Susan Seaman Designs, Kalispell, MT
I work closely with my clients to determine both their design aesthetic and their practical needs. Do you have small children or pets? Do they remove their shoes in their home? Living in Montana, our weather can be pretty fierce. It helps to consider all of these factors together, so that the end result looks stunning and lasts for a long time in spite of normal use.
Where do you source your rugs?
I am a loyal customer of Dawn Platke at Carpet Studio in Whitefish, Montana. I always try to source everything locally, if possible. I learned a lot from a rug dealer in Pakistan, about 18 years ago, and I have carried that knowledge with me to inform my purchases now.
What markets or market centers do you attend?
When I was learning about design, I regularly attended shows at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Over the years I have streamlined my operation to keep my costs down — both for weathering the economic storms and for my customers. I don’t have a retail store, so unless I have a really large project going, I can rarely meet minimums. And shipping is a nightmare. I find it best to rely on local experts, so that I can be in the business of design.
Do you have a favorite style or fiber of area rug?
For me quality is everything. A great quality rug will make the room! I like to purchase natural fibers like wool, cotton, silk and bamboo with natural eco-conscious dyes.
Do you follow any design rules specifically or are there ones you like to break?
My philosophy is that a client’s home is their soft place to land at the end of the day. It should be a place that is peaceful and makes them happy. So, if achieving that goal for them means that I have to put disparate styles together or follow a carefully scripted rule book, so be it, as long as it is done well. I also realize that a home or an office is a sort of living thing, in that it is constantly changing to reflect the people living there. So I don’t have a huge ownership in the finished product. It has to be beautiful to the client.