Eyes are particularly attracted to the colour blue – perhaps because it reminds us of cool, calm days beside the ocean – and Tania Johnson’s exquisite hand knotted rugs, which are inspired by her own photography, encompass the serenity of both. Tania, designer and founder of Tania Johnson Design – a company which specialises in luxurious, hand knotted, custom-made rugs – graduated from London’s Royal College of Art with a Masters in weaving before working in Switzerland and New York. Here, she talks about her exclusive brand and the incredible journey her pieces make from the slopes of Nepal to the floors of London, New York and Dubai:

As a designer for Calvin Klein Home, I designed the brands’ first rug collection and discovered then my passion for innovative rug design; I went on to launch my debut collection of hand knotted rugs in NY under my own label in 2010…”

Tania Johnson, Founder and Designer

NS: “Tania, your rugs are the type I see in the most exclusive suites of luxurious hotels and private residences; they look and feel more like works of art than flooring – where are they produced after you’ve first designed them?”

TJ: “Our rugs are hand knotted in the finest Himalayan wool and Chinese silk (above, right) and each is hand-made in Nepal (above, left) by skilled artisans who we’ve been working with since forming the business; incidentally, our rugs are certified by Goodweave, which aims to eliminate child labour and to improve working conditions for adults…“

NS: “Can clients come up with their own ideas, or choose only from your range?”

TJ: “Generally, our clients select designs from our collection which we then make to order in bespoke colours and sizes, however we can also create custom designs; we find blues, greys and neutrals are particularly popular. There’s no minimum size and we can weave as wide as 55’ and as long as 85’…”

We’ve worked with a number of established designers both in the UK and US; some of our favourite projects are Twenty Grosvenor Square, Mayfair (above, left) for Finchatton, a north London private residence for SHH Architecture & Design and The Bryanston Hyde Park (above, right) for Millier…

Tania Johnson, Founder and Designer

NS: “What are the specific techniques you employ to create the rugs?”

TJ: “With my background in weaving, I create every weaving graph myself and specify how each pixel should be translated into yarn and colour; this attention to detail can be felt in each of our characteristically intricate designs…”

Each of the rugs starts with a moment that inspires me as captured through my photography: the way light creates shadows and reflections and the microscopic details found in nature. Capturing these fleeting moments in time, the patterns that form and change around us, is a constant source of inspiration…”

Tania Johnson, Founder and Designer

NS: “Do you work mainly with hotels, or what is the typical profile of your client – and are the rugs extremely expensive – they look like serious investment pieces to me, like heirlooms. What sort of budget are we talking about?”

TJ: “We work primarily with high end interior design firms representing high net worth clients seeking luxurious, bespoke pieces; the majority of our projects are in the UK and the US, however we’ve also supplied rugs to clients in Asia, Australia and other parts of Europe. We’re currently producing a number of bespoke rugs for a project in Dubai (above, left) and while the majority of our pieces are for residential projects, we do also work with the hospitality sector with highlights being the lobby of a Four Seasons in Boston (above, right), an award winning restaurant in Tokyo and a luxury development in Dubai. There’s a large price range as each rug varies according to knot count, silk content and design complexity, for example, the price per sq.metre ranges from £960 – £2,885…”

NS: “Finally, where can readers of the online magazine view your pieces?”

TJ: “In the UK, we have a studio in South West London and in the US we’re are represented by Sloan Miyasato in San Francisco, Steven King in Boston and Warp & Weft in New York.

Our recent Venezia collection of rugs was shortlisted for The International Design & Architecture Awards…”

Tania Johnson, Founder and Designer

CONTACT: http://www.taniajohnsondesign.com

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