Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Carpet and the Obama Presidency Part II

originally uploaded by dsmyre.
In Carpet & The Obama Presidency - Part I, I referred specifically to the HFN Magazine 1/5/09 article titled "The First Family of Style" by Barbara Thau that inspired and intrigued me so much. I decided to specifically ask two design experts - with intimate carpet design experience - for their perspectives on carpet, design style trends and the Obama Presidency. One you know: Woman of Wear-Dated Ann Hurley, the other is my friend and honorary Woman of Wear-Dated Lisa Contreras.

Lisa A. Contreras is senior associate and resource director of Mancini Duffy Architecture Design's retail group. Based in NYC, her role is unique in that she bridges two design worlds: retail and manufacturing, often working directly with carpet mills to create the flooring solution and style that is right for the retail vision. Lisa has also contributed multiple retail perspectives over at Flooring The Consumer [including Lisa Contreras, Mancini Duffy & Retail Design Inspiration], earning her an honorary Woman of Wear-Dated title.

Here is what Lisa has to say about the carpet and style trends we can expect:

"I hope to see the Obama presidency as embracing a new Modern American style, aware and proud of its multicultural traditions but looking toward the future: the future of change, the future of green, and the future of “proud to be an American.” I am not saying that carpet should become red, white, and blue. I think carpet should have “style.”

I think carpet styles have become like many consumers…the “more” going on, the better. Most commercial carpets we see have so many twists and swirls and layers of pattern that the overall carpet looks like “mud.” The colors lack a sense of clarity. Patterns that are considered “organic,” really just have too many swirls and layers to them. Many manufacturers are so busy trying to make a carpet that fulfills everyone’s need that style is compromised.

These tough economic times should also remind us of what is important in our lives. People are looking for stability and simplicity, less trendy, more practical materials, and longevity.

“Green” and “sustainable” should be the foundation of each manufacturer. The idea of “green” is very democratic. The emphasis should be on recycling and sustainable products.

We are on the “eve” of great possibilities for our country. We have proudly elected a man who we hope can lead us into a brighter future. There is a sense of cautious optimism and hope for this country to fulfill it’s true potential….. I hope that we see that translated into carpet and the other design elements that this country manufactures!"!"

Ann Hurley works closely with carpet mills to develop new carpet style product concepts and also is constantly on the lookout for new colors and construction concepts, which culminate in the yearly color forecasts she puts together for Ultron carpet fiber and Wear-Dated, and are reinforced through her active participation in the Color Marketing Group. She, too, is attuned to the national zeitgeist...

Here is what Ann has to say:

I expect the Obama Presidency style to encourage strong multicultural influences--Obama said himself that a family holiday looks a bit like a mini United Nations gathering. That will lead to a reinterpreting of traditional styling and design in a more casual and family (as well as pet friendly) way.

The Obama open door policy definitely promotes a more casual and down to earth atmosphere. Whether paying his own moving expenses or reuniting past presidents for lunch, Obama is drawing from those who led before and their experiences to reunite our nation. It's a policy of sensibility and leading by example.

So how do these all play a part in the decorating and colors trends used in the White House?

+ Conservative but not stuffy -- classic, yet with a casual style.

+ We know the new first family is very green conscious and will take every opportunity to support the made in America movement.

+ Michelle Obama has an style that's not overdone -- it's casual style with substance. Judging by her wardrobe color choices, she likes bolder, more saturated colors--teals, purples and reds.

These bold, more saturated colors coincide with the 2009 Ultron carpet fiber color palette and its shift to earthier, more complex colors. Our forecast focuses on the rich complexities of natural dyes and the colors they produce with blues ranging in clean mid tone shades [like Fiord] to the richer colors of indigo and teal shades [like Anglesite].

On the warmer side of the palette, we've seen her attracted to reds, purples and magenta shades like the new Ultron shades of Madder, Osage and Mulberry.

Overall the Obama style is expected to be their own, not contrived, but totally comfortable and thus will achieve "universal" acceptance.

Thank you, Ann and Lisa.

How do you think the Obama Presidency will affect design trends and carpet styles?

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