This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Rug News andDesign, which may be viewed in its entirety here.
Putting rugs and upholstery together is an extension of the career of Wesley Mancini, who previously designed upholstery and bedding — now home furnishings. This October he introduced a line of rugs designed for Due Process Stable Trading Company. Mr. Mancini writes two columns a year (April and October) for this publication on color trends in the furniture business that will be seen at the High Point market. He is also a director of ITMA (International Textile Marketing Association), which produces Showtime, an annual market for textile producers and designers to show their current offerings to furniture manufacturers. Mancini is also Chairman of the Education Committee of ITMA and a judge of the student design competition, which is a project supported by this publication.
In the interview, Mr. Mancini said that for the furniture industry, it is first texture/color, in either order, but together. Rugs, according to Mancini, are a natural extension from fabric, and from a design standpoint they are his last frontier, the floor. Solids are more appropriate for the sofa, with pattern on the pillow or the chair. Please note that Collections in this publication treats pillows and chairs as alternative pattern sources to rugs.
The floor is the last place for pattern in a room, and floors are one of three key businesses in home furnishings. Mancini said that his passion for pattern, texture and structure is his aesthetic because it is what he knows. According to Mancini, “America has been in a solid world for a long time. At the end of the day texture sells in volume in furniture, whereas designers buy design, and buy color.” According to him, the “furniture industry deals with neutrals because the public is afraid of color.” This means that the public gets a sea of beige, or beige with rust or citron accents. From his perspective, the “higher the economic status of the customer the more experimental the customer.” He also points out that the higher end has to separate from the lower end market. At the higher end, the customer with more resources is more likely to replace home furnishings.
In all markets, all styles, all price points, when you bring a higher end aesthetic to a price point, the product can be beautiful and affordable. It isn’t just the price, it is the texture, color and design.
It is all about the eye of the designer seeing where pattern is going with color direction, color trends, and texture compatibility that leads to the successful marriage of the rug and the sofa (fabrics) which complete the room for most homes.
Wesley Mancini introduced the first of one hundred rugs designed for Due Process Stable Trading Company at Showtime in High Point in December, with more than a thousand samples in the works for further introduction to the furniture industry and retail stores through Due Process. Disclosure: Due Process is an advertiser. Wesley Mancini, to the best of our knowledge, is the largest independent textile design firm in the US furniture industry, and Mr. Mancini writes from his independent perspective for this publication.