Rugs Design Process

Color is key – it transforms an environment, changes mood, creates excitement, ambience, interest and simply makes you happy. My aim is to add vibrancy, warmth and positivity into a room – this is where my passion for creating colorful, modern rugs stems from.


When I am beginning a new area rug design I find a calm place and put on some peaceful jazz and immerse myself in my library and sketch books full of ideas I’ve jotted down. This helps to eliminate all other distractions and allows the creativity to flow.

I don’t follow trends, I think it’s really important that I do what pleases my eye rather than following particular fashions. Everything I create has to feel ‘right’, I believe that you have to be true to yourself as an artist. I want to create pieces that are timeless, rather than pinned to a particular season or fashion.

Rugs Inspiration

When designing a rug I like to be playful and spontaneous and not restricted by convention. I am inspired by many artists and designers, but particularly love Matisse, Henri Moore, Vivianna Torun, Calder, Maija Isola, Bridget Reilly, Renzo Piano to name a few.

My sketch books are full of postcards, bits and pieces from magazines, screen grabs on my phone and notes and scribbles and reminders of things I find inspiring around me. Reviewing this imagery is exciting and gets me itching to start experimenting with collage, pens and paints to start the creative processes.

From concept to creation

When designing the rugs I’m always reminded that in a homogenous world, it can be a challenge to find something that stands out and adds depth and emotion to your home. So, I create these floor rugs and wall hangings to fill a room with color, warmth and interest.

I see all rug designs as color experiments, demonstrating how colors overlay and mix often creating an illusion of transparency. It takes many hours and many versions of the design for the piece to be complete. The designs are complex combinations of color and shapes, ultimately refined into a visual simplicity that feels harmonious and complete.

Rugs Prototyping

Once the rug design is complete – usually as a collage, painting or sketch –  the technical work begins to translate this into a specification for the weavers to follow. We use a number of wool color systems to identify the exact shades within the design, as each system never has the full spectrum of colors we require.

When the colors have been selected, these are marked up on a detailed plan of the design and then the depth of the carpet is specified by indicating the various tuft heights giving my designs their unique sculptural quality. This work creates the artwork for the weavers to follow. They then turn it into a knotting plan if the rug is to be knotted; if it is to be tufted – the artwork plan is translated onto the back of the canvas that the tufting weaver work from.

Once the first piece of a design is made is scrutinised for improvements and usually another couple of prototypes are made before the rug design is ready for customers to order.

The finished piece

The finished rug is a transformational piece, bringing color, excitement and comfort to any space. These exquisite and unique area rugs and runners are the result of a complex design and manufacturing process, involving Sonya’s creativity and color expertise, along with the skills and manufacturing knowledge of GoodWeave artisan weavers.

Explore the collection