Design Process

Sonya Winner creates high quality designer rugs that are both highly imaginative art statements and practical, durable floor rugs. Colour is key – it transforms an environment, changes mood, creates excitement, ambience, interest and simply makes you happy. Our aim is to add vibrancy, warmth and positivity into a room – this is where our passion for creating rugs stems from.

When I am beginning a new design I find a calm place and put on some peaceful jazz and immerse myself in my library and sketch books full of ideas I’ve jotted down. This helps to eliminate all other distractions and allows the creativity to flow. – Sonya


My passion for colour means I want to create not only transformational rugs which bring a room to life, but pieces of art that enhance people’s lives.

I don’t follow trends, I think it’s really important that I do what pleases my eye rather than following particular fashions. Everything I create has to feel ‘right’, I believe that you have to be true to yourself as an artist. I want to create pieces that are timeless, rather than pinned to a particular season or fashion.


When designing I like to be playful and spontaneous and not restricted by convention. I am inspired by many artists and designers but particularly love Matisse, Henri Moore, Vivianna Torun, Calder, Maija Isola, Bridget Reilly, Renzo Piano to name a few.

My sketch books are full of postcards, bits and pieces from magazines, screen grabs on my phone and notes and scribbles and reminders of things I find inspiring around me. Reviewing this imagery is exciting and gets me itching to start experimenting with collage, pens and paints to start the creative processes.

From concept to creation

When designing the rugs I’m always reminded that in a homogenous world, it can be a challenge to find something that stands out and adds depth and emotion to your home. So, I create these rug to fill a room with colour, warmth and interest.

I see all designs as colour experiments demonstrating how colours overlay and mix often creating an illusion of transparency. It takes many hours and many versions of the design for the piece to be complete. The designs are complex combinations of colour and shaped, that are refined into a visual simplicity that feels harmonious and complete.


Once the design is complete – usually as a collage, painting or sketch –  the technical work begins to translate this into a specification for the weavers to follow. We use a number of wool colour systems to identify the exact shades within the design, as each system never has the full spectrum of colours we require.

Once the colours have been selected, these are marked up on a detailed plan of the design and then the depth of the carpet is specified by indicating the various tuft heights giving my designs their unique sculptural quality. This work creates the artwork for the weavers to follow. They then turn it into a knotting plan if the rug is to be knotted; if it is to be tufted – the artwork plan is translated onto the back of the canvas that the tufting weaver work from.

Once the first piece of the design is made it is scrutinised for improvements and usually another couple of prototypes are made before the design is ready for customers to order.

The finished piece

The finished rug is a transformational piece, bringing colour, excitement and comfort to any space. These exquisite and unique pieces are the result of a complex design and manufacturing process, involving Sonya’s creativity and colour expertise, along with the skills and manufacturing knowledge of GoodWeave artisan weavers.

Explore the collection