TOP RIGHT // Pétra Wallpaper in Albatre Jaune Orange from Casamance (#7291 03 82)
BOTTOM RIGHT // Stratum Rug from Verde Home (#951)
CENTER LEFT // Fez in Gold/Natural from Peter Dunham Textiles (#111FEZ04)
TOP LEFT // Leather Hide from Bernhardt (#163-012)
Hi. Our names are... Claire Russo & Liza Serratore
Our company is... LuRu Home
We're the... Claire: I’m the New York half; Liza: I’m the Shanghai half
We make/design/create... LuRu Home crafts traditionally-dyed textiles that are relevant to a contemporary way of living. For the past three years, we’ve worked with indigo hand-dyed cottons printed outside of Shanghai, China. Nankeen soy-paste resist dyeing is a 3,000 year-old technique which remains, today, sustainably produced by hand. It’s our mission to support the artisans who print our fabrics by bringing patronage back to their craft through our line of textiles and accessories for the home. A fondness for Chinese motifs underpins our work as our collection evolves.
Something you need to know about us is... Claire: I collect miniature things (tiny lucky-cricket cages, petite cooking utensils, baby porcelain bowls....); Liza: I love insects and oriental carpets
Here’s how this company came to be... Old friends who ended up in Asia, we convened in Shanghai in the fall of 2010. Shanghai truly is the Paris of the East, a city of 22 million where traditional culture, art-deco internationalism and modern commerce collide. Nankeen indigo fabric was a diamond in that rough, and we found our niche updating traditional Chinese design.
Our absolute favorite thing we sell right now is... Claire: Our Dot Dot Dot yardage, where East really meets West. The dots were extracted from a more elaborate, traditional Chinese pattern, and reconfigured in the most playful of all Western motifs; Liza: Flower dinner napkins; growing up with a chef-dad, this is where my worlds collide. The juxtaposition between our graphic, bohemian Flower print and the formality of a cloth napkin is a bold treat.
Here’s a sneak peek of something we’re working on now... And that is launching TODAY! Several years, and many cups of green tea later, we’re launching a color yardage line to bring our Nankeen fabric and Chinese design aesthetic to a wider audience. We’ll be screen-printing our yardage by hand using water-based dyes here in the US.
We’re most proud of... Learning first-hand how East meets West. Whether speaking (choppy) Mandarin with our artisans, or presenting our products to interior designers in New York City, we’ve created cross-cultural links for LuRu Home’s friends the globe over.
We really detest... The the assumption that Made in China is bad. Our authentic Nankeen textiles are Proudly Made in China by hands which have printed it for generations. Our new yardage line will be Proudly Made in America. Who said you can’t have your mooncake and eat it too?
We could never have done it without this person... Liza: Our team on the ground in China. They’re my family here, picking me up at the airport when I arrive, inviting me to their own family celebrations, and cooking Dragon Boat Festival treats for me.
We consistently read these for inspiration... Claire: House Beautiful, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Architectural Digest, Tokyo Jinja; Liza: Here in Wild Wild East, most of my reading is digital due to distance; snail mail takes six weeks and hard copy subscriptions cost a fortune. I can't get enough of Of a Kind's 10 Things weekly email, which is full of quirky and helpful links that remind me of home. I really enjoy Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast. There's no end to inspiration in Shanghai itself. Between its Art Deco abundance, markets galore, and street food on most corners, I'm a happy camper. Sometimes it is good to be a bit isolated from design trends, as you have space to let your own ideas brew.
We would like to share the limelight with... Amanda Pickens. She was our first pal in Shanghai, a creative force who supported LuRu's dreams, and an incredible graphic designer and photographer in her own right.
Isn't this bright & cheery palette wonderful? One of our very cool Ann Arbor clients has an incredibly neutral family room and brought us in to help her layer some color and texture in. We can't wait to see this installed soon.
What is your family room like? Do you gravitate towards neutrals or pops of color?
You all know how much we admire Zak Profera of ZAK+FOX already, right? So you'll totally get why we're about to oooo and ahhh over his brand new collection titled Haz which is based on the artistry, history and traditions of Anatolia. Haz, which is the Turkish word for enchantment, perfectly describes how we are feeling about these four gorgeous new textiles.
Zak continues to demonstrate that he is a creative superpower, brimming with ideas that somehow bridge ancient and modern, and keep us all wanting more. We had the privilege of seeing the brand new textiles at Nicky Rising while we were out west for BlogTourLA, and oh my god, are they stunning! Go see for yourself, and prepare to be enchanted.
We simply can't choose our favorite from today's three palettes... All of them are based around fabulous Muriel Brandolini fabrics that range from a traditional pineapple motif to a super mod & retro pattern. What tickles us the most is that all of the patterns work equally well with Maresca's Geo Stripe (with that perfect little french knot detail that absolutely makes the fabric) and the graphic Clay McLaurin Manji pattern.
So, which one resonates most with you?
Happy weekend, guys!
I saw this quote on Twitter yesterday, posted by Asana (which, by the way, is one of the productivity tools that I live by), and it resonated so much with me. It's a work in progress, but I feel like CLOTH & KIND is gradually allowing this statement to be my truth and that makes me fundamentally happy. Does this ring true to you?
IMAGE CREDIT | Background fabric Positano in Kumquat by Amanda Nisbet
May 19, 2012: Update I kept looking back at this post and felt like it was missing something. Just featuring all of the fabrics in Wheat does a disservice to all of the glorious, muted shades that are a part of the Summers in France collection. So I did version 2.0 including more of the hues. Enjoy!