“The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite, awakening in him a desire for the pure and, finally, for the supernatural...” Wassily Kandinsky

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Until relatively recently in human history, “blue” didn’t exist- at least not in the way we think of it. Early mankind yearned to speak the language of the sky and ocean, but had no way to render the color with meager earthbound pigments. It was only just a matter of time until the color blue; elusive, soothing, and supernatural, would change the course of human vision forever.

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In the Ancient Greek tale“The Odyssey,” Homer famously fumbles at identifying the color blue as the “wine-dark sea.” Even though Homer’s words beguiled readers, the color still remained beyond imagination. Ancient Greece was a muddled, murky world. Whites, yellows, metallics, and browns were the only utterances of colorful jargon in their civilization. That is until the Lapis Lazuli slowly meandered through the trade routes of Afghanistan, landing into the hands of one of the Ancient World’s most powerful queens.

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It took 6,000 years to travel onto the eyelids and embellished gowns of Cleopatra. When she wasn’t powdering her eyes with ground up Lapis Lazuli pigments, she ordered the color be adorned on the tombs of her most powerful colleagues to protect them in the afterlife. But she wasn’t the only one to covet and capture the already millenia old tinctures.

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The maverick Marco Polo, inspired by Homer and Cleopatra’s exploits, journeyed to Afghanistan in the 13th century only to discover mysterious blue-tinged pigments inside the mines of the Kokeha Valley. Fascinated, the young explorer collected an insurmountable supply of the variegate. It’s as if he somehow knew the color would change the course of art, trade, and commerce forever.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 4.40.58 PM“Camel Market in Tanger” – Ferdinand Willaert

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With that, Marco Polo swiftly trekked home wowing Venetian revelers and silencing his naysayers by delivering an astronomical supply of what he coined “ultra-marine” pigments to the ports of Venice.

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Ultramarine, literally meaning ‘over-seas’-forever impacted Western Europe’s most innovative artists, merchants, and craftsmen of Marco Polo’s time and beyond. Thus, began the modern age of ultramarine’s transformation into blue.

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Whether its Krishna dancing comfortably in his own blue skin, or worn as a symbol of public service in ancient Rome, its historical presence is hard to deny.

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From the Industrial Revolution deep into the 21st Century, blue has syphoned itself onto the uniforms of international militaries, the navy, and on international peacekeeping troops.


As late as 1915 “Bright Blue” became an official color in Britain. Former Editrix of Vogue, Diana Vreeland, said “Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.52.46 AM“The Blue Room” by Pablo Picasso

Picasso paid homage to the color with his Blue Period, and now in the 21st Century, Damien Hirst’s “No Love Lost, Blue Paintings,” has further immortalized the color into it’s own coming of age.

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Today, TSAR has given the color that symbolizes peace, universal dignity, blue note jazz, and loyalty its own decorative and bespoke voice.


Any shade of blue, ultramarine, lapis, cobalt, or azure can be obtained from the Tsar House Collection, or custom made to compliment your artworks, interiors, and soft furnishings.


At TSAR we admire how blue has weaved its cacophonous web of scarcity and celebration throughout human history. That’s why as TSAR’s Color of the Month for June, we venture to unleash and unveil the mystery that is blue under your feet and into your imagination today, tomorrow, and for the future to come.























Rohan Riley’s breadth of experience in hands-on furniture design, 3/D modelling, and construction has allowed him to create stark, prolific, and seamless interior design. His techniques emphasize the importance of allowing for improvisation with an innate desire to create flexible simplicity. These tools have given Riley license to transform what was once just a house nestled inside of a bay, into a bespoke, majestic, and timeless creation.

How did the Caraar Creek Brief project come about?

To begin with, the house itself needed a major overhaul, not just a minor update. Our goal was to make it more contemporary. Also, our clients love to entertain a lot, so their lifestyle as it pertains to the structure needed to operate like a hotel. At the beginning, we had to completely demolish the whole house and start over again. The advantage of this move is that it allowed us to re-position the house in a way that made the views more accessible and more beautiful. Now we could push the positioning of the house closer to the bay. So instead of following a simple brief for the client to make it more contemporary and simplified, the brief was then expanded. Overall, we ended up with this amazing structure.
What was the design brief for the carpets regarding the project?

It all evolved, but to tell you the truth, it was very improvised around the outside elements and in communicating a festive atmosphere. Each room is color-coded and has a theme. We also took a nod from surrounding elements in the environment. All the colors come back to the garden, the bay, and so on. We wanted to touch on the oranges and blues. We even talked to the landscapers and ideas began to flow. So our color palette began to develop organically.


