Design Centre Stories

Meet the Showroom: Crucial Trading

“We like to encourage conversation,” says Jason Crump, Crucial Trading’s general manager (pictured below right), about the flooring brand’s recently opened showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Specialising in natural fibre floorcoverings, from wool to seagrass and sisal, Crucial Trading’s 80 different ranges can be seen in the new space, with a vast wall of samples plus curated vignettes that show the brand’s products in the context of furniture, lighting and accessories. Read on for a Q&A with Jason Crump, to find out more about what to expect when you visit, and what’s new.

What brought Crucial Trading to Design, Centre, Chelsea Harbour?

We understand the importance of the interior design community for Crucial Trading, and see the Design Centre as the perfect platform to expand our reach within this community. Having a presence in the heart of the action will accelerate growth in this previously relatively unexplored arena for Crucial Trading.

What should we expect from the showroom?

We worked with architect Mailen Design, product specialist Claire Kimble and interiors stylist Marianne Cotterill to create a space where designers and consumers can come and create their schemes, with access to every floorcovering design across our extensive portfolio. We specifically incorporated a large meeting/workbench area where visitors can lay out their ideas and gain inspiration from the images/colours and textures around them. We like to encourage conversation.

Why should customers visit in person as opposed to looking/buying online?

With walls and flooring being one of the largest areas within an interior, why wouldn’t you want to look and feel the final product? Invariably, most schemes will start with online research (which is why we have our Crucial Trading Rug Builder), but seeing a physical piece of flooring is what really brings it to life. Many a designer has changed their original idea/concept once they see all the samples on our sample wall.

What’s Crucial Trading’s design philosophy?

We believe that inspiration for a room should start with the floor. Our focus has always been on plant fibres and wool combined with artisan design and handcrafted elements, which help to inform a space, whichever direction the designer should wish to take it.

Is there a ‘hero’ product that encapsulates your brand, or that’s been a long-standing bestseller?

‘Mississippi’ [aboveleft] is our most recognised and best-selling product. It was the first broadloom stripe design to be brought to the UK market. Another hero is the appropriately named ‘Fabulous’ [above right], which won the Innovation in Carpet award from the International Wool Carpet & Rug Awards in 2016.

What can we expect from the latest collections?

We have extended our rug border collection, offering the most comprehensive rug border trims in the market. They all work in conjunction with each other, from leathers to felted wool, linen weaves, chenille and herringbone cottons. The introduction of new colours, stripes and textures will launch during London Design Week 2024 in March. This year will also see the introduction of our Tencel collection.

What craftsmanship or innovation goes into Crucial Trading’s products?

We are constantly testing new materials and techniques to bring the very best in quality design and innovation for our clients. Our ongoing commitment to staying ahead of the curve allows us to offer distinct and innovative products. We use traditional techniques, working with plant fibres and wool, to create durable products in versatile designs. We also work closely with colour specialists when curating new collections.

Is there anything else you’d like the Design Centre’s community to know about you?

We continue to focus on our impact on the environment and how, in the production of sustainable products, we can support the transition to a more circular economy. This includes aligning and engaging with suppliers who reflect our own ethical business values. In addition we are concentrating on our own business integrity and transparency, with ongoing improvements made across all areas of environmental management.

Crucial Trading, Second Floor, South Dome