Sweden’s Oldest Rug Brand Finally Lands in Soho
Scandinavian design brands have been a favorite of American consumers since the mid-20th century — and of Sight Unseen since we could barely recognize something as “design.” This month, one of our favorite of those brands — the Swedish rug company Kasthall, with whom we partnered for Sight Unseen Offsite in 2017 and created a capsule collection of rugs pre-pandemic — opened up a new permanent showroom in Soho, leaving behind the trade-friendly but consumer no-mans-land that is the D&D Building for the cobblestone streets and extensive foot traffic of downtown NYC. The company has created beautiful woven and hand-tufted rugs at its factory in Kinna, Sweden, since 1889, and its spacious new flagship on Howard Street will allow customers to touch and see the quality of those carpets IRL.
Located on the first floor of a pre-war building — on a street that once hosted Opening Ceremony and Jil Sander but is now tilting towards the domestic space — the showroom boasts lofty ceilings that are perfect for hanging giant carpets, and a skylight at the rear that floods the interior with natural light. This back area acts as a sampling space, where a trio of large tables are poised for laying out the rolls of carpet stored underneath. A variety of wavy display stands are also used to present the rugs, both vertically and horizontally, while a large shop front provides a space for installations to entice passersby inside.
For the showroom’s opening, this vestibule has been taken over by Kasthall’s Feather Collection, which is being released in a range of new colors to mark the occasion. The bird-themed hues include Blue Jay, Hoopoe, Parakeet, Nuthatch, and Sparrow, while the Heron and Swan color options from the design’s launch in 2019 have also been retained. Designed by Ellinor Eliasson of Kasthall Design Studio, the hand-tufted bouclé rugs in wool and linen feature a “feather boa” border around the rectangular or circular designs, which can be custom ordered in any size. Also on display in the showroom is Tegel, the Swedish brand’s collab with architect David Chipperfield, who found inspiration for the hand-tufted hues in the historical brick buildings that dot Kasthall’s Kinna campus. Perhaps we can expect an extension of that line in the near future that takes its cues from the architecture surrounding Kasthall’s new home in NYC.
Showroom photos by Marco Petrini / Feather collection photos by Mike Karlsson Lundgren