Whether adding a splash of style or bolstering your condo’s brand, there are advantages to choosing a bespoke design for your building’s interior carpets. Thanks to modern materials and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, it’s easier (and, in some cases, more cost-effective) to see your specific vision laid out.
“What custom carpeting — or bespoke designs — can do is provide an identity to a specific building, whether that is a unique pattern, distinct colour, or a combination of both,” says Scott Pope, Design and Sales Consultant with Vifloor Canada Ltd.
The architectural style of the building might serve as an inspiration for a custom design. Similarly, building layouts (e.g., curved corridors) or branding styles may also inform a made-to-order design. Ultimately, adds Pope, the idea behind bespoke carpets is to give condo owners and managers a way of making their property stand out.
“It’s a creative collaboration,” says Pope. “As an interior designer, my role is to either meet with the Board and provide direct guidance based on their ideas and my experience, or work directly with their own building’s interior designer to generate several options.”
For Vifloor, honing in on a condo’s vision can either mean customizing one of its 4,000 stock patterns or creating a new pattern from scratch. Either way, the options are virtually endless.
For example, Pope adds, “I had a designer say to me that the building wanted the carpet to look like a [Wassily] Kandinsky painting, so we tossed around a few options and found something that matched.”
“Ultimately, a design can be as simple as a few colours or as complex as a Russian painting; it just depends on where the inspiration is coming from,” he adds.
What makes for a resilient carpet? In many cases, the preferred choice is solution-dyed nylon, which works best for multi-residential properties in regards to its resilience and ease of maintenance.
“From a maintenance perspective, part of the reason why we typically use solution-dyed yarn is that it is the most resistant to stains, and you can be fairly aggressive on it with cleaning chemicals,” explains Pope. “Of course, nothing is 100 per cent stain proof, but with solution-dyed yarn, you’re getting something that will hold up a lot better than standard nylon products.”
Certainly, there are options when it comes to manufacturing. What a condo chooses will ultimately come down to their environment and budget. Either way, it can be relieving to know that most bespoke designs can be more cost-effective than a running-line product.
“Going custom made can actually cost less because with running-line products, you actually have to stock the product and supply architectural folders, and there are costs to all that,” says Pope, adding, “As well, the equipment that we work with at Vifloor is set up specifically to do custom, so in many cases it ends up being less expensive to do a custom carpet for our clients.”
While there are many opportunities with bespoke designs, there are also a few missteps to avoid during the planning process.
- Misjudging width/length: it’s not uncommon for condos to select a pattern that works well with a specific corridor length, only to realize that they did not account for larger areas that might not work as well for the design.
- Repeat considerations: It’s important to consider how the size of your pattern repeat will affect the quantity of the carpet. Building corridors are only so many square feet, and without proper measurements or consultation, you may find out late that you need additional carpet to accommodate pattern repeats.”It’s a consideration that’s easy to miss,” says Pope. “What happens is that they realize they need 2000 yards of carpet when they only thought they needed 1600 yards. Then, all of a sudden, their budgets go up because they need to buy more to allow for that repeat pattern.”
- Weights can vary: It’s a common myth that carpeting needs to be a specific ounce weight (e.g., 36 ounces). In reality, it all comes down to manufacturing techniques. Condos can choose for a lower ounce weight in a different manufacturing technique and have the same warranties. And speaking of which…
- Check your warranties: Whatever carpet type you land on, keep tabs on the manufacturer’s warranties and the conditions therein.
With the design locked in, the next step is to test it in real life. Bespoke carpet samples can be produced within a week, after which it’s important for all relevant condo stakeholders to get it in their hands and consider how it looks in their environment. Then, once condo staff and residents are on board, producing the entire carpet can typically take eight to ten weeks to produce based on any number of factors.
“Once the consultations are done, and the condo has landed on a vision, it’s our job to turn that sample into something that’s going to enhance their home,” says Pope. “It may take weeks, but the wait is always worth it.”
Vifloor is one of Canada’s largest flooring wholesalers, specializing in commercial matting, commercial flooring, bespoke carpet design, custom area rugs and broadloom and landscape grass. Vifloor’s specialty focuses on commercial, multi-family, hospitality, residential and senior living sectors. See more at www.vifloor.com.