Did the resulting design and specifications meet the brief?

Absolutely. We walked through the site and touched base with our clients pretty much every week. The whole process was absolutely fun. It was a true collaboration between the builder, landscaper, and client. Even though the original footprint was set in stone, we were still able to change things around because our client was so flexible.

 What were the moods, tones, and themes driving the project?

As you walk through the house you see the outside elements peaking in, even in the festive-colored carpets. These clients love to have a good party so they have rooms titled “The Sherry Room” “The Tequila Room” “The Wine Room” and so on. Also, we didn’t want to “over-design” anything. We wanted to keep things simple and understated because our client wanted to keep that boutique-hotel feel. As you walk through the house you see the outside elements peaking in, even in the festive-colored carpets.


What are some of the challenges and hurdles you faced during this project?

The only challenges were in the planning, but they were minor. We had a 5-meter height limit and there was an imaginary line on the site that we were not allowed to build on. That’s basically why the house is divided in two and why it’s at an angle.

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What were the benchmark moments or memorable highlights that you took away from it?

Really, it’s the ideas that come into fruition. The biggest highlight is in knowing that you’re looking at an old house that’s going to be demolished in the beginning of the project, only to see it completely transform into something totally unrecognizable and different in the end. The process was actually a great highlight. When this project was being built, it became much better than what we all originally thought. This happened many times during the actual landscaping and building process. The view from the house was also an important benchmark, plus seeing the clients happy with their finished product.

You specialize in sketch design, 3D modeling, landscape, and furniture design/manufacturing. In what ways have these aspects helped you stand out as an Interior Designer?

I believe in putting all these practices together, because it helps us and our clients get the results they really need. When we envisage a project, we design from the ground up. I think having a landscape background allows a lot of freedom in how you reshape a building site. Having these skills helps tremendously, especially in adding to the scope of the projects, whether it’s an area for children to play in or a special area for dogs, the possibilities are endless. Having a background in furniture and construction really helps because it also provides a bespoke element in everything we do for the client.


Can you tell us what motivated you to use TSAR?

It’s about the quality. TSAR makes an overall good quality carpet and rug. We took samples to the client who wanted to get carpets made and she was struck by the colors. It spurred on from there. TSAR’s line of colors and the quality is what ultimately sold us, especially when our client fell in love with the bold oranges. Our client was also very particular about fiber, fabric, touch and feel specifications and TSAR met these requests. Also, the blue carpet we put in the lounge room had an uncanny ability to really change with the environment. This particular blue carpet complimented the water in the bay, down to the tiles in the swimming pool and the stones on the wall. That carpet really brings the bay into the whole house. One other aspect, as soon as you take your shoes off and walk around on a TSAR carpet it gives the most luxurious feeling underfoot. You find yourself immediately relaxed enough to enjoy your surroundings.

Visit Rohan Riley Interior Design


















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Can you tell us what motivated you to use this particular custom carpet from TSAR? 

This was a custom carpet I designed based on mid-century styling,  in particular the colors used by Yves St. Laurent for his Rive Gauche label.

What are some of the main elements you look for when choosing a carpet or rug when decorating your own interiors?

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I always like to have at least some part of the rug or carpet in silk. It gives a beautiful luster and luxury. A step from the ordinary!

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Shades of coral, beige, white, and pink delivers a unique, yet organic vibrancy to your residence. Why these particular colors?  

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Once again, the colors are base on the YSL label of the 70’s. Also living in Northern California, where the light is muted and filtered,  vibrant colors tend to be more in nature with the surroundings – this particular part of the world is very much like the South of France.

What are some of the Interior Design basics, objects, or elements you simply cannot live without in your daily work rituals?  

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I always have flowers (a must) and I love my art, as it’s what gives personality to a room.

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(All Photos Courtesy of Christopher Stark)








Chysanthemum Rug

So you’ve ogled your friends’ rugs, poured over interior design magazines, and window-licked up and down the streets from here to Timbuktu. Now it’s time to take the plunge and find yourself The One. How exactly does one go about buying a rug?

David Sharpley_Wall Street(1)

Over 30 years of experience in the industry have lead David Sharpley, owner of Tsar Carpets USA and AUS, to become a passionate authority on rugs and carpets.

David’s philosophy is that rugs are the ultimate canvas for creativity. They are tactile and artistic, yet functional and liveable.  They are key elements in converting house to home. The challenge lies in striking balance between quality, fiber, style, cost and performance.

