From Stem to Home: The All-Encompassing Story of Orla Kiely Rugs & Design


Posted by: Ryan Malone

19 September 2023

Welcome to the intricate world of Orla Kiely, where patterns and colours come to life in the form of rugs that enrich your living space. This comprehensive guide aims to take you through the history, designs, and suitable interior styles for Orla Kiely rugs.

An Introduction to Orla Kiely: The Woman Behind the Brand

Orla Kiely, born in Ireland, is an illustrious designer renowned for her unique patterned designs. She initially started her career in hat design before venturing into handbags, homeware, and notably, rugs. Her degree from the Royal College of Art paved the way for her domination in the fashion and home décor industry.

What Inspires Orla Kiely’s Designs?

Orla Kiely's designs are known for their simple and stylised organic patterns. She is often inspired by nature and the world around her, making liberal use of earthy colours, like olive green, pale blue, and terracotta. These colour schemes are frequently found in her rug designs, providing a versatile yet impactful visual element to various interior settings.

The History and Evolution of Orla Kiely's Designs

The Orla Kiely brand saw its inception in the 1990s and has since been a trailblazer in textile design. Her timeless 'Stem' pattern has become synonymous with the brand, reflecting Kiely's influences from the 1960s and 1970s art and culture.

The Resurgence Post-2018

Though the Orla Kiely retail stores closed in 2018 due to financial constraints, the brand saw a resurgence through licensing and collaborations. This has ensured that her iconic patterns continue to adorn homes worldwide, including in the form of captivating rugs.

Why Choose Orla Kiely Rugs?

Distinctive Patterns

From the signature 'Stem' design to intricate floral patterns, Orla Kiely rugs are instantly recognisable. These patterns serve as focal points in a room, often becoming conversation starters.

Quality and Craftsmanship

Each Orla Kiely rug is crafted with attention to detail, using high-quality materials that are both durable and luxurious to the touch.

Colour Palette

The colour palette employed in Orla Kiely rugs usually features earthy tones like olive green, ochre, and grey, which can seamlessly integrate into various interior styles.

Styling Tips: How to Incorporate Orla Kiely Rugs into Your Home

Orla Kiely's signature designs have not only found their place in wardrobes but also in homes, drastically impacting interior design trends. From wallpapers and upholstery to her popular rugs, Orla Kiely has established herself as a powerhouse in home décor.

The adaptability of her designs in different forms of home furnishings attests to their versatility and broad appeal. Her rugs, in particular, encapsulate the essence of her design philosophy: simple yet intricate, bold yet understated.

For Modern Interiors

In contemporary or modern settings, Orla Kiely rugs with geometric patterns such as the iconic 'Stem' design work exceptionally well. They offer a visually pleasing contrast to the streamlined furniture commonly found in modern homes. A rug in subdued earthy tones can add warmth to an otherwise monochromatic setting, while more vibrant colours can become the focal point of a room.

For Bohemian Styles

If your home embraces the eclectic and whimsical, more intricate Orla Kiely rug designs could be a perfect fit. Patterns with intricate florals can add a touch of whimsy to a bohemian living space. Pair it with mismatched furniture and vibrant textiles to create a cosy, inviting atmosphere.

For Classic Interiors

Those who favour a more classic interior can opt for Orla Kiely rugs with simpler, symmetrical patterns and muted colour schemes. These designs blend seamlessly into a room adorned with antique furniture, vintage accessories, or traditional architectural elements. Consider adding an Orla Kiely rug with floral motifs or classic geometrics to enhance the period look.

The Versatility of Orla Kiely Designs in Home Interiors

The unique combination of form and colour in Orla Kiely's designs allows them to be used in various other aspects of interior décor. Whether it’s cushions, curtains, or even kitchenware, you can find Orla Kiely designs that complement her rugs, offering a cohesive look. It’s this versatility that has cemented her legacy not just in fashion but in transforming homes into spaces that echo individual personality and style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Orla Kiely

What is Orla Kiely's Most Famous Design?

The 'Stem' pattern is arguably Orla Kiely’s most iconic design, admired for its simplicity and visual impact.

Is Orla Kiely an Interior Designer?

While Orla Kiely is primarily known for her work in fashion and textile design, her impact on the world of interior design is far from minimal. In fact, she has carved out a unique space within the interior design sphere, influencing how modern homes look and feel.

Orla Kiely’s designs seamlessly transition from the runway to room décor. Her signature prints and patterns, originally created for clothing and accessories, have transcended those categories to become sought-after elements in home interiors. You’ll find Orla Kiely's iconic designs on a range of interior products—from wallpapers and bed linens to kitchenware and, of course, rugs.

Her rugs are especially popular in interior design circles because they offer an effortless way to incorporate her renowned patterns into home settings. With their detailed craftsmanship and distinctive designs, Orla Kiely rugs can serve as the focal point in a room, or work in harmony with other design elements to create a cohesive look.

So, while Orla Kiely may not hold the title of an ‘Interior Designer,’ her influential designs have found a cherished and enduring place in homes around the world, profoundly impacting how spaces are styled and experienced.

Inspire Your Design Journey with Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely design, and her rugs bring an unparalleled blend of aesthetic appeal, quality, and heritage. With their versatile designs and superior craftsmanship, these rugs can become the centrepiece of any room. Explore our Orla Kiely rug collection to add a touch of sophistication to your living space.

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