinary renewable textile fiber - as long as there is grass for sheep to graze on, every year fleece will continue to be produced!

Diagonals, 12' x 16' 100% Mohair

Double Portal, 9' x 12' 100% Wool

Coco Drum, 9' x 12' 100% Wool

Storm Cloud, 10' x 14' 100% Mohair

At Joseph Carini Carpets we love working with wool because it is a safe material for homes and is beautiful AND durable. Wool is extremely easy to clean and maintains it's appearance for many years. Wool is truly a wonderful material in all of its forms and is the perfect material for you're next carpet!

Frank Stella at the Whitney Museum

Currently the Whitney Museum of American Art is hosting a retrospective of Frank Stella, who is hands down one of the most important living American artists. The exhibition tracks the New York artist's fifty-seven-year career. In 1959 Stella gained early recognition with his series of impersonal black striped paintings that were prominently displayed in 1959 at the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, "Sixteen Americans." It was a fresh introduction to minimalism and a farewell to Abstract Expressionism. His Black Paintings, is composed of black inverted parallel U-shapes containing striped separated by thin lines of unpainted canvas. It's flat 2D geometric pattern reiterates the minimalist's practice of simplicity and stark impersonal themes.

 
Frank Sella, Black Paintings, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II 1959. Enamel on canvas

Frank Sella, Black Paintings, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II 1959. Enamel on canvas

 
Frank Stella, Tomlinson Court Park from Black Series I 1967

Frank StellaTomlinson Court Park from Black Series I 1967

Frank Stella, Arundel Castle from Black Series I 1967

Frank StellaArundel Castle from Black Series I 1967

The retrospective mostly runs chronologically, with a few newer paintings placed next to his earlier work for comparison. Some of his most famous work was done during his Protractor series, which contrasts his Black Paintings series and depicts bright vivid colors and curvy shapes. His piece Harran II also uses a 2D geometric pattern that reminds the viewer that it is just paint on a canvas. The work is architectural and its shape was based on the protractor drafting tool. This piece itself is massive and makes quite an impression in person.

Frank Stella, Harran II 1967

Frank Stella, Harran II 1967

Frank Stella, Untitled 1965

Frank Stella, Untitled 1965

Frank Stella, Quathlamba I from the V Series 1968

Frank StellaQuathlamba I from the V Series 1968

Frank Stella, Abra Variation I 1969 

Frank StellaAbra Variation I 1969 

Stella contined to use the shaped canvas technique that incorporates geometric forms and color variation through the 1970's. From flat painted canvases, Stella moved to painted aluminum reliefs, and then onto sculpture. The exhibition gradually shows this change and concludes with a few sculptures on the outside balcony.    

Frank Stella, Kastura 1979

Frank Stella, Kastura 1979

Frank Stella, Welkom 1982

Frank Stella, Welkom 1982

Frank Stella, 79, divides his time between his townhouse in Greenwich Village and his studio in the Hudson Valley. The exhibition is closing February 7, 2016 and is so far the largest exhibition for the Museum's new space in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

FRANK STELLA:                          A RETROSPECTIVE

OCT 30, 2015 - FEB 7, 2016 

IN THE NEWS                                                   "Frank Stella is back. His grand, high-spirited, slightly overstuffed retrospective has taken over the fifth and largest exhibition floor of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, where it looks great." - The New York Times

 

Pantone Color of the Year: Rose Quartz & Serenity

Pantone has just announced their Colors of the Year for 2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity. A unique pairing of two pastel hues, this is a first for Pantone to choose two colors. Pantone stated that these two colors are the answer for a stress filled life that is yearning for peace and calm. These two colors joined together demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer rose tone and a cooler tranquil blue. Pairing these two colors will bring a vast amount of design and fashion inspiration for the new year.  

One of the main reasons Pantone introduced these two colors together is to address the traditional perception of color association in our society. The new generation seemingly has less concerns about being typecast and instead keeps an open mind and approach to using color. Pantone wants their clients to feel more comfortable with using color to express their emotions. Instead of seeing baby nursery colors, Pantone hope people will see an alternative to the always popular beige. It's about time we see these colors as more than a gender identifier.    

