In 2015 we met rug-obsessive Simon, founder of FloorStory, as we were both exhibiting at Design Junction for London Design Festival. There was a mutual love of each others work and we clearly shared the same fun and passion for what we do. He also gives major bear hugs - It was an instant connection. A plan was formed and, after the best part of a year's work, a capsule collection was created. All designs (Embossed, Moire and Roses) are inspired by our Victorian detached home in South East London - an ongoing design muse. We love the impact a rug can have in a home as floor art or as a luxurious layer in a sophisticated scheme, so we were excited to have the chance to create our own pieces.
As you may have read in previous posts, we're renovating and have discovered endless decorative treasures that influenced this collection. Found textures and patterns from the house were the starting point. We then met with Simon and his team of skilled rug craftsmen to learn more about the processes involved and the boundaries of the different techniques we could use. It is always important to us that there is an honesty in the way we work and if the inspiration for a design meets with a making technique then that is the perfect mix for us.
Our 'Embossed' rug is a great example of this. Old textured wallpaper covered many of the walls and ceilings in the house and left a big impact on us with its period charm and classic technique. Embossed is handtufted in NZ wool with the higher pile crafted from Bamboo silk. The raised design is intentionally off centre to give it our own twist on a classic. It's such a thrill to see this design come to life. In the flesh it feels so luxe underfoot and the subtly different pile heights give the piece just the 3D quality that we wanted for the Embossed design.
You know how much we love colour and we haven't held back here with emerald green, Jade, gold, blush pink and indigo blue. But we've also kept real room schemes in mind so that each piece can fit into your home scheme easily as a beautiful layer. The colour process with rug design is quite tricky. For a start there are so many options and then you need to sample colours on small mockups of the rug designs because there is a vast difference between a tiny tuft sample and a huge rug. This took a lot of time to get right as we are so specific about colour, but it was all worth it.
The Roses rug is particularly special because it's hand knotted with a high knot count that gives the finished piece an insanely soft velvet feel. Made from semi worsted NZ wool and pure Chinese silk and hand knotted using 150 knots this is our finest work to date. It took a long time to sample this piece as it is so detailed, but craft like this cannot be rushed. The detailed floral deconstructs throughout the rug until it ends in plain colour. It's sophisticated kitsch with a feel of pure luxury.
Finally there is our graphic take on a classic silk moire on a grand scale. We found watermarked silk, otherwise known as moire, in a bag tucked away in the old house when we bought it and it felt so right to give this an outing as a rug. We reinterpreted the movement of moire silk as a graphic zig zag pattern and used wool and silk again to give the play of light that makes the piece feel like a giant piece of silk on your floor. When the first sample arrived this one was love at first sight and it's so elegant it could work in so many different room schemes.
We have loved learning about the intricacies of the skilled rug making process and working with Simon has been so much fun because his passion for all things floors is insanely infectious. It's so nerve wracking launching our own designs this year (especially when they have been so long in the making) - we hope that you love them too!