POST MAGAZINE

POST MAGAZINE      January 8, 2015

http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/1672665/architect-roderick-murray-explains-his-move-making-rugs

Architect Roderick Murray explains his move into making rugs

After years working for big Hong Kong firms, Boxer Rugs proprietor now has his own business producing fashionable floor coverings, writes Anji Connell

RODERICK MURRAY

You spent years working for the likes of Foster and Partners, the MTR Corp and Aedas. What prompted you to go solo? “Setting up on my own was a natural progression. I’d already made up my mind I didn’t want to work for big companies anymore and I felt that if you’re going to work in a small, intense environment, why not have your own? I wanted to get more involved in the design and spend less time sitting in meetings. Large architectural projects can take 10 to 30 years to implement. There’s an immediacy to residential design and I really enjoy it.”

Why open a rug shop? “We design everything in-house for each project, [including] the furniture, tiles and rugs. Rugs are very useful to interiors, adding colour, atmosphere and defining areas.”

What makes your rugs different? “They are hand-knotted, hand-finished and made from 100 per cent New Zealand wool. We have three sizes [small, five foot by three foot; medium, six foot by four foot; and large, seven foot, six inches by five foot] and three types of design: geometric, florals and patterns, with a set range of colours. Because that is all standardised we can keep the price way, way down [from HK$4,860 to HK$12,960]. We are not competing with ultra-luxury companies like Fort Street Studio. They have amazing rugs, but we are not in that market.”

Boxer Rugs designs.

Who are you trying to appeal to? “To the people here in Tai Ping Shan Street. Our customer is a little alternative, interested in design and has a keen eye. Our aim is to have a high turnover; we want to keep it fresh with a constant change of designs. At the moment, we have the geometric patterns, which are very current in the fashion arena.”

Where do you source your designs? “We design all the rugs in-house. Every rug has a story behind it: the blue rug was inspired by a trip to Istanbul. It’s a well-known motif from a metal screen. The more Japanese design is from a wedding invitation someone sent me about 10 years ago. On a trip to Beijing a couple of years back I photographed the walls and fabrics in the palaces and have worked the designs [into the rugs]. We have reinterpreted some traditional motifs and given them a modern take.”

Boxer Rugs is at 5A Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2857 1378.

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