“Back in the day, you had segregated dining, kitchen, and living rooms,” says Designer Rugs managing director Laura Furey. “Now, architecture has [turned those] into open-plan areas, but you still need to define these spaces within the open plan, so rugs are technically replacing walls.”
Laura goes on to explain how doing away with wall space has also meant a reduction in walls surfaces from which to hang artwork, and how Designer Rugs has engaged artists, fashion designers, and the like, whose work is translated into the textile form to bring back colour and flair into those open plan spaces.
“We carry a huge array of designs from many creative fields; Max Gimblett, Boh Runga, Zambesi, Kate Sylvester, and many others have had a hand at creating a Designer Rugs collection,” continues Laura.
“The art is going onto the floor. It forms an anchoring that creates a vibe in the house by defining an area. As we custom make all our rugs to suit the space, we can accomplish a very specific design ethos to meet every client’s needs.”
To this end, Designer Rugs uses 100 per cent New Zealand wool that is either tufted or hand knotted in Asian countries, where these traditions have been passed down through the generations — since as early as the 12th century in Nepal, for example.
Why New Zealand wool?
“It is so practical and lasts so long,” says Laura, “but it is not only the durability and the quality; it is also the health benefits.”
Laura explains that many modern ways of building houses, combined with a lifestyle that requires those homes to be unventilated for the majority of the day, result in high levels of heat and humidity.
“That unlocks all the chemicals from the synthetic materials such as nylon and MDF,” she continues. “NZ wool, however, absorbs formaldehyde and chemicals that are in the air. It traps dust and dirt, which are released when vacuumed. It is easy to remove marks and stains, it provides high acoustics, it heats in winter and cools in the summer. Overall, there’s no better product in the world that offers so much.”
This, combined with the fact that it is a local farming industry that, according to Laura, “deserves our loyalty”, makes a wool rug an attractive and highly desirable item that supports the local economy and is delightfully tactile.