Monday, September 24

The Rug Company: Chris & Suzanne Sharp

The Rug Company has single-handedly inspired a whole new generation of rug lovers, myself included. I love the way rugs add layers and texture to a room, especially the wonderfully whimsical designs from the Rug Company.

It wasn’t always so, as Christopher and Suzanne Sharp, the husband and wife team who set up the company in 1997, can testify. “When we started out, the rug market was all about looking back,” says Christopher. “The only things you could buy were expensive antiques or the faux oriental carpets that your parents had bought in the 1970s. Nobody was looking forward and people were bored. It was clear to us that there needed to be a big injection of interest and design.”

The Rug Company boasts a designer collection from some of the worlds finest, including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Matthew Williamson and Diane von Furstenberg.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
As I consider myself unemployable, I have little choice! I love the variety of what we do and, right or wrong, I like making my own decisions. Travelling, meeting interesting people and working in a craft I feel passionately about, I don’t think it gets much better.

What is your favourite luxury in life?
Being outside at our home in Italy.

What is your most prized possession
Suzanne, Nick, Sophie, Jack and Boo squashed into my 1965 Mercedes.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I am very proud of the Rug Company, the quality of the design, the weaving and material. I think we have created a happy environment where the passion of the staff is evident to our customers.

Whatever we have done, we have tried to do it extremely well... I know we have changed the landscape of the Rug world for the better and what we are creating now will be significant retrospectively.

Who are your style icons?
Christian Liaigre, David Hicks, Gio Ponti, Andrea Palladio, Ilse Crawford and I could list about a thousand more people – let me know if you want me to carry on!

How would you describe your personal style?
Modern, emotional and comfortable. I’m interested in how people feel in a space and I’m into being able to move things around when I have new ideas: the rug is a perfect example of my nomadic approach to decorating.

What is the one thing in life you can’t live without
My family and my imagination.

profile by Ronda Carman


Mélanie said...

Wonderful rugs . I love all of them

Brilliant Asylum said...

I have only recently come to know about the Rug Company as they have been doing amazing work!

As North Georgia is the carpet capital of the world, with endless rows of factories and faceless warehouses, it is so refreshing to see there is a family and heart behind this company. I would love to own one of their pieced cowhide rugs.

Anonymous said...

I love his answer about being an entrepreneur! I know that feeling!!

The Peak of Chic said...

Their rugs are so striking and stylish, but timeless too!

annechovie said...

I really enjoyed this interview because Suzanne and Chris have been 2 of my style "heroes" since I first saw their home and read about them a while back. Their youthful, hip style, ingenious & BRAVE use of color, creative business philosophy and lively family are all incredibly inspiring. Any couple that has the guts to paint their foyer/hall fuschia earns instant respect with me! So nice to read a bit more about them. They definitely have an identity all their own and aren't another sad-sack, blah, colorless flooring option. They have single-handedly managed to inject the rug "establishment" with a much-needed dose of life and style. Here's hoping that the Rug Company continues to flourish!

Jane Flanagan said...

It's easy to forget, in the light of their overwhelming success, how staid and dull the rug landscape was before this duo shook us from our dogmatic slumber... They've certainly paved the way for much more exciting choices!

beachbungalow8 said...

i agree, this has always been a go to for rugs. beautiful 'stuff' (for lack of a much better word, still asleep over here)

Habitually Chic said...

I LOVE the Rug Company and their collaboration with the fashion world. I hope I can afford the Paul Smith rug someday! It's so fabulous!

/// said...

LOVE your work, and featured photography. Thanks for this post!

design dna said...

inspiring folks who do fabulous work. i am really enjoying your interviews and look forward to the book!

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Mélanie!

Isn't the Rug company great BA! I love what they are doing!

Anne I love Chris' too, I can so relate!

Jennifer I'm glad you are back! Chic yet timeless!

ALL THE BEST said...

Anne I so agree and here's hoping that the Rug Company continues to flourish!

Well stated Jane!

I know what you mean beachbungalow8 and it's great to see exciting designs in rugs!

Thank you design for mankind!!

ALL THE BEST said...

Habitually Chic I hope I can afford one (or even two) someday too! I adore the designs!!

Thanks Amy! Glad you are back to blogging!

Unknown said...

Awesome interview - Two things:
First I love how Chris says he considers himself Unemployable! and Two: The description of their style as modern, emotional, and comfortable is so right on the mark. I love them - and their rugs although I am sick with jealousy that they are living in luxury in Italy - my dream. Thanks for the interview.

ALL THE BEST said...

Jackie I love their description too!! Modern, emotional, and comfortable really is what's key when creating spaces!

girl meets glamour said...

My favorite rug company is rug company!!!! Another great interview and I just love what Suzanne had to say esp...I can't live without the same things. Great post!


Unknown said...

How very clever these two people are and I love that they are "forward thinking". Carpets have come a long way since 1997.

Suzy said...

Great profile, I didn't know it was run by a husband and wife team. They have some fantastic desings.

cassandra said...

I literally use their catalog as a coffee table book - the photography in it is gorgeous and the rugs are so inspiring. Another wonderful interview!

Ondo Lady said...

I love their collection of rugs, they are a bit out of my budget but one day..... Nice blog page.