Elle Decoration’s March cover declares that colour is bold, brighter and better in an issue that has its first ever dedicated colour section. Here we learn that the Scandinavians are shifting from white, why 1970s shades are hip and how colour effects everything from our moods and emotions to our wardrobes and homes.
Trends from Paris
Where better to get ahead of the design curve than Paris? Fringing and feathers created an eccentric glamour but the most pervasive colour combination was green with terracotta. Maison et Objet was awash with a particular palette than ranged from English rose to Etruscan red. In the midst of all this sat peach which now seems ripe for a rethink.
Trendspotting at Maison et Objet 2018, Paris
Is Peach the new neutral?
If you love colour then you must follow the Instagram of Michelle Ogundehin. This is her edit of images that flow seamlessly from shade to shade with fascinating insights. She believes that we will see ‘more tea rose, lavender, mint, lilac and palest peach emerging as the nouveau neutrals du jour.’
The power of pink
Gabby Deeming, the Acting House & Garden editor talks about the transformative power of colour in her magazine opener. Inspired by her travels to India, she quotes legendary American Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who described pink as the ‘navy blue of India.’ Pink is just as popular here and just seems to reinvent itself.
Pink and orange is fresh and contemporary in the new Squares and Diamonds carpet runner from the Authentic Lucienne collection. The original Lucienne Day colourway looks just as vibrant as it did when it was first woven fifty years ago.
Decorating with green
Katrina Burroughs also welcomes Fresh Spring Green in a colour story in The Sunday Times Home and quite rightly says that, ‘green is the colour we yearn for in February. The natural, wholesome hue is a vitamin-packed pick me –up for tired winter interiors.’ The green for SS18 has grey undertones, like Eucalyptus, a shade that looks perfect with our natural fibre flooring.
Can blue and green be seen?
If you think blue and green should never be seen, think again. It happens in nature so why not in your home. Green is serene and blue calm.
The beautifully woven Octagon carpet runner from the Authentic Lucienne collection shows how vibrant these combinations can be. The knack is to use these in equal measure as captured in Fanny Shorter’s cushions that are available at Pentreath & Hall. Fanny’s work has its roots in traditional British craftsmanship and inspired rural, country holidays reinforced her love of nature.
So, say goodbye to Elephant’s Breath and hello to Farrow & Ball’s new colours Pitch Blue and Calke Green.
There are many colour trends with some that that sound good enough to eat. Try the mouth-watering palette from Plain English named after dishes enjoyed in the breakfast rooms and nurseries of an imagined 19th century home. Whatever your taste, the message here is to veer away from every variant of white and be alternative and do something different with colour.
Did you know you can now search for colour online? see here
If you love colour discover Michelle’s Instagram here
Robin and Lucienne’s daughter Paula Day set up The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation in 2012 to further public knowledge of and access to her parents’ design legacies, and to provide resources for the study of design. The Foundation is run by a Board of Trustees chaired by Paula Day. In this guest blog she tells how she has collaborated with Alternative Flooring to bring authentic Lucienne Day carpet designs back in production, more than fifty years after her mother created them.
Q&A edit, 10 January 2018
What is The Robin and Lucienne Foundation?
I set up the Foundation in 2012, two years after my parents Robin and Lucienne Day died. We are a design education charity dedicated to furthering public knowledge of and access to my parents’ design legacies. My mother was born in 1917 and last year we celebrated her centenary with a hugely successful programme of exhibitions, events, awards and new product ranges, mounted by partner organisations all over the country.
How did the collaboration with Alternative Flooring begin?
In December 2016, we were introduced to Alternative Flooring/ Wilton Carpets CEO James Sprint and Alternative Flooring Creative and Marketing Director Lorna Haigh to explore the possibility of collaborating on a new Lucienne Day carpet range to launch in the Centenary year. I was immediately impressed by the fresh and lively Alternative Flooring brand and by James and Lorna’s creative and positive thinking. The company clearly had a strong identity of its own but they were willing to listen and understand where I was coming from as representative of a design education charity.
