Expert Q&A: Asked and Answered

Our experts share their pearls of design wisdom with readers who have decor-related questions.

Michael Pourvakil from Weavers Art

Q. When it comes to floor coverings, natural fibres and green products are more popular than ever before. What are the benefits of going with natural versus man-made, and what should homeowners look for?

A: A decade ago there was a big movement in the industry toward reducing our carbon
footprint and going green. In our business, this means using natural fibres in our rugs, as they are biodegradable and disintegrate into the earth. Man-made fibres that are used in carpets, such as polypropylene, polyester and nylon, are filling up our landfills and are
not easily recyclable.

Weavers Art is known for offering the finest collections of hand-knotted area rugs using the
finest natural materials, such as wool, silk and hemp. Wool fibres are the most practical and silk is the most durable fibre known to mankind, plus it has a luxurious sheen. Hemp has a rougher texture and when combining it with wool, it offers a very unique and textural
look. I would say the best and most commonly used fibres are wool and real silk (as
opposed to bamboo silk, which is man-made).

The best fibre option for rugs being used in high-traffic areas is and always will be natural
wool. It doesn’t soil, it doesn’t mat down, it cleans easily and will last a lifetime. Its coil-like
construction allows the fibres to spring back up when heavy furniture pieces are removed from a particular spot. You may pay more for natural fibres, but you are getting a more eco-friendly product that will last and will stay out of our landfills.

Nancy Saavedra from Art Boulle

Q: I’m considering installing pivot doors. Are there any misconceptions I should know about? And what’s trendy right now?

A: Pivot doors are doors that aren’t installed on regular hinges. A pivot system is a revolutionary, patented hinge system that allows a door to be installed even after the floor has been finished. The technology is mortised in the floor and works for large and heavy doors up to 500 kilograms, something that regular hinges wouldn’t bear. It has a very elegant and easy opening that leaves a space between the door and the hinge, creating an almost magical opening—it looks like the door is floating on the floor.

These doors are good for exteriors, they’re safe, durable and we can make them in any
size, in all sorts of designs and in a mix of materials. Regardless of the weight of the door, they can be opened with the touch of a finger.

At Art Boulle, pivot doors are not mass produced and they’re completely handmade. The sky is the limit in what we offer—all styles and materials can be done, including metal,
wood, leather and copper. We’ve recently seen an increase in modern-style doors, but we still have plenty of customers who want something more classical, like French-inspired doors. Our clients want something that fits their style and home, but they also come in looking for advice, which we’re always delighted to provide. It’s important to consider that custom doors like ours take four to six months to design and manufacture, and once they arrive to your home, they can be installed very quickly.