Audrey Carden, Eleanora Cunietti and the Carden Cunietti design team have worked on spaces for clients in the UK, Europe and US, and are known for their bespoke solutions and luxurious textures and accessories. They are the recipients of numerous awards and their work is regularly published in the design media. In COVER 60, we spoke to Carden about their practice and use of interior textiles and carpets.
How would you describe your interior style? We don’t have an in-house style as such, preferring to work closely with clients to achieve a space that is tailor-made for them and reflects the architectural features of the building. Generally we work in the high-end residential sector but recently have been working on some commercial projects too.
What do textiles add to your designs? Colour is important to us and textiles are an easy way to bring this to the project. We love contrasting different textures too, such as velvet cushions on an up-holstered boucle sofa. Recently we used a contemporary wall hanging above a mid-century sideboard and it looked amazing.
What kind of rugs do you use? It all depends on the project and the setting. In a recent country house project we used an antique rug in the study but natural wool textured contemporary rugs elsewhere. We have used beautiful silk rugs that are amazing underfoot but also use natural weave rugs in vacation homes where a rougher texture feels good on bare feet.
Can you give examples of interior spaces you have worked on where carpets play a significant role? In the reception room of one project the rug was chosen because of its painterly border to define the seating area highlighting the curve of the Kagan sofa. We love a strong pattern on staircases, they make such a strong design statement as soon as you come into the house. Above you can see a wonderful pattern on a Georgian staircase, which picks up on the modern art. In my own house I used a series of rug runners to carpet the staircase.
How do you source carpets and textiles? We have on-going relationships with all the top makers who update us with their new collections. We visit Salone and Maison&Objet every year and that is always inspiring. Often we find new smaller suppliers.
Which brands do you source from? Tai Ping, Fort Street Studio, Knots Rugs, Tufenkian, Stark, Tim Page Carpets, Riviere Rugs, Tisca, Pinton, Galerie Diurne, Linie Design, Ferreira de Sá, cc-tapis, Kyle Bunting.
How do you relate to interior trends? We subscribe to lots of design blogs so are always keeping an eye out for what is coming through. Currently I think a return to a more natural aesthetic is a strong direction, using earth colours and textures. I also think there is a move to a more understated home where the luxury is in the details.
How do you think Covid-19 will influence interior design? I think people’s homes will become more important. Functionally they will be a workplace, entertaining place and work-out space so there will need to be areas in the house to accommodate these different needs. Commercially there will be a very big effect on how public spaces are designed and I think the high street will have to be re-invented as shopping becomes more and more online.
What are you are currently working on? We are currently working on the refurbishment on two London family homes with large basement projects. These are mammoth engineering projects and the skill is making the basement not feel like a basement but a value-added space. In one of the projects we have a gym, sauna and cinema area. This features cast concrete panels in black with a custom fabric from Tibor on a sofa by Sidilia. I am looking forward to seeing this one come together!