Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Carpets with a Conscience…

It is possible to create high fashion designer rugs with an ethical state of mind.
Armadillo&Co founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst are two such designers with a conscience, weaving fair trade practices into their hand made rugs.
In fact, their entire brand is built on the principle of Fair Trade and every single purchase from their luxury range donates back to building facilities in the weavers’ communities.
“Our artisans are our extended family,” says Jodie. “We treat them all with the care, respect and love one would a father, a mother, a sister or a brother.
“The intricate tradition of carpet weaving has been passed down through generations, so many of our people are indeed families.
“They are all carefully selected for both their hands and their heart – that is, not just their skills but their sensitivity to our design vision – and every individual is treated like one.
“They are paid above average wages and they are integral to their local community’s livelihood.
“Most importantly, they are carrying on a lineage that deserves preservation. We believe handicraft like theirs needs to be in good hands.”

On top of this, Jodie and Sally work closely with the local school near the artisan villages under the Indian organization, Care & Fair – an initiative against illegal child labour in the carpet production industry in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
“We are ardent supporters and vocal advocates of this cause. Absolutely no child labour is in any way employed in our rug making,” says Jodie.
“At Armadillo&Co, we voluntarily collaborate with this vitally important organisation and we are consciously active when it comes to community involvement and evolvement and happily contribute financially to local education.
“Our most recent and very rewarding project was purchasing play equipment for a local school.”
Jodie says when purchasing any rug or carpet made in India, to look for the ‘KALEEN’ label which is issued by the Carpet Export Promotion Council of India. This orgnisation guarantees that child labour was not used in the manufacture. So naturally, all of the Armadillo&Co rugs made in India carry this label.
We spoke with Jodie before the design duo debut their exclusive `Designer Collection’ at Decoration + Design tomorrow in the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Armadillo&Co designers, Jodie Fried & Sally Pottharst
You are about to launch the new designer collection at D+D – why did you decide to venture into a custom-designer range?
We wanted to create a range of bespoke rugs especially for the trade market for interior designers and architects. We also wanted to bring in elements of colour and texture. All our colours are deep, earthy tones but still have a beautiful vibrancy. With combination of 23 colours and 7 designs, the options are endless!
Travel must also be a large part of your business for inspiration and sourcing – where have you travelled recently, why, tell us your stories and what you have sourced so far?
Sally and I travel to India regularly and are always developing new products and designs. A lot of the inspiration comes from the weavers themselves and working with them in person on the looms. Our best developments are normally happy accidents!

You draw on your love and Sally’s childhood for the Masai collection – was it quite an emotional experience designing this collection? Are you proud to support the African culture and economy? How has your contribution helped the local communities?
We have been wanting to draw on Sally’s heritage of Zimbabwe for quite sometime, but never found the right weave to render this. We have had a pile of inspiration drawn from this culture and we are thrilled to finally have the platform the bring out the Masai and Serengeti range. I have the feeling we aren’t finished yet and there might be more to come.

What gap in the market do you believe your product/range fills?
Beautiful hand crafted rugs that are quality in detail, fibres and finishing, but are also economical and durable.
What do you hope to gain by exhibiting at the show?
We would love to see our new Designer Collection range exposed to interior designers to assist in helping them find and create the perfect rug for the clients and projects.

Elemental Living - The Ultimate in American Made Modern Furiture

Elemental Living defines elemental as the harmonious integration of simplicity and nature. We build modern furniture using honest forms and materials to create clarity in your home. Our furnishings combine high style and function made available to all consumers. Our democratic design approach means we craft furniture that is accessible to everyone. Our goal is to create furnishings that have a value beyond their price because they aren’t just functional and attractive; they are essential elements to modern life.

To create modern furniture that is timeless and lasting Elemental Living use the finest woods, metals, and textiles. The materials we select must be considered not only for their individual aesthetic qualities, but also for their durability. These carefully chosen materials provide identity and strength to each piece of furniture we build. We only use these simple materials in the creation of our furniture because furniture is not technologically centric. Human proportion and ergonomics are some of the only facets of life that are not changing as fast as technology develops. Our simple material palette allows us to create furniture that transcends time.


Style and function must coexist in order for a piece of furniture to be truly beautiful. Every shape, angle, and dimension we design is a balance of aesthetics and human interaction. These are the essential elements that drive the form of every design. Our furniture is designed to honestly apply materials where their functional properties are not stretched beyond capability. Each piece of furniture expresses this through simple forms and lines. Our designs bring legibility to the construction of the object. By combining an organized way of thinking with artistic gestures we create furniture that balances aesthetics and ergonomics.


Quality begins with the materials you use and how they are assembled. Elemental Living uses the finest woods and textiles to create our American Made modern furniture. Our designs create a natural strength and durability where the materials are placed and used in a manner that takes advantage of their inherent properties. However, our quality goes beyond the materials. Our furniture is designed for life. We challenge the perceptions of our throwaway society to change the way people think when making purchases. Design and quality create intrinsic lasting value.


A limited material palette and honest form making allow us to create furniture that expresses clean and functional design. Clearly articulated structure along with the tactile quality of wood, metal and textiles brings a psychological level of comfort and balance. Our straightforward legible designs help create spaces that provide a refuge from an often chaotic world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gus Modern Summer Sale | Save 20% off!

Take advantage of huge savings right now during the Gus Modern Summer Sale.  Save 20% on sofas, sectionals, chairs and ottomans now through August 14th, 2011. Get hot frames such as the all new Atwood Sofa, sectional or chair or the Jane Bi-Sectional.  Please come in or give us a call ASAP to insure Quick-Ship delivery times as items go out of stock very quickly during this sale.  This sale cannot be combined with any other offer or be applied to past purchases due to Gus Modern sale rules.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Sofa: A Mighty Throne For Any Home

Gus Modern Blake Loft Bi-sectional
The sofa: its sheer size and appearance makes it an integral part of any interior design schematic, which is why if you're in the market for a new sofa, you're going to want one that looks great, feels comfortable, and is made of high-quality materials. As one may expect, sofas and bi-sectionals are a specialty of ours, so have a seat, stay a while, and check out the possibilities.
Gus Modern Trudeau Chair

 Gus Modern is a proud presence within our circles, and it's not hard to see why; they have something for everyone. If you're looking for something traditional, the Carter series ($1,150 - $2,999) feature a modern, tufted design inspired by mid-century styles. The Rochelle ($1,999) and Atwood ($1,999) sofas are equally impressive choices as well; both give off that classy mid-century vibe.

Gus Modern Carter Sofa