Best Interior Design and Ideas Updates!
After years of driving back and forth to our Sonoma and Napa projects, we decided it was time to put down roots in Wine Country. We found the perfect space nestled in a tree-lined street, and just like that our Satellite Office in Glen Ellen was born! More details coming soon!
We’re thrilled to share photos of our recently completed remodel in Sonoma. Our clients tapped Niche to transform their dated vacation home into a vibrant, eco-friendly retreat for their family and friends to enjoy on weekends. Our clients love of vibrant color and their affinity for mid-century design informed the interiors, from the kitchen backsplash to the colorful upholstery and rugs.
Custom pieces by local artisans are found in every room – from the eco-friendly, non-toxic upholstery to the pair of bespoke twin over full bunk beds with trundles in the kids bedroom. Can you believe this bedroom sleeps 10 kids?! Serious slumber parties are happening here.
A modern walnut and steel dining table sits in front of a custom walnut and oak sideboard that holds our client’s entertaining essentials, board games, and art supplies. Click here to see more photos of this project!
Client Testimonial: “The Niche team took full-service to the next level. They designed and coordinated the remodel of our vacation home in Wine Country which included outfitting the bathrooms, kitchen, a pool house and furnishing the entire home and an expansive outdoor space. Jennifer and her team managed the entire process, taking care of all the details and installations. We couldn’t be happier!”
– Hollie & Jay, Sonoma
Finding Inspiration in Barcelona
Our Principal Designer, Jennifer, recently returned from an inspiring trip to Barcelona full of architectural tours, design hot spots, and plenty of delicious food! Read on to see highlights and hear about her trip firsthand!
One of our first stops was El Nacional, described to us as Barcelona’s version of the Ferry Building. This collection of restaurants serves a variety of foods from the Iberian Peninsula in an amazing building from the 1880’s. A feast for the eyes and the belly!
We stayed in El Born and spent hours just wandering the streets of the Gothic Quarter. I couldn’t walk more than a few blocks without seeing a pattern, texture, or pair of antique doors that I just HAD to photograph! And yes, this exasperated my impatient five year old son. 🙂
Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família basilica was hands-down one of the most incredible architectural tours of my life. It’s impossible to put into words, so head to our Instagram pageand watch the ‘Inside Look’ video!
We ended our stay at the Cotton House Hotel, a 19th century Neoclassical building that once served as the headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation. A thoughtful restoration by acclaimed interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán successfully blends old-world with modern luxury. I guarantee you will not be able to put your camera down!
Chad Stark’s Insider Rug Secrets
Selecting hand knotted rugs is one of the highlights of our job as interior designers! The beauty of a handmade rug is unparalleled, from the subtle variations in the knots to the way the light catches the silk fibers. Stark Carpet has been the leading purveyor of high quality, handmade rugs to the design trade for over 75 years. We turned to Chad Stark, Senior Vice President, to get the inside scoop on carpet care and trends!
What are the three most important features to look for when selecting hand knotted rugs?
The most important things to consider are one’s budget, the reputation of the dealer you are visiting, and the design environment/performance concerns to be considered.
Everyone appreciates the beauty and craft that goes into a hand knotted rug but not everyone wants to wait 7-9 months. Can you delve into the process and explain what goes into creating a rug? How many people work on an average hand knotted rug?
Rug making is the single most collaborative of all the art forms. This is one of the reasons why rug production is supported and encouraged in poorer countries. A single rug employs so many people! Let’s start with the sheep herders, the wool shearers, the wool spinners, the dyers, the designers and factory staff, of course do not forget the weavers, but also do not forget all the people that wash, clip and finish your carpet and last but not least the fine folks that pack and ship that carpet to you! We are easily in the hundreds of persons required to make a single carpet. It is Stark’s job to coordinate all of these people in order to deliver our custom orders on time to the most discriminating buyers in the world.
Most of our hand knotted products take between 3- 9 month to produce based on complexity of design and the knotted quality. For a 9×12 rug each weaver can cover about 3 feet in width so to produce a 9×12 rug we are engaging three weavers for an average of six months working 8 hours six days a week. In total we are talking about 3,744 man-hours to weave just one 9×12 carpet. If one calculates the man-hours of all the other processes mentioned previously one should arrive at the logical conclusion that hand knotted rugs equate artistically to one of the greatest values on the planet!
What steps does Stark take to ensure fair labor practices and to prevent child labor at your mills?
Stark buys directly from the manufacturers in the countries of origin who we know have fair labor practices and without child labor. We have full time field staff working everyday on-site with our manufacturers inspecting and managing our production orders. Upper management spends months each year overseas vetting and working with its manufacturers to improve the quality of our supply chain. We believe our day to day contact with our manufactures is the best way to secure the quality of the work environment for weavers and our product for our clients.
Cleaning and caring for your hand knotted rug is so important. Do you have any tips for keeping wool and silk rugs looking their best?
Suction of your rug is the best way to go for day-to-day maintenance. For red wine drinkers, I always recommend they keep white wine in the house. If one spills red wine on wool or silk, the best thing is to blot up the red with a clean cloth and then saturate the area with white wine lightly blot and let dry. A little known secret is white removes red.
Rug pads: Why do we need them?
Padding reduces friction, slippage and impact pressure on the weave structure of hand woven carpets.