Samantha Gallacher of IG Workshop and Art + Loom tells us how she brings together lighting and textiles to create elegantly balanced interiors.
Studio DUNN has the best clients. There is no doubt about it! When we follow up on completed orders, we always ask to see project images. More often than not, we are rewarded with inspiring shots from across the globe. The above photo of a stunning Miami residence recently graced my inbox.
What struck me most about the image was the beautifully intentional pairing of our Sorenthia Triple Chandelier with the rug in the adjacent seating area. They seemed made for each other; each one reflected the other's clean, intersecting lines and angles in a way that fascinated me.
I should not, therefore, have been surprised to learn that Samantha Gallacher of IG Workshop - the project's interior designer - also created the custom rug for the space. Such an elegantly balanced pairing couldn't have been a coincidence!
A quick perusal of IG Workshop's website revealed that Samantha has a expert eye for bringing together textiles and lighting. In fact, she runs her own bespoke rug company, Art + Loom. (Check it out on Instagram - you will be oh-so happy you did!) I reached out to Samantha to learn more about her process and approach.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work. Have you always wanted to be a designer?
A: I’m a born and raised New Yorker, living in Miami Beach. I’ve been obsessed and consumed with interior design since I was very young. I love the idea that every surface and material in a space is well thought out and intentional. It helps evoke a feeling of comfort and luxury.
Q: What is IG Workshop all about?
A: IG Workshop is a design studio in Miami Beach run by myself and my business partner, Renata Vasconez. We came together with the idea of integrating different cultural styles and materials to define our own personal style. We love travel and aim to source as much as possible from designers and artists from across the globe. Whether we’re designing an office, a bar, a store, or a home we try to pair a sense of eclecticism with the clients own needs. IG Workshop works from the ground up - from the construction phase down to placing the last book on the shelf.
Q: Tell us about your bespoke rug company, Art + Loom. How did you get started with that?
A: Designing bespoke rugs is a medium for fine art. Art + Loom came from a desire to do just that. I personally design a wide range of contemporary rugs in multiple constructions and materials. I also work with a select group of artists to create their own private label lines of rugs. Before moving to Miami I was the rug designer for William Sonoma’s modern furniture brand, West Elm. There I learned about color, construction, and the overall design of a rug. That paired with my knowledge of designing a space enables me to design rugs that are not only a statement for the floor but work well with furniture, lighting, and finishes in the rest of the room.
Q: Why are textiles one of the first things you should consider when designing a space?
A: When designing a space we create a canvas for the textiles. The woods, marbles, wall treatments we use tend to be neutral, while setting the stage for the “art.” Which to me means the textiles and fine art. They allow the owners own self expression to come through in the project.
Q: How do you approach the interplay between lighting and textiles – like a chandelier and a rug? Can you share some examples?
A: Lighting to IG Workshop is one of the most crucial elements of the space. A space with only recessed lighting and nothing decorative is the equivalent of going to work naked. Lighting is the jewelry and textiles are the clothing. When styling an outfit all elements are taken into consideration, the clothes, the hair, and of course the jewelry and accessories. That’s how we view the relationship between lighting and textiles/rugs. In many cases we have the advantage of designing our own rugs. So we’ll select the most spectacular light fixture and then play off those shapes, angles, and style to create a rug pattern that echoes the same sentiment.
In one of our condo projects we used a Studio Dunn light with a striking intersection of brass lines. Our rug played on that pattern which helped tie the living room and the dining room together in an open plan project. It all felt very intentional.
Q: Who do you admire today in the architecture and/or design fields, and what are they doing that you admire?
A: I’m often intimidated/inspired by many of my peers because I think there is so much freedom to be unconventionally creative these days. I may see a project by one of the designers I work with and wish I’d come up with that original of an idea. Some of my favorites…
The obvious would be Kelly Wearstler, she knows no bounds and yet it all seems to work flawlessly. I also love following the works of Cara Woodhouse, Michelle Gerson, Antrobus and Ramirez, and Briggs Solomon. Sight Unseen is my bible for up and coming design. The founders have an uncanny knack for spotting interior design trends and emerging product designers that I inevitably fall head over heals for.
All of us at Studio DUNN are now head over heals for Samantha, IG Workshop, and the incredible creations of Art + Loom. We look forward to following Samantha's work - and to seeing more DUNN pieces paired with her exquisitely crafted textiles.