Worldly Textiles & Decor With Aelfie
World traveler Aelfie Oudghiri, founder of Aelfie, designs and sells funky boutique home goods from her Brooklyn shop. As a well-informed home goods designer, Aelfie applies the influences of antique textiles, high fashion, youth culture and the history of decorative arts & crafts into her contemporary products. From rugs to trays, Aelfie sure knows how to create a piece that will catch your eye and make you smile.
Here, Aelfie shares her infatuation with textiles and home accents, experience collaborating with interior designers, and tips on how to choose the right rug.
Photography courtesy of Aelfie
Aelfie – how did you end up starting a rug company?
I started out selling vintage rugs that I had collected from my travels. From there, I was inspired to create my own designs.
Where and how did you develop a fascination for rugs?
I really fell in love with rugs on a family trip to Turkey when I was a teenager. I was just fascinated by the craft of weaving, it’s history, and the whole experience of haggling.
You collect both vintage rugs and create designs that you sell – what’s the inspiration behind your designs?
My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, but most of the rugs are rooted in traditional symbology. I like to play with tradition, twist it, and make it contemporary and relevant.
How do you prepare for sourcing trips to destinations like India, Morocco and Turkey?
Shop for flowy, conservative clothing.
It’s been an exciting year for Aelfie, and you’ve been published many times. What are some projects that you’re particularly proud of?
We launched our first piece of furniture this year, the Mirah table, named after my daughter.
Which rugs are your best-sellers?
It can really vary but some of the best sellers and our favorites are the Saskia, Lounah, Zahra & Optik Black.
Tell us about your other products and home accents…
Why stop at rugs? It just felt like a natural progression. Our line now includes hand embroidered pillows, throws, bedding, and bone inlay furniture and accents.
How do you balance work life, being a mama, and making time for yourself?
I have a lot of help. Great employees, a really understanding and supportive partner, friends in the neighborhood who like to babysit, and family close by.
What has been your experience working with interior designers?
We love working with interior designers. They are some of our favorite clients. They understand the home decor world and actually make our job pretty easy since they usually have great taste and “get it”.
What are 3 tips of “best practices” to offer interior designers for choosing the right rug when decorating a space?
1. Start from the ground up. If you start with a rug you love, everything else can be built around that.
2. Go with your gut. Often times the first rug you are drawn to for the space is the one that you end up with.
3. Be bold. Try a color or design that might feel like a stretch. You’d be surprised how mixing bold patterns and colors can work out in unexpected ways.
Based on your knowledge of the industry, what trends are you forecasting for 2017 in regards to textile and rug styles, patterns, and colors?
Saturated colors, animals, and silks.
What’s next for Aelfie?
We are continuing to expand our rug collection with everything from solid rugs to more graphic plush styles. We are also working on some small furniture pieces, and new bedding which will launch this spring.
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