This color duo isn't a stranger to being paired up together - it's a natural pairing. Pink has become something of a neutral over the years, and we may see baby blue turn in the same direction. Both colors blend seamlessly in everyday life. Pantone reaches out to bring calm to the storm, and reminds us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

In the interior design community we've seen pastels used frequently in the past. In fact pink has almost become a neutral, and paired with other colors can create a range of moods. Shown above is our Storm Cloud 10x14 carpet on the right, a perfect pairing that brings out a range of blues. Shown on the left is an antique distressed Persian rug that combines both the Pantone colors perfectly! For these two colors it's about using them together to combine their calming effects. Not just for baby's room anymore, you'll be surprised at the sophisticated result from a serene blue silk carpet with dusty pink paint on the walls.

Check out more of Carini Lang's carpet options below! 

Italian Flower, 9x12

Italian Flower, 9x12

Brushstroke Blue, 9x12

Brushstroke Blue, 9x12

Capri, 10x14

Capri, 10x14

Mums, 6x9

Mums, 6x9

Nettle Benefits

Many of our customers associate nettle with hemp or jute, and although they're similar, nettle has certain characteristics that set it apart. Hemp and nettle are both food, fiber, and medicinal plants used throughout the world. Nettle is an English name used for the type of plants that have stinging hairs. Himalayan nettle, the type of nettle that we use here at Carini Lang for our carpets, grows wild in fertile forest soils in altitudes ranging from 3900 to 9800 feet in the Himalayas. The fiber is extracted from the stem of the plant and is stripped until the fiber is extracted. We choose to weave nettle here at Carini Lang because it is a beautiful material that offers durability, texture, color variation and creates a spectacular silky luster. 

The whole plant is filled with beneficial elements - the root, stem, leaves, and the flowers. In ancient Greek times, the stinging nettle was used mainly as a diuretic and laxative. In ancient Egypt, reports are found of nettle infusion for the relief of arthritis and lumbago pains. Today the plant is still used for these common ailments and several other illnesses including diabetes, and as blood purifiers. Drinking nettle tea is a common way of ingesting it's various medicinal benefits. Nettle was also used for everyday practical purposes such as durable rope and fishing nets for Europeans and Native Americans. 

Nettle fibers have been woven for centuries, and were the popular choice for clothing before the production of cotton. The fibers of the stinging nettle plant are hollow which means they can accumulate air inside creating a natural insulation. Nettle is a soft, light weight fiber which is what creates its silky luster. These qualities make them perfect for carpets, and bring a different texture and look to your interior. With our nettle carpets we dye the yarn in batches which gives the carpet a great color variation and abrash. Here at Carini Lang we process our nettle without any pesticides or chemical dying and we prefer to dye our carpets with vegetable dye.   The beautiful color variation of natural un-dyed nettle is even so appealing that we often use no dye at all and let the mix of unaltered nettle color variations shine through on their own! 

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Nettle with border 

Nettle with border 

Nettle with fringe 

Nettle with fringe 

Indigo Nettle with border

Indigo Nettle with border

Interlocking circles in Nettle 

Interlocking circles in Nettle 

  

Brighten up your space with a runner

We all have those rooms or entryways that remain empty due to lack of inspiration - not to mention, a great runner can be hard to find!  A runner can warm cold feet, absorb sound, and be the perfect finishing touch to a smaller room or hallway. We're big fans of interesting runners here at Carini Lang and we believe that in long narrow spaces or under certain furniture pieces they can add visual interest and another layer of design.

When it comes to choosing a color for a runner, think about how you would like to compliment your interior and also keep in mind what colors and materials will hold up over time in a high traffic area . If you're choosing a piece for a hallway or small space that won't be in between the outdoors and your home then you can play with more delicate materials or lighter colors and pattern.

We recommend choosing a low pile rug for an entry way.  It will last longer and stay in great shape. If you have a long narrow entryway, then choosing a runner can make your space feel warm and can even make it feel wider. Adding a round rug can add an elegant touch and create the feeling of a grand entrance. An entryway rug, or hallway runner is a welcoming way to show your personal style as soon as your visitors walk in!

Here are some inspiration pics:

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Designer Spotlight: Jacques Grange

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That certain style that combines chic extravagance with toned down decor is exactly what Jacques Grange represents in the design world. The acclaimed French designer has acquired such clients as Yves Saint Laurent, Aerin Lauder, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Francis Ford Coppola - just to name a few. Grange was born in 1944 in a town called Saint-Amand-Montrond, located in the center of France. Grange took a strong interest in drawing as a child and frequently took classes in Paris. He recalls visitors such as Marc Chagall and Le Corbusier popping in. After completing his schooling at the école Boulle and the école Camondo,  Grange was hired as a draftsmen in 1968 at the interior design offices of Didier Aaron. Aaron encouraged Grange to go out and supervise his own projects early on in his career. 

