1 | What’s your team’s mission?
We’re on a mission to create more one of a kind interior spaces across the UK & eventually beyond. A Lilla Rug is something nobody else in the world will have, making your home/space completely unique to you.
2 | Tell us the story behind your brand?
I’m half Iranian and half Scottish, I was born in Zürich, and brought up in London, with a short stint living in Tehran as a child. My parents set up a wholesale oriental rug company when we moved to London a couple of months after I was born (back in 1992), so rugs have been in my life for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to travel around Iran as a child, visiting all the weavers in villages across the country. From a young age, I learn't about the incredible stories behind each rug, direct from the families that weaved them. After four years of working in Advertising, I realised I needed a creative outlet, to pour my passion for interiors and my heritage into. So, I started an Instagram page, where I compiled interior inspiration and photos of many handmade rugs on Instagram. About 2 months in, I realised there was demand for the rugs I was posting, and this was down to the way the rugs were being presented; Re-dressing tradition for a new generation.
Now, here I am with Lilla Rugs, making beautiful & one of a kind rugs accessible, at an affordable price to all.
3 | What inspires you to help with your buying choices, designs, and curation?
I’m inspired by travel, my Pinterest obsession, daily life, and other objects (sometimes interiors related, sometimes not). I noticed someone playing noughts and crosses on the tube and designed the ISABELLA Moroccan Berber off the back of that! When it comes to selecting Persian rugs, I go very much with a gut feeling. You have no say in the way which Persian rugs are designed; what colours they come in, the sizes, etc. What you see is what you get, that is the beauty of them!
4 | Do you have any strategy for solving a specific design dilemma?
The most common design dilemma we come across is the fear of the rug making the space feel too 'busy'. When looking at Persian rugs in isolation (on the website or even in the warehouse) it is easy to think they could be too overpowering in the room. The thing you have to remember is that the rug goes on the floor, and because of this, you can go brighter and busier than you may think. The solution is usually a home visit; Taking a selection of rugs to the client's house and putting them in situ is the best way to show exactly how the rug will look and feel in the space.
5 | What NOT to do… when designing a space with a rug?
There aren’t many hard and fast rules with rugs, you can be as 'by the book' or 'fun' with it as you like! The only rule I would advise following is to make sure the rug isn't the last element you set in the space. Rugs are often partnered with accessories, forgetting they play a bigger part in the design and should certainly be placed in with the main furniture. The first reason for this is that the rug remains an important part in the functionality of a room; In an open-plan living space, it could be what marks out your living zone and dining zone. The second is that you don’t want to be limited too much by colour and pattern; Handmade rugs are entirely unique, so you need to give yourself the flexibility and ability to fall in love with the one you like best. Later, you can think of introducing accessories to compliment your chosen rug. For example, if you have chosen heavily patterned curtains and cushions already, you will be limiting your rug choices.
6 | Do you have any rugs in your own home?
I feel it would be a crime not to have rugs in my home! I have many; I’m actually about to move home and already planning which rugs will be going in the new place!
Currently, in my flat, I have a Persian Gabbeh in the living space, a Persian Over-dyed in the dining area, layered with a Persian Nain, and finally a tribal Persian Karajeh runner in the hallway by the entrance. It’s an open living space, so I’ve used the rugs to mark out the living area and dining area, creating clear functional zones and separation. The Persian Over-dyed and Persian Nain layering work so well, as the subtlety of the Over-dyed provides a complementary base to the intricate, more detailed Persian Nain.
7 | Spill a random fact that most people don’t know about Persian Rugs?
The vast majority of Persian rugs have border designs. It is said that borders were made part of designs back in the day to protect those sitting within its magic confines.
8 | Define your favourite design trend or style?
My go-to design style is definitely a carefully balanced mix of old and new. Something new, something old, something dark and something bold.
9 | If someone is buying their first investment rug, what do they need to know?
Once you understand the value of each piece and their stories, you’ll feel confident with your decisions. I’ve tried my best to create blogs which will give you more insight into the world of Persian Rugs and help you learn the basics. Three blog posts I would recommend reading are The Persian Rug Encyclopedia, Your Starter Guide to Buying a Persian Rug, and Why Are Persian Rugs So Expensive. Visiting the warehouse is also a helpful part of the process, we can guide you through the different types of handmade rugs, show you their differences, and help you discover the right rug for you.
10 | Do you have any new projects in progress that we can have a sneak peek of?
I don’t have anything to show you just yet, but I can give you a snippet of what is coming. I’ve wanted to work with a designer for a little while, to help fill the gaps in our modern collection of handmade rugs. Finally, towards the end of this year, this will be coming to life. All I can say is that the new collection will provide something modern & current, but with character & authenticity. And that I am VERY excited.
11 | What charities do you support and how do you support them?
Our chosen charity is Refugee Action. With every purchase that is made online, £10 of each goes directly to Refugee Action. I have known many refugees throughout my life and heard stories direct from them about the journeys they have had to take to get to a safer place for themselves and their families. Refugee Action does incredible work to support refugees, fighting to ensure that they are safe, far from the horror they have fled. We recently posted a blog with some more detail you can check out to read more about what they do.
12 | Can you share with us a quote and how it inspires you?
“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters”
I was brought up to believe that having love in your life made you the richest you could ever be. If you prioritise this, I really do believe you will make wiser decisions, both in personal and work life.
13 | Round up a list of products you and your team love.
It's the Sisal Rugs from Crucial Trading that we're loving – we get a lot of clients that either fall in love with a rug that is slightly too small for the space, or have a budget that means they have to opt for a small size, and that is no reason to not get the rug! Simply go for these wonderful sisal rugs to map out the size needed in the space, and then add your handmade rug, layered on top or half on/half off, as a decorative.
Photo Credit: Pinterest & Crucial Trading
Our favourite rugs at the moment are:
14 | Lastly, what ONE word would you use to describe Lilla Rugs?
END OF YEAR REFLECTION
1 | What are your most popular blog posts from the year so far and why we should check them out?
As I mentioned earlier, buying a Persian rug is a journey. This blog post is a really good place to start as it will help you understand what you are spending your money on and also what makes one rug more valuable than another.
Us city folk are often restricted by space and so this blog post just gives some super practical tips you can apply to make the space feel bigger than it really is. Winning!
2 | Your favourite trends for 2019
Two things: Colour is back & that people are turning to more sustainable & authentic items for the home.
3 | Can we see Lilla Rugs anywhere other than the warehouse in 2019?
You sure can! We will be at 100% Design from 18th – 21st September. Do come & say hey! You’ll be first to see new & exciting things.