Did Lucienne Day have a connection with Wilton Carpets, Alternative Flooring’s sister company?
Yes, there was already a historic connection between Lucienne Day and Wilton, as Wilton Royal was an important client of hers from 1957 onwards. Initially she did colourways for carpets by Wilton’s in-house designers such as Philip Coombes. In 1964, she created her own collection for the company’s ‘Architects’ Nova’ range – these are the designs which are now being revived.
Lucienne Day is best known for fabric, what about her carpet designs?
My mother is best-known for her curtain fabrics, but in fact she also designed patterns for many other applications, including carpets. One of her carpet clients was Wilton Royal. By the time she came to do her 1964 ‘Architects Nova’ collection for Wilton she had a lot of carpet design experience. This is a substantial body of work by one of Britain’s greatest textile designers, which up to now has been very little-known. I’m absolutely thrilled that the public is now being introduced to some of these wonderful designs for the first time.
Where did you find the original carpets?
When I met James and Lorna, I already knew that samples of four of my mother’s 1964 carpets for Wilton were held in the archive of the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. (Some of these carpet samples had been given to the Whitworth by my mother herself, others by Wilton). We had commissioned a photoshoot of all the Lucienne Day items held at the Whitworth, so I was able to show them images of my mother’s historic designs for their own company. I’ll never forget the moment when James looked at a picture of ‘Octagon’ and said ‘that’ll work’!
James promised to check the Wilton Carpets archives for the year 1964. A few days later he sent me images of their handwritten design records for that year, listing four ‘Lucienne Day’ designs, plus the painted artwork for some of them. I was so excited! As soon as we had launched the Lucienne Day centenary year in early January, I set off hotfoot to visit the Wilton factory and see this wonderful archive material for myself. From then on, the dream of reviving my mother’s original carpet designs seemed a real possibility.
Are these vibrant colourways authentic?
Initially I’d understood that the designs would have to be re-coloured to be commercially viable. But when Wilton’s designer Damian Roscoe saw the original carpet samples at the Whitworth he was bowled over by my mother’s colourways, which he thought would be perfect for today’s market! Working with him closely on the new products has been fascinating – he recognized just how subtle and skillful a colourist she was, and took great pains to match each colour exactly, using the dyes available today. A colourway is a bit like a musical chord – one false note spoils the whole harmony.
How did you feel watching the carpets being woven again at Wilton?
I was so moved to see my mother’s carpets being woven again in the very factory and possibly the very loom on which they had originally been made, more than fifty years ago. I found myself wondering if my mother had actually visited the factory and stood on the same spot in 1964.
Why the name Authentic Lucienne?
The name ‘Authentic Lucienne’ was Lorna’s idea and exactly reflects the Foundation’s mission to bring my mother’s original work back into production, so that the people can enjoy her actual designs. On our website page Licensees we celebrate our new relationship with Alternative Flooring, as a company which produces ‘high-quality, authentic productions of Lucienne Day’s original designs.’
Is design integrity and British making important here?
The ‘Authentic Lucienne’ range is an absolute model of what we aim to achieve in our collaborations with manufacturers. These are authentic Lucienne Day designs, produced for the original application, to the original scale and colourways, by the company which originally produced them, in the factory where they were originally made.
The best of 20th century British design has been brought back to life by a company which is maintaining the best of traditional British manufacturing. My parents worked for the British design industry all their lives and would have been proud and glad that their designs are still making a contribution. I should also say that my mother worked only for the very best companies – and I’m confident that we are following her example by collaborating with Alternative Flooring.
Will you have one of these runners in your home?
I’ve ordered a 45cm x 45cm sample of ‘Squares and Diamonds’ on the Alternative Flooring website.
I can’t wait to receive it! I think the intricate pattern and glowing fuchsia colourway will be absolutely perfect in my bedroom, with white walls, timber beams (it’s a barn conversion) and of course Robin Day furniture!
Q&A edit, 10 January 2018
Find out more about The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation here
The Authentic Lucienne collection becomes part of the new Quirky Runners collection, explore the collection here
Discover more than one hundred shades of grey….