It wasn't until 1971 that Grange met Yves Saint Laurent. Grange famously designed Yves Saint Laurent's villa in Marrakech and his Chateau Gabriel near Normandy. The two became close friends and Grange describes Laurent as his most enriching client. Chateau Gabriel was decorated in theme with the idea of recreating a Belle Epoque film set. It was lavish and filled with objects that were hunted by Grange and Laurent's partner, Pierre Berge. The living room walls were painted to resemble Claude Monet's Water Lilies. With a different theme in every room, the Chateau feels like you are walking through a storybook.          

The interior of Chateau Gabriel

The interior of Chateau Gabriel

Francis Ford Coppola's 19th century Palazzo Margherita is located in his hometown of Bernalda in Southern Italy. Coppola enlisted Grange to turn the Palazzo into a grand hotel inspired by a combination of the Belle Epoque and a comforting family home. Grange explained the project as a restoration project but with a fresh summer feeling. Every member of the family was able to design their own room.  Sofia Coppola decided to go with a feminine suite adding wicker touches and pink accents. Roman, Coppola's son, requested Arts and Crafts details. Coppola's own suite has Tunisian-style painted ceilings and a zigzag tiled floor.   

Francis Ford Coppola's suite 

Francis Ford Coppola's suite 

Sofia Coppola's Suite 

Sofia Coppola's Suite 

The Hotel bar 

The Hotel bar 

In 1990 Jacques Grange was approached by the stepdaughter of famed novelist Colette, who passed away in 1954. She explained to Grange that Colette's apartment was meant for him. At first he didn't have the means to buy it so he rented it until 2008, when he decided to purchase the apartment overlooking the lush gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris. Since then Grange has made it his own, redecorating all five rooms. The rooms are filled with collected items from the 18th and 19th century and feels like the home of a collector. Grange describes his home: "It's now a place to display and balance in harmony the things I love." Grange has been able to change his taste through the years and adapt with the times. Unlike many designers Grange was classically trained, and has built his style up from this foundation. 

Interior shots of Jacques Grange's Paris apartment

Interior shots of Jacques Grange's Paris apartment

Why Bauhaus is Still Relevant

The Bauhaus design school is approaching 100 years since its founding and still to this day we're decorating our homes with the famous Wassily chair, designed by Marcel Breuer and famously named after his good friend Wassily Kandinsky. This chair was the first to use tubular steel for decorative purposes. The Bauhaus school and style is still relevant to design today, not just because of its history, but because of its philosophy that the marriage of form and function is still the back bone of taste and sophistication.  

Walter Gropius's Office 1925

Walter Gropius's Office 1925

The Bauhaus staff, 1919

The Bauhaus staff, 1919

The Bauhaus School, 1925

The Bauhaus School, 1925

The Bauhaus was an art school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. Gropius's goal was to 'create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist.' The school's roots lay in the arts and crafts, but also combined modernism, and constructivism. In the end the reigning principles taught at the Bauhaus school were that design is in the service of the community, and the perfection and efficiency in geometry. Throughout this learning period Gropius grew weary that the school would be confined to its ideas instead of producing goods for their market. He wanted the goods produced to be accessible for all people.  

Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Chair, 1929

Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Chair, 1929

Josef Albers, Club chair, 1928

Josef Albers, Club chair, 1928

Mies van der Rohe, MR Chair, 1927

Mies van der Rohe, MR Chair, 1927

Marcel Breuer, Wassily Chair, 1925

Marcel Breuer, Wassily Chair, 1925

Marcel Breuer, Plywood Chair, 1935

Marcel Breuer, Plywood Chair, 1935

The school had multiple locations throughout the years, including Dessau, an industrial town near Berlin in 1925. During this time students turned masters included Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, and Marianne Brandt. Although they had brought in teachers such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee to promote production, it was from this point on that the Bauhaus started to decline, beginning with Gropius's resignation in 1928.

At the time that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was appointed as director, he had already designed the German pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition and his famous Barcelona chair. Although he began his directorship obeying the government's needs, things quickly spiraled as Hitler became more and more powerful. Many Bauhaus artists were exiled to America, and others were killed by the Nazis.  Luckily, in America, Bauhaus artists were able to successfully showcase their designs. 

