Custom to the Core


Studio Life/Style works with Scott Group Studio to design a rug from beginning to end

A custom rug in production at the Scott Group Studio mill. Photo by Geoff Shirley.

IN A WORLD where design has become accessible to anyone, anywhere, it’s rare to find truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Which is why hiring high-end interior designers not only for their boundless vision but also for their ability to create exceptional custom creations is becoming more important to clients. In comes Scott Group Studio, a custom carpet company that produces some of the highest-quality rugs in the world, directly from the US, since 1969.

Shannon Wollack of Studio Life/Style learning to hand-tuft.

“Our state-of-the-art hand-tufting mills in Grand Rapids, Michigan, support the local economy while boasting a very diverse and talented culture,” says Libby Ferin, director of marketing and brand experience. The bespoke craft that’s at the core of the company allows for maximum control of the creative and production process. “Having our product made in America is a very appealing feature to many of our designers and their customers because we have optimal control over every step of our process, from dyeing to tufting,” says Ferin.

Though half of the business services private aviation, their in-house designers have also placed pieces in many of the world’s most prestigious buildings, hotels and boutiques. Now that the demand for unseen pieces in residential design is on the rise, Scott Group Studio is spending more time with the A&D community to develop one-off designs for projects on all scales. “The benefit of being a custom rug manufacturer with a large in-house design team is that we’re not only able to curate multiple, anticipated annual collections but also work with the community immediately on their individual needs,” says Ferin. “We can craft nearly any idea a designer may have.”

Samples of the Studio Life/ Style’s custom rug.

“When we design for clients who live in bigger cities, they usually want something made just for them as they feel much more of a connection with the piece,” says Shannon Wollack, partner at Studio Life/Style, an LA-based commercial and residential firm. Creating a custom console or lamp can be difficult in part due to restrictions; however, when it came to designing a rug from scratch for the Studio Life/Style offices, the challenge was not due to the limitations but the endless possibilities. “So much goes into creating a custom rug, because basically anything is feasible,” notes Brittany Zwickl, partner and principal designer.

Their process began not by looking at other rugs but by exploring colors and textures that resonate in nature. Various photos of bark, sand and water were analyzed for the patterns created by movement and the natural hues. The winning inspiration to emerge was actually a close- up cropped image of denim. “We thought it was a glazed stone,” says Zwickl. Since the pattern was bolder than they had orignially planned, they requested a neutral pallette. After finalizing the design direction remotely, the team braved Michigan’s cold winter and flew out to review the sample at the mill with their designated designer in order to make any final alterations before the piece went into production.

A detailed image shows the beautiful neutral shades and textures.

“Most of our customers will bring us patterns and floor plans
to begin a project, but Studio Life/Style’s inspiration started from
a photograph of a wall of stacked jeans,” says Missy Strear, design director at Scott Group Studio. “They worked closely with one of our 16 designers who interpreted their inspiration into sketches and samples, utilizing what he researched about their past interior design projects to ensure the design was going to speak to their style.”

The custom rug now sits in Studio Life/ Style’s new conference room.

Being open to experimentation with construction and materials greatly benefited the outcome of the final design, which now resides
in Studio Life/Style’s new office on Robertson Boulevard. “This entire process was much more seamless than we expected,” says Wollack. “We learned so much from their rich history, vast knowledge of rugs and the amazing people behind the craft.”

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