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The Austin Designer Bringing Bold Back

Kyle Bunting reveals an unexpected take on the classic hide rug

Kyle Bunting did not plan on being a designer—let alone having an eponymous line of contemporary hide rugs, wall pieces and artwork. When Bunting tells the fortuitous tale of his path to design, he begins with his childhood in Dallas, Texas. Bunting’s father, a businessman working in manufacturing facilities for textile companies, liked to dabble in the creation of hide rugs and art pieces as Kyle grew up. He’d take his creations to the Fort Worth stock show, Kyle in tow, to sell to ranchers. Kyle remembers the enthusiasm that locals had for the unique creations, but at the time, never imagined following in his father’s footsteps.

Designer Kyle Bunting’s contemporary and vibrant rugs

Designer Kyle Bunting’s contemporary and vibrant rugs

Bunting wouldn’t catch the design bug until years after graduating the University of Texas at Austin and moving to San Francisco. Bunting remembers, “I ended up literally waking up one night and just sort of thinking about the carpets [my father] had made and started drawing and envisioning how they could be completely changed. Maybe more contemporary, we could be using color.” These thoughts drove Bunting to jump on the next flight home to Texas, where he asked his dad for a tutorial in his craft. “He transferred the knowledge to me and gave me the business and said, ‘Here, whatever it was, you can have it.’ All the intellectual property and all of the tools, everything, which was really special.” Bunting took his very first creation to Union Street Fair in San Francisco. Since then, his pieces have appeared in luxury hotels, glossy magazines and stunning private homes across the country.

Designer Kyle Bunting’s contemporary and vibrant rugs

Designer Kyle Bunting’s contemporary and vibrant rugs

Now, Bunting will debut something completely new: a bright, surprising take on the hide rug. “We’re seeing a lot more vibrancy,” he says, “Bold is back.” And it’s back, specifically, on the floor. Bunting says the bright new shades came from interior designers’ requests for colorful styles they could add to an otherwise neutral, muted room. “I think they’re treating it as art for the floor, and I couldn’t be happier,” he remarks.

This vivid collection, called Prisma, marks the second collaboration Bunting has completed with renowned New York City–based interior designer Amy Lau. A frequent client of Bunting, Lau often called in custom pieces for her clients. He remembers, “I was so enamored with some of the custom work that we were doing for her that five years ago, I asked her if she wanted to create a collection together.” A huge proponent of collaboration, Bunting frequently points out that his brand’s success wouldn’t be possible without the designers he works with and his team. “The truth, for me, is not until you’re really collaborating with other people and feel that energy of doing something positive together, do you really find that higher level of creative work.”

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