When The Rug Company enlisted the talent of Jonathan Adler to design a new studio collection, it was a match made in heaven. Internationally recognized for his mid-century modern and global pop-culture take on home furnishings, Adler instilled his geometric shapes, funky color palette, and true craftsmanship into creating a bold and luxe line of hand-knotted rugs. An eye-popping focal piece for any space, small or large, the rugs themselves are textured, thick, and made of lavish Tibetan wool.
To mark the launch, Adler shared his own guide to decorating with Savoir Flair and explained why, when it comes to rugs, bigger and bolder is always better.
What was the inspiration behind the collection?
When something is beautifully made, the design can be quite simple to let the craft speak for itself. I really wanted this to be about simple shapes and perfect colors, so I paired my signature groovy graphics and bold colors with the hand-knotting techniques that The Rug Company is known for. Our collaboration was a dream. The second I saw the final rugs I couldn’t wait to cover my floors with our gorgeous collaboration.
Why did you choose these particular colors?
I’m obsessed with color; it’s one of the best things the world has to offer.
I’m obsessed with color; it’s one of the best things the world has to offer. I used bold colors because the craftsmanship softens them just enough. The colors are bold and chic – people often worry about color not being chic, so they try to be a bit subdued, but ultimately I think color can be stylish, memorable, and life affirming, which is everything design should be.
How would you describe your own personal style and your approach to it with regard to designing rugs?
I can describe my personal style in two words: irreverent luxury. For the rugs, the craftsmanship and construction are luxurious, but the bold graphics and colors keep them from being too serious. Style, craft, and joy are my guiding words.
In a few words, describe the style of these rugs and the style you were trying to achieve?
Bold. Chic. Modern.
And what about the materials?
The rugs are all made from hand-knotted, hand-dyed Tibetan wool. They are made the same way fine rugs have been made for almost two millennia. When it comes to craftsmanship, I always strive to use the best materials, no matter what the product is.
How did you envision using these rugs in a residential space?
Well I know they’d look great all over my house! The rugs are great everywhere – living room, dining room, bedroom – whichever room in your house needs a pop of something chic and luxe.
What would be your tip for someone who is considering buying a rug?
Rugs should bigger and bolder than you think they should be, and more expensive than you think you can afford.
When you’re designing a space, where and when does the rug come into play in your opinion?
The rug should be chosen in the beginning – it’s the foundation of the room. It should set a bold, chic, and idiosyncratic tone, and the rest of the room should take note.
What’s your favorite rug in the collection and why?
The ‘Harlequin Multi’ is my favourite, because it’s joyful – it’s what I have in the dining room of my apartment in New York. Every morning, when I come downstairs and eat my Corn Flakes at my dining room table, I feel chic and kittenish.
Are there any other designers that inspire you or that you appreciate?
I am constantly inspired. I always keep my ears and eyes wide open, but my three favourites of all time are Bonnie Cashin, Alexander Girard, and David Hicks – across all their different media, they have unimpeachably chic and idiosyncratic styles.
As a craftsman yourself, what does craftsmanship mean to you? Is it strange for you to be removed from the production of a product?
I am extraordinarily hands-on with all my collaborations. I’m a potter and a craftsman, and design is what I do with my life. Designing stuff is what makes me happy.