Alice Temperley’s quest for the perfect rug

A good floor these days is hard to find. With her lounge in need of some scintillation, Alice went on a quest to find the perfect rugs - and ended up creating them herself.

In deepest darkest lockdown Alice began to re-enact her favourite childhood game, Moving Rooms. Much to the great irritation of her parents and siblings, she would use her weekends to pack up her bedroom and re-arrange herself and all her possessions in another room, switching bedspreads and wall hangings; shunting around furniture and re-arranging cushions. It was the same restless pursuit of beauty that found her years later at home in Somerset, Moving Rooms around; seeking ever more perfect expressions of colour and imagination throughout her home.

For Alice, home is where the wild things are. Llamas and tapestries, leopard wallpapers and dancing chandeliers; giant rabbits and swathes of lace. It’s a home that vibrates with imagination and maximalist soul. It’s a home that enchants the senses and ignites luminous memories. It’s a home that was crying out for some really great rugs.

Alice envisioned floors that sang the high notes just as a piece of wall art or a beautiful pendant light would. Rugs so mesmerising you might fall into them if you’d had too much cider brandy. And you probably wouldn’t get up again.

The only challenge was finding the right company to work with in making this procumbent dream a reality.

Based in East Devon, the Axminster Carpets factory is close to Alice’s Somerset home. A long history of unrivalled quality and royal patronage tracing back to 1755 has given Axminster a peerless reputation in the interiors world. They work to an extremely complicated weaving technique - known as the Axminster method – which involves positioning up to 13,000 different yarns on a loom before setting up the warp. The yarns are then cut and inserted as a ‘U’ shaped tuft wherever needed, with most of the yarn on the surface and relatively little in the back. This kaleidoscopic output and minute detailing was catnip to Alice, whose training as a textile designer at Central Saint Martins has given her a deep and lifelong passion for technique.

There are two rugs and one runner design in three colourways in the collection, each emblazoned with Temperley house signatures: animal print, orgiastic poppies and geometric prints all rendered in hyperbolic colour. There are three runners: the efflorescent Scheherezade in fuchsia, spring green and black colourways is designed to electrify hallways. The huge and ferocious Leopard and Tiger Poppy rugs are centrepiece carpets: deliciously elaborate and highly detailed, they’re crafted from British wool with a cotton base for a luxurious feel that encourages splaying.

‘A home should be full of stories, energy, and things that make you smile, from the ceiling to the floor’

Says Alice.

‘I’ve relished creating carpets that truly light up a room. If you want a carpet just to keep your feet warm then buy a pair of slippers. These are for people who want more from their floor.’

Alice Temperley MBE

SHOP WONDERLAND BY ALICE