David has given us the coveted top FAQs for buying a rug that ensures your interior design endeavor is a successful one.


Porcelein Rug

  1. Once you have decided where a rug is required, take photo of the space from two or more angles.
  1. Next, mark out and measure the area that you want to be covered by the rug. This can easily be done by laying down masking tape or newspaper.
  1. Re-enter the room and walk around, sit down to see how you like the arrangement.
  1. When you have settled on the layout, you can take the measurements and pictures to a rug and carpet retailer.

QUICK TIP: in a living room, having ⅓ of the rug under the couch and sofa chairs is a good rule of thumb. This ensures a sense of flow through the room.

For a dining room, allow the rug to peak out about 70cm from under the table. This leaves enough room for chairs to be pulled in and out without falling off the edge of the rug.

There are two options when purchasing a rug: you can buy one ‘off the rack’, or you can have one custom made.

Both are great options, but custom designing a rug can cut your search time in half by ensuring you get the exact size, color scheme and design you’re after.

Tsar offers a design service by which you can tweak any in-house design to your liking, or create a rug from scratch. They’ll even make a mock-up of your space with your potential rug designs in it, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

If you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to jump right in and start discussing fibers, colors and designs with one of Tsar’s in-house designers!



Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique. It’s a fantastically fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unsurpassable.


Hand-knotting is the traditional way to weave rugs. It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed and will last for centuries.

Read more about the difference between hand-tufting and hand-knotting here.


For rugs, the best fibers are the natural fibers. Quality wool performs better than any fiber: it’s stain resistant, naturally warm or cold depending on the season, lasts for years, and it looks newer for longer.


However, synthetic fibers like nylon have come a long way, and can be a good choice for a particularly high traffic area, like a hotel foyer, as nylon is stiffer than wool and won’t flatten overtime.


Other man made fibers, like viscose and bamboo silk, also have their place, as cheaper alternatives to silk.

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While the price of synthetic fibers can be lower than than that if natural fibers, the difference in quality is like solid gold vs gold plated jewellery- both look great, but only one will last forever.


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Short pile (where the fiber tufts are 7-9mm high) should be used in most cases as it gives density, which helps to ensure the pile won’t crush underfoot.

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Longer pile is often used in bedrooms for softer feel, but it will compact and flatten over time in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic.


First, think about some practical factors to set the parameters.

Do you have an animal that sheds white hair? Steer clear of designs with large areas of dark colors.

Do you have messy toddlers? Busier designs will be more forgiving to spills and wear and tear.

Is it a heavy traffic area? Stay away from light colors, especially yellow.

Small room? Minimal designs in lighter colors can make a room feel more spacious.

Also consider the amount of natural light in the room, as this can influence how brightly colors show up. Once you have taken the practical elements into account, you can have fun playing with designs and colors that reflect with your personal taste.

Knotted example


There are five factors that determine the price of a rug: fiber content, manufacturing technique, complexity of design, pile height, and weight.

Each of these factors affect the longevity and beauty of your rug. A higher quality rug will last a long time, and retain its original texture and design.

Read more about the 5 factors that contribute to the price of a rug here.


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While rugs can be made to accommodate any budget, it is important to remember that a lower price range can mean compromising the quality and longevity of the product.

Determine which of the five factors that contribute to the price of a rug are most important to you, and figure your budget out from there.

A rug is an investment, and it’s never a bad idea to invest in a quality product that you love, and that will last a lifetime.


Once you find the find the right rug that fits your interiors, you can rest easy knowing that you’re on the way to realizing your vision. But remember, custom made will always ensure you get 100% quality in terms of fiber, design, and pile height. Take the time to find something perfect for your space, and no matter the house, it’ll always feel like home.




We spoke to David Sharpley of Tsar Carpets to get the low down on why there’s a huge discrepancy in rug prices on the market. He points out the five main elements that affect cost and what to look for when it comes to quality, cost, and materials.



For every fiber, the price depends on the level of quality.

For example, even 100% New Zealand wool can be of high quality and higher price range-and also of a low price rang. If the customer is willing to compromise quality for the sake of cost, then so be it!


Choosing New Zealand wool of the highest grade will ensure that the lanolin content of the wool is high. Lanolin gives a natural water protective layer to the fibers, making the rug stain resistant. High quality New Zealand wool also has longer strands that make up the thread, meaning the yarn is stronger. These longer strands are the secret to making sure a rug retains its original quality for longer, and aids in the reduction of fluffing and shedding.

