London-based interior designer Rachel Chudley started out in the art world, which is reflected in her interiors. Her studio is made up of artists as well as designers, in line with her belief that quality of life is improved with art. Rather than adhering to a formal style, Chudley’s spaces embody the quirks, passions and humour of the inhabitants. She is not afraid of colour and pattern, and bright and interesting rugs and textiles feature prominently in many of her schemes. Here she speaks to COVER about her design ethos with a special focus on her use of carpets and textiles, both contemporary and antique:
How would you describe your interior style?
Whimsical, fun, creative. Colour and artful interiors are at the core of my design practice.
What do textiles add to your designs?
I am obsessed with textiles—they can completely transform a space. Sometimes they add drama, sometimes they give a space warmth.
How important can a rug be to an interior space? Can you give an example?
In the image above the rug literally made this room! We designed it with Stark to highlight the centre of the room, and pull everything together.
What kinds of rug do you use? Contemporary design, hand-knotted, wool and silk? Which brands do you source from?
All of the above! I love antiques—and really love modernist carpets and mid-century Chinese rugs. I like Stark Carpet, Front Rugs, and 1stdibs for antiques.
How do you use antique rugs and textiles?
I love them! In my own bedroom, I turned antique textiles I found in India into a wall hanging and a foot stool. We also have an antique Moroccan rug on the wall of our sitting room.
Which of your interior projects have been your favourites to work on?
I honestly find extreme joy and learn from real challenges on every project! One that we have finished is a colourful family home that feels fresh and at the same time sits in harmony with the original features of the house. We always try to bring an artful approach to every project: this beautiful house is a great example of this. I also curated the VIP Lounge with Cox London at Collect this year, which was an amazing collaboration and I used a Jan Kath rug as a backdrop to the handcrafted furniture.
Have you seen an increase in people wanting to change their interiors during lockdown?
Absolutely yes! I think we are all growing tired of staring at the same walls.
Do you see trends in interiors as becoming less important?
I have never consciously listened to or followed trends—the most fulfilling part of my job is the opportunity to be original.
How do you see the Covid-19 situation influencing interior design?
I hope people decide to design their spaces for themselves; the upside of this terrible lockdown has been good old introspection.
Are there any projects you are currently working on that you can tell us about?
We have some wonderful ones—they are all starting to come back to life now that the lockdown has lifted… watch this space! We designed the recently opened Lulu Guinness flagship store in Covent Garden. We currently have several wonderful residential projects including a mews house in Holland Park, a townhouse in Islington, and an apartment on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.