Nothing says cool quite like grey. It has been described as the new black; but it is certainly the new neutral and comes in many shades at Alternative Flooring. A colour online section called Gorgeous Greys will help you select from over 100 shades!
From barely there and mid tone charcoals, patterns in greys are easy to live with. Working as a neutral, greys work wonderfully with highlight colours. Warm greys with a hint of pink is perfect for bedrooms, a white wall balances out a dark grey carpet or layer grey tones to create texture.
What are the new grey shades?
Barefoot Ashtanga Silk carpet in wool with silky highlights tempts you to rediscover toe-touching luxury. This is deep pile carpet with its subtle silvery greys that brings a touch of discreet glamour to interiors.
Barefoot Taj is a patterned velvety soft carpet in exotic greys from Bageecha dark grey to Rauza cream and grey.
Why patterns work well in grey
Alternative Flooring brings great British pattern to our floors with its award-winning Quirky B collection.
Capello Shell Mist or Strawberry Thief Trellis from the Alternative Flooring with Liberty Fabrics collection give a crafty feel to carpet inspired by William Morris where pattern in tonal greys translate beautifully on floors. It works as grey is seen as a neutral and is naturally easy on the eye.
Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring had fun with greys pairing this colour with seventies shades in geometric cubes, Trellis and Tetra shapes.
How to make grey shimmer around your home
Alternative’s natural fibres with hints of grey given a fresh twist to natural sisal flooring. Sisal Metallics Aluminum introduces silvery shades with a natural shimmer.
See our Gorgeous Greys here
Wool ushers in not just warmth and cosiness for autumn but a whole feast of natural goodness. October is the month of Wool Week, an annual Campaign for Wool celebration of this traditional thread and how it is steeped in stories told by generations and interpreted by modern designers. Campaign for Wool’s Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
Why choose wool in the home
Flooring is where wool excels. Let’s spin some of the benefits of wool carpets in the home. Practically speaking wool is resilient, stain resistant, flame-retardant, a natural insulator and as a soundproofer brings much welcomed peace and quiet to interiors.
For eco-lovers, it is naturally sustainable. Grown on sheep which graze freely, wool is 100% natural, breathable and biodegradable. In design terms wool has the bounce-back factor, holds colour brilliantly and is beautifully tactile. In a word, it’s the wonder fibre.
How to use wool on floors
Wool is warm, natural and soft underfoot. Whether you spread it across a whole floor for wall-to-wall opulence, create generous oversize bespoke rugs or have fun with runners, wool is as versatile as it is vibrant.
Wool carpets give a wonderful sense of cosiness. We tend to choose tactile fine or chunky wools in plain or semi-plain design in a calm palette in bedrooms. This is the one room where you could invest in deep pile, luxe carpet.
Hallways are generally long and thin so a runner-style rug on painted treads is perfect. More of us want a wool on our stairs as it makes for an interesting and hardwearing entrance. Bordered semi-plains are popular, patterns make am entrance or multicolours are great for kids.
Downstairs we cross into braver territory with interlinked living spaces. Pattern makes grown-up stylish statements and a generous bespoke wool rug on wood flooring is hard to beat. Family sitting rooms are crying out for patterned, easy-care wool carpet. It is pure comfort and joy plus it really does hide the stains. Children just love rolling around on wall-to wall carpeted floor.
A good tip, whether you go plain or pattern or a happy mix is to choose a slightly darker colour on the ground floor, where people might be wearing shoes, and take it gradually paler as you go up.
Where interiors and fashion meet
Wool is a friendly fibre. The Wool Fusion pop-up showed that wool can be cosy and cool in fashion, furnishings, fabrics and flooring. Margo Selby with Alternative Flooring unleashed strident stripes while the work of Alistair Covell, Adam Blencoe and Marine Duroselle, Beatrice Larkin, Wallace Sewell, Jane Knitted Textiles, Catherine Aitken and Jessica Light bring wool to life.
