Habitusliving (HL): What is your background in design?
Anna-Carin McNamara (A-CM): I studied Interior Design at the Royal College of Art in London, I worked as a designer in Stockholm for Svenskt Tenn and Rupert Gardner before moving to Australia 19 years ago. Here I have run my own business ANNA CARIN design since 1996. It started out as furniture retailer INNE on Queen Street in Woollahra but soon evolved into a full-fledged Interior Design practice.
HL: Where did the idea for the collection’s designs begin?
A-CM: I literally had a “download” of images, colours and patterns with narrative links all from my childhood in a small village in the South of Sweden.
HL: How was the idea affected by your own background? How did this interact with the Australian context?
A-CM: The idea was completely drawn from my background and childhood but the resulting products have very much evolved to suit Australian interiors. I wanted the rugs to easily fit in and complement furniture and artwork, not compete with them.
HL: Considering the very specific medium (hand-knotted rugs in Tibetan wool and silk), was the method of the rugs’ production a factor to consider when creating the designs?
A-CM: I had a strong sense of how the quality of the rugs would feel and look; Designer Rugs immediately upon seeing the designs recognised that to achieve that feeling they had to be hand knots.
HL: What was the most rewarding part of designing the collection?
A-CM: Showing my parents and siblings over dinner when I was home last year – they had tears in their eyes. The process of designing these rugs have made me realize how much my childhood has given me and for a long time I hadn’t acknowledged that. I’ve now come to be very appreciative of where I grew up and how my parents raised me. It’s been a homecoming.
HL: Do you have a favourite in the collection?
A-CM: It’s like asking if you have a favourite child. It changes from day to day – today it has been ‘Straw’ perhaps because Autumn is in the air.