Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Leave a comment

Island Lifestyle Influences Joe Ruggiero’s Sunbrella® Fabrics Collection

Meredith Joie

Meredith Joie

Warm sunshine paired with a cool, island breeze and tranquil waters. Pure white sand and lush, colorful landscapes. This tropical ambience inspired home décor authority Joe Ruggiero in the creation of his new Sunbrella® fabrics collection–“Island Style”–set for introduction through The MT Company (formerly Miles Talbott Furniture) during the International Furniture Market in High Point.

“I was in Maui for my son’s wedding and the colors throughout the island really caught my attention,” Ruggiero said. “Hot pink and berry tones in flora and women’s textiles, the pairing of pure white in the sand and ocean blues for a classic look–these color combinations work together to bring a sense of the tropics to the home.”

A color pop expressive of island flora, pink is a striking color for interiors as well. Delhi II Berry features large-scale, floating paisleys with a hand-embroidered look in a tropical color. This fabric in The MT Company showroom complements existing fabric Espadrille Raspberry, a simple, ticking stripe.

The combination of white and blue is a true island classic. The geometric design of Savvy Indigo draws its roots from the Polynesian Kapa, a cloth primarily used for clothing. Reminiscent of rain drops – a regular sight on the island – Agra Indigo was inspired by a Malaysian ikat dyeing technique in which fabric is tie-dyed and then woven into the design. Tailored Indigo features a subtle play of blue and white that brings to mind the seas surrounding the islands. Its hand reflects the feel of handwoven textures that are popular in island textiles. Tying the color story together with a fresh approach is classic ticking stripe Espadrille II Mariner.

Meredith Philippe

Meredith Philippe

Ruggiero adds sophistication to his island collection with the pairing of black and white. The combination of the classic colors with the warm tropical hues is ideal for urban homes such as sophisticated loft spaces that still require the soft hand and durability provided by Sunbrella fabrics.

The Malaysian ikat-inspired Agra Classic elevates this pattern from an island classic to an elegant, natural look. Paired with Savvy Black, the fabrics feature a neutral palette that is anything but boring. Tribal Black brings native-inspired symbols up to date for a more contemporary setting.

In addition to new fabrics and colorways, Ruggiero has a full collection of decorative tapes, cording and brush fringe available through The MT Company.

“My signature has always been comfortable, easy living interiors,” Ruggiero said. “The soft hand and stain- and fade-resistant qualities of Sunbrella play right into the island theme. The fabrics in my newest Sunbrella collection allow true island dwellers and those who are landlocked to enjoy the experience of tropical locales.”

Maxfield Bergen Kelton

Maxfield Bergen Kelton

New this market for Miles Talbott/Joe Ruggiero upholstery compliments the “Island Style” theme:
The Kelton
Merging form and function into a beautifully scaled chair, Ruggiero has designed a swivel chair that offers supreme comfort. “ You sit into this chair not just on-it. The design was inspired by the modernist designs of the French Designer Jean-Michel Frank; clean lines with a contemporary twist. We have had requests for chairs that swivel. With many televisions mounted to the wall, consumers want a chair that can turn to conversation or to watch television.”

The New Joie Modular
Due to the great reception of the Joie Sofa last market, we introduce this new Joie modular group with all the pieces of true modular seating. This design is scaled properly for smaller spaces but has a distinctive look with graceful arms and loose pillow seats and backs. With a slightly higher back, this upholstery group creates a new look for Ruggiero’s modular groups already in the line. “I have always used modular pieces in the rooms I design; I like the flexibility of moving pieces around the room as needed or moving them together for the gathering of family and friends.”

The Leslie Chair
A Chair that is “at home” in many interior designs. An elegant wing chair with exquisite tufting that can be dressed for a formal room or be just as appropriate in a more casual setting. “I wanted a more formal chair that could move into many different settings whether casual or formal. I do not have many tufted designs in my line but this was created to be distinctive but like all of my pieces, extremely comfortable.”

Ruggiero will showcase “Island Style” during High Point Market October 17-22 in The MT Company showroom located on the second floor of 311 N. Hamilton Street in High Point.

