Our paths are not linear. Even with our best intentions, how we grow and progress in our personal and professional lives does not follow a straight line—we stall, stop, move in entirely new directions. We revisit and incorporate elements of our pasts and pull in inspiration from an array of sources. In our world of home interiors, it is especially impressive seeing that path manifest itself within an artist's work. To direct your personal journey within your art and further express it for all to see is incredible. That is one of the reasons we have been long-time admirers of and were so excited to work with, our latest designer collaborator, artist and textile designer Élan Byrd. We are proud of the company we keep here at Lulu and Georgia, and so we are ecstatic to present our new Élan Byrd Rug + Pillow collection—have a sneak peek at the full line here.
Élan is a multidisciplinary artist and textile designer based in Miami and celebrated for her signature tactile and organic style. Deeply influenced by the similarities amongst ancestral societies of architectural forms, woven textiles, and organic materials, she creates abstract wall hangings, collages, and paintings. For this exclusive Lulu and Georgia collection, Élan has reinterpreted her natural fiber art to design these handcrafted rugs and pillows, focusing on rich texture and slow, intentional construction. We wanted to give her the space to share more about her process for this collection, so read on for more on Élan's creative journey, where she draws inspiration from, what makes this line special, and ways you can style these pieces in your own home.
My background is in fashion and textile design, and I studied at Parsons School of Design in New York City and Central St. Martins in London. My first few roles after my studies were in fashion design, but my love for textiles and home decor led me towards creating art and handmade items through slow, meditative techniques. I believe that my experience in fashion and textile design influences my work by compelling me to use natural fibers because I understand their value in design and our environment and further experiment with mixing materials and textures.
When it comes to my interior style, I describe it as an eclectic mix of old and new, as well as earthy and modern. My aesthetic reflects my journey of breaking free from the construct of perfection and embracing the beauty of imperfection. With its five rugs and two distinct pillow patterns, this collection is directly inspired by my previous fiber artwork, and I love how these designs have been brought to life. The wool rugs are all intricately handcrafted and incredibly textural. The raw silk pillows are hand-printed and have a beautiful texture, varied and rough yet refined.
The inspiration for my original designs and now for this new collection is the traveled path of our ancestors and the earliest dwellings they built and found refuge in. Imagine homes constructed from clay or stone in wind-swept deserts. To this day, I'm still inspired by the shapes and symbols found throughout that architecture and the wonderful contrast to the organic lines found in the natural environments surrounding them. So, once Lulu and Georgia and I decided to collaborate on a capsule of rugs and pillows, my first step was to look back through the different media of my artwork and pick pieces that told a deeply personal story and could be applied to soft furnishings. And I think it bears repeating, but I love how beautifully my pieces were transformed. Each style—the Oasis Rug, the Abode Rug, the Terra Rug, the Nomad Rug, the Earth Maze Moroccan Shag, the Canyon Pillow, and the Stonewalk Pillow—feels like a celebration of texture and the natural fibers they are made of.
"When I first saw Élan's artwork, I was instantly a fan and knew her designs would translate beautifully to rugs and pillows. I love how this collection stays true to her aesthetic and handmade quality, highlighting the raw beauty and texture of the natural fibers. Each rug has a varied technique, but all speak to each other so beautifully. I could see them working side by side in many homes." – Sara Sugarman, Lulu and Georgia Founder and CEO
As a designer, what inspires me most is the genius of our ancestors and their use of natural resources. I am moved by what they built by hand, from the homes they created to the textiles they made, and those themes are found throughout my craft. Weaving is a slow, intentional, and meditative process that allows me to be sustainable in creating one-of-a-kind pieces made from natural fibers and resources. What is so gratifying about the collection and what makes it so unique, in my opinion, is that it stays true to my vision and work. I wanted to design a collection of rugs and pillows that found the balance between bold and subtle and that was organic yet modern. The organic forms and high-low contrast of my fiber art and collages are immediately evident, but I love the feel of each design. Being on the Oasis Rug feels like walking on a cloud, it's incredibly soft and plush. The Terra Rug's ingenious sheering and color-blocked tones give it this dynamism. The raw silk shells for the pillow capsule have this homespun feel. Beyond the luxe texture, I see this collection as ideal for anyone looking to make a statement through unique and neutral patterns.
My hope is that this collection makes people feel inspired and comfortable to mix patterns and textures within the confines of a neutral palette. The colors for the collection are a blend of warm and cool neutrals with a pop of olive. These are the tones that I naturally find comfort in, whether through my work or environment.
One of the styles that I want to highlight is the Earth Maze Moroccan Shag Rug. This hand-knotted rug embodies what this collection is about, as the linear breaks represent the fresh starts and pauses in both mine and all of our journies. When styling this Moroccan shag in your space, take advantage of its loden green linear pattern that works as a burst of color. Complement it with neutral, textural upholstery and raw wood tones for a warm, terrene look that welcomes you into the space. I am excited to share this collection with you and see how you bring these pieces into your home.