Meet the Showroom: Wendy Morrison Design
With a new showroom (pictured above right) that one visitor described as “a joyful little jewel”, Wendy Morrison has created an irresistible evocation of her world in Design Centre East. Her rugs (and now complementary fabrics and wallcoverings) are full of motifs from chinoisierie to exotic birds and animal print, but they are more than just an exuberant expression of colour, pattern and detail: a compelling story of incredible artisan skill lies behind each piece. Below, Morrison explains more about the showroom, and how she creates “art for your floors, crafted with passion”.
What brought Wendy Morrison Design to Design, Centre, Chelsea Harbour?
I was visiting London Design Week last year, and it felt so good to be among like-minded design professionals again, so this felt like a natural next step for our business to grow in the trade world. We had a rather nice studio space in Edinburgh, but did not feel connected to the wider design world, and although our London space is much smaller, the costs were accessible, which we were pleasantly surprised to hear.
What should people expect from the showroom?
I wanted to achieve the feel and look of a beautiful little curiosity shop that tempted you to come in and look and touch; our rugs must be stroked to appreciate the true beauty of the craftsmanship. It has been described as a joyful little jewel which I rather like. It certainly raises a smile.
Why should customers visit in person as opposed to looking/buying online?
It’s so important to see the craftsmanship in real life – we do our best with photography and our sample service, but there is nothing quite like being in the presence of a hand-knotted Nepalese rug.
What’s your brand’s design philosophy?
Our brand philosophy is all about creating beautiful handcrafted rugs that inspire and spark joy; rugs with longevity that can be passed on from one generation to the next. Authentic rug-making demands incredible skill, craftsmanship and attention to detail. We want to protect those skills, to support the artisans who tuft and weave, and bring our designs to life, to explain the history and storytelling behind rug design, and to celebrate and help maintain this centuries-old art.
Is there a ‘hero’ product that you feel sums up your brand, or that’s been a long-standing bestseller?
There are always new pieces in progress, but as I have already said, our pieces are of heirloom quality that we hope will be passed on from one generation to the next. Perhaps our latest design, ‘Talisman’ [pictured above], which won Best Transitional Design at this year’s Carpet Design Awards, is the most powerful of all.
What craftsmanship or innovation goes into your products?
Our hand-tufted rugs are made in India. We have worked with the same workshop since 2012 and I just love this process of bringing my artwork to life – the tufting gun allows for so much freedom in design and we have the most skilled artisans. Our hand-knotted rugs are made in Nepal, and each one is an individually crafted masterpiece; they are art for your floors, crafted with passion, taking four to six months to make.
We also create hand-embroidered crewel pieces as cushion covers and wallhangings. It’s another great time-honoured skill where the result is a truly beautiful piece, made with love.
What can we expect from the latest collections?
We recently developed our first collection of digital wallpaper and fabric. Not only was this a fun process, but it has also allowed us to translate some of our storytelling designs into slightly more accessible products that allow to people decorate their walls and furniture as well as the floor. Having proved successful, the collection continues to grow.
Is there anything else you’d like the Design Centre’s community to know about your brand?
We are excited to grow our business at the Design Centre. It feels like a supportive environment full of like-minded people – and so much beautiful product.