For those who are looking for the most innovative surface materials, Opustone continues to deliver. Here we catch up with Eric Schigiel, the Miami-based company’s Vice President and Co-Founder to discuss their new Value Vault, market trends and how this 31-year-old bachelor spends his free time.
What is Opustone’s hottest product right now?
There’s a product that we just started bringing in, a black marble, Planking. It’s long, 6 inches wide and looks like wood, but it’s not wood, it’s actually stone. We have that now in three colors.
How does your company set itself apart other tile and granite companies?
We actually just opened a center, it’s called Value Vault by Opustone. It’s perfect for the do-it-yourself homeowner. You have the product available immediately as opposed to in a showroom, and it’s 30 to 50 percent cheaper. You’re getting the same quality, the same name and the same material at a fraction of the cost.
Opustone carries only imported stone. Is there one country where you find the most impressive materials?
Italy always produces numerous designs, finishes and products and everybody else seems to follow. Just like in fashion, it’s the industry leader.
You said you “knew nothing” about this industry when you founded Opustone in 2001. What did you imagine yourself doing?
I had no plans to go into this business but what I can say is that once you are in this business, it’s very difficult to get out—it’s kind of addicting.
Where do you live?
I’m a single bachelor living in Miami Beach.
Where do you like to go out?
I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times but the best restaurant in South Beach, hands off, is Prime One Twelve. I go to Mondrian, a friend of mine is one of the owners there. We go there, have a good time with him. The Florida Room in the Delano.
The company that has been taking closet design to the next level since 1986, has extended its trademark style into the kitchen. Linah, Ornare’s line of “smart kitchens,” combines state-of-the-art technology with tailored craftsmanship. “The bold and technologically innovative kitchen was designed to carry on with our main objective, to provide our customers with an architectural space that brought back the feeling of coziness once inspired by these rooms,” Ornare Director Cláudio Faria said. And Ornare fans will be happy to hear that the company has plans to roll out an exclusive bathroom line by December 2009.
The Finnish design company that became famous when Jackie Kennedy Onassis wore one its dresses on the cover of Life magazine in the 1960s, has taken its bold and iconic prints into a whole new arena—wallpaper. The wallpaper collection includes Marimekko’s classic designs as well as its newer prints in a series of 20 patterns produced with Italian wallpaper manufacturer Sipri. Of the three Marimekko concept retailers in the United States, Marimekko Miami is the only showroom to preview and sell the wall coverings. Cristina Dominguez, owner of Marimekko Miami, said that of the customers who come to browse her store’s extensive offerings—which range from home furnishings to women’s, men’s and children’s fashions—one thing has been consistent. “People still want fun in their lives,” she said. “They still want whimsical, bright, happy things.” Marimekko Miami, 3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-573-4244
Having recently relocated to the Design District from Miami Beach, Avant Gallery fuses eclectic art with furniture and accessories through its exhibition of work by distinguished artists across different mediums. New this fall are handmade and high-quality furniture by designers Chad Jenson, Damian Barton and Florida-based design studio Blue Chains Inc. Local and national photographers, whose works range from fashion to architecture, have also recently signed on for upcoming exhibitions. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of exciting and talented people knocking on our doors who passionately wish to be with us,” said Dmitry Prut, Avant Gallery’s founder. Later this fall and during Art Basel/Design Miami, Avant plans to feature an art exhibit by Christopher Ciccone. 3850 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-573-8873