Wendy Morrison Reveals the Meanings Behind her Rug Designs
An exclusive interview with the Scottish designer
Scottish designer Wendy Morrison is known for the eclectic chinoiserie patterns, splendid colours, and exquisite craftsmanship of her rug designs. Making her home in an old Georgian Farmhouse in Dunbar, Scotland, Morrison’s flair for blending bold colours and patterns is apparent in each room.
We find a rug made of deep blue wool, hand-knotted with golden tropical birds. Another one is green with blue birds perched on pink blossoms. The playful colours create a calm and cozy space. Morrison’s house is more than a physical building—its strength and heartfelt warmth are augmented by inspiring colours.
In this interview, the designer shares her inspiration and tips for creating a warm, inviting home with the help of fine rugs.
What kind of stories do you tell in your designs?
I’ve always been interested in Asian philosophy, especially its connection with nature because it’s full of rich meanings that bring us hope and happiness.
In my Chinese Garden of Virtue collection, I use four flowers that are often depicted in traditional Chinese paintings to represent four noble spirits. The flowers serve as an elegant backdrop to a peacock symbolizing dignity and beauty, and to a soaring crane representing a long and happy life.
My Eternal Toile rug depicts ten symbols of longevity in Asian mythology. These symbols are the sun, the mountains, water, clouds, rocks, pine trees, turtles, white cranes, deer, and the mushroom of immortality.
Another rug, Joie de Vivre, depicts joyful life as seen in nature. It’s a vibrant pictorial story, encouraging us to consider everything around us. Crafted during the pandemic, it shows the importance of connecting with the natural world.
How did you first discover Asian culture?
I’ve had this fascination since I was quite young, especially with Tai Chi and Feng Shui. Feng Shui is the philosophy of arranging living spaces to harmonize with the natural and spiritual worlds. For instance, the phoenix is a symbol of good luck in Feng Shui. When used correctly, it’s said to bring positive energy to your life and home.