AND finally, watch out for the return of the simple blanket. From those we curl up with on the sofa, to those we wear, it’s the accessory of the season with models bored of carrying a bag, grabbing a woolly throw instead. Wool Fusion also reflected the global nature of
HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool which set out to put wool in the consumer spotlight. Hasn’t it done well!
Wool Fusion reflected the global nature of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Campaign for Wool which set out to put wool in the consumer spotlight. A highlight event was An Alternative Fusion – Lorna Haigh of Alternative Flooring and Margo Selby discuss wool and the power of collaborative partnership, skills and craft in Britain today. We filmed them in conversation. Watch here
Browse our wools online
Great British designers love stripes.
We have artists and their stripes with Bridget Riley, the fashionable Paul Smith barcode and now we have designer stripes for interiors, beautifully crafted by woven textile designer Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring. These are design-led stripes – a super-size bloc, slim pencil and classic ticking, that take on the personality of the designer-maker.
The Margo Selby Stripe zings with character and seafaring shades
I have always been inspired by stripes and like to incorporate them in my designs. For me stripes are intrinsically linked to weaving and the process of weaving, which is linear by nature. Margo Selby
Why do we feel at home with stripes?
Stripes are familiar. They are commonly seen all around us in nature, emblems, clothing. They never go out style. The stripes in this collection are very versatile. The same design would make a striking statement as both a carpet or a runner and the different designs have been created to mix and match through a home to define different zones whilst linking the spaces.
How to have fun with stripes.
One tip is to go for the fun factor and play with vertical and horizontal together or use statement stripes in living spaces and ticking in narrower areas such as stairs and hallways.
Think about how you wear stripes. You can team a colourful stripe floor with a plainer wall just as you would a Breton tee under a crisp white shirt. Remember the height-enhancing illusion of vertical stripes in fashion can be used in the home too.
During the 60s and 70s, more and more people started to wear stripe as a symbol of rebellion. Alternative Flooring brings this rebellious attitude to its Rock ‘n’ Roll stripes to let your inner voice strut its stuff with texture and tone.
Parklife is the perfect partner to a leafy interior, blending sage greens and natural tones with flashes of blue, yellow and a hint of pink. Perfect Day is a classic to enjoy in navy, black and natural stripes with streaks of happy yellow. High Voltage is the upbeat number with splashes of neon red, yellow and aqua highlights mixed with shades of grey and black.
Kiss is feminine and fun. It is easy to fall in love with its on trend shades of powder pink and lipstick red with soft greys. The Dulux Colour of the year 2018 in Heart Wood, a heathery pink, warm neutral that will make a gorgeous backdrop for Kiss and bring a fresh but comforting vibe into your interiors. And like stripes, it is incredibly versatile.
Finally, did you know that there is #NationalStripesDay? Well, as far as we’re concerned, there’s a reason to wear stripes 365 days a year and we think stripes give an effortless vibe to your home too.
Browse our new Margo Selby Stripe
Browse our Rock ‘n’ Roll Stripes
Images from top left to bottom right: Rock ‘n’ Roll Kiss rug, Rock ‘n’ Roll Mr Blue Sky rug and the new Margo Selby Stripes collection. Floral and Stripe fashion designs from Vogue’s Ultimate Spring/Summer Trend Guide 2017: Marques Almeida, Christopher Kane and Paul Smith catwalk shows
How to work the florals and stripe trend
Forget stars and stripes, florals and stripes make the perfect pairing this summer. Pattern play is all the rage on the catwalks walks with eye-popping florals mixing with stripes in every which way. It’s a winning fashion combination that is inspiring interiors too.
Here’s six tips on how to mix, match (and clash) patterns like a pro
Make one of the prints a neutral. Stripes and in particular tonal or mono stripes (and yes leopard prints count in this tip) are considered neutrals in fashion so used as an easy base to add more floral pattern too.
Mix florals and stripes but when using two or more different prints the trick is to share at least one colour, that will bring the look together. You can also avoid a print mash up by staying in the same colour family.
Choose one print to dominate and one as the main accent. Go big on florals and small on stripes or vice versa.
Beware print mixing can make you dizzy
Wear one print allover but change the colour. Same print, different colour, works every time! Or if you want to use the same pattern invert the colours.
