Something a little different for you today as instead of the usual beautiful rooms post I have a beautiful product to show you. This has been the result of months of work and meetings and I’m so happy to finally reveal to you Quirky Bloom, a carpet I have designed in collaboration with Alternative Flooring, in all her floral glory. A wool carpet made in the UK, it joins VIta*, the sustainable sofa I created two years ago.
Some of you will remember I used their Quirky Spotty Damson in the old house where it welcomed me in every day for 12 years and never looked old or tired. When we bought this new house I knew that Spotty would be a hard act to follow. And, as regular readers will know, I have long said that the hall is one of the most important rooms in the house as it’s the first thing you see when you come in and it sets the tone for the rest.
So, I spoke to the team at Alternative Flooring about what might work in the new house. And I expressed the desire for something floral this time, noting that I hadn’t really seen many modern designs in colours that would work for my more muted palette.
The result was something along the lines of “Well come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough” – only much politer and, if I’m honest, a bit vaguer.
Never one to pass up an opportunity, however loosely expressed, an hour later I had a set of sketches. A week after that I was told my design was good enough to be discussed at an internal meeting. A few weeks after that came the news – Quirky Bloom was Go. Now obviously there was a lot more to it than that but, in short, meetings were had, commerciality was assessed, sketches were rendered and then scaled. And colours were chosen.
Which is how I came to find myself, a couple of months ago, at the carpet factory to see my design come to life.
There’s nothing I love more than a factory tour and it was utterly fascinating and somewhat hypnotic. Like many British factories, the skilled staff had been getting older and it was hard to find replacements. The factory has made a real effort to train up young talent and the result is a young team and a really buzzy feel around the looms.
They were all really excited (or gratifyingly polite) about my design too, pointing out that while the pattern is flamboyant there are only three colours and they are soft and muted making a bold design that is easy to live with. I was also determined to have the daisies in a random pattern to look like they are tumbling down the stairs rather than marching in regimented rows.
This also helps with curving stairs as it allows the pattern to flow around the twists and turns without becoming distorted which would happen if it was all straight lines.
A few weeks after my factory visit the carpet was fitted in my own house and you see it here in Tiramsu, one of six colour ways. I hope you like it. I deliberately kept the walls and bannisters simple to let the carpet stand out but you could, of course, add more colour and create something really rock and roll.
To see the other colours – Gelato, Polenta, Pizzelle, Oliva and Cavolo – and order your own samples visit Alternative Flooring.
The full collection will be on show at Decorex 8-11 October 2023 (Stand A34) as part of The London Design Festival so add it to your diaries. I will also show you more images nearer the time as well of the rest of the house, which will be in the October issue of Red Magazine (which will actually be out in September).
I’m so thrilled to be working with this award-winning company which has partnered with leading designers including Ben Pentreath and Margo Selby. Their products are made by skilled artisans, fitted by craftsmen (mine was hand-sewn into place around the curved steps – shout out to Lordship Flooring – and you can see more in the reel I have posted on Instagram) and woven from British wool and I share their brand values.
Quirky Bloom debuts at Decorex 8-11 October 2023 (Stand A34) Part of The London Design Festival.