This year’s London Design Festival 2023 is a wrap, and we’re excited to share exciting new releases that made their debut! Modern, colorful rugs from East London rug dealer and design house FLOOR_STORY immediately caught our collective eye. The three new collections the brand dropped are designed in collaboration with Amechi Mandi and Gill Thorpe, and produced through a partnership with talented female weavers from Afghanistan.
For the collaboration, designer Amechi Mandi created six rugs and runners in unexpected graphic shapes. The Waves collection features a great texture through the use of various pile heights that bring a sense of layering and depth, adding to the designs’ illustrative – almost cartoon-like – aesthetic.
Mandi was contacted about his work by FLOOR_STORY Head of Design, Gill Thorpe. Thorpe said, “Amechi’s use of color and pattern really caught my eye, and I could immediately see his approach translating well, into an interesting rug collection.”
Throughout the Waves collection, Mandi references his childhood spent near the ocean. Wave-like, undulating shapes and pastels in pistachio, pink, and amber portray a playful innocence. Each rug is tufted in India from New Zealand wool and viscose, or traditionally flat woven.
The first of two collections from designer Gill Thorpe is CURB, which takes inspiration from paint markings seen across city pavement – distorted and faded, but still incredibly fascinating. Including both tufted and flat-woven rugs, CURB interprets these patterns into playful borders for each design in celebration of the beauty found in irregularity. Thorpe’s mastery of color blending using contrasting shades elevates the collection to total sophistication.
Thorpe’s second collection, Verso, combines traditional hand-knotting techniques with visual references from East London. Hailing from the word versus, meaning turned or changed, the designs pull from the misaligned patterns of manhole covers. Geometric and graphic, the collection uses saturated colors – jade, brick, and burgundy – alongside washed out green, nude, and pink tones.
The rugs of Verso are made by weavers in Afghanistan using Turkish and Moroccan rug knots. This partnership, with a local NGO, aims to create a steady workflow for predominantly female weavers.
To learn more about FLOOR_STORY’s newest trio of rug collections, visit floorstory.co.uk.