In interiors, it is always a matter of scale and balance. Mix prints of different scales. Play with size, the same print in different scales works wonders. Choose one print to dominate and one as the main accent.
Spots and stripes always work so take it a step further this season and go for the floral and stripe combo. It will make your wardrobe and home super happy.
If you love mixing your prints then enter our competition for a chance to win a classic striped rug and contemporary floral cushions to brighten up your home.
Let rugs and cushions be your friends when accessorizing your space. Material Girl, Imogen Heath is a British designer who creates decorative patterns on luxurious cushions handmade in her studio. Alternative Flooring loves rugs and the Mr Blue Sky design from the award-winning Rock ‘n’ Roll wool stripe collection will cheer up your home whatever the weather. The rug and cushions look great together. It is a match made in heaven and one that you can now win! Enter comp here
Browse our collections!
Images from top left to bottom right: Designer Margo Selby, Margo Selby’s hand-woven framed artwork, detail from Margo Selby’s framed artwork, coloured yarns, carpet rolls of new Margo Selby Stripe collection and stills from the creative photoshoot.
Why we love designer stripes
From seaside to ticking, stripes never really go out of style. The new Margo Selby Stripes for Alternative Flooring take this classic design staple in fresh directions. We talk to one of our favourite collaborators, the award-winning woven textile designer Margo Selby about her latest collection for Alternative Flooring.
AF: Do you enjoy collaborations?
MS: I have always been enthusiastic about collaborations. I see it as an opportunity to learn from new perspectives and enjoy working with other brands to enhance their product offering with colour and pattern.
AF: Are Alternative Flooring fun to work with?
MS: Alternative Flooring is a really inspiring British brand. They are focused and creative in their approach to design and product development. They have great ideas and then they work quickly to make them happen so they stay at the cutting edge of flooring design.
AF: Who and what inspires your ideas?
MS: I have always been inspired by stripes and like to incorporate them in my designs. For me stripes are intrinsically linked to weaving and the process of weaving, which is linear by nature.
For the Margo Selby Selby Stripes collection, I drew inspiration from my handwoven artworks and the palettes which have developed as a result of creating these. The work of the Bauhaus weavers has always been an inspiration to both my designs and design process. Like them, I am equally passionate about creating work which celebrates weaving as an art form as well as developing ideas in weaving which are suitable for industrial production. I worked on many yarn wrappings which I usually use as a starting point to designing a warp, these became the designs for the carpets. I explored all sorts of stripes, from traditional ticking to rhythmic multi stripes in order to get to the final selection.
AF: What was the brief for this stripe collection?
MS: I loved the freedom of the brief, I was specifically encouraged to bring my own colour combinations. ‘We love your colour sense – design us a stripe collection!’
AF: Briefly describe the design process?
MS: The designs for this project were originally created by hand in my studio by methodically wrapping coloured yarns around large strips of card. These are called card windings and are a common tool used by weavers to experiment with different stripe combinations. Lots of these were produced at the start of this collaboration and I went through many different options and ideas for combination, scale and colour before narrowing it down to three different stripe designs. Once selected I then worked into colours to create three colourways in each stripe pattern.
AF: Would you design runners different from carpet?
MS: The stripes in this collection are very versatile and the same design would make a striking statement as both a carpet or a runner. The ticking stripe could be a fabulous stair runner! The different designs have been created to mix and match through a home to define different zones whilst linking the spaces.
How to use colourful stripes in your home
AF: Tell us about selecting colours?
MS: When designing the Margo Selby Stripes, I was looking for a combination of stripe designs and colours to create a varied, balanced collection which could co-ordinate harmoniously. I wanted to ensure that there were clear contrasts between the stripe patterns, juxtaposing large even bands with small intricate repeats. I have carefully designed the palette so that the striped carpets will work in large areas within a home and complement the other articles used in the space. In production, we worked with an inspiring manufacturer who could handle the complex multi-coloured designs without limitation.
AF: Did living by the coast inspire this collection?
