Kings of Chelsea

The Tricky Dilemma of Floor Coverings

After you have chosen the actual substance of your flooring material, or come to terms with the original that you inherited with the property (which in many cases is a crime to remove if the property is listed!) the time has arrived to decide what to place over it. Sometimes the sheer beauty of a tessellated wooden parquet ballroom or the rustic charm of a terracotta tiled kitchen requires no additional distraction, but generally, secondary floor dressings are applied. Fitted carpet, rugs and natural grasses are generally the main options, all will depend on the practicality and aesthetics of the space. There are no rules, but in certain instances, logic might dictate the choice. A fine kelim for instance could look wonderful on a shiny poured concrete floor, but may prove slippery and not very hard wearing. 

Often left until the end of a room’s design, there is an argument for a carpet being one of the core features to actually build the room around. In terms of square footage covered, the floor is clearly significant, and the decision on colour, pattern and texture can prove hugely important.

Of course, the opportunity to have bespoke carpets made is greater than ever, and the price has generally come down, though there are major variations in quality with this option. Bespoke is the ultimate way to bring disparate parts of a scheme together as tonalities in furniture, wall coverings, objects and paintings can be reproduced in the carpet. Fitted carpet too can be cut, shaped, and sculpted so that even this solution no longer has the slightly “old fashioned” association it used to carry. Indeed some of the most interesting hospitality interiors of recent years have been based around bespoke fitted carpet schemes. 

The beauty and interest of old oriental carpets cannot be overemphasized. Never entirely out of fashion, these works of art have had a revival in recent years as a new generation of Interior Decorators have once again discovered how they can be combined with contemporary and classical styles, and look at home in both. The sheer abundance of designs, styles and colours in rugs from India, Persia, Turkey and the Caucasus for example are a subject in their own right and offer a world of choice to the canny decorator or interested amateur. Whether purchased new with fiery bright chemical dyes or sourced as antique with soft mellow vegetable dyes, the oriental carpet will always add character. Designs that are variously centralized or “all over” will help to anchor the axes of the room and create a subconscious feeling of either calm or vibrancy

In recent times many companies have been creating progressive versions of traditional designs with unusual tones and materials, as well as working with contemporary designers to create works of art in their own right. There is also a tradition of very fine carpets being hung on walls vertically as you would a painting, where the design and craftsmanship can be considered at a more cerebral level. There is something strangely disconnected about the work of art that is placed underfoot, almost denying the value of the creative input. Much as craft has been traditionally negated as a minor art, the re-evaluation of carpets & weaving as a legitimate art form is well underway. A great way to see the amazing variety of this is in the Hali magazine and at their annual show.

Sisal, seagrass and rush matting can look amazing in neutral schemes and also has a natural irregular feeling that sits very well with rooms that contain curated antique furniture or wooden tribal pieces designed to draw attention as it offers a warmth that comes from organic materials. 

Come and speak to us about any ideas that you might have as we count many dealers in oriental carpets and bespoke makers amongst our contacts, and see for yourself how vital a well-chosen and sourced floor covering can be to the success of your perfect home.