Place of Style: Philadelphia!

March 3rd, 2014 by Place Textiles

Philadelphia Skyline

It is impossible today to pick up a design publication or read a blog without coming across a reference to Philadelphia. The city is a-buzz with young talent and a refreshed appreciation for all things design-related! Once known as the “workshop of the world”, Philadelphia has gone through its difficult moments but it has never completely lost its reputation for being a center for design, architecture, art, innovation and academia.
With its beautiful historic buildings, Philadelphia’s “Old City” has been transformed into a vibrant neighborhood and factory loft developments are popping up everywhere in the outer districts. Modern architecture adds to a beautiful skyline that marries old and new. Philadelphia has a strong appreciation for preserving and rehabilitating as well as staying on the leading edge of modern architecture.
None of this activity is lost on Judy Baer of The Baer Group Inc. who represents Place Textiles – along with many other great lines. With over thirty years experience working in the Philadelphia design industry, Judy has had the opportunity to be a first-hand participant in the vibrant Philadelphia design scene.
We decided to ask Judy some questions to get her perspective on the Philadelphia design community. We have interspersed Judy’s comments with some insights from Kristie Strasen, founder of Place.
Judy Baer Group

Judy Baer of The Baer Group Inc. in Philadelphia

What Is Unique About the Philadelphia Design Community?

Judy – Having been a part of the Philadelphia design community for over thirty years, I feel privileged to know so many of the great architects and designers this city has produced. The educational institutions here are exceptional in what they offer. Internships in the design community are highly valued so students have the opportunity to work alongside real professionals. These students become the future generation of designers and in turn, the future of design. Many of them remain in Philadelphia – perpetuating a strong and respected design community. These designers become our customers!
Kristie – I find designers in Philadelphia to have more than the average knowledge about textiles. I never equated that with the design education available in Philadelphia but I think Judy is right. Designers in Philadelphia enter the field of interior design with a strong foundation of knowledge. I love that as it creates an opportunity for us to talk about our commitment to developing quality fabrics.

How Do You Characterize the Philadelphia Design Aesthetic?

Judy – Philadelphia does have a certain style – there is no question about that – but as with all things, that style is evolving. A transitional aesthetic has been the most prevalent in recent years because of a respect for historic interiors coupled with a desire for a mix with something new. But with younger designers, we see a fresh approach that includes clean designs and an uncluttered, modern approach. As far as color goes, neutrals remain very important across the board but splashes of colors used as accents are a big part of the scene as well.
Kristie – The first time I went to Philadelphia, I was blown away by the beauty of the historic architecture. I assumed all the interiors in those lovely old houses were probably traditional. It was a wonderful surprise to visit design firms with Judy and realize that there also exists a delightful edgy quality to Philadelphia interior design. It makes perfect sense to me that it would be a designer in Philadelphia who chose to upholster a classic tufted sofa in our yummy wool flannel – in a custom hot pink!
Place Textiles Clare produced a special edition pink color, used in a very spectacular Philadelphia home!

Place Textiles Clare produced a special edition pink color, used in a very spectacular Philadelphia home!

What Trend You See with Your Clients?

Judy – I think one of the strongest trends we see with our clients is a desire for low maintenance fabrics. Design has gone beyond simply finding the best aesthetic solution. End users want to know that they will be able to take care of things – and designers have the responsibility to select things of value that will last.
Kristie – I think most of the design community recognizes the value in quality. There are many products out there that appear to be beautiful but which will not hold up. At Place we are continually focused on the notion of “durable luxury”. We want our fabrics to look good, feel good and be easy to care for. I think Place is very in-tune with the requirements of the Philadelphia design community.

What Place Textiles are you most excited to showcase?

JudyClare – a stunning wool flannel is a favorite in Philadelphia. Arranmore, a heavy and lustrous linen is also popular. Both these fabrics reflect the Philadelphia desire for quality, value and low maintenance.
Kristie –It is completely predictable that Clare and Arranmore are favorites in Philadelphia. Both are very high quality – neither is flashy: they both represent a quiet sophistication. They will work in a stunning traditional interior or a sleek, modernist interior or an edgy, transitional interior. They will work with whatever environment is created around then – and they will hold up over time. They are both winners!
Baer Showroom

The Baer Group Inc Showroom is located in the heart of Philadelphia, PA

Are you located in Philadelphia area? Contact The Baer Group to visit their beautiful showroom and to see the full range of fabric and interior products they represent!