Some other fibers that are used include silk, bamboo silk, viscose and nylon.

Silk is usually the most expensive fiber, and nylon and viscose are usually the least expensive. Wool and Bamboo Silk combinations are very popular among those looking at mid-range prices for a high-end product.

Each of these fibers has its place in designing a rug.

Talk to a consultant at TSAR about which fibers best suits your style and practicality requirements.



While both techniques produce high quality products, hand-tufting is a less costly option than hand-knotting. This is due to the amount of time, excellence and mastered technique required to create a hand-knotted rug.

Hand Knotting

For this reason, hand-knotted rugs are often seen as a more sentimental investment. The same price difference exists in the cost of craftsmanship- lower quality craftsmanship is cheaper than artisan craftsmanship.

Read more about Tsar’s Manufacturing Techniques.


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The intricacy of your chosen design will dictate how long the manufacturing process will take, plus the level of craftsmanship required to produce the rug. These factors will ultimately affect the final price.

Autumnal - Stipples in NZ Wool

A more detailed design, such as using multiple colors and/or fibers, will have a higher price than a rug of a single color and basic pattern.

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Pile height is another contributing factor to the price of a rug. The thicker the rug and the more raw material required to make it, the higher the overall price.

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The weight of a rug is also an important factor in determining the cost of the product. The more densely a rug is tufted or knotted, the more expensive it will be in relation to its pile height.

High density rugs are sturdier, so they are perfect for high traffic areas like foyers, hallways or under dining room tables where you want to minimize indentation.


Quality of Finish

Other prices variations between suppliers can indicate quality of latex (for tufted rugs), quality of backing material, and quality of finishing.

Each of these five factors affect the longevity and beauty of your rug, along with the price.

The best and most useful advice for our customers?

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Buy the best you can afford. A higher quality rug will last a longer time, and retain its original texture and design.

Contact TSAR for any questions, concerns, or to speak with one of their design consultants anywhere in the world.




David Sharpley_Exhibition

We spoke to David Sharpley CEO and founder of Tsar Carpets to find out what’s what in rug manufacturing techniques. With 30 years experience he is well qualified to break it down for us!

Tufted example - trixiTrixi Design – Hand-Tufted with natural undyed NZ Wool, and dyed Bamboo Silk”

Generally, there are two main techniques used in rug and carpet manufacturing: hand knotting, and hand tufting.



Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique by which the fibers are punctured through a large canvas to create the rug.

Tufted - frontTUFTED – Hand-Tufted Front

The threads on the back are then secured by a latex backing, and the front is hand-shorn and sculpted as required.

Tufted - backTUFTED BACK-Hand-Tufted Back

It is an impressively fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unbeatable.



It is a great option for custom carpets and rugs where excellence of fiber and a speedy delivery are priorities.

Tufted example - autumnal



Hand-knotted rugs are the original way of weaving rugs. Cotton threads are strung up on a loom and the fibers are woven and knotted through by hand.

knot2_14Traditionally, the knotting technique used differs from region to region, and is carried out by specialized artisans, as it is an extremely intricate technique that requires a great level of expertise.

Knotted - frontHand-Knotted Front 

It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed, and will last for centuries.

Knotted - back(1)Hand-Knotted Back 

Both techniques have their place in finding the perfect rug for your home. Chat to one of the in-house designers at TSAR about which technique works best for you!

Halo Rug

For more tips on what to look for when buying a rug visit TSAR NEWS.

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Imagine you’re a merchant living in the Byzantine Empire. Your rulers wear flowing purple robes and sign their edicts in purple ink. Their heirs are described as being “born in the purple.” Then imagine yourself a successful artisan living in the Phoenician city of Tyre in what is now modern day Lebanon. You pay exorbitant amounts of money to obtain “Tyranian Purple” made from a species of sea snail known as Bolinus Brandaris. It’s so exceedingly rare that its worth its weight in silver and gold. You realize it takes as many as 250,000 mollusks to yield one ounce of the usable dye, but you’re willing to pay.

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Symbolized as the emboldened shade of ambition, nobility, luxury, and royalty; purple has opened the doors of human perception since the days of the alchemists and has beguiled artists for centuries.

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The omnipotent color that signifies wealth and position made appearances as far back as 25,000 years ago in pre-historic art. This color produces the most powerful wavelength on the color spectrum, making it one of the most impactful colors in human history.

