Plain and simple, I have always been a curious person. My mother might call it nosy, but I’m going to stick with the term curious.
And as a designer, that curiosity has helped me grow — I ask a lot of questions, I try to find different sources, and I am always keeping my eyes open for new opportunities. When it came to pivoting my focus from interior design to rug design, I quickly realized there was a whole universe out there that I had no clue about.
Thankfully, I had my curiosity to help me through!
For the last ten years, I’ve been learning, exploring, and educating myself on everything I can in the world of rug design. It has been a decade of getting acquainted with all the different aspects of rug design and subsequently experimenting with what I’ve learned.
Our collections have been a great jumping-off point to play, learn, and explore the world of rugs.
What I like to do when designing a rug is to start by answering one question — how do I want the rug to move in a room? Because to me, the way a rug sits in a room is all about movement — it moves your eye around the room which is an integral design element for any space.
In designing a rug, the movement starts with the fibres you choose. The obvious place to start is wool, but there are so many different types of wool — hand-spun, mill-spun, you even have combinations where you can do different blends of wool to achieve a different look and feel.
Honestly, I could list 10 or 20 options for you, but there would be 10 or 20 million more I would be leaving out! And once you move on from wool, there are so many other fibres that can be incorporated into a rug.
Combining different fibres can create a finish and a movement that you may not even be expecting.
Take our Northstar rug — a simple compass rose.
I wanted to work with a Persian knot design — it’s a square knot, which plays beautifully with geometry. But did we want to create another carved rug? And how was it going to stand out from the tufted rugs that are being sold at $2.00 a square foot? I didn’t want it to simply mix in with these other rugs, I wanted it to be a beautiful hand-knotted rug — but I needed to find a way to elevate it.
So this is where the experimentation comes in. We started to play with percentage dyeing — where you dye the wool in different percentages to achieve tonality. We also decided that we wanted to mix wool and viscose — tone on tone — to achieve a very subtle speckled effect.
This added a beautiful luster to the Northstar rug in different quadrants —depending on where you stand and how the light hits it, it can almost feel like two completely different rugs.
Through experimentation, we were also able to use fibres to create a rug that was beautiful, but functional. We used our 100% New Zealand wool and then mixed in small amounts of viscose. But we designed it so that when you entered the room, at the highest traffic point, your feet hit the 100% New Zealand wool and the viscose was mixed in throughout so that it wasn’t in the main areas that would create a traffic pattern.
It’s a simple way of combining function, knowledge, curiosity, and beautiful design to create a rug that will not only last the test of time but will also make an impression on everyone who sees it.