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At home with rug connoisseur Yosi Tal.

The Property Addict / Luxury Lifestyle

Sep 13 2016

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EDITORIAL: Maggie Kelly PHOTOGRAPHY: Tracy Stevenson   "We've always been quite minimalist, although we've always loved colour in our lives. Colour is so important"¦.just touches of colour." It's the magical interiors formula that so many of us have tried for, and failed. That elusive balance of simple and interesting; clean and bare, but dotted with moments of vivid and joyful colour. In our minds, we see vast white walls that play host to striking modern art - but in reality, it can feel sterile, empty, flat. Like a display home. 398A9748 And yet, to walk through the home of Designer Rugs founder Yosi Tal is to finally understand what the "Ë?minimal with a touch of colour' should look like. His Rose Bay home is elegant, yet fun - curated, yet full of life. Accessories are minimal, but the ones chosen are tasteful and interesting. The balance has been successfully struck. Much of the colour, as expected, comes from his array of beautiful floor rugs; but perhaps not so expected is the impressive artwork from the hand of Yosi's talented wife, Derryn. From room to room, her electric paintings burst forth in bright reds, fuchsias, purples, greens. There is artwork on the wall, and even on the floors, as all the home's rugs have been designed by Derryn as well. An artistic house, built by an artistic couple. 398A9795 Yosi is a delight to speak with, a passionate design lover who has grown this passion from a boutique and artisan rug store, into a nation-wide icon. He has carpeted everything from cathedrals to luxury hotels, and has worked with just about every iconic Australian artist and designer you can think of. Yosi can hardly believe himself that the Designer Rugs has made it to their 30th year in business - did he ever imagine such a long run in the game? Yosi is humble in saying that whilst he always had the hunger to succeed, he never saw the amazing success he has since achieved. Listening to the Designer Rugs story, you can perhaps understand why: to survive for three decades of trends, economical recessions, and growing competition has not been easy. But it always came back to Yosi's love for design. Like an art curator, if he continued to reinvent their rug's designs as a gallery refreshes their exhibitions, they would be able to ride the changing trends. And so begun his plight to transform a rug from a practicality, to veritable objet d'art. 398A9784 Linda Jackson, Greg Natale, Meryl Hare, John Coburn, Annie Georgeson, Dinosaur Designs, Catherine Martin and Akira Isogawa: the list of Designer Rugs collaborations is endless, and peppered with the crà ¨me de la crà ¨me of the Australian design world. Our antipodean celebration of bold colour and patterns remains a staple for Designer Rugs; alongside, of course, more subdued and elegant offerings in luxury materials and chic designs. When discussing his personal design aesthetic, Yosi talks a lot about colour - particularly in respect to Australia, a "Ë?young country', perched on the sparkling Pacific. This youthful vibrance he favours in his rugs is reflected back into his home, too. "Ë?Home' for Yosi has been in Sydney's inner-eastern suburb of Rose Bay for almost seven years now, and still houses his youngest two children. It was designed by architect Conrad Lowry, with the specific intention of creating the illusion of space in what is otherwise a rather narrow block of just 450 sq/m. Whilst many homes we visit for The Property Addict are beautifully presented, the Tal residence is showhome-worthy. It is...impeccable. 398A9787 "Because we're both in the design game," explains Yosi, "the house had to be built to a certain standard, and reflects the industry that I'm in." The house had to be more than just a home for their family - it also had to display the work they were creating. A high standard indeed. It is a stunning showcase of both Yosi and Derryn's handiwork - as well as an impressive collection of designer furniture and interior accessories. All original, of course. "When we were designing the house, we were very rigid about not using copies," says Yosi. "There's a lot of copies going on out there, particularly in furniture, who copy people's designs. We were very careful." 398A9708 Natural light floods the house, with the enclosed garden providing an beautiful inner-city "Ë?oasis'. Yosi notes that his favourite spot in the home is on the couch, looking outside into the sunny garden - a rare moment of peace, no doubt, in his otherwise busy schedule. The minimalist interior design, however, has also created a wonderful sense of peace and calm. Without the usual clutter of newspapers, car keys, and the other flotsam and jetsam of the everyday; the Tal home is quiet, still. It was a deliberate move on Yosi and Derryn's behalf when they moved from their previous home. "We don't like clutter," says Yosi. "Because we moved twice before this house, each time we would put our possessions into boxes when we were in the rentals - and each time we realised after living without them for a year, we didn't need them!" "So we gave them away, donated them to charity, and when we finally moved house, the only thing we took with us was the bed. We uncluttered our lives, and created a life without unnecessary possessions." 398A9863 As someone who has built a business literally from the ground up, Yosi would have certainly perfected the art of streamlining and recalibrating by now. 30 years ago, he and his parents started a small rug factory in Marrickville in Sydney's Inner West, with the hope of bringing the rug business to local shores. "We were able to offer local manufacturing, which meant a timeliness that, if it's made overseas, you can't deliver. We were also coming from an Australian design aesthetic - most rugs [at the time] were being made offshore in Europe or America. But back then, in the mid 80's, Australian design was starting to bubble away"¦.and we were part of that start, back in the 80's." In the years that followed, Yosi and his family would have to battle the Australian recession of the early 90's, standstill of commercial building projects (until then, their primary source of work), and the rise and fall of more than one design trend. And yet still today they remain Australia's leading boutique rug company. So how does he do it? Looking into Yosi's home, we are privy to one of the rug connoisseur's best design secrets: keep it simple, with a splash colour. Colour never goes out of fashion. 398A9842

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