The Rug Company was founded in 1997 by Christopher and Suzanne Sharp and has since become an international byword for beautiful, handcrafted and utterly contemporary designs. Twenty years on it is marking its anniversary with commissions for limited edition rugs from four of its longtime collaborators (plus one by Suzanne) that go on sale today.
The TRC20 range is a largely graphic collection. Paul Smith, for example, has taken his signature stripe and given it a slightly freehand twist in the Festival rug (from £1,055 per sq m), by intersecting and overlaying the lines so that each colour group flows seamlessly into the next. Vivienne Westwood has played with tartan for her Highland rug (from £830 per sq m), magnifying the dimensions in order to subvert this most traditional of motifs, while interior designer Kelly Wearstler has gone for a grid of handpainted brushstrokes transformed into vivid silk stripes in her design, Channels Copper (from £1,170 per sq m).
Only Alexander McQueen’s Chiaroscuro (from £2,860 per sq m) breaks with the graphic theme. Inspired by 17th-century Dutch floral paintings, this dramatic floral design is almost photographic in its detail – a testament to the extraordinary skill of the craftsmen who wove it. Meanwhile, Suzanne Sharp has reworked a familiar pattern for her Bonavita (from £725 per sq m), the fifth and final rug in the collection, altering the scale, direction and colour and turning it into something both timeless and utterly contemporary.
Anyone passing The Rug Company’s King’s Road showroom on September 16-21 will be able to see all five pieces displayed in a series of individual room sets, each one dedicated to the rug’s designer and featuring inspirational items relating to his or her visual aesthetic. The rugs speak for themselves, of course, but seeing them in this format further contextualises their journey from concept to finished piece.