Floor art for your home: Get to know the man behind the best rugs in the business

A stylish room starts from the ground up. So if you make one purchase this month make it an amazing rug – it’s a great base to kick your room into style.

It’s no secret that we are big fans of East London’s hot new rug entrepreneur, Simon Goff, having designed our own range for him. But we thought you would love his style, his passion and his smiling bearded face, so here is a cheeky little interview to let you into his process and find out about the man behind the rugs. 

Where did your passion for rugs come from?

I started in my father’s flooring business over 10-years ago and it grew from there. We mainly sold traditional rugs, but slowly we began looking at more contemporary designs. Around this time, we were approached by Heal’s department store to run its flooring department. 

I learnt a huge amount, but I always felt we were missing something and I struggled to find what I wanted…I realised I had to go and create it. 

Colour, bold patterns and strong design have always been the heart of FLOOR_STORY and I began working with design talent to create just this in a range of exclusive rugs. I’m fully involved in the creative process and love seeing how far we can push the boundaries of what’s possible…our rugs are hand-made. Twice a year I visit our makers and find this one of the most rewarding aspects, exploring archives and testing new techniques is always an intriguing and enlightening experience.

Who is your typical client?

Our bold designs generally tend to attract the braver customers, but they come from every walk of life. 

You’ve just opened a showroom FLOOR_STORY at KENT & LONDON in Shoreditch, how important is the real-life shopping experience now in our online world?

Purchasing a rug is often a tactile experience. I ask clients lots of questions; how many people live in the house, what room is it going in, the theme of the room. The showroom allows me to react to these questions and build a picture of how the client lives. Buying a rug needs careful thought. 

People often come to us because of our expertise – they have been searching for years and never found their ideal and I can work with them to get that.

“Suits you sir” – After years in the business, can you tell what rug will suit a guy as soon as he walks in?

A risky strategy. I simply listen and work with clients to deliver what they want. As cliché as it is, never judge a book by its cover.  

You’ve collaborated with some amazing designers and artists for your rug collections (wink wink), what makes a great collaboration?

FLOOR_STORY had an amazing 2016 and we launched over 45 new products including capsule collections with Camille Walala and of course, 2LG, but it is hard to define exactly what goes towards making a great collaboration, there’s no simple winning formula. 

I think that is the beauty of the process, it is organic and something that always leads to a path least expected. For me though, the defining point of the year was the launch of ‘Roses’. It pushed the boundaries of hand-made rug craft for our highest ever knot count in an extraordinary blend of semi-worsted New Zealand wool and pure Chinese silk. The rug took five-months to make and was a year in development. 

What’s hot right now in the world of floors?

There is a massive buzz around printed rugs and I saw more than my fair share at the world’s largest flooring trade fair in Germany this January, but it seems yet to have reached the quality markers that would make it a serious proposition for us at FLOOR_STORY. That said, I do think the technology will get there and it could open some interesting avenues for us. 

For the time-being though I’ll just stick to my instincts and look for creative talents that can produce yet more extraordinary designs to join the FLOOR_STORY family. That’s where my heart is after all. 

GT readers can get 10% discount on all rugs at Floorstory with code 2LG10

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