Where art and design meet

Interior design is an art and art plays a key role in interior design – it’s a marriage made in aesthetic heaven. No one knows this better than us at Topfloor, where our founder and design director Esti Barnes creates exquisite rugs that are masterpieces of the textile world. In this blog post we share our thoughts on just how art and interiors can connect with and influence each other – and how that can help you to transform your home.

Topfloor blog interview with Esti Barnes. Enmesh rug


Artistic expression

Art can be a painting, sculpture, textile… the common characteristic is that it inspires, excites or moves us in some way. Interiors can do just the same. A home is a sanctuary, where we can express our personalities and experiences. It is also the only place where we can display our own interpretations of beauty. That’s not to say it should be a showcase of artistic pieces that can be seen but not touched – we’re talking about a living expression of ourselves that’s vibrant, exciting and interactive, with the purpose of making our life enjoyable and rewarding.

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What better way to bring art and life into an interior than with a dramatic rug. Topfloor rugs are design classics that walk the line between art and functionality. Think of a cross between a piece of fine art and the softest, yet most robust, floorcovering you can imagine. Each piece is the result of an initial creative vision followed by many months of expert craftsmanship to create a unique rug that combines striking looks with sensuous texture.


The artist at work

New 3 rugs

Esti Barnes’ designs all start out as hand-drawn sketches in pencil – as you can see from these initial drawings for our Ecosse rug – and some are interpretations of artists’ works, like the Script collection, which is a collaboration with world-renowned calligrapher Hassan Massoudy. The rugs, including Peace, below, combine Massoudy’s artistic expression with Esti Barnes’ original signature style.


Esti’s latest collaboration, with British designer and photographer Pam Weinstock, transposes Pam’s photographs from nature into beautiful rugs. ‘It was a big challenge to capture Pam’s stunning photograph of a Phuket sunset into the rug, with its multiple hues tufted in wool and silk, and give the rug the magical effect that is seen below,’ says Esti.

Top Floor Rugs-3


Three-dimensional art

Like Massoudy’s calligraphy and Weinstock’s photography, art should have movement and vitality – and sculptural forms have a solid presence that allows us to interact with them in a physical way. Topfloor’s 3D collection includes inventive pieces that entice the senses in more ways than just visually – just imagine digging your toes into this Elm design, below…

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Bespoke commissions

Finding the key decorative piece that turns a room into a stimulating space is an exciting journey, and a specially commissioned piece is a great opportunity to create something personal and distinctive to your own taste and style – whether it’s an imposing canvas or a luxurious floorcovering.

Esti Barnes is personally involved with every Topfloor design brief. You may opt to have an existing rug tailored to your needs – for example, choosing your favourite shades and even shape for one of Esti’s trademark colour-graduated pieces like Emmenthal:

topfloor decoupage blog post

Or you can have a bespoke rug made to your own specification: a one-off piece to take pride of place in your home.


Original idea

We’re not the only ones who think floorcoverings can be art. Many influential artists have used rugs as a channel for their imagination, employing this accessible and tactile medium to bring their aesthetic into people’s homes in an elemental way. In the 1930s, Miró and Picasso exhibited tapestries alongside the paintings that inspired them – often selling the weaves for greater sums than the paintings.


Global influence

Just as in art, inspiration for interior design can come from anywhere – crafts and cultures from far-flung places have long been a source of creative impulse, whether it’s wood carvings from Indonesia or kilims from India. Our Ottomania collection draws on Esti’s own Turkish cultural heritage, inspired by the rich tones and geometric patterns of fabrics from the Ottoman Empire.

Topfloor blog interview with Esti Barnes. Princess Gevher rug

For more inspiration, or to discuss a bespoke commission, contact us here. The Sunset rug by Esti Barnes and Pam Weinstock will be launched during the Focus 2015 show at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour in London. Join us at 1pm on 22 September in Topfloor’s showroom for an exclusive preview. Click here for more information.