MS: Living by the coast there is an inevitable influence from my environment. The blue palette reflects the shoreline and landscape with its soft blues and greys. The yellow and grey palette is much gentler than some of the palettes I worked on before I relocated to Kent. These soft subtle shades of ochre and grey have developed in my artworks over the past few years and have influenced this collection.
AF: What do you love about Whitstable?
MS: Whitstable is a thriving community of passionate creatives which has resulted in a town bursting with vigor for good food, music, design and the arts.
AF: Sum up your interior style in three words!
MS: Playful, eclectic, crafted.
Coming soon! Margo Selby Stripes comprises nine stripes; three blocstripes, three pencil stripes and three ticking stripes in Sun, Surf and Frolic shades.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth visits the RHS Chelsea Flower show in London, Monday May 22, 2017. Photo Credit: RHS Special Events
Discover our alternative red carpet
Floral fashion is in full bloom at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and our Queen is the fairest of all the Royal visitors. We always anticipate what she will be wearing.
Here at Alternative Flooring we are blushing with pride. Why? Well because we made the floral ‘alternative red carpet’ that The Queen walked along at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Charity Gala Preview on Monday 22 May. Yes, she stepped on our Flowers of Thorpe, a famous Liberty floral pattern expertly woven into glorious carpet for the first time by Alternative Flooring. We even sent swatches of the carpet to the Palace to inspire Royal fashion.
The story began when RHS Chelsea Flower Show spotted our award-winning carpet design in House & Garden and asked if they could collaborate with Alternative Flooring on the grand Gala entrance. Alternative Flooring then made the 19 linear metre piece which was expertly cut in two to create a resplendent 38 linear metre runner. It is a bit of a fairy tale complete with a good Queen and a happy ending.
Images from top left to bottom right: Members of the Royal Family seen arriving at the RHS Chelsea Show in the following order. The Royal car, Queen Elizabeth, Kate – The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice, Prince Edward with Sophie – The Countess of Wessex. Images © RHS Special Events
Explore floral fashion on floors
Flowers of Thorpe is a classic Liberty floral, created in the 1970s but emulating the wonderful small flower designs, which were so popular at Liberty in the 1930s, and a style the brand has become synonymous with. This joyful pattern is now re-imagined as carpet and made in Britain– where it is woven on axminster looms in Wilton, Salisbury.
Giving this desirable Liberty Print a new visualisation as flooring brings it into our interiors in a refreshing way, that can follow a contemporary or vintage path.
Florals are in fashion with summer catwalks loving these go-to prints. While you can take inspiration from the shows few of us ever go head-to-toe in flower power. The same is true for homes.
How to use floral carpet in the home
Flowers of Thorpe is a pattern that sets the decorative scheme of a room. If spread right across the floor, then pick a colour in the pattern for plainer walls and furnishings. There are eight colours to choose from – green, red, cream, yellow, coral, pink, teal and blue.
If used as a runner or bespoke rug with space to breath, then shake up your scheme and go for more pattern but of a different scale on walls, furniture and accessories.
Florals big or small, inside or out just make us happy. We couldn’t be happier that our Queen is walking on Flowers of Thorpe, Summer Garden at the world’s most prestigious show and pinnacle of the horticultural calendar.
This month, all at Alternative Flooring just want to say it with flowers.
Visit RSH Chelsea Flower Show website
Images: Quirky B Lattice and Cube Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring; Flowers of Thorpe Liberty Fabric with Alternative Flooring; Chainmail Ashley Hicks for Alternative Flooring and Fair Isle Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring
We are all crazy for collaborations. From Topshop and Wedgwood to the Dolce & Gabbana fridge and the Fendi Chair, fashion brands are stepping off the catwalk and into the world of homewares. These happy partnerships show that two minds are sometimes better than one.
Creative collaborations grab the headlines. It’s a strikingly simple and clever concept that is instantly newsworthy. Brands either want the big names or those individuals on the ascent of becoming a high-profile designer. It is also about someone who is going to bring something different to the table. Someone who can take a collection in a fresh and perhaps a more alternative direction.
