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Cecile Corral

Direct Home Bows 'American Lifestyles'

Direct Home Textiles Group is looking to fill a void it sees in the retail landscape with a new line of American-specific handmade area rugs.

"We looked at the retail market and saw that the world is flooded with Persian rugs and flooded with contemporary rugs," said John Azzolino, managing partner/ceo. "So we came up with transitional, floral and all-around American looks designed specifically for American homes and American furniture."

Eighteen months in the making, this collection comprises handmade and carved rugs of New Zealand wool and viscose. Direct Home calls its new brand "American Lifestyles."

Direct Home partnered with two other parties to create American Lifestyles rugs. For the production, the company joined forces with an India-based rug manufacturer "who I have known for 23 years," Azzolino said, and for the designs Direct Home went to art and pattern source Kim Designs, which is operated by Kim Weisgerber Craig.

Of the original 184 patterns, 19 were selected for American Lifestyles' launch — slated for early March during the New York Home Fashions market. Included are florals, botanicals, traditional damasks, American quilt and contemporary looks — each available in a variety of colorways.

"All of the patterns we use were designed, colored and inspired by American artists," Azzolino said.

Sizes range from 4-foot-by-6-foot through 8-foot-by-10-foot, plus runners.

A 6-foot-by-9-foot is set to retail for $599, "even though I've been told these rugs should really retail for $1,000," Azzolino said.

Aside from Azzolino, Direct Home Textiles Group is operated by John McLeod, president, and John Thornton.

The company, founded by McLeod and Azzolino in fall 2005, offers an assortment of soft floor coverings, including area, accent and bath rugs in a variety of constructions and styles.

Its showroom is in suite 808 at 230 Fifth Ave. in New York City.

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