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Interior designers on rugs: Part 1

With people currently spending more time at home, the home environment is bound to be under more scrutiny than before. COVER are of course strong advocates of the power of good rugs and the transformative effect they can have upon a space. Here, celebrated interior designers—many of whom have also designed rug and fabric collections themselves—share the ways in which they like to get rugs to work for their projects.

India Mahdavi

India Mahdavi

India Mahdavi

The Iranian-French self-proclaimed ‘polychrome and polyglot’ opened her Paris studio in the year 2000, followed by a showroom in 2003, the Petits Objets boutique in 2011—a place to promote a range of crafts and ancestoral techniques as well as her signature colour palette—and, in keeping with her ever expanding oeuvre, she has just opened another premises ‘halfway between a window and a gallery’. The experimental, adaptable and much-lauded architect/designer has a colourful approach to a diverse range of projects, including two rug collections which followed her swiftly-iconic and pioneering use of pink in The Gallery at Sketch. Her radical use of soft saturation exemplifies her inspired, joyful approach to design which means she is as comfortable designing a sushi restaurant as a fine art exhibition as a shop as a chair as a rug.

The Gallery, Sketch, London, 2014

The Gallery, Sketch, London, 2014

“In my work, I strive to give meaning to tradition through a contemporary vision; integrating know-how and enhancing heritage is part of my design journey. A rug defines a space within a space, it sits a room and its furniture down and provides a sense of comfort. It gives a room another dimension, certainly more depth. Both of my rug collections are about abstracting a garden, as with traditional Iranian rugs. Jardin Intérieur for Cogolin plays with repeated graphic patterns and flat-tint colours in relief; Garden of Eden for Golran is about rediscovering the idea of a garden of paradise in which the wind gushes. Both carry a very rich colour palette to add joy to a room. I love colour the same way I love people: truly, radically, generously; in fact, I am more shy with people than I am with colours! Even though I feel that the rug chromosome is embedded in my DNA due to my oriental heritage, I am no specialist. I simply try to channel a certain interpretation of joy— which is the case with all my projects.”

Drew McGukin

Drew McGukin

Drew McGukin

Drew McGukin Interiors of Chelsea, New York deliver projects in and around Manhattan, the Hamptons, North Carolina and the west coast of the US. The company’s confident application of textiles has gained the respect of brands such as Sunbrella and Robert Allen who have commissioned Drew McGukin spaces to showcase their fabric collections.

Soho loft by Drew McGukin, over-dyed rug from ABC Carpet & Home

Soho loft by Drew McGukin, over-dyed rug from ABC Carpet & Home

“So, the old rule is start with the rug… Funny enough, I always do rugs last! I do believe rugs and textiles can be considered art. I believe they are often the most impactful elements in the room. Holiday House 2015 was a unique opportunity to showcase a new fabric line by Robert Allen with whom I partnered. The directive was to showcase as many new fabrics as possible and explore how they could work beautifully together. That room was all about layers and what I often hashtag as #patternonpattern— the concept of balancing competing patterns by combining them. Combining patterns well is a true art form! I’d say anyone who follows my work gets that I’m a pattern junkie. Almost all of our clients are striving to achieve something other than what I call ‘off-the-shelf’ design. Our people are truly invested in the artistry of fabrics, rugs, furniture, hardware, etc. Our clients desire unique spaces defined by textural elegance, sculptural juxtaposition, timeless functionality and some kind of unexpected point-of-view.”

Courtney McLeod

Courtney McLeod, founder and principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design, New York City

Courtney McLeod, founder and principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design, New York City

The founder of Manhattan-based interior design studio Right Meets Left combines a practical approach to projects with creative flair. With her vibrant aesthetic, it is no surprise she was chosen as last year’s High Point Market Style Spotter.

Junior League of Detroit Show House, Right Meets Left Interior Design

Junior League of Detroit Show House, Right Meets Left Interior Design

“I use rugs and textiles primarily to pull together and reinforce a colour scheme in a room. My favourite rug designers include Inigo Elizalde, The Rug Company and Crosby Street Studios. I like to play with scale in a rug—either very large or very small. Texture is a critically important part of our design style. We utilise a kaleidoscopic mix of colour, pattern and texture to create magical environs for our clients. I often find texture to be underutilised as a powerful tool in colour and pattern focused design schemes. For me, the tactile experience is what makes great design liveable design. Floors are a great place to play with pattern scale and pull together all of the colours in a design scheme.”

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