A rug renaissance
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).