My kiddos received this 36′ GIGANTIC inflatable globe as a gift. It has really come in handy as we’ve watched the Summer Olympic Games with them. What a wonderful and fun way for my whole family to root for team USA and learn about geography and the world around us.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Viceroy in Anguilla. I’m still just dying to visit. I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Viceroy, Santa Monica this weekend and I snapped a few photos of the property during my stay. I’m especially inspired by the yellow wall in the library room at the Viceroy, Santa Monica… just loving anything yellow these days.
I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve talked about a BlogTour, New York “find” but I’ve been excited to write about Amy Hughes for some time. I met Amy, the product designer for SHIIR rugs, while walking through the Architectural Digest Design Show. Her resume, and the rugs she brings to life, blew me away.
SHIIR is headquartered in Chicago, where the team dreams up the most jaw dropping rugs using ancient weaving techniques from Nepal and India with modern day luxury in mind.
SHIIR got its start as a collaboration between interior designers, Shea Soucie and Martin Horner of Soucie Horner, Ltd. and the executives of Oscar Isberian Rugs – Oscar Tatosian, Sarkis Tatosian and Brian Rojansumaphong. Like many interior designers, Soucie Horner at times found it difficult to source the “ideal” rug for a particular project, so they would reach out to Oscar Isberian Rugs to create amazing one-off pieces. As that relationship developed, the path to SHIIR was paved.
What really stopped me in my tracks was SHIIR’s Cashmere rug, can you imagine your feet waking up to a luscious cashmere rug under your bed every morning…?
Okay, enough daydreaming and back to Amy. After I found SHIIR rugs at the Architectural Digest Design show, Amy and I plopped down on the rugs and started chatting. I love her story and her passion for her craft. I hope you enjoy a look at SHIIR rugs and what Amy had to say.
How did you get your start in product design?
I’m very blessed to have a father who taught woodworking and construction at a university in Missouri, where I grew up. I had access to every tool and material I could dream of and I learned how to use a band saw, melt acrylic, and solder metal before I learned to drive. My father taught me to appreciate well-made, thoughtful and enduring objects. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from designing something and then actually building it – something that product design allows me to do.
Tell me about the inspiration for some of these amazing rug designs.
Thank you for the compliment. I am personally inspired by antique textiles, architecture and objects I see during my walks around Chicago. The idea for Passage, one of my most successful designs, emerged from peeling paint I pass by every day on my morning walk to work. My design for SHIIR’s Narcissus rug is based off of a mirror that was found in an antique store. I thought the sheen of our cashmere was ideal to embody the reflective nature of the mirror.
Can we talk a little about the materials used and the process used to make SHIIR rugs?
This is my favorite subject to talk about! As a Product Designer, I look at the rugs as three-dimensional objects rather than flat surfaces. When I create a design, I need to consider the weaving techniques and materials as much as the design itself because they all inform each other.
I encourage the weavers to create and highlight many of the features that can only be achieved from hand-weaving rugs. This ranges from showcasing the natural abrash that is beautifully evident in our wool and silk Indian rugs to the uneven trim lines in our Nepalese designs.
I’m also thrilled about SHIIR’s use of cashmere, a material that is extremely rare in rug production today. In fact, I’ve been told by several people that they’d rather wear our cashmere rugs than walk on them.
How would you describe your personal style?
Bright, personal, and enduring. I love hand-made items with a great story. Hanging on my walls are some oil paintings from a local artist, photos from my trips to India and blueprints from the 1940’s of car engine parts. Living in the Midwest all of my life has embedded me with a sense of practicality that is evident in my style as well. I choose timeless pieces that can last for years.
Is your dream house a beach house or fabulous urban apartment?
Both sound lovely but ultimately I’d love to live in the country. My idea of heaven would be having a large woodshop in the middle of nowhere with close access to a major airport for when adventure calls.
Walk me though your work day…
As SHIIR is still a small company, I do everything from design work and quality control to creating estimates and invoices. I start out the day by checking in with our manufacturers on the status of orders and expected ship dates. The afternoon is typically reserved for creating custom renderings and proposals for clients.
For at least an hour each day, I’ll search for design inspiration or educate myself on production techniques. I’ve started sewing designs onto fabric and am experimenting with unexpected materials in my design work.
My favorite weekend activity is to meet friends for brunch followed by a walk around the Chicago’s north side with my husband. I also use this time to physically create my own designs for my company MadeByMeter. I’m currently working on some small-batch home furnishings and will soon be installing my first retail window installation for a local dress shop.
