London designers are increasingly making the floor a focus for their talent.
In a reflection of the humble rug's growing popularity as a statement piece in its own right, east London entrepreneur Simon Goff set up his online company, Floor Story, in 2011.
He has commissioned a colourful collection by Kangan Arora, a Central Saint Martins graduate who combines family know-how of Indian textiles with her own original patterns.
In Chelsea, carpet expert Paul Vowles has his own stable of rug designers selling in his store, Woven (Fulham Road, SW3). His protégées include Ella Doran, who bases textiles and wallpapers on her own photography. Her eyecatching rug designs feature the patterns of wood grain.
Designers also dominate the top end of the market, where rugs are hand-knotted, mainly in Nepal. Leading the field for nearly 20 years is The Rug Company, whose recent partners in design include Vivienne Westwood and Barber & Osgerby. A bestseller is fashion maestro Paul Smith, who presents a new clutch of designs this year.
Explore the full Rug Company portfolio, with other new collections by Allegra Hicks and Neisha Crosland, in Holland Park Avenue, W11, or King's Road, SW6.
Chelsea is rich in rug specialists.
Artist Deirdre Dyson has revamped her King's Road showroom, turning it into a bright gallery for her beautiful rugs. Her latest spring collection is titled Walking on Art, featuring nine abstract designs, hand-knotted in wool and silk in subtle graded tones, with sudden splashes of unexpected colour. The pile gives the patterns movement and depth.
Design Centre Chelsea Harbour houses rugs by Esti Barnes, while calligraphy by acclaimed artist Hassan Massoudy is the basis of a set of new designs made mainly in silk, with tiny details handwoven knot by knot. The result is a stunning, dynamic presentation of abstract art.
In Pimlico, Luke Irwin set up his rug company in 2003, with contemporary abstracts in soft colours, often inspired by traditional motifs such as ikat, damask, tribal markings and Berber weaves.
There's a good choice of handknotted bespoke rugs at Front in Bruton Place, W1. Jan Kath's renderings of images from the Hubble telescope are spectacular. Detail comes from a palette of up to 60 colours, with up to 200 knots of silk and wool per square inch.
There are also rugs from big fashion and furnishing brands such as Ted Baker and Designers Guild. If you prefer a more minimal look, specify colour and size online at Alternative Flooring.