Stocking a variety of rugs to satisfy every decorating need doesn't mean partners Jay Sanchez, Janel Eddlestone and Jamie Flattmann will put just anything in their store. They are very choosy in what makes the cut for their expanding inventory.
"We're trying to stay focused on just really nice, nice rugs," says Sanchez. The showroom is filled with all-wool, hand-knotted and handmade rugs ranging from antique Oushaks from Turkey, which Eddlestone says are the most requested by customers, to new rugs from trusted makers such as Odegard, Asmara, Antique Looms, Obeetee and Aura.
Traditional designs, florals and geometric patterns are plentiful, but the store also has a wealth of contemporary designs and colors that can be used to modernize a room or to bridge the visual transition between traditional rug designs within a space.
"Most of the contemporary designs we do are clean, sophisticated designs, " Eddlestone says. "They help bridge Oriental (rugs) together without adding more patterns or designs," Sanchez adds. That gives homeowners design flexibility so they can bring together the old and new things they love seamlessly.
The partners, who will celebrate the shop's second anniversary in January 2005, say all the rugs they sell are durable and meant to be used, cleaned and passed down to future generations.
"They're made to be really well used," says Sanchez. They're kid-friendly; they're very easily washed and cleaned. Wool wears like iron on the floor. It's resilient, it releases stains, it's the best thing you can put on the floor."
Two things that set New Orleans Fine Rugs apart from some of its competition, the partners say, are service and price points. "We don't want anyone to be afraid to come in here," Eddlestone says. "We have the best service, the best one-on-one attention, whether you're using a designer or doing it on your own." Plus, Sanchez, adds "We have rugs for many budgets, from college students on up. We have rugs that look great but don't cost a lot."
Making kitchens functional works of art that fit the dreams homeowners is what Cabinet Works (103 Focis St., 247-0223; www.cabinet-works.net) does best, customizing cabinetry in cypress, mahogany, maple and cherry and installing upscale appliances from manufacturers including SubZero and Wolfe.
A third-generation kitchen designer, Cabinet Works president Chad Adams says his business not only puts together special cabinets for kitchens, baths or anywhere in the house, but his team also designs kitchens to make sure homeowners get the most visually pleasing and functional space possible.
"Doing things that are architecturally correct and pleasing to the eye are things we really take pride in," Adams says. "It's not just the cabinetry, it's the design work that goes along with it that makes a difference. We make sure [everything] functions well."
Most of his customers are detail-oriented and are looking for the best quality they can afford. The business offers both custom cabinets and semi-custom, made-to-order versions that are relatively inexpensive. Cabinets can be designed for every taste, Adams says. "Whether they want a contemporary design or classic design, we try to give them the best."
In addition to kitchen and bath cabinetry, Cabinet Works also makes some furniture pieces, such as special units for bathrooms as well as entertainment centers, bookcases and more. It also sells countertops in granite, stainless steel and other materials and high-end appliances. The majority of the products installed by Adams' company carry lifetime warranties.
His company does everything from contemporary designs to period pieces designed to match the interiors of renovated old homes such as those found on St. Charles Avenue.
"My favorite part," he says, "is the design work, getting a job that you look at and say, 'Wow, this is definitely something that could go into Architectural Digest.'" Much of Adams' business comes from interior designers, architects, and referrals from happy customers. "I really enjoy what I do," he says. "I feel that in the New Orleans market, we are definitely one of the best values. With a lifetime warranty on the product and our ability to design and custom build, and just being easy to work with, I feel we're a good value."