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Top 5 rugs to make your house a home – and up to 75% off at The Rug Company Sample Sale


Alexander McQueen rug, image courtesy of The Rug Company

An invitation from The Rug Company popped into my inbox and I thought I’d share it with you. A short & sweet blog post. But it seems I am incapable of short & sweet. Thanks to their email, I am now in full rug mode. Which goes to show that unsolicited marketing does work.

At my house we are fully rugged up – I have no business surfing for prospective purchases. But I love rugs, since they are to a home what shoes are to an outfit – they can make or break it.  So as my blog is an excuse to share my many aesthetic obsessions, here I am with my top 5 rugs to make your house a home.


My prized Kelly Wearstler ‘Tracery’ rug. Image Penelope Meredith

Tracery by Kelly Wearstler, The Rug Company

No prizes for innovative naming but The Rug Company does what it says on the tin. Check out the ‘gallery’ on their website for amazing room inspiration. They will bring rugs to your home so you can live with them before you buy. Rightly so – it’s a big investment. But a great service nonetheless, so make sure you ask for it.

The Tracery is the one we have in our lounge at home, hand-knotted from Tibetan cream wool and olive-coloured silk. Yep, totally impractical. My children have been programmed (I mean programmed) to walk around it (I do know how ridiculous this is) and it’s the sole reason for us not having a dog.

Tracery rug by Kelly Wearstler at The Rug Company, from £1,170 per square metre. Shop it here.

paris rug

Flat Iron building on Manhattan rug by Luke Irwin. Image courtesy of Luke Irwin

Luke Irwin’s Manhattan rug

I love all of Luke Irwin‘s rugs because they are so damn luxurious. To feel silk underfoot is pure heaven. My favourite is the Manhattan rug (above) and there’s a Paris version. Beautiful & romantic photographic depictions of two of my favourite cities.

Luke Irwin Manhattan rug, made to order, price on application. Shop it here

HAY rug richard diebenkornwoven ground


If modernism is more your thing, you can’t go wrong with the HAY range of rugs in pure New Zealand wool. I love this brand – and these rugs remind me of Richard Diebenkorn’s ‘Ocean Park’ series of paintings which he painted in Venice, California. The rugs will lend a bright, breezy feel to your home for a fraction of the price of a painting, though the painting’s probably a better investment.

Colour by Design rug by HAY. From £619 at Nest. Shop it here

Scion Fox rug. Image courtesy of John Lewis.

Scion Fox Rug

A great bet for kids rugs – this range by Scion is more graphic and subtle than sickly pinks and spots.  Mr Fox makes a nice change from fairies & cars – and I think even the little people would choose it.

Mr Fox rug by Scion from John Lewis,  from £180. Shop it here.

Ikea stockholm rug


How could I not mention the Ikea Stockholm rug? Its modern, sharp, black & white design makes it an undeniable winner. Coupled with a Mies Van Der Rohe chair and a nice mid-century cabinet it will look a million dollars.

Ikea Stockholm rug, £100. Shop it here.

Sample Sale

Savings of up to 75% at The Rug Company Sample Sale, from 10am-6pm until 8th March, at Carousel Next Door, 35 Baker Street, London W1U 8EN. Tel: 020 3141 3040.

Not for dogs or children.



Style on the Slopes – here’s how

To look stylish and effortless on the slopes takes a bit of planning. There’s nothing worse than looking like you’ve tried too hard – we’ve all seen people in their four or five-figure ultra-fancy outfits, really bad at skiing or refusing to try, preferring to hog the best sun-spot and not move an inch. Their more hardcore counterparts, meanwhile, are head to toe in neon, or eighties onesies, tearing down the mountain making perfect turns. Good for them. I know which I’d rather be.

Kate skiing

Kate Moss on the slopes. Image courtesy of pandathroughthelookingglass

Fortunately though, there’s also a middle ground. Being both a stylist and a rubbish skier causes me some angst but also puts me in the perfect position to advise. It pains me that my peers ski with style and finesse, while I’m awkward, over-thinking my moves, and I’m chicken. I broke my leg the first time on skis so I reckon I have an excuse for my fear, but since I wasn’t actually skiing at the time I’m not sure that counts.

Next month, my Rescue Remedy and I are returning to the slopes of Serre Chevalier. There’s no doubt that feeling good in what you’re wearing goes a long way, and if I’m going to tackle the reds and not be shown up by my kids, then here’s what I’d like to be wearing:

1. Lacroix Megeve ski pants and Cortina coat, at Matches. White is always chic and feminine, as long as it’s with one other colour only (preferably navy blue or black). With this set you get warmth without bulk.

ski pants 1

Lacroix Megeve ski pants. Image courtesy of Matchesfashion


2. Oakley Unisex Splice Goggle at Snow & Rock. You can go a bit wild on the goggles if you stick with block colours for your clothes. These would look great with white, above, or with all-black. They are super-comfortable and won’t mist up.


Oakley Splice Goggles. Image courtesy of Snow & Rock


3. Bern Macon Hard Hat at Absolute SnowI’ll be wearing a helmet. This one’s great because it’s matt (should I be talking about it’s performance?). It’s one of the least-bulky ones too, so you won’t look like you’re about to get on a motorbike.

hard hat

Bern helmet. Image courtesy of Absolute Snow.


4. Inverni Fox Fur Hat at Browns. If you’re opting for a soft hat and trying to perfect the Kate Moss look, this one’s for you. Its simple, elegant shape works on and off the slopes, year on year.  

fox hat

Inverni Fox Fur Hat. Image courtesy of Browns.


5. Ultra-light down jacket at Uniqlo. Here’s a great liner to go under any jacket and perfect on its own if you get a warm, sunny day on the slopes. Comes in a variety of colours – the inky blue is best for softening an all-black outfit and looks great with any skin tone. Underneath, you’ll need thermals. I like Icebreaker‘s base layers.


Ultra light down jacket. Image courtesy of Uniqlo

6. Sorel Winter Carnival Boot at Snow & Rock. Elle MacPherson has been papped in her Joan of Arctic ones (around £165), but did you know you can get a thoroughly decent, basic Sorel boot for £85? For off-piste warmth you really can’t beat these.


Sorel Winter Carnival Boot. Image courtesy of Snow & Rock


7. Vintage one-piece ski-suits, available on Etsy and Ebay. I’m not joking. Some of these are quite brilliant, if – here’s the rub – you can ski well enough to carry them off. Admittedly, I’ve picked this one because it is truly dodgy, but if I do see you in it, whizzing past, you’ll forgive a rusty skier for asking you for tips.

ski suit

Image courtesy of F is for Fresh on Etsy

If I may have the last word, it has to be about après-ski. Remember, off the slopes it’s a level playing field. My post-ski look is quite another thing. I may have my moment yet.