HOME  |  PRESS / BLOG  |  Rug Art- How Contemporary Rugs Are Drawing on Modern Art


Rug Art- How Contemporary Rugs Are Drawing on Modern Art

Rug-making has always been considered to be at the intersection of art and craft. On the one hand, a rug is a functional object – at its most basic, it serves as a floor covering. On the other hand, a rug is also an aesthetic object in itself, irrespective of the purpose to which it is put. Just where rug-making falls can serve as the topic for endless debates, but you only have to look at the exquisite creations of contemporary rug designers around the world to see that rugs are indisputably a creative medium, and in some cases, are works of art.

Discover how to use rug art in your home

Rug Art Collections

Contemporary rugs have always had a mutually beneficial relationship with the art world, with each drawing on the other for inspiration. You can see evidence of this at some of London’s famous rug shops. Bazaar Velvet, for example, are Chelsea-based rug designers who effortlessly. They demonstrate why rugs should be counted as art objects in their own right, with their uniquely expressive designs clearly in dialogue with the rest of the art world. These are just a few of their most noteworthy rugs and collections.


The Street Art Range

This rug collection by Bazaar Velvet draws on London’s edgy street art scene and transplants it into the world of high-end rug-making. The range consists of three clear designs. 'Maid' is a Banksy inspired piece, which has been reworked to create a bold and contemporary design. Queenie has similar influences, and uses those influences to create an evocative blend of novelty and tradition. Park Life, as shown below, is perhaps the most light-hearted of the three pieces, with a playful scene of children on a bright splash of abstract colour. With a slightly rebellious, anarchic aesthetic, paired with an infectious sense of humour, these pieces of rug art have captured the essence of urban street art and brought it into the interior design landscape.

Contemporary Rug | Bazaar Velvet

The Street Art Rug Range can be found as part of Bazaar Velvet's Floor Art Collection. Selected pieces are available from stock, with bespoke sizes and colours available to order.


The Open Plan Rug Design

Bazaar Velvet’s Open Plan design is the perfect example of minimalist style rug art. It uses shape in a manner which will remind some of Rothko, though its palette is far more subdued, with subtle beiges, greys and browns working in concert to create a tasteful, elegant piece. Rug designers have significantly more scope now to explore shape in their work than they have enjoyed in the past. Where before rugs tended to be tightly patterned and highly symmetrical, designers today are able to introduce far more varied shapes and sizes into the finished piece. The Open Plan is a good example of what can be achieved when that freedom is put to good use. Its sophisticated approach, clearly drawing on the cannon of contemporary art, lends a refined quality to the finished product, elevating it to the status of high art in itself.

Hand Knotted, open plan rug design | Bazaar Velvet

Bazaar Velvet's Open Plan Design can be made to order in any colour or size. Please contact them for more information.


The Silk Flash Rug Design

The Silk Flash design delves further back into the history of art. While still undeniably contemporary, there are traces of the early twentieth century to be found in these pieces, with influences of the highly popular Art Deco and Vorticist styles. This inspiration is especially apparent in the Silk Flash Indigo design, the stark colours and sharp angles of which bear the clear influence of that forward-thinking movement. Bazaar Velvet’s Starburst designs are also worth exploring for a comparable aesthetic.

Contemporary Rug | Bazaar Velvet

'Silk Flash' is available in four stunning colour-ways as part of Bazaar Velvet's Core Collection of contemporary rugs.


The Creation of Rug Art- The Amelia Rug

An in-depth look at how the amazing 'Amelia' rug by Bazaar Velvet came into being. A creative mash up of popular culture, fine art and traditional craftsmanship

Amelia Rose hw lr-1

Amelia Rose by Bazaar Velvet


It is an inevitable truth that art and design play a huge role in our everyday lives. We may not be fully conscious of its importance, but it surround us, and few could argue it doesn't add colour and enrichment to our existence. Our new design duo, the 'Amelia' rugs, have taken inspiration from numerous different art forms; from music to fashion to interior design. The lines between the creative industries have become so very blurred they are difficult to define, but we decided to combine them in an unusual and exciting way.



Nothing else can quite convey mood and expression like a painting. That is why, when bringing our design dream to life, we thought there was no better way to start than with a paintbrush in hand. An eclectic blend of different painting techniques were used to create this unique artwork. A monochrome portrait is mixed with wild brushstrokes of vivid colour, giving this piece originality and tonnes of attitude.Our talented design team worked tirelessly to translate this artwork into a form in which it could be woven. This was no mean feat, with millions of different shades of colour having to be condensed to just a few, whilst retaining enough complexity to recreate the movement of each brushstroke.



These designs were brought to life using the traditional rug making method, which has gone virtually unchanged for many centuries. Even the preparation of the wool that is completed entirely by hand; the carding, the spinning, the dying. Each rug is hand knotted on a loom. The complexity of the Amelia rug makes this stage all the more skilful, with colours needing to be changed many times as the weavers make their way across the row.We were overjoyed at the results of the labour of love that went into our beautiful Amelia rugs. They are a celebration of creativity in its many forms, and we hope that many others will share this sentiment with us.



The exquisite interplay between craftsmanship and art is evident throughout the Bazaar Velvet showroom. Each rug is hand-knotted by experienced artisans using traditional techniques, yet expressed a style and grace beyond what, in the hands of inferior rug makers, can be a restrictive form. Bazaar Velvet’s timeless designs demonstrate that a true artist can work in any medium.

Find out more about how to incorporate contemporary rug art into your home in our Definitive Guide to Rug Design and Colour

If you have any questions about the beautiful contemporary rugs we offer at Bazaar Velvet please do not hesitate to contact us.   

Rugs online and from our London Rug Shop


Further Reading:

Topics: Style Guide