When we moved to our current house a stair runner was one of the hardest purchases to make. I realised that the choice out there was mostly limited to traditional stripy designs and eventually I settled on painting a stair runner on and postponed the idea of buying one until later. But recently while browsing Instagram I have discovered Sophie Cooney runners. I loved ethnic inspired but updated for modern interiors patterns, bright but restrained colour schemes, that make runners more of a statement rather than a bland background, and authentic craftsmanship. Like me, Sophie had trouble finding a stair runner for her home, but instead of giving up she decided to create her own!
I got in touch with Sophie to find out more about how she started her business, what inspires her and her plans for the future.
“I started with stair runners back in 2014 but I didn’t really make it a business until late last year. I originally had one made for my own staircase when I couldn’t find what I was looking for. All runners seemed to be lines and very similar designs. I was looking for a more contemporary look of the kilim style weave. After over a year of searching for the right supplier who could make my designs to the quality I was after I finally got my runner installed. I then had lots of friends asking if I could get one made for them.
Last year I decided there was enough demand to make this a small business. I’ve always loved design but never really had the time to explore my creative side. I used to work as a producer in Google’s Creative Lab department which I loved but it was difficult to combine with being a mum. Now I get to be my own creative director and finally use all my design software knowledge creating something I’m now passionate about.
I love kilim style rugs but sometimes find the designs too busy or too ‘kilim’ style. I wanted to create a new, more contemporary version of the kilim style. I love looking at old kilim style rugs and drawing inspiration from the shapes and patterns but then re-designing them to create a more modern version. I do all my designs in Illustrator or photoshop.
My suppliers are based in India and Turkey. All runners are hand dyed and hand woven using the finest cotton or wool.
For now I am sticking with stair and hallway runners. I am married and have two tiny children aged 1 and 4 which sometimes means I can’t quite do as much work as I would like. ”
Sophie’s showroom is currently based at her London home and the viewing can be arranged by appointment.