Radical honesty begins with a tuft of natural fiber. A tree, decades old. It is picked, spun, and woven; felled, cut, and shaped. And still it is a piece of fiber, a tree. With Amadi Carpets and Maiden Home, there are no concealed truths, no cleverly disguised lies. Wool is wool; wood is wood.
“We are working with a craft that’s going back thousands of years,” says Murtaza Ahmadi, one of Amadi Carpets’ owners. Woven in Afghanistan, where they offer a safe workplace for women, the rugs are manifestations of age-old traditions and cultures. “The pieces speak for themselves … but what really makes it unique is that it is a human product. It touches so many hands before it comes here to the US.”
Across the world in North Carolina, heritage furniture artisans whose knowledge has been passed down through generations work closely with Maiden Home’s designers to create pieces that likewise speak to their roots. “In the spirit of slow craft, we intentionally design our assortment to showcase the artisans that give our pieces life,” Steph Goldberg, vice president of marketing at Maiden Home, says.
Studio Sixtysix brings Maiden Home and Amadi Carpets to a raw living space in a former Chicago charcoal factory to show how radical honesty, bold use of shape, form, materials, and transparency command space and deepen its spirit.
“The Bond Chair is the embodiment of everyday luxury. Its contemporary design and oversized proportion create a striking statement,” Steph says. Striving for a timeless, quality look, Maiden Home relies upon classic forms done just a bit differently to create a captivating design. “We design each piece from the lens of making of-the-moment ideas timeless and timeless silhouettes relevant.” Maiden Home’s The Bond Chair; Amadi Carpet’s Fiji in Haikili.
Amadi is inspired by cultural artifacts from around the world they study and transform—like the Congolese Kuba cloth. “We wanted to capture the feeling and essence and the geometrics of Kuba cloth, and then put it into these larger pieces to open up another dimension of the design,” Murtaza says. Maiden Home’s Morro Tables; Amadi Carpet’s Kuba in Attalea.
Maiden Home’s Muir Sofa; Amadi Carpet’s Congo in Harvest, Silver/Indigo (Displayed on floor) and Kuba in Mazari, Light (Rolled in background). Each collection’s design reflects back on the rugs’ core: natural fibers, woven in one of the world’s oldest crafts, depicting natural scenes and generations-old traditions. “The Harvest collection mimics the imagery of the tropical rainforest, the starry skies, and the lush vegetation. If you stare long enough, you can see the forest and the movement of the rivers and canopy of trees within the rugs,” Murtaza says. Photo by Daniel Peter; prop styling by Shawn King.
“We try not to be bold for the sake of it, but instead focus on the thoughtful details of each piece, things that feel a little bit unexpected,” Steph says. For Amadi, the details also require a closer look. “You can see the knot, the pile where the fiber ends, where it starts—the structure of it. There are no bolts and nuts, no glue. It’s just the craftsmanship coming together with a material and emerging into these pieces,” Murtaza says. Maiden Home’s Jane, Madison, Allen Chairs; Amadi Carpet’s Fiji in Aumakua. Carved wood chain link provided by South Loop Loft.
Transparency begins with quality raw materials. Amadi spins and weaves natural fibers, while Maiden Home carefully sources close to home. “Our design process is rooted in bringing out the beauty of natural materials—in this case, domestically sourced solid ash wood, which is hand-shaped into columns that give a grounding balance to the graphic tabletop,” Steph says. Maiden Home’s Reade Round Table; Amadi Carpet’s Fiji in Pa’pa. Photo by Daniel Peter; prop styling by Shawn King. Brass Paper Bowl No. 3 by Gentner Design provided by South Loop Loft.
Concept Produced by Studio Sixtysix
Styling by Shawn King
Photos by Daniel Peter
Retouching by Zach Vitale
Words by Lark Breen
Studio Sixtysix is the in-house creative agency to Sixtysix magazine. Studio Sixtysix stories are conceived, produced, and edited by Studio Sixtysix.
A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 08 with the headline “Radical Honesty.” Subscribe today.