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Fast-forward to the 21st Century and you’ll see the almighty purple echoing its legacy in all things fashion, innovation, design, and contemporary art. Even the miniscule and quirky purple necktie worn amongst political political and business leaders is synonymous with assertiveness and confidence.

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At TSAR we’ve taken the stalwart color and synchronized it’s magic into our own methods and construction of carpeting. Through the modern day process of dying yarns, hand-tufting, and use of natural fibres, we can acheive the richness and depth of the color.

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Any shade of purple from your own individual colour palette or desired accent options can be obtained from the TSAR house collection or custom made. Whether its soft furnishings, decorations, or artworks, we’ll create the perfect shade for your interiors to complement your aesthetic.

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As TSAR’s color of the month for May, we unfold the color purple under your feet and unleash your month into a a royal voyage of luxury, subtle nobility, and into a bespoke kingdom unlike any witnessed in carpeting history.

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TSAR’s TREEKO collection catapults carpeting into another sphere of textural sophistication. It’s one colour cut and loop pile knitted carpet made from 100% New Zealand Wool offers singular quality and detail. The result; a carpet or rug with astonishing tactile and textural elements.


Alexiou_Glebe_Bedroom_crop_Treeko_Patchwork_1TREEKO Carpet Courtesy of Charles Alexiou Interior Design and Architecture


TSAR’s approach to design with all collections is to provide carpets and rugs that go beyond immeasurable endurance and quality.

Treeko_Adela_5(Minimum 10m2 required and made to a maximum of 4m width)



The truth in TREEKO’s magic comes from the raised texture that’s produced on a knitting machine. This method ensures high density customizable color, making TREEKO a benchmark collection that provides the greatest value for the most intricate designs.




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Finding a foothold on visions and dreams is never as easy as it seems. With a passion for the French countryside and plenty of will power to boot, two determined Aussie couples embarked on the tireless quest of acquiring a breathtaking property. After an arduous hunt, Ian and Ruth Bird decided it was time to go back to their home in the U.K. while Ian’s brother David and his wife Marie returned to Australia from France. Once home Marie discovered an email highlighting clues to an undiscovered gem. With some deliberation, they decided it was time to take the irresistible, yet challenging opportunity to purchase a magnificently positioned property.

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The glorious house appropriately titled La Maison Oiseux (House of Bird), is made up of two residences, and quietly nestled in the French countryside located in Cordes-Sur-Ciel. After signing on the dotted line, both couples realized that was only half the battle. Ultimately, they would have to begin the herculean task by designing the interiors remotely.

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Faced with a major renovation, they decided to stay away from dark rooms with little daylight, mixed with garish color contrasts they had previously seen in the area. “The house has that special something that makes you throw caution to the wind,” says Ruth. That meant renovating from a distance and calling on the services of TSAR.


With the help of an architect, space was redesigned in order to maximize the views across the front of the property. Each of the partners relished the task of designing the interiors.


Paint colors were chosen to reflect the view and with the help of the design team at TSAR, two gorgeous rugs were designed to invite the colours from the magnificent countryside inside. One rug features wonderful sunflowers that are abundant in the fields nearby.


One could say that the property offers a home away from home, encompassing the epitome of true Joie de Vivre! Coupled with the secret essence of the beautiful French countryside, history, food and culture, TSAR has truly brought the bon vivant outside to the inside of La Maison Oiseaux.

The house is now available for rent. For inquiries and further information please contact Marie Bird: mariebird@birdgroup.net.au

“The Cetak collection is another example of our relentless pursuit to create the ultimate rugs with matching texture and feel to meet the expectation we have when looking at the ancient, timeless and beautiful designs.” – David Sharpley, CEO TSAR Carpets and Rugs

Cetak Collection
Cetak Collection

This collection pays homage to the aesthetic of Indonesian textiles. Although rug-making is traditionally a laborious and exacting process, the Cetak Collection challenges and celebrates spontaneity in craft and design.

Cetak Collection
Cetak Collection

Drawing on the art of woodblock printing, natural accidents in this ancient tradition are fully embraced, giving Cetak designs a beauty of serendipity, that give way to natural patterns and organic elements. The result is a raw, breezy and playful rug collection, perfect for contemporary and rustic inspired interiors.

Cetak Collection
Cetak Collection
“In real life the rugs are tactile and exceed the perception we adopt when seeing the beautiful designs. The actual texture are not industrious and don’t feel manufactured. The result is rewardingly remarkable.” David Sharpley, CEO TSAR Carpets
Cetak Collection
Cetak Collection