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How I Got Into Designing Rugs

How I Got Into Designing Rugs

06 May 2021
When people learn I am the founder of The Cinnamon Room, I am often asked how I got into the “Rug Business” and in actual fact, it was never the main intention of my home decor business. Nevertheless, rugs became our hero product. Here’s the story of how I became a rug designer — and how carpets have become the key offering of our home decor business, anchoring The Cinnamon Room as much as a rug anchors a room!
Like so many successful businesses, The Cinnamon Room began as a creative way to fill a gap in the market. Having lived abroad for 20 years and working in corporate law in London, Hong Kong and New York, I returned to Singapore and set out to create a warm, beautiful, and functional home for my young and busy family.
Moving into a home with an open plan layout, I knew that area rugs would be essential in breaking up the large space and creating that cosy vibe I was after. Finding carpets in Singapore, however, proved to be more frustrating than I had hoped.
What I found were plenty of Oriental and Persian rugs, but with their busy, traditional designs — not to mention high price point — they didn’t fit with my aesthetic or my lifestyle: who wants to worry about spills and stains on expensive rugs with small children running about? (Especially when those rugs were something you “settled for” in the first place.) On the other end of the spectrum, there was no shortage of cheap synthetic carpets in Singapore with poor quality and design, but the thought of bringing those into my home didn’t exactly fill me with joyous anticipation.
After speaking with friends and gathering inspiration and advice, I set out to design and source my own range of contemporary carpets in Singapore — designs that would translate easily and were versatile enough to move from home to home, even country to country! Timeless classics that will always enhance your home with a unique accent to complete your home — simple, right?
I set my sights on ethically sourced ox and cow hides based on an eminently durable cut out hide rug commonly seen around the world. I even had one of these as a student and was always amazed how wine, beer, and food stains simply wiped right off! I wanted to use this same material, but elevate this obvious animal skin to a more sophisticated design and create something truly unique, especially for carpets in Singapore: think a patchwork of vibrant hues, laser etching (a contemporary twist on block printing to get the repeat designs), metallics, and geometrics, thus creating a truly memorable alternative floor covering.
I began travelling, meeting with various suppliers, and negotiating. My expectations were simple: gorgeous looks, high quality, and simple maintenance. After many meetings, I finally found a supplier who sourced high quality ethically sourced cow and ox hides and used traditional techniques with a contemporary adaptation that would stand the test of time.
Early prototypes exceeded my expectations: they were stunning, durable, and so easy to maintain and I am pleased to say, have been a total hit with our clients with busy households looking for a stylish, modern and unique rug that is family friendly! I am so pleased that now anyone can find unique artisan crafted carpets in Singapore.
By listening to our clients’ needs and addressing the gap in the market for modern contemporary carpets in Singapore that have the power to effortlessly transform a space, I realised that I was on my way to turning my passion for practical design into a business with rugs and carpets being a key focus.
I have continuously worked to improve on our range of contemporary rug designs and have since designed a range of stunning hand woven cotton dhurrie rugs with playful patterns such as stars, ice lollies, and spades — perfect for a kids room! Next, I added more bohemian style jute rugs with twists like scalloped edges and metallics…afterall, we need to get our distinctive Cinnamon Room special touches into every design!
More recently, we launched a range of weatherproof outdoor rugs made of recycled plastic that unbelievably doesn’t feel remotely plasticy. Really, they are so soft and comfy on the feet, no one can believe they are made of plastic! We are excited to extend our range of geometric designs to this much demanded outdoor range of carpets in Singapore so that outdoor styling can also have that special Cinnamon Room touch.
At The Cinnamon Room, we have always focused on helping clients make the right design choices for their homes and offer complimentary expert advice to ensure that the design, size and tones of a carpet suit a client’s home perfectly and enhance their space in a cohesive manner. We are always on hand to help you make the right choices. Just pop into the showroom with pictures of your space or drop us a line with images so we can help you best!

Need some initial expert advice?

I have adored my journey as a self taught designer addressing what the market needs and thoughtfully designing our range of stylish yet practical home decor. Hundreds of rugs and happy clients later, I have never regretted my decision to place rugs at the center of the Cinnamon Room’s brand, alongside our wider range of unique hand crafted home decor. I love what I do and I invite you to join us in our journey going forward! My hope is that when people think of unique carpets in Singapore, they think of the Cinnamon Room.

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