Floor coverings to covet, from work-of-art rugs to wood with tales to tell
Tread wisely with cool new rugs
WALKING ON HISTORY
Since establishing wooden-flooring company Ted Todd more than 20 years ago, Robert Walsh has become something of a pioneer. His was the first UK company to make wide-plank oak boards in the 1990s, and he has gone on to create a huge range of designs, from classic herringbone planks to rather more dramatic looks: chequerboard carbonised elm, for instance, or parquet made from slices of oak that show the full cross section of a tree trunk.
But his focus has always been reclaimed wood, and the most interesting floors all have a story to tell. Perhaps the most intriguing from his latest collection are British Columbian pine boards reclaimed from the Old War Office, which were in situ throughout both World Wars, until the building was sold to developers in 2014. The wood has been restored and made into engineered planks of varying widths and lengths, available in a natural, oiled finish that reveals the patina of the wood, or bleached and oiled, which highlights the pattern of the grain. woodworksbytedtodd.com
ARTISTS HAVE THE FLOOR
Following the opening of its first new store in 10 years at Westfield in September, Habitat will open another this week, in Brighton. To mark the occasion, the company has commissioned three local artists to design a rug inspired by their life in the city. Nightswim by Lauri Hopkins is taken from a collage, with coloured geometric shapes against a dark background, hand-knotted in wool. Becky Blair’s Undercliff comes from a collection of pastel drawings, and is hand-tufted – meaning yarn is punched through a fabric base to create the pile – and handcarved with scissors. Finally, Blue Rocks by Sophie Abbott is a painterly design inspired by rock-pool formations, made using hand-tufting and screen-printing. The limited-edition rugs will be available in store and online. habitat.co.uk
Above War Office pine, from £212 per sq m, Woodworks by Ted Todd. Right (From left) Sophie Abbott, Lauri Hopkins and Becky Blair with their rug designs for Habitat (clockwise from left): Undercliff, £400, Nightswim, £500, and Blue Rocks, £450, all 170 x 240cm