Sunday, May 3, 2009

geek moments...

the CULP offices
architectural design by gensler
photo by tim buchman

When I was at High Point, NC I had the chance to meet some of the people at CULP that create the fabrics for my new upholstered line (Tammy, Donna & Jayne).  

Donna even has a blog: Life Without Ellie.

They do beautiful work.  BEAUTIFUL.  So beautiful that trying to narrow down the choices for the Fall line, that I am designing right now, is an exercise in restraint.  I'm not good with restraint, as anyone that has gone out to dinner with me will tell you.  

Fabric on a piece of upholstered furniture is as important as color on a wall.  The most beautiful architecture & molding details become only more pronounced with the appropriate color palette. Same can be said about the lines to a chair, sofa or love seat.  The right fabric choice partnered with your idea of a great chair, well--that's pretty close to design nirvana. 

I geek out on a regular basis over those combinations when I stumble upon them.  There were many of those moments at the High Point Furniture Market.  

The challenge is the mix.  The mix is finding the right balance between furniture design, quality, fabric selection & meeting the price points that fit my mission statement of great style & value at affordable prices.  

CULP, does too good a job making beautiful fabrics.  Unfortunately, all of them can't be used. Some will raise the price point of a single piece by hundreds of dollars. The key here, finding the "balance of the mix." When the right fabric meets the perfect chair or sofa and it all meets the price that anyone can "Geek Moment!"

Thank you EVERYONE at CULP for fueling my "geek moments" and the world's, so beautifully.

-angelo surmelis


Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing said...

Reading this, is so familiar to me. I have 8 chairs, and a couch I'm feeling this way about. They're from thrift stores, and I'm recovering all of them. Trying to make the FINAL fabric decision, makes me crazy! But, I love seeing the finished project!
I can't even imagine the scale of choices your working with.
Can't wait to see all of your pieces.

Unknown said...

The first picture... I am seeing those colors on my back patio. Now I just have to find the right outdoor fabric to recover the cushions on our sectional. Thanks!

DesignTies said...

I'm a lover of fabrics and can totally appreciate your dilemas and your geek moments when it all comes together! Keep having fun with it!!
Victoria @ DesignTies

LT said...

I do not envy the choice. I know what it is you do. I used to work at a design studio in NY for a very famous clothing designer. I was a mere assistant and had aspirations but the reality of what the business side of a creative & successful life is was WAAAAAY out of my league. I feel it's difficult for creative people to be emotionally strong, have business savvy, glide through the maze of jealousy & competition among so much other obstacles and wind up a success on the other side. That, is a rare breed. I did not have the back bone or thick skin to do it. Choosing the right fabrics in a sea of beautiful choices when you have to meet certain requirements is a bitch, but it's only the tip of the dilemma.

I am a fan and in awe of what you do, how you do it and who you are. Bravo.

leah - moxiethrift on etsy said...

nothing wrong with geekin out every now and then! i love the hammocks!

Karen said...

I love fabrics. I have been trying to choose one for a chair that i have wanted to reupholster for 2 years now. Every time I find one i like, I then see another one I like even better. How did you choose?

mrsben said...

Oh how I do love 'fabric' and thus have the highest admiration for those who design it.

To me they are a breed similar to the Set/Costume/Lighting and Sound Designers in a live theatrical production who are rarely given an opportunity to take a bow.

So thoughtful of you Angelo to acknowledge them.

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