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The Alternative Blog

Guest Blog: Ashley Hicks



Ashley Hicks has designed two distinct patterned carpets called Chainmail and Daisy for Alternative Flooring’s new Quirky B – a broadloom patterned carpet collection that launches at Decorex International.  These wool carpets are woven on traditional carpet looms in the UK.

‘I am thrilled to present these new carpet designs. I love pattern on the floor as it gives instant character and vitality to a space, as well as hiding marks! I created the Chainmail design for Somerset House, but its angular geometry would work just as well anywhere.  A play on traditional hexagonal grids, its interwoven chain links give a dynamic edge to a room. Daisy, inspired by wall decoration in an old temple in Sri Lanka, has a punchy, Pop presence that will inject a touch of 60’s glamour into any room. ‘  Ashley Hicks.


Chainmail and Daisy, Ashley Hicks for Alternative Flooring

Here he tells Alternative Flooring why he loves pattern – especially on the floor.

Carpet is absolutely essential in home interiors. To absorb sound, to feel comfortable underfoot or indeed when sat on, to give texture and interest to the floor, there is really no better alternative. Pattern gives added interest, creating instant atmosphere, whether excitement or calmness, and of course it helps to hide dirt and marks. The right scale pattern gives a pace and rhythm to a whole interior, like the underlying beat or tempo of a piece of music. To quote the Big Lebowski, it really ties a room together. Dude!

I’m so happy that the last two decades of turning away from carpet are finally over, and people are no longer insisting on hard floors everywhere. Acoustically, it was awful, but also it gave a cold hardness to so many places. In an age where art has become, ridiculously, a sort of new religious faith, it’s understandable that many people aspire to live in minimalist art galleries, but it’s sad, inhuman and frankly absurd.

People are often afraid of patterned floors, thinking they will tire of them or find them overwhelming. They couldn’t be more wrong. A patterned floor gives a personality to a room, an identity that will grow with time and become part of the life lived in it. It sets up a great background or framework for everything that happens in the space, enabling a rich and vibrant life to take place.

I discovered Alternative Flooring when commissioned to design a room set for Wool House, and my usual carpet supplier let us down but Alternative stepped up and made a new design for me with incredible speed and efficiency. I love their fresh, bright style of presentation and marketing, which is so unlike the traditional British carpet world. As a result I was thrilled to be asked by them to create two new designs to feature in their ‘Quirky’ collection.

Ashley Hicks at home

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. I’m using this design in my own apartment in London, where I’ve painted the hessian-covered walls with Greek muses in an ivy bower against a panorama of Constantinople in 1818. ‘Chainmail’ will provide just the right contemporary contrast to the painting, just as it would work really well with antique furniture.

Chainmail, Ashley Hicks for Alternative Flooring

I then wanted to make a new floral design that had some 1960’s pop feeling to it, but with the more classical, formal quality of ancient Egyptian flower motifs. I was also inspired by a pink and red flowered, painted cave ceiling that I had seen in a temple in Sri Lanka, the pattern designed as a backdrop to a huge recumbent statue of the Buddha. The result was Daisy. I used it in a French actress’s study in Kensington with hot pink-lacquered walls and an orange perspex desk, but it would work equally well in a more sedate setting.


Daisy, Ashley Hicks for Alternative Flooring

Alternative Flooring Quirky B Collection 


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The Edit - home style by Alternative