House style

A rug re­nais­sance

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - CONTENTS - Jes­sica Doyle

RUGS ARE OF TEN the sup­port­ing ac­tors of a room: es­sen­tial el­e­ments that add tex ture, pull to­gether a colour s cheme and an­chor fur­ni­ture, but re­main some­what over­looked – not to say down­trod­den. In the case of sev­eral new col­lec­tions launch­ing this au­tumn, how­ever, the fo­cus is on the floor, giv­ing the rug its mo­ment in the spot­light.

The Rug Com­pany has a his­tory of col­lab­o­rat­ing with fash­ion and in­te­rior de­sign­ers on eye-catch­ing cre­ations, and to mark its 20th an­niver­sary this year, it has cre­ated a ‘cap­sule col­lec­tion’ of fash­ion-led designs. Re­leased dur­ing the Lon­don De­sign Fes­ti­val last month, the five-strong col­lec­tion in­cludes an over­size tar­tan pat­tern by Vivi­enne West­wood, a clas­sic strip e by Paul Smith, and a dra­matic dark flo­ral de­sign by Alexan­der Mcqueen, con­ceived by the lab el’s cre­ative dire ctor, Sarah Bur­ton, and re­pro duce d in al­most pho­to­graphic de­tail – not one to be con­cealed be­neath a cof­fee ta­ble.

Also cel­e­brat­ing an an­niver­sary this year is Knots Rugs, mark­ing its first decade. Hav­ing started out rein­ter­pret­ing the work of mid-cen­tury wall­pa­per de­signer Florence Broad­hurst, Knots founder Bon­nie Sutton has turned to con­tem­po­rary art, re­pro­duc­ing paint­ings by Michal Cole, Arthur Lanyon and Ge­orge Mor­ton-clark. Hand-knot­ted in Nepal from wool, silk and net­tle, the rugs range in style from blurred wa­ter­colour to Miró - e s que mod­erni sm. Sutton de­scribes them as ‘art for the floor ’, but they wouldn’t look out of place on a wall.

Sim­i­larly fus­ing tra­di­tion with modern de sign i s Jen­nifer Man­ners, a for­mer tele­vi­sion news re­porter who turned to rugs five years ago, cre­at­ing bold, geo­met­ric mo­tifs in­formed by her trav­els. Tap­ping into the cur­rent trend for nat­u­ral stone, her new col­lec­tion plays with the senses by im­i­tat­ing gran­ite, quartz, moon­stone and mar­ble in soft, hand-knot­ted Hi­malayan wool and bam­boo silk.

Mean­while, Luke Ir­win has dug deep for in­spi­ra­tion: new ad­di­tions to his Mo­saic col­lec­tion were in­spired by the floor of a Ro­man villa, the re­mains of which were dis­cov­ered by chance be­neath his Wilt­shire home in 2015.

Right From £6,385, Alexan­der Mcqueen for The Rug Com­pany (therug­com­pany.com)

Left £12,090, Arthur Lanyon for Knots Rugs (knot­srugs.co.uk). Above £15,783, Luke Ir win (lukeir win.com).

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