Rosemary Hallgarten’s Norwalk Showroom
October 24, 2022
Plush textures cocoon Rosemary Hallgarten’s to-the-trade Norwalk showroom and headquarters in cozy luxury.
Text by Tovah Martin
Rosemary Hallgarten readily admits, “I spend most of my time barefoot in my office.” And who can blame her? An alpaca-and-wool rug in Hallgarten’s confetti colorway begs to be walked on. It’s virtually impossible to keep your hands to yourself in her to-the-trade Norwalk showroom. Shelves stacked with nubby bouclé throws entice. A swing chair covered in shearling and an alpaca-upholstered sofa tempt you to snuggle. You just want to wrap yourself in the prevailing textural opulence.
Fittingly, rugs are where it all began for Hallgarten. The London-born designer was seeking a more tactile art form after a brief stint in jewelry making. That was twenty years ago, when rugs were not keeping pace with the evolution of interiors. Hallgarten’s goal was nothing less than “elevating rugs to art for the floor.” Toward that end, she made frequent pilgrimages abroad, which ultimately led to Peru with its alpacas and artisans. Working closely with craftsmen, Hallgarten helps to promote and preserve ancient handweaving traditions.
Hallgarten’s first workspace was in San Francisco before she relocated to Westport and then Fairfield. In 2021, she moved from Fairfield to her Norwalk headquarters, just a year after opening her New York City flagship showroom. Not surprisingly, one of the first things on her to-do list was pulling up the carpet, which revealed concrete floors that are now scattered with Hallgarten’s line of rugs. Except for a few similar tweaks to personalize the space and make it conducive to working with members of the trade, she left the cathedral-ceilinged and glass-walled venue in its original state.
“The building has the soul of an artist,” she says of the space that formerly housed Artists’ Market, a fine art and framing gallery. The bright open layout makes Hallgarten’s neutral-hued nature-inspired line of rugs, fabrics, curtains, and pillows sing. Drawers of samples arranged for easy mixing and matching roll from a central cabinet. Her signature ombré curtains drape and fabric swatches dangle. It’s heaven for the hand.
“I’m always experimenting with different mediums,” Hallgarten says, describing a creative process that yields two new collections a year. “It all starts with a feeling.” At her new Norwalk showroom, designers can reach out and touch the results.
Rosemary Hallgarten, Norwalk, Connecticut