Whitney Museum, Marcel Breuer

Whitney Museum, Marcel Breuer

IBM Research Center, Marcel Breuer

IBM Research Center, Marcel Breuer

Hooper House II, Marcel Breuer

Hooper House II, Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer followed his mentor, Gropius, to Cambridge where he joined the faculty of Harvard's Graduate School of Design. In 1941 Breuer left Massachusetts and moved to New York City where he maintained his practice permanently. From there on he has designed institutions, houses, and commercial buildings all over the world. He went on to design buildings such as The Whitney Museum in New York City in 1966, the IBM research center in La Gaude France, and The Hooper House II in Baltimore in 1959. During this period where Bauhaus artists were successfully disseminating their ideas, it was Florence Knoll who began to see the potential and asked who would design the interiors to these modern buildings? She decided to license Bauhaus and other furniture designs for mass production. To this day Knoll is still one of the only distributors of genuine Bauhaus furniture. 

The Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson 

The Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson 

The PanAm building, Walter Gropius 

The PanAm building, Walter Gropius 

What we consider the classic modern look began with the Bauhaus school, and it spans into every art medium; architecture, interior design, graphic design, textiles, and fashion. One of the school's main philosophies was that the relationship between teacher and student was a collaborative one, and in the end it was about reaching a common goal. For this reason, the Bauhaus school was successful and impactful - they looked at a world they thought could be better and worked to improve it in their way. They broke down the elements, simplified them, and then built them back up.  

Muse of the Week

 
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The king of cool is our muse this week - Steve McQueen continues to inspire us with his delinquent-turned-thespian history. McQueen found his niche in Hollywood in the 60's by becoming the go-to symbol of rebellion and he continues to represent "cool and unruly" even decades later. During the 1960s, McQueen built his reputation by playing cool, loner characters in films such as; The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), and Bullitt (1968). Early on in his childhood he was troubled and rebellious, being bounced around from home to home, and from reform school to the U.S Marine Corps. For McQueen, acting saved his life and eventually enabled him to give back to the same reformatory school where he spent many years himself.  

McQueen eventually became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, but his career almost didn't take off due to clashing egos, and a lot of missed opportunities.  In addition to his prolific acting career, McQueen was also known for having close calls with the law and for dangerous motorcycle racing. In an eery Hollywood coincidence, McQueen's life was also at risk during Charles Manson's murderous reign. McQueen was invited to visit the home of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate for dinner the night of Tate's notorious death, but he cancelled last minute. He found out later on that he was on the top of Manson's so called 'death list.'

Throughout the various challenges in his life, McQueen defined himself by being contrary to the status quo, and blazing his own trail - brave qualities that inspire us and hopefully others!

BAROQUE REVIVAL

We are embracing this season's Baroque trend, whether it's with our shoes or our furniture pieces. The Baroque style is characterized by dramatic and opulent colors, gilded and ornate accessories, and lots and lots luxurious textiles. Originally this style was adopted by European royalty in the 17th century and was the design preference for many palaces and churches. This season were taking the best of the Baroque and making it work in our own space.  

Trying to mix Baroque with modern elements can seem daunting, but combining crown molding and gilded mirrors with classic settees can actually create something beautiful. If you want to be bold, paint your walls a deep red or purple to create a mood, and bring in velvet furnishings with hints of beaten brass. In our room setting below we put together furniture pieces surrounding our Aquarium Metallic design. We chose this carpet for this trend because of how its golden details on the rich warm brown field bring to life the Baroque feel. With the carpet's organic design and captivating motion we think this would be the perfect start to a Baroque inspired room.  

The Rococo movement evolved from the Baroque style, and it kept the opulent details but incorporated pastels and lighter color palettes with fun and whimsical pieces. We recommend going bold and starting with a solid silk gold carpet - shown below is Carini Lang's 200 knot carpet - and bringing pastel colors into the furniture pieces. It screams glam and Baroque all at the same time.  

The Baroque style was typically extravagant and theatrical, and intended to leave an impression on guests. This was a common way to flaunt one's wealth too, and we recommend you flaunt your inner aristocrat and go Baroque!

 Looking for more ways to incorporate Baroque style in your home? Take a look at some Carini Lang styles below that certainly fit in the world of Baroque: 

Carpet of the Week

 
 

This week we are falling in love all over again with our Brushstroke carpet. In this abstract design, sweeps of tawny brown drift over a field of steely blue to comprise our "Brushstroke Blue" color way. The color palette is inspired by two of nature's basic elements - earth and water. It's organic movement makes it a work of art that you might even want to hang on your wall. Try incorporating furniture with geometric elements to create an interesting contrast with the flowing design, or add large landscape photography and some plant life to complement the organic feel.