Leave a comment


Tonyby Tony Ramos

Those who have played high-school sports will tell you that there was at least one moment when a coach said or did something that had a positive impact that has stayed with them for their entire lives. My moment came during my junior year of high school.

As the third-string varsity quarterback, I spent more time on the bench than did the large jug of water (GatoradeTM was not around when I was in high school). To give you some idea of how bad I was, the only reason that I wasn’t the fourth-string quarterback is that only three of us had tried out for the position. One Friday night, our team was defeating its opponent easily. By halftime, the game was essentially over.

Our second-string quarterback, a sophomore, played the game’s entire second half. In California, high-school football’s rules state that a participant who plays at least two quarters of a varsity game is ineligible to play in the junior varsity (JV) game the next day. Therefore, I was assured of starting the JV game on Saturday.

During the fourth quarter of the JV game, with our team on the 20-yard line, I dropped back to pass—and suddenly saw an opening in front of me through which you could have driven a Mack® truck. Tucking the ball into my left side, I took off for the end zone. As I crossed the 5-yard line, ready to score and put my team ahead, I was tackled on the 1-inch line (neither the 1-yard line nor the 1-foot line, but the 1-inch line) by the right cornerback. On the next play, our running back took the ball into the end zone, and we eventually won the game.

Richard Warren Olson

Richard Warren Olson

Walking through the locker room after the game, I passed the coaching office, where all of the varsity coaches were assembled. One of the coaches called me into the office. “Hey, Ramos: I hear you almost scored,” Coach Richard Warren (Rich) Olson, our offensive coordinator, yelled. “Yeah,” I replied, and I shared with the coaches how I had been stopped on the 1-inch line. In a matter-of-fact way, Olson said, “Ramos, if you had really wanted it, you would have scored.” If looks could kill, Olson would immediately have turned into a pile of dust.

I spent the rest of that season, the next (senior) season, and many years thereafter secretly hating the words that had been spoken by Olson. At the same time, I also discovered that whether in the classroom, at the gym, on the running trail, or in the workplace, I started to put forth greater effort.

I spent more time studying, pushed through extra repetitions at the gym, ran through (not to) the invisible finish line of a run, and worked harder and longer at my job than I previously had. I also developed a more competitive spirit in all aspects of my life. Whether I would admit it to myself or not, in the back of my mind, ever present, were the words spoken by Olson.

Once I got to the point in life when I could handle the truth, I suddenly realized that Olson did not speak those words to belittle me, to put me down, or to demean me. Instead, Olson took the time for a teaching moment with a third-string player, planting the seed that would help propel a backup quarterback always to put forth his best effort, to leave nothing on the field, and to strive for excellence—win or lose.

As business owners, it’s important to be open and honest with your employees and always to seek their suggestions on what you and the company can do to improve, according to Joanne Sujansky, PhD, a management consultant (writing in Specialty Retail Report) who helps business growth and profitability by creating and sustaining what she calls a productive and profitable workplace.

The Retail Advocacy Group teaches retailers “to tell the truth—both good and bad.” Even if you need to deliver bad news or enforce standards, you will always get better results if you are candid, respectful, and truthful. John Morrish, writing for Management Today, reports that being honest is the starting point for running an honest organization. He quotes motivational speaker Larry Johnson: “The worst truth always beats the best lie.”

Olson (a former quarterback at Washington State University), after spending five years coaching high-school football, went on to coach at the college and professional levels. His college coaching career included California State University–Fresno, the University of Southern California, the University of Arkansas, Southern Methodist University, the University of Miami, and Arizona State University. In the NFL, Olson coached for the Seattle Seahawks, the Washington Redskins, the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Minnesota Vikings.

As for me, I decided that I was probably better suited for a career in journalism and publishing than for one as a quarterback. Not only was I better at journalism than at playing football, but there are a lot fewer injuries in journalism and publishing than there are in football. Along the way, any small amount of success that I have achieved in my personal and business life has been due, in part, to Olson and to his speaking the truth to me. Thanks, Coach!

Tony Ramos is the publisher/founder of Patio & Hearth Products Report.

Tony can be reached via e-mail: