LUX Life Magazine: Best Contemporary Rug Designer 2018

Best Contemporary Rug Designer 2018 – Sonya Winner Rug Studio

Sonya Winner Studio is a designer rug studio based in London but shipping worldwide that specializes in Vibrant Contemporary rugs that transform space with their unique form and colour combinations.

Sonya Winner’s contemporary rugs are award-winning pieces designed to transform spaces into homes. Sonya offers a collection
of over 30 designs available in a variety of sizes, some of which can also be customized in shape, proportion and colour; most of our popular designs are held in stock for immediate delivery. Sonya also takes on a limited number of bespoke commissions each year which are a collaborative creative process with her clients, resulting in exclusive art pieces for the floor or wall – this creative process is always an exciting journey of experimentation for both the designer and client. The core ethos of the studio is the creation of quality rugs that are much more than just a floor covering: they are transformational floor art.

We caught up with Sonya Winner to learn more about the unique designs they create:

“I started designing rugs simply to make people happy! I was thrilled to discover that the juxtaposition of vibrant colours and bold shapes within the designs I created added something magical to a room that people loved. I was hugely encouraged by winning an Elle Decoration award for my first rug: this, along with the huge amount of positive feedback and orders from around the world when I exhibited at my first rug designs at the London Design Festival 2011 made me decide to devote my career to rug design. It’s now 7 years since our first rugs were launched and our delighted customers have sent back hundreds of testimonials describing our rugs as beautiful and timeless designs that transform space making a room feel cozy, welcoming and warm. Many have also noted that due to the dense weaving and thick natural New Zealand wool fibres our rugs have the added bonus of helping with acoustics by soaking up sound. It’s so wonderful that our customers really appreciate the designs and the quality of the materials and workmanship that goes into creating our rugs.

The inspiration for my designs comes from the arts and nature. I’m constantly noting things I see on my travels down in my sketchbook or taking photos. I also have a passion for art and design books, which I love pouring over when creating new designs. When I start to design my first port of call are my sketchbooks and library of design and art books, as well as my catalogue of over 6000 wool and silk colours. Seeing the library of yarn never fails to get me excited and itching to start experimenting with the colours, to understand more deeply how they interact with one another. I like to be playful and experimental with collage and paint as well as a range of alternative design mediums that I’m always adding to. My next designs have been created using experiments with nail polishes paints on acetate film working on light boxes. I’m excited to see them being translated from small sketched into large rugs. Unlike traditional textile designers many of whom work with repeat patterns, my designs come from my passion and training in graphic design, and are standalone dynamic forms. Once I feel nothing more can be added or taken away a design is considered complete and it is scaled up to the final rug size as the weaving guide for the weavers to follow. We choose to work with weavers in rural communities, utilising skills that have been passed though the generations since the time of the Silk Road, which helps in our small way to keep these skills and traditions alive. Each hand-tufted or hand-knotted rug is slightly different to the next – I like to think of it as ‘perfect imperfection’ and this handmade feel adds another layer of beauty to our rugs. I have chosen the business model for our small team of dealing directly with our customers instead of working with agents or distributors and stores. This means our customers always deal with us and our highly trained staff who are very close to me and the design and manufacturing processes. We reach out to customers worldwide through our website, where our rugs and cushions can be purchased on line. Everything that we sell is shipped direct from our London studio where it has undergone the finial finishing and quality control by our highly skilled team. Customers can also visit our easily accessible London showroom by appointment. Here you can view many of our rugs on display and if they choose to purchase and take rugs we hold in stock with them, or alternatively we can arrange for them to be shipped to their chosen address via trackable shipping worldwide. To help our customer choose the right size and design we also offer two useful free services: We can ship out small rug samples internationally of many of our designs so our customers can see the colours and feel our quality before choosing to purchase. We also offer a free digital imaging service where we digitally place our rugs into photos of your rooms to show you how they will look in situ and help you choose the best size before purchasing. We are delighted that this way of working has resulted in over 25% of our customers buying again, with many recommending us to family and friends. We also believe it is important to be an ethical business and are proud to be members of the GoodWeave charity. GoodWeave aims to eliminate child labour and to improve working conditions for all adult weavers by creating educational programmes for weaving communities. Being a member of GoodWeave means all of our rugs are made by GoodWeave certified weavers and for each rug we buy from our weavers we make a donation to GoodWeave. When you purchase a rug from us you are not only adding something beautiful from your home you are also helping rural weaving communities and their families to have more opportunities and a better life.” 

Ultimately, having achieved many award over the past twelve months, Sonya Winner Rug Studio has a bright future ahead of it, as Sonya is happy to conclude.

“Over the past years it has been a privilege to be recognised by awards from Elle Decoration, House and Gardens, The Society of British Interior Designers (SIBD) and The American Society of Interior Designers ASID. This year we are absolutely thrilled to be awarded Best Contemporary Rug Designer 2018 – UK by LUX Life magazine in a year which has coincided with the opening of our new showroom studio and the launch of our brand new website, which will offer us many exciting opportunities over the years ahead.”