MUNICH: To me a rug is like a perfect coat. It completes a look and if it is of good quality it will last a lifetime, whichever direction fashion might go.
For the opening of RUG COMPANY in Munich I had a chat with Christopher Sharp, co founder of the THE RUG COMPANY in London, and it was great to be inspired by his wife Suzanne Sharp, who is the co-founder and Creative Director and the perfect person to ask how to integrate a great carpet into an interior and let it make a statement.
Your carpet creations always seem to fit in perfectly although they kind of break the rule of an interior. How do you come up with this successfully every time?
We’re obsessive about good design and are always striving to innovate and inspire. We always hope to push the boundaries of rug design, encouraging truly original, imaginative and inspiring pieces.
When designing myself, I write my own rules and feel very comfortable with colour. Most colours work very well together, especially if they are of the same tone, it’s just a matter of experimentation.
Does every room need a carpet?
Most rooms need a rug – a room without a rug can appear unwelcoming and unfinished. It brings a sense of luxury to a room, particularly if it is of good quality and a high standard of workmanship; the colour, pattern and texture lend a feeling of comfort and personality to the room.
Can a carpet be used also instead of a piece of furniture in your opinion? If so, how?
A rug can be a real statement piece around which a room is anchored, or it can be a more neutral design that will blend seamlessly into the space, giving a tranquil appearance. A large rug can unify a room wonderfully, while a number of smaller rugs can break up a room and define different areas.
How do you take care of your carpet?
I would always opt for good-quality handmade rugs over tufted ones because not only do they look so much better, but they will also last for much, much longer. They can be cleaned and repaired almost infinitely and should last a lifetime. Any product is only as good as its ingredients, and we use only the finest hand-spun Tibetan wool. It comes from sheep living at very high altitudes, so the wool is rich in lanolin. When processed by hand, this lanolin is preserved and it not only makes the rug extremely soft, but very durable and naturally stain resistant.
Pattern or monochrome – is there a trick to find out what works best?
Don’t be afraid of colour or pattern, but choose a rug as you would a piece of art. It is very important to try the rug at home before you purchase it; a rug can look totally different at home than it did in the shop and different lighting can change it dramatically.
Personally, I would always go for a plain rug when creating a pared down atmosphere. I think bedrooms should be calm, relaxing spaces and in my own bedroom I have used a beautiful mohair rug for the floor which has no pattern but a sumptuous texture. A handmade rug will last for many years, so you want to choose a rug that you instinctively feel drawn to.