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How Rouse Phillips Look to the Past to Design for the Future

How Rouse Phillips Look to the Past to Design for the Future

Meet Tim Rouse and Anastasia Phillips of Rouse Phillips. The couple look to the timeless philosophies of William Morris to create decorative and handcrafted textiles and rugs designed to last. Rebecca Gross reports.

Tim Rouse and Anastasia Phillips of Sydney-based Rouse Phillips have a design philosophy that harks back to William Morris, the great proponent of the Arts & Crafts Movement. “Things should be beautiful, high quality, and practical,” says Anastasia. “If you don’t love it, it shouldn’t be in your home.” Designing decorative textiles for upholstery and soft furnishings, as well as hand-knotted rugs and kilims, the newly-married couple place a great emphasis on longevity. “We don’t design trend-based products,” they say. “We are more influenced by history and the concept that something should last.”

They met through a friend nine years ago and have worked together since 2008, establishing Rouse Phillips in 2012. “It happened very naturally,” they explain. “We both shared a very similar aesthetic and we both wanted to do the same thing professionally.” Finding inspiration in nature, culture, history, books and exotic countries, Anastasia and Tim describe their aesthetic as eclectic and classical. “We love to collect and create a haven that is a representation of ourselves rather than anyone else’s style. We love European design and culture as well as anything Indian or Eastern in design.”

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Tim and Anastasia use a number of hand techniques – both traditional and unique to Rouse Phillips – to generate their designs and work with weavers around the world, choosing those that share their concept of creating a product that is both of quality and beauty. “Our printer is wonderfully talented with an incredible eye for detail and colour, and our rug makers in India and Nepal are both family run businesses.” And like their designs that are hand-generated, so too are their products. “Each piece will therefore be slightly different and reflect the hand of the individual weaver or printer,” they explain. “This is part of the beauty of the product.”

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Sharing a similar aesthetic, the couple’s individual designs are complementary—much like the pair themselves—and form a collection that appeals to a wide variety of people. “We have a consistent European clientele and a very loyal local following. We are also having great success in the US where the market is very open minded.” Anastasia says. “They love to see creativity and decorative designs.”

Guided by the philosophies of William Morris, Tim and Anastasia believe people should take pride and pleasure in the things they own. “You don’t need a lot of money to create a comfortable and warm space,” they say. “You just need to surround yourself by what you love and by what makes you happy.”

Photography by Natasha Phillips

Rouse Phillips
rousephillips.com

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