Clerkenwell Rug Studio provides a platform for interior designers and architects to design exclusive rugs for their clients. inDesign talks to founder, Rachael Connolly, about what is trending within the Luxury bespoke rug and carpet industry.

Can you tell us about some of the exciting projects you have been involved with?

We recently collaborated with Gensler Architects on a fantastic project for Adobe’s new flagship office, The White Collar Factory, in fashionable Shoreditch. The Adobe building follows sustainable design principles and Clerkenwell Rug Studio was delighted to deliver rugs made from natural fibres by our exceptionally talented British craftsmen. We have also worked with Havvas and various private banks and media companies.


What are some of the popular design trends you saw in 2017 and what do you think will be popular in 2018?

We have seen some very abstract and organic designs. However, all of our rugs are so different, being uniquely made for each individual client. In the Commercial sector this year we have worked on many executive client areas in banks – they all want a Private Members bar which feels luxurious, cosy and warm.

The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet which will be very interesting! Copper and gold will be seen along with lush velvets and deep, rich colours. We have also noticed that terracotta, rich browns, deep pinks and burgundy with splashes of orange and bright blue are trending. Terrazzo marble, Herringbone, retro patterns, cubes and African print have just blown up!


Have you witnessed any growth within the Commercial sector?

We have seen a massive rise in rugs in Commercial interiors. For example, in 2014 only 40% of our business was in Commercial offices, mainly for large receptions, but in 2017 it rose to 95%. It was rug mania – rugs for break out areas, cafes, meeting rooms – rugs galore!


What process is involved when working with a client?

The process is a simple creative journey. First, we meet up with the designer at either their office or at Clerkenwell to discuss the design brief. We educate them on the manufacturing process and discuss the five different textures we offer which can be used to create unique rugs for their clients. These are Velvet cut pile, Loop pile, Tip-sheared loop, Twist pile and hand sculpting to create a 3D look. The designer then chooses from our stunning Chromotone Colour boxes. We can match to Corporate Colours, Pantone and RAL and provide hand trials in colours and textures. Artwork can be provided to scale for client sign off, hand painted by a talented graphic artist. Our lead times are fantastic at 6-8 weeks which fit in with most ordering.


Rachael, why do designers and architects choose to work with Clerkenwell Rug Studio?

Since starting CRS in 2014, I regularly ask my clients for feedback as my aim was to create first class service, from enquiry to delivery and after-care. They frequently comment on our speedy responses to enquiries. We provide a friendly and educational experience, encouraging designers to boldly go and design their own rugs for their clients – it’s another string to their creative bow!

With 15 years’ experience in the flooring industry, I have a great amount of knowledge which helps me advise clients on specification and how rugs can be fitted to make sure they are fit-for-purpose. Clerkenwell believes that rugs not only should be stunning, but also durable and long lasting.


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