The daughter of a rug empire returns to the warp and weave.
By Michael Cannell
1 of 5Photo: Francois Dischinger
The Pattern Player
As a child, designer Madeline Weinrib accompanied her father to work on Saturdays. Lucky girl—the office was the headquarters of ABC Carpet & Home, the illustrious Manhattan furnishings bazaar founded by her grandfather. In those days, the floors were piled high with stacks of kilims and dhurries, Berbers and coirs. “It was lots of fun,” Weinrib says. “Kids still love to jump on the carpets, and I did, too.”
It may have been fun, but she didn’t envision her future there. Instead she became a painter—that is, until ABC asked her to use her painterly skills to design a line of Tibetan rugs. She was surprised by how much she enjoyed the process (particularly the opportunity to meet with artisans in Nepal), and so she made the break. “I was opening up creatively; I was excited about what I was doing.” The main difference from painting: Rugs do not exist in isolation. “A rug has to dialogue with the furniture,” she says. “They have to support each other.”
2 of 5Photo: Annie Schlechter
The Pattern Player (cont.)
Today Weinrib sells her textile pattern play from her own boutique on ABC’s sixth floor, as well as at her showrooms in Manhattan and San Francisco. Her designs are popular among decorators working with the worldliest clients, but unpretentious enough to be perfect in the tiniest seashore bungalow.
Weinrib’s palette tends toward beach-friendly pinks, oranges, purples, and sandy neutrals—and her fabric, pillow, and rug collections include patterns such as cabana stripes, fan corals, and ikats that are so classic by the shore.
3 of 5Photo: Gaelle Le Boulicaut
What is your biggest design inspiration?
What color can you not get enough of right now?
What’s the best design advice you’ve ever gotten?
Stay true to your vision. That’s important to me. I hope I always have.
Which designers are on your radar right now?
I just bought a beautiful chandelier from Apparatus. I met them at Salone di Mobile and fell in love with their work. I also just commissioned architect Robert Bristow to make a dining room table for me. We met years ago when we were both showing at Ralph Pucci.
4 of 5Photo: Courtesy of Madeline Weinrib via Instagram
Q&A: Beach Lifestyle
Most memorable beach vacation?
Last year, we went to Cartagena. We took a boat to all these small and beautiful islands off the coast. It was paradise. Island hopping is at its best in Cartagena.