It’s only DAYS before The Pink House makes the big move to the Big Smoke. Can’t believe I’m actually going to live in London again – so exciting!
Now, I’m not a patient person. So the fact that I can’t IMMEDIATELY renovate every room in my new home is stressing me out somewhat. The magnolia walls! The beige bathrooms! The laminate floors! ARGH!
But while there’s not much I can do about the colour of the walls or the brassware in the bathrooms in the first few weeks (apparently it’s more important to focus first on finding schools for the kids yada yada), there’s a quick fix for the floors. And that fix is RUGS.
I think this is one of the reasons I love rugs so much – they require zero installation and make an immediate impact on a room (making them great for transforming a rented home). In fact, a rug is often my starting point for a whole colour scheme.
So this feels like the perfect time to have a chat with one of my favourite rug creators, the lovely and hugely talented Wendy from Wendy Morrison Design, whose rugs you can see in situ in The Pink House (and, in one pic, in the fab Fiona from Around the Houses' home) in this post. And as well as selling her designs direct, Wendy has created a collection of rugs especially for John Lewis, which you can see and buy exclusively HERE.
Read on for exclusive info on the inspo behind Wendy’s beautiful designs, plus tips on choosing the right rug for your room, decorating when you have little floorsplashers, and her next big project for John Lewis…
EM: Hey Wendy! Thanks for chatting with me. So to start with, please can you tell us a bit about where you live?
WM: Yes of course. I live in East Lothian, Scotland with Gregor, my big handsome man, and my two lovely cherubs: Woody, 12, and Harvey, nine. We share the house and mostly the sofa with Eddie, a leggy black lurcher, and the garden with two chooks, Cherie and Sylvie.
We think the house was previously a Georgian farmhouse - it has big grand rooms with gorgeous cornice detailing and large fireplaces, but it needs a lot of time and energy to get it how we would really like it. Undoubtedly we will want to move just at the point of completion…
EM: You used to work in fashion - how did you get into rug design?
WM: By accident! I’d just moved back to Scotland from London when I was introduced to a local businessman who had a wonderful little workshop by the sea creating tufted rugs. They needed some design input and asked if I was up for the challenge!
EM: What do you love about rugs?
WM: I love seeing my artwork come to life in the form of a rug - the colours, the texture, the lustre, the carving all help create to real centrepiece for a room. I began with tufted rugs because I could see how much possibility there was in the process: you trace your artwork onto a canvas and then tuft in the colours with yarn; it’s so exciting. I feel it’s important to have beautiful pieces in your home that make you smile - your floor takes up so much space and has so much potential. Rugs help make the most of it.
EM: Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
WM: A lot of inspiration comes from beautiful objects I see. And I love Japanese ceramics, jewellery, clothes, pattern and a lot of their ideology – I’m taking a trip to Japan soon; can’t wait! Plus, as Paul Smith says, inspiration is all around us and I guess it all gets mixed up together…
EM: You produce designs for John Lewis – what’s your next project with them?
WM: I’m currently working on bed linen and cushions. It’s so exciting working on this new medium; I love drawing duvet covers and pillows and thinking about weaves as well as prints. I can’t wait to meet the new manufacturers to discover all the new possibilities. I have also been dabbling with fabrics but this might have to wait until next season…
EM: Which is your favourite rug and why?
WM: I think it has to be Mount Orient (above in The Pink House kitchen), though when my new collection arrives I might change my mind! I have the Mount Orient in our lounge and when I look through the window and see the pops of sparkling colour highlighted in gold on the dark base it makes me happy. It’s a rug that works well in every room, from kitchens to bedrooms. Cats love it too it would seem…
EM: Which is your most popular design?
WM: Mandela Viscose. I knew rug this would be popular when I designed it. I remember feeling excited when it was all coming together: the grey base, the subtle mix of wool and viscose, and the little sparkles of colour in the bird and butterflies. Once it was finished I couldn’t help but add a humungous yellow moon in the backdrop to create another design: Mandela Moon.
I got that excited feeling when I created Flamingo Clouds for John Lewis as well – that’s proved to be one of my post popular designs too!
EM: What’s your top tip for choosing the right rug?
WM: Firstly I would ask, does it make you smile? Then there’s the practicalities of what else is going on in your room to consider; one of the biggest influences is the amount of light the room gets, as the floor could swallow a lot of this if given the chance – so be guided by the light! And if possible make the rug the starting point for a room’s design, rather than an afterthought.
EM: What style is your own house decorated in?
WM: I don’t think I’m following a particular style - I like a neutral background on which I can layer colours and textures to create richness and warmth. It’s definitely not minimalist or Scandi.
EM: Does having kids change the way you see interiors?
WM: Not really. I think it is important and healthy to immerse the little people in beautiful things; it’s part of their education. But we do have a room where all their toys and stuff can be tidied away when necessary. Oh and wipeable paint; what a great invention!
EM: Is it OK to put a rug in the kitchen?
WM: If the space allows, most certainly! Though I would probably steer away from putting one under the kitchen table if you have messy little eaters. A rug is a great way of defining a space and creates a comfy area for little ones to crawl and sit. I had a great rug in our kitchen/living space when the boys were tots. Sadly I had to give it away when it wouldn’t fit in the removals lorry.
EM: Which other designers do you admire?
WM: Currently, as a peer and mentor, I love Ella Doran; she is one smart cookie. I also love the work of Mary Katrantzou; she keeps it fresh whilst remaining very true to herself. One of the many interior designers I admire would be Jorge Canete, I once had the pleasure of visiting his home and studio and it was quite magical. High-end interior architect Tristan Auer’s work is very interesting too - oh what a lovely job!
EM: What’s next for Wendy Morrison Design?
WM: I’m working on a new collection of luxurious hand knotted rugs. There’s this one (see pics above) called Jardin de Chinois, and I’m working on another, a neutral repeat pattern called Renaissance.
Oh and we can now ship my rugs to anywhere in the world!
EM: Thanks for chatting with me, Wendy - can't wait to see your new designs!
This post was sponsored by Wendy Morrison Design, but as always, all opinions are my own. If you’re a brand interested in working with The Pink House, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org