What are you inspired by?
I am inspired most by people who create things. From starting a business to baking cookies, I have immense respect for anyone who has a vision and can then make it come to life.
Thank you Amy for letting me write about your story. Another special thanks to Julia and the entire SHIIR team for sharing with us.
It had been awhile since I attended a wedding shower but I was recently invited to one and it was such a pleasure. There are really some amazing new home products and I was blown away by some of the gifts.
The Le Creuset Bakeware Ocean collection really caught my eye. The color “ocean” is magnificent. I’d love to color match it for a comfortable family room or guest room design project. On second thought, maybe I’ll just add the bakeware line to my Christmas list…
I spent the weekend with my whole family at the beach. We have a bunk room so the entire clan can be together. It really got me thinking about comfortable, practical and stylish bunk rooms. A few I found that are truly inspiring.
I love Juicy News SF, an amazing little news store in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. They carry the most cutting edge magazines like Kinfolk and Lula as well as a great collection of coffee table books. You can also find my “go to” journal where I jot notes from all my client meetings. Pop in and say hello to owner Moe Salmi if you’re in the neighborhood. A lovely example of San Francisco at its finest.
So sad to see the peony flower season come to an end. In California, you can hope for a late spring or early summer bloom but it always seems to come to an abrupt and disappointing end. One of the few flower varieties that we can’t force to grow all year long.
This beautiful burgundy peony flower was the only one left at the San Francisco Flower Mart yesterday. What I love about peonies is that they can pull off messy, casual and elegant all at the same time. Until next year peonies…
If someone were to ask me my first impression of Jay Jeffers, I would say… classy, humble, kind and fantastically talented.
I’m not the only one who sings Jay’s praises. Elle Decor named him a top 25 “A list” designer they love. Jay’s work has been published in everything from House Beautiful and California Home & Design to InStyle Magazine. Not afraid of color but aware of how to layer textures to create comfortable but ultimately classic spaces, I find his work to be a complete inspiration.
I met Jay when I popped into Cavalier shortly after its 2012 spring debut. Cavalier is the breathtaking home décor store brought to life by the Jay Jeffers Group and creative director Michael Purdy. It combines their expertise into a curated interior design destination for everything unique and coveted for the modern and fresh home.
A few snaps from my first peek at Cavalier…
Jay was kind enough to answer a few of my pressing questions. I hope you enjoy his inspiring answers and insight as much as I did.
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6-Secret to success?
Be nice to everyone.
-Product from Cavalier that you’re obsessed with?
Cashmere pillows from Italy. They are insane.
-Advice to interior designers starting their career?
Get to know other designers. They will share in your success and you can cry on their shoulders.
-Paint color you’re currently loving?Sea Salt by Benjamin Moore Color Stories. It’s like a little black dress. It goes with anything.
-Wall paper you’re currently loving?Phillip Jeffries linen. Sumptuous and simple.
-If we’re on a tight budget for a living room makeover… 1 item to splurge on?
A really great piece of art. It will even dress up Ikea. But please don’t furnish your living room from Ikea.
-The perfect Bay Area weekend getaway spot?
My house in St. Helena – though right now it is under renovation until September.
-Cocktail The Jay Jeffers Group is sipping this summer?
The negroni is my cocktail of the year. I love the bitter edge to it. But be warned – they sneak up on you.
-“Go to” playlist or Pandora Station on constant rotation at Cavalier?
Donna Summer pandora station is ridonculous! Today we’re playing old school Madonna – Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light. So damn good.
-Heading toBaker and Bankerfor a celebration dinner in SF?-Heading toThe Rotundafor a power lunch in SF?
Many thanks to Jay, Michael, Alisa, Jenna and all the members of flawless Jeffers Group Design Team. A privilege to make your acquaintance.
I’m a big fan of Jasmine tea so I started to experiment last weekend with summer versions. I ended up with a very simple yet refreshing summer drink and I’ve been sipping it ever since.
Here’s what you do: Steep 3 Jasmine tea bags (I like Mighty Leaf Organic Spring Jasmine Tea) in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and transfer tea to a glass pitcher, adding the juice of 1 lime, 5 thinly sliced fresh mint leaves and a touch of agave nectar sauce. Add ice & water until pitcher is full. Chill and enjoy!
california - classic - traditional - modern - barefoot - elegant - sophistication