Handmade rugs that commune with nature

Enduring pieces inspired by fleeting experiences

Tania Johnson’s contemporary, hand-knotted rugs tick all the right boxes. They’re intricately hand woven from luxurious materials (a combination of silk, wool and pashmina) and you won’t see the patterns anywhere else, since they derive from photographic images taken during Johnson’s own travels worldwide.

The complex designs are inspired by momentary experiences – the fall of light through branchy shadows, reflections fleetingly glimpsed on water, trees viewed through a misty gauze of rain – and then translated into textural patterns that push the technical skills of Nepalese weavers to their limits. Each rug takes at least four months to make.

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Johnson graduated from London’s Royal College of Art then spent more than 14 years working in the US, designing textiles for Vera Wang, Calvin Klein Home and Donna Karan Home. Now back in the UK, she is building her own collection and offers customisation of the rugs shown on her website (including Reflected Trees, left in picture, and Blur, right in picture), as well as a full bespoke service. Prices range from £715 to £1,800 per square metre, depending on the size and intricacy of the design, with colours, patterns and pile heights adapted to requirements.

Bespoke commissions often start with clients leafing through her large collection of photographs for inspiration. Or she can work with a client to create a design inspired by a photograph of their own. The results are stunning – site-specific pieces whose abstract patterns embrace a very personal backstory. And while they look stylishly contemporary, they will also last a lifetime.

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