If you were to write an imaginary conversation as an entrée to an article about rugs in a presentation condominium in New York City, where would you begin? Would you pretend to be a client probing for the qualifications of the firm supplying the carpets? Would you marvel at the foresight and planning needed to get custom carpets into a show space? Would you boldly proclaim their carpets to be well suited for, and I’m quoting their marketing material here, ‘…all kinds of clients and spaces; from beautiful residences, lux[ury] yachts, and exotic hideaways to cool offices, boutique hotels and the Swedish Royal Castle.’? Yes, yes you would.
Kasthall is a Swedish company which has been designing and producing rugs and textile flooring since 1889. From their original factory in Kinna, West Sweden they now supply the global interior design community with a wide breadth of products from wovens to handtufted, utilizing an array of upmarket materials: wool, linen, and for the occasional bit of glamourous sparkle, Lurex!
We caught up with Nina Cheney from Kasthall’s New York Showroom for a private guided tour of the presentation unit of the 12 Warren Street Residential Condominium building ‘nestled in TriBeCa’. The unit itself is spectacular with appropriate finishes, amenities, and space to support the somehow only reasonable in New York asking price of $5,525,000.00(USD), but we did not come here to talk about integrated lighting control and such. So without further adieu, let us set our gaze downward and examine the carpets!
We begin our tour in the guest bedroom, not because it is first room we come to by any means, but rather it’s where I would imagine myself staying if I had friends who lived here. ‘Tripple’ is a relatively simple yet elegant design – owing to the use of different colours of yarn – which adds visual and tactile texture to a room. It is both the fine scale and multiple hues of yarn which allow the eye to blend the colours, creating a depth of colour not found in less sophisticated pieces. Designed by Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg, ‘Tripple’ has a complementary border on both ends or can be made without and fitted as an indulgent wall-to-wall broadloom.
Back out into the primary seating space of the unit we find an intense and saturated version of the design ‘Core’ in the aptly named ‘Peacock’ colourway. Designed by Maja Johansson ‘Core’ attempts to give the impression – literally – of a grid pattern, without the expected rigidity one often expects in a tufted product. Furthermore, the use of a wool and linen blend creates a carpet that from day one has the appearance of age that will only improve with time as the materials wear and develop a true patina.
As we stand in the living space enjoying the sweeping open views I take note of the crisp and inviting hospitality like interior styling of the Penthouse. This is not an aesthetic I personally find very inviting, preferring for myself something a bit more collected and properly curated, yet I understand the widespread appeal of this look. Neat, tidy, and perfectly colour co-ordinated, for those less tolerant of imperfection than myself this space, designed by De La Espada and The Future Perfect, brings that ‘just so’ level of design to life.
If you had a look around the 360 degree photo above you no doubt would have noticed two (2) things. First, the cleaning woman’s silhouette in the background and secondly the wonderfully masculine ‘John’ carpet under the dining room table. For those familiar with my personal taste in carpets and rugs it should come as no surprise that I love the Tartan like appeal of ‘John’. Woven of wool and linen and inspired by coat fabrics from the world of fashion the design, with its overt patterning is – dare I say – a perfect complement in juxtaposition to the immediately adjoining ‘Core’ carpet.
I had mentioned there would be Lurex so it seems only fair to mention it along with another novelty as of late: printing on carpets. Nestled comfortably in the third bedroom which has been styled as an office, ‘Roses’ pairs the classic Kasthall design ‘Häggå’ with an overprinted design and hints of sparkle through the use of Lurex. This layering of different materials and sheens, again, gives the rug far more pizzazz than an ordinary woven rug, which is of course the appeal. Everything Kasthall does, wether off the shelf, or fully customized, is accentuated by the firm’s materials and construction expertise as well as their, how do you say, Scandinavian design sensibilities which teach us less is often more.
As this has been an exhaustive whirlwind tour of rugs it seems only fitting we would end it in the bedroom for a respite where the floor is graced with a stunningly subtle ‘Rose Quartz’ colouration of the design ‘Goose Eye XL’. Bold in scale, but subdued by the surrounding furnishes, ‘Goose Eye XL’ (also available in smaller scale ‘Goose Eye’) brings much needed visual texture to any space, and provides a soothing rhythmic undercurrent in a room intended for rest.
You may wonder why ‘The Ruggist’ took a tour of carpets far away from his usual haunts of handknotted, handknotted, and handknotted. It’s simple: Not all products are suited for all locations and if one is to be an expert in anything, one does have to at least put on airs. [Insert Appropriate Emoji] For more information on any Kasthall product you may visit their website, or as I often do visit their New York Showroom located at 200 Lexington Avenue. Special thanks to Nina Cheney for the private tour.