Lorna Haigh, head of creative and marketing at Alternative Flooring is making carpet cool. She has scouted some of the UK’s best designers who have added great British pattern to the award-winning Quirky B collection.
Go on work these collaborations in your own home!
Great interior designer style
Ben Pentreath is an A-list architectural interior designer and exponent of English style. His distinctive and playful style draws inspiration from the great practioners of the 1960s and 70s and historical interiors. He also writes a brilliant blog.
Cube, Tetra and Lattice are his designs in Ben Pentreath for Alternative Flooring. These are inspired by stone and marble flooring patterns by the prolific 18th century architect, Batty Langley but now re-worked as carpets in vivid colours that are named after Georgian architects and fuse country-house with contemporary quirky.
‘The designs create three-dimensional patterns that trick the eye and play with space, in a way, which create rich textures for the contemporary English interior. Rooted in tradition, I am always surprised how fresh and modern these classical designs can be, and it’s been a real honour to work with the talented people at Alternative Flooring to bring this collection to fruition.’ Ben Pentreath
Ashley Hicks is another alternative collaborator and interior design icon. His recent ventures include creating sets for the Corian Cabana Club during Milan’s design week, where he indulged in the world of maximalism. He also is a prolific instagrammer!
Giant hexagonals loomed large in the world of his father, the legendary English interior designer David Hicks. A flamboyant personality and bold use of colour (Coca-Cola and Yellow Duster) made him one of the most successful interior decorators of the 1960s. His son has reissued some of his father’s geometric patterns but in new guises. Ashley Hicks for Alternative Flooring is a collaboration that sees hexagons take to the floor with great originality.
‘I was keen to make a hexagon-based design that was new and different, with a random edge to its geometry rather than the usual symmetrical, formal layout. Playing around with this idea, I came up with Chainmail. Having grown up surrounded by Seventies geometrics, I love them, and very much wanted that quality in the design, but mixed with a more contemporary style.’ Ashley Hicks
The other design is Daisy. Inspired by wall-decoration in an old temple in Sri Lanka, it has a punchy, Pop presence that will inject a touch of 60’s glamour into any room.
Why weaves are magical underfoot
Have you used Margo Selby pattern in your interiors? Well she is definitely our queen of weave. You can now find her famous textiles translated onto flooring in her first ever carpet collaboration. Her Fair Isle and Shuttle designs are beautifully crafted in Margo Selby’s trademark three-dimensional style and feature her distinctive graphic patterns.
‘Margo Selby for Alternative Flooring is inspired by a collection of hand-woven silk and wool fabrics developed on my handloom, which have been upscaled and recoloured to make them suitable for flooring. I am excited with my first flooring collaboration and see both carpet and colour coming back into fashion.’ Margo Selby
How to show flowers on floors
Two great British brands that share a rich heritage of design got together to dress our floors – Alternative Flooring with Liberty Fabrics. This is the first time that Liberty Fabrics has used its iconic patterns including for summer florals on a wall-to-wall carpet, stair runner and bespoke rugs.
‘Classic Liberty prints have been expertly woven into contemporary rugs, runners and carpets creating a new visualisation for these iconic designs, bringing them into our interiors in a unique, original and innovative way. Walk on woven heritage gardens, meadows, shells and exotic y created to adorn the floors of both modern and vintage interiors.’ Liberty Design Studio
Collaborations are all the rage. In fashion, they induce shopping frenzy – remember the camping fans for H&M for Alexander Wang) and flooring our collaborations make patterned carpets, rugs and runners super cool.
Be inspired by our creative collaborations
Alternative Flooring’s Make Me A Rug online – Quirky B Spotty Grey, Rock ‘n’ Roll Mr. Blue Sky, Moon Mineral Pinstripe, Quirky B Strawberry Meadow Marigold, Sisal Bubbleweave Gold, Jute Big Panama Brioche, Wool Herringbone Zig Zag. Rock ‘n’ Roll Mr Blue Sky rug with Porcelain and Jot Denim border.
