Kelly Behun x The Rug Company

July 01, 2020

New Yorker Kelly Behun talks to us about her new collection and how she drew inspiration from the city's celebrated skyline and the colours of the sky as 'golden hour' approaches

How does your collection with The Rug Company reflect your design aesthetic?

I find inspiration in what I see around me every day and then interpret and incorporate elements into my designs. This collection for The Rug Company was directly influenced by New York City and specifically the view from my apartment. 

<em>Domus Grey<em> by Kelly Behun for The Rug Company

What sparked the collection’s palette and design?

It’s really what I’m seeing outside my windows and translating that into the collection. The rosy pinks and blues of Eclipse are very much about the late afternoon sky shifting into dusky nightfall, while the bits of gold reflect the ‘golden hour’ moment when the sun is about to dip below the horizon and you see that sliver of gold. Domus is more about shapes and collage and thinking about the shadows cast across Central Park and the shapes of buildings. These colours are a bit more about New York; more browns and greys and one of the rugs has a bit of a green almost like oxidised copper. I feel they harmonise with other colours, so while each of the rugs has a distinct character and brings its own energy to a room, they don’t overpower.

What types of rugs do you source for your interior projects?

I’ve created custom rugs for years for my clients almost always with The Rug Company as they make the process so easy and understand how to go from idea or sketch and a few colour swatches to a fully realised, gorgeous rug. There are so many intricacies in terms of how wool and silk take up dye colours, how different techniques can highlight certain features and so on, and they really help guide me through the process. If I’m not doing custom or buying other designs The Rug Company offers, I do love to shop for antique rugs.

<em>Domus Blush<em> by Kelly Behun for The Rug Company

Is hand-knotted rug quality an important consideration for you?

Rugs are investment pieces. I’m not a fan of disposable design. As I get older I realise more and more how important it is to invest in pieces. For me rugs are one of the most important elements in a room, so it just makes sense to want them to last and there’s no substitute for the beauty and longevity of hand-knotting. I was so excited to see my designs come to life using this technique in the hands of the incredible artisans at The Rug Company.

Are clients taking a greater interest in their interiors since COVID-19 lockdown?

I think there’s been a general trend of people realising the importance of how their homes make them feel. As life becomes more hectic and at times fraught home becomes a refuge. That’s especially true in the midst of this pandemic. As we spend more time at home we want our environment to feel comforting, beautiful and life-affirming. For me that means wherever possible investing in quality pieces that will last like a beautiful hand-knotted wool rug.

<em>Eclipse<em> by Kelly Behun for The Rug Company

Will working from home change how interiors are designed?

People are definitely trying to figure out how best to work from home, and even post-pandemic there will likely be more people working from home even if part time, so it’s important to be able to carve out a space that feels designated as a ‘work zone.’ It can be anything from a separate room decked out to the nines and with all the latest technology, to a laptop on a desk in a converted closet or simply an area carved out within an existing room, but it really helps to block out the domestic distractions that interrupt focus. As people do more video meetings having simple things worked out like proper lighting can go a long way to convey a professionalism that’s beneficial regardless of the kind of work you do.

What projects are you looking forward to working on once lockdown ends?

Even more than a particular project is the excitement about being able to get back to the way we used to work. The camaraderie and creativity that flows from being with my team, the collaborative energy that happens when meeting clients face-to-face—these are the things I look forward to resuming, and hopefully I’ll never take them for granted again.



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