Global interiors might be enjoying their moment in the limelight right now, but TOPFLOOR’s innovative designs have always been rooted in Esti’s love of travel. The sights, sounds, culture and colour that Esti discovers during her field trips to places as diverse as New Orleans, Vietnam, Oman, New York and, most recently, Kerala, influence her designs in ways she cannot always predict. Equally important to Esti are her Turkish roots and her beloved hometown of Istanbul.
‘Beautiful colour and pattern can be found everywhere – you just have to look!’ says Esti. ‘I love using Instagram as a visual diary for my travels. Looking back at my photos can really help to kick-start the creative process in my mind.’
‘Not only is travel important to me as an artist, it also makes good business sense,’ she adds. ‘Our customers range from global hotel brands to individual homeowners and they are located all over the world, so we look to a wide variety of cultures when designing our rugs.’
To lift our spirits in this grey British winter, we’re taking a little tour of some of Esti’s globally inspired rugs. Sometimes the creative muse behind a design is explicit; in other cases, more abstract – but every design has a story! The OTTOMANIA collection, for example, draws on Esti’s Turkish heritage and is inspired by the cultural riches of the Ottoman Empire:
And one of Esti’s favourite countries, Brazil, was the starting point for the ALLURE carpet collection. Each of the eight designs represents a place close to her heart, from the bustling cities and beautiful coastline to the dense jungle. RIO references the city’s art-deco architecture (the most iconic example being the Christ The Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain) while BRASILIA, like the city itself, has a modernist aesthetic. BUZIOS and BAHIA pay tribute to Esti’s favourite coastal spots while BONITO, AMAZON, SELVA and IGUASSU reference rich natural landscapes – lush vegetation, tropical rainforest and dramatic waterfalls.
Another collection with a strong sense of place is JAZZ AGE. With art-deco-inspired designs that carry names such as Marlene, Garbo and Harlow, it alludes to the glamorous music and movie scene of the roaring 20s in America.
The SCRIPT collection also has strong cultural roots. The result of a collaboration between Esti and the world-renowned Iraqi artist Hassan Massoudy, it features stylised Arabic calligraphy characters chosen for their aesthetic value as well as their poetic meaning. The designs are tagged with an (optional) proverb or line of verse, each of which has been taken from a different country or culture.
Other designs are connected to place in a more subtle or abstract way, the idea behind them perhaps triggered by a particular memory. This is the case with the fun, contemporary EMBED design, whose quilted surface and colourful silk buttons represent the mattress shops Esti used to walk past as a child in Istanbul.
‘For me, crafts and cultures from around the world have always helped to spark the creative process,’ says Esti. ‘But great design can also elevate the everyday into something exceptional – my EMMENTHAL rug, for example, began with a hunk of Swiss cheese!’
It can be tricky to create a ‘global’ interior without losing coherence – it can all-too-easily become a mish-mash of styles. TOPFLOOR designs, however, hint at far-flung influences without resorting to clichés or gimmicks. ‘The effect can be achieved in the most subtle of ways – with a certain colour or choice of material, for example,’ explains Esti. ‘Fibres such as alpaca, silk and bamboo, which we associate with specific regions, can become part of the story – the skill is in weaving the different elements together, both literally and figuratively.’
The sheer variety of TOPFLOOR’s collections proves that inspiration really can come from anywhere. In her next rug collection, Esti will be looking to another culture – but you’ll have to wait until March to find out more! In the meantime, if you’d like to make an appointment at the TOPFLOOR studio to discuss our designs, contact us here. To follow Esti on Instagram, click here.