As the name suggests, Alternative Flooring is not your average carpet brand. They are determined to stand out, and their stated aim is to be ‘a beacon of creativity’. Their first Quirky collection of runners included spots and stripes for those wanting to dip a toe into patterned waters, as well as tartans and animal prints for the more adventurous. The new Quirky B series moves the collection into broadloom carpets for the first time and includes some stunning geometric patterns by British designers Ashley Hicks and Margo Selby.
Ashley Hicks contributes Chainmail and Daisy, both available in three colourways. Chainmail is a handsome geometric, and each colourway is named after a different kind of chain link. The dramatic Chainmail Figaro combines red, plum, black and ecru. Chainmail Venetian uses light and dark brown, moss green and ecru. And Chainmail Panther is a surprising combination of black, red and ecru on grey.
Daisy is a floral with a vintage tile-like motif, made up of repeated rows of large and small flowers in shades named after different members of the daisy family. Daisy Gerbera has a subdued palette of black, brown and ecru. Daisy Gloriosa also has a muted palette of natural brown, duck egg and brown whilst the bolder Daisy Cosmos has a bolder 1970s vibe in red, purple and dark brown.
Commenting on his experience of working with Alternative, Hicks described the experience as a refreshing change: ‘I love Alternative’s fresh, no-nonsense approach – so different from the usual designer carpet world.’ Discussing his contribution he says: ‘I love pattern, and especially on the floor. It gives instant character and vitality to a space. Chainmail is a play on traditional hexagon grids, and its interwoven chain links give a dynamic edge to a room. Daisy, inspired by wall-decoration in an old temple in Sri Lanka, has a punchy, Pop presence that will inject a touch of 60s glamour into any room.’
Margo Selby contributes two designs: Fair Isle and Shuttle. Fair Isle’s lozenges and diamonds come in three colourways, each named after a female weaver. Fair Isle Annie uses a punchy duck-egg turquoise, moss green, grey, brown on ecru, whilst the smart Fair Isle Sutton combines a warm black, brown, and two shades of grey on ecru. Fair Isle Reiko uses a sophisticated palette of deep red, plum, purple and grey on ecru.
Shuttle is a rhythmic geometric criss-cross design, named after the tool that carries the thread across the weft yarn in weaving. The three colourways are named after male weavers. Shuttle Silas combines turquoise with warm black and two shades of grey. The darker Shuttle Jack has more black and adds a purple-brown into the mix, whilst Shuttle Peter is purple, plum and grey on ecru. In all three the contrasting colours create the illusion of depth.
Selby explained how the designs came about: ‘The collection is inspired by a series of deflected double weave hand-woven cloths that I have been developing on my hand loom in the studio; the designs were originally produced as soft silk and wool fabrics and have been blown up and re-coloured to make them suitable for flooring.’
Selby and Hicks’ designs are complemented by five new in-house designs: Spotty, Geo and Zebo are available as broadlooms for the first time, not just as runners. Zip (an asymmetrical zigzag) and Honeycomb (an octagonal key design) are new additions. The palette reflects that of the collection overall: turquoise, plum and moss green with warm blacks and greys.
All the Quirky B carpets are available now in 3.66m wide Axminster and the Margo Selby runners in 69cm widths. They are made in the UK in 80:20 wool:nylon on a woven jute backing.