I recently made my way into the Fort Street Studios showroom here in New York City to look at carpets for a Greenwich Village Townhouse we’re providing architectural and interior design services for. As I stood amongst the beauty of these carpets, boasting their wonderfully simple and modern designs, I momentarily forgot that I was looking at carpets and felt as if I’d been teleported to a sleek modern art gallery. It’s not surprising I felt this way, as each of the carpets at Fort Street Studios is an artistic creation of style, color and movement.
The Fort Street Studio carpet company was founded in 1996 by married artists, Janis Provisor and Brad Davis. The couple had long admired Chinese art and in 1993 they followed a dream and moved to Hang Zhou, China. It was there, in the center of the silk industry, that they developed an idea to make carpets based on watercolors – painterly abstractions without the repeating patterns of most rugs or the usual hard-edged lines. It was unconventional, but through persistence, strong creative desire and reinvention of design and color they were able to create the product they dreamed of and after three years filled their first order.
The exquisite carpets at Fort Street Studio are all hand-knotted using “wild” Dandong silk. Unlike domestic silk, Dandong silk is harvested from the wild in oak forests in Northern China. It is selected for its unique physical properties that allow Fort Street Studios to create the quintessential painterly designs that have set them apart. The wild silk is much thicker, stronger and heartier than the domestic variety typically found in rugs today, which makes their rugs more durable and resilient. It also gives their rugs one of the softest “hands” in flooring, like the feel of the finest cashmere, and a matte luster (less shine than domestic silk) that creates gentle color transitions unlike anyone else and a finish similar to the finest suede.
About their collections: The Textures collection gentle abrash or small scale patterns are generous in their versatility and ease of use without sacrificing the magic that is Fort Street Studio.
Modern Classics is their signature collection of soft modern designs that combine quintessential bleeding hues with unexpected color combinations.
For the adventurous, the New Traditionals collection offers a unique update on classic carpet motifs and symmetries.
At Fort Street Studios, the carpet has become the canvas. Their creations offer yet another opportunity to impart color, style and whimsy into the design of a space without compromising functionality and durability. If you happen to be near their showroom (located at The Prince Building, 578 Broadway, Suite 506, New York, NY) you should definitely stop in and admire their amazing creations. Ask for Kathy!