Amy Helfand's Rugs: My Favorites at ICFF

Email from 5.19.08

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Fresh off of running the aisles at ICFF, I wanted to highlight Amy Helfand's rugs. I've known about her for years, but I thought her latest designs were the best I'd ever seen. Check these new pics out...

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Based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Amy is creative enough and (still) small enough to still take real risks with her color and design, the result of which is that while other stuff at ICFF evades your notice (ie. mental masking tape), her rugs leap out at you. Literally, as I was walking down the aisle, I saw them from yards away and wanted to stop.

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Made of hand knotted Tibetan wool and Chinese silk, the colors are rich and the abstract patterns stimulating but not overwhelming. They are able to sit down in a room and not scare off the furniture. They are rich and cozy and yet they have a graffiti-like edge.

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I particularly like the way she works with blocks of color AND line. This allows layers to build up and creates real visual movement within the design. Most rug designers work with only one or the other and most rugs sit FLAT on the ground. These do not. They leap about and play. They toot their horn and talk softly. They lift and they inspire. Go Amy!


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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.