Looking for inspiration – easy updates and finishing touches
If lighting and flooring are the two most important elements when designing a home, then lamps and rugs are the most important accessories in the final decorating sweep. It’s the time to focus on the finishing touches. Here’s how to play with not just colour and pattern, but with your imagination.
Decorating with light
Pooky is all about lamp love and decorative lighting. Like Alternative Flooring they love a bit of quirkiness in the home. Sneaking an accent pattern or dash of colour into a room is great fun, but can often be a bit of a challenge – which is where rugs and lamps can be your friend. After all, Pooky is a term of endearment, a pet name, isn’t it? We asked Tim Doyne, one of the Pooky Directors, how it all began.
“Pooky – sounds like Kooky, or perhaps it conjures up the name of your treasured imaginary friend. Whatever it means to you, we hope that it includes something colourful and quirky. We want Pooky’s lamps and shades to help our customers inject little twinkles of colour around their interiors, easily and inexpensively. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to change your lampshades now and then – just like a new rug transforms everything.”
There are some great lamps bases and shades galore. You can mix and match – pattern with plain, traditional with modern. Perhaps we should all pay more attention to the plight of the table lamp or indeed its floor version both as a finishing touch and more of a statement. Tim suggests opting for, “The Nellie – a really simple ceramic base available in five bold beautiful running glazes. Pair it with a simple parchment shade and you’ve got a stunner that’ll make friends anywhere you place it!”
Styling with pattern and colour
Or you may be hunting for a lamp in just the right colour for your room. The bright sparks at Pooky make it easy for you be confident with pattern or be colour coded. Pooky and Farrow & Ball have got together to offer hundreds of shade and style combinations. Take your pick from 19 wooden lamp bases painted in a choice of 21 of the most popular paint colours from the experts.
There are tips too about which lights to use where. Lamps are a favourite in the bedroom not just for a decorative touch but because they cast a softer, lower level light. This is serious stuff and we need Pooky’s know how here. Tim again.
“In your love of atmosphere, colour and beautiful styling, don’t forget the practical side to lighting. Use metallic shades and pendants when you need to capture the light and push it down in pools for work surfaces or reading areas. But use a gentler fabric and non-directional shades if you’re trying to produce a gentler ambiance for entertaining or relaxing spaces. Little lamps are great in bedrooms but they can also find their place in the otherwise pendant world of the open-plan kitchen, where they can be discreetly tucked on a shelf to bring some gentle warmth.”
Rugs with personality woven in
Whether a new rug is an easy update or finishing touch, it brings colour, pattern and texture to a room and just like lighting, has the power to create a mood. Customised rugs are another fun and easy way to personalise your home.
Decorating with rugs opens up a world of possibilities. Whether they speak softly or shout loudly, rugs let you stamp your personality onto your floor. Everyone can have their creative moment with Alternative’s Make Me A Rug online. There are thousands of floors – wool, natural fibres, patterns and textures and border combinations to choose from. The new Alternative Flooring with Liberty Fabrics collection with iconic designs making fabulous bespoke rugs.
Watch our cool rug video starring the Mad about the House interiors writer Kate Watson-Smyth who shows the five easy steps to creating your rug. In her home, Kate goes wild with the Quirky B black and white Zebo animal print with a dazzlingly bright pink border. Read more on Kate’s blog How to decorate with rugs and here’s one of her top tips.
“Firstly, buy the biggest rug you can afford for the space. Secondly, in the sitting room (for example), a rug should be anchored by the front legs of the sofa (at the very least). A small rug under the coffee table that doesn’t touch any furniture creates an island and doesn’t pull the room together. If you have only small rugs then layer them up to cover a larger space.”
As with lamps you can afford to be bold with rugs as it’s easy to move them around to other rooms or even to change them seasonally.
As Kate says, we change our clothes with the weather so why not some of our soft furnishings and accessories too.
Discover what makes Pooky and Alternative Flooring different
You can browse Pooky’s lamps on their website
If you want to find a lamp in just the right colour and fancy designing your very own rug to match, then enter our competition link
ENTER our fantastic competition for a chance to WIN a statement rug and light here!