As part of our trade program, interior designers and architects receive exclusive offerings and services. Join now.

Sherpa rug in Maize

Color Play with Joseph Gardner

We go behind the scenes of the campaign shoot for our new Color Play Collection and find out from stylist and Vogue Living style editor Joseph Gardner how the injection of a small burst of color can completely transform the mood, energy and emotion of a space.

Photography by Anson Smart

Malawi rug in Saffron
Malawi rug in Blush

How did you approach the brief to style our Color Play campaign? What inspirations did you have on your mood board?

We shot this campaign months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I was working from home and like most, feeling a little trapped and uninspired. The inspiration for this campaign was really driven by a desire to get away, dreaming of exotic locations and quiet, contemplative spaces. We drew inspiration from architecture, travel and of course color.

Collection of Malawi wool rugs

Over the years, Australian interiors have become more daring in their experimentation with color. Are there any hues that you are personally drawn to? Are you into tonal or contrasting palettes?

I love most colors but personally gravitate toward softer, earthier tones. I would say I prefer a tonal palette for at-home life, but a contrasting palette is often more exciting when producing editorial imagery.

Sherpa rug in Maize
Malawi rug in Amber

As a stylist, how can the addition of a small burst of color in the form of a rug completely transform a room?

I see rugs a bit like art for your floor, both for the skill and time they take to create but also for the way that they really finish off and add depth to an interior. Adding a shot of color to an otherwise neutral scheme can really elevate a space and take it to new, exciting places.

"Light plays a big factor when deciding on a rug color, so it’s always best to test how the color changes in the space."

Braid rug in Blush

Do you think color has an impact on the mood, energy and emotion of a space for its inhabitants?

Absolutely! Imagine living in an all-red room – stimulating for some and an anxiety-drenched nightmare for others. Softer colors are naturally more calming, and vibrant colors more stimulating, but this is completely unique to each person.

Sherpa rug in Charcoal
Malawi rug in Kelp

Tell us how you’d go about choosing a colorful rug for someone’s home. What design tenets do you abide by, and what rules are you happy to break with?

I’m not really big on rules!
 I always like to look at a client’s wardrobe, to see what colors they feel good in as, chances are, they will also feel good living with them. Light plays a big factor when deciding on a rug color also, so it’s always best to test how the color changes in the actual space, during the time of day you are most likely to inhabit it. I would also take into account the kind of mood they are hoping to create.

Braid rug in Oregano

Are there any particular things that need to be considered when it comes to sourcing a colorful rug for the living room, bedroom and dining room?

Again, I think it’s about how you want to feel in each room and at what times of day you use them most. For example, maybe you want a calm and serene bedroom to aid in sleep, or perhaps you want to liven things up and create some energy, if you know what I mean. I would also recommend avoiding being swayed by trendy colors – you and your rug will be together for a while so you need to make a true connection.

Malawi rug in Saffron

Finally, we can’t help but ask – what’s your favorite rug from the new collection?

I would say it would have to be the Malawi in Saffron…so spicy and delicious!

Follow Joseph Gardner on

You may also like

Savannah rug in Dust for the Lake Tahoe Project by Innen Studio and Gallois Interiors

A Nordic Inspired Cabin in Lake Tahoe

There’s a gentle synergy between Hana Mattingly (Innen Studio) and Sandy Welsh (Gallois Interiors), two friends and designers who when the stars align, come together to work on special projects. One such project is a Nordic inspired refresh of a family retreat in the heart of Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. The creative duo worked together to breathe new life into the home while taking design cues from their client’s Finnish heritage. We spoke to Hana and Sandy about their collaborative process, design philosophies and some of their favorite parts of this unique project.

Outside of The Blade House by Tecture

Inside Blade House by Tecture

Melbourne-based architecture practice Tecture thrive on creativity; working across a diverse range of projects each with its own unique identity. We caught up with the Tecture team to learn more about one project in particular that captured our imaginations. Blade House is a testament to the beauty and strength of concrete construction and a study in the relationship between built and natural environments. Throughout the project, textural elements – including Armadillo rugs – were incorporated to conjure warmth and character, with exceptional results. We caught up with the team at Tecture to learn more about their vision for and execution of this ambitious build.