Brink ivory rug by Kelly Wearstler.

The Rug Company has finally arrived, bringing the world’s most sought-after designer rugs to New Zealand

For anyone unfamiliar with The Rug Company, it was established over 20 years ago in London (and now has over 30 showrooms worldwide) and has built its reputation on creating some of the most sought-after floor coverings in the world.

Not only are its rugs renowned for their sublime quality — achieved via a hand-knotting process by expert Nepalese weavers — but the brand is highly respected for its uniquely creative approach, seen most clearly in its high-profile designer collaborations with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Kelly Wearstler and more.  

Now, for the first time, The Rug Company has been made available to discerning New Zealanders, thanks to the efforts of Design Central, who recognised a gap in the market here for luxurious rugs. Speaking to one of the Directors at Design Central Lindy Messam, it’s clear that this new offering is set to bring something unique to the local industry.

From left: Tableau Pewter rug by Kelly Wearstler; Swirl rug by Paul Smith, both available from Design Central.

“We have access to the brand’s entire global inventory,” Messam explains, “so there really won’t be any lead times for rugs that are in stock, meaning we can usually get them air-freighted here within a number of days.” 

From Design Central’s boutique showroom in Parnell, private clients, architects and interior designers will now have access to The Rug Company’s full suite of services, which beyond its standard inventory, includes the ability to customise existing styles and even create rugs entirely from scratch.

As Messam explains “part of what The Rug Company is known for is its amazing bespoke service… where you can either tweak one of the standard designs to change the colour, shape or size to how you want… or devise something completely new.” 

Importantly, while The Rug Company is predominantly known for its collectable designer rugs, its offering is far more diverse than perhaps people realise. While on the one hand, its designer collaborations call for a significant investment (both financially and creatively), it also carries a vast range of beautiful neutral options, with subdued palettes and versatile textures that speak to the sophisticated but understated New Zealand aesthetic.

Abstract Smoke rug by Adam Hunter; Climbing Leopard hand-knotted silk rug by Diane Von Furstenberg, both available from Design Central.

That said, one thing that runs through all of The Rug Company’s ranges, from the high-end collections to the more attainable ones, is its focus on quality. Even when creating its line of accessibly-priced, hand-loomed rugs, The Rug Company (rather than adhering to standard industry practice) set up looms in Nepal, and used the same exceptional makers and materials to produce the collection.

And as Messam confirms, this emphasis on quality is what makes a piece by The Rug Company such a worthwhile investment — its rugs will last a lifetime, and can be passed like an heirloom, down through generations. 

While we will endeavour to apply the ‘buying once, buying well’ strategy here, we are expecting The Rug Company’s extensive offering to make that mantra slightly more difficult to follow, where buying twice or even thrice might feel more appropriate. 


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