I attend the grand-daddy of them all, High Point International Furniture Market in North Carolina, usually go just once a year for the fall market. It is a fabulous market and tremendously educational. One sees all of the new and current items, and it is a great place to establish relationships with your favorite vendor. Customer service is a tricky thing in today’s world, and it is even more important to have favorite lines and also critical to see the new merchandise that is just being revealed. I also have attended the New York Gift Show, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and the Atlanta Market. I frequent the design centers in Cincinnati and Cleveland regularly to do research for projects.
Do you have a favorite source or style?
We are very lucky in this area to have several fine Oriental rug shops where I love to find exceptional rugs for special jobs. Fazel Oriental Rugs in Dayton is expanding into the Hyde Park area in Cincinnati. My favorite style of rug is what I would call a “country” rug meaning that it was made for a more casual space and not a fancy “city” rug that is often more floral than geometric. I adore the older rugs like Heriz & Serapi, as they transition easily from traditional to contemporary. I always try to educate clients that rugs that have some age to them can always be traded in for an upgrade in price but that rarely happens with anything else in the design world except for antiques.
Do you buy custom rugs very often?
In Dayton we are lucky to have Bockrath Rugs and Carpets, who have recently opened a custom area rug shop that is extraordinary!! You name it, they can do it from borders to special carving.
Do you use the computer to buy rugs?
I do use the computer for researching area carpets BUT would rarely ever order without seeing a sample. Colors vary so dramatically online, and I need to be so color specific. Many of the vendors will send out a sample corner of the rug for a modest fee to check for color and texture and I find that to be extremely helpful.
Has social media changed any buying habits?
Social media has really not changed my buying habits at all, and I frankly do not expect it to.