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Frances Loom Brings Life to the Home

The Days get Darker, Frances Loom Brings Life to the Home

There are many ways to accent the home, but a rug tells a story…

Kelly Vittengl, a London-based interior designer, cultivates Frances Loom a global selection of hand-picked, antique rugs. We spoke to her here at REV to hear how she brings conscious luxury to the home. Buying local or vintage extends the story your interiors tell as you turn a house into a home.

Where does the name “Frances Loom” come from and why rugs?

 

I used to be a full-time set designer in LA. During that time I knew I wanted to leave to start freelance interior designing and planned to open an online shop. One day prior to leaving, I was sat at my desk trying to come up with a name for the brand and “Frances Loom” magically appeared on the paper! Frances is my mother’s middle name, and a “loom” is what rugs are woven on – how the two came together I am not entirely sure… but, I loved it from the moment I saw it! A month after launching, I saw that people were really coming to me for rugs, so I stuck with that category and the business suddenly took off! So much so that I quit interior design altogether and focused on hunting down the best rugs I could find.

 

 

 

Where do you source your rugs and are their origins important to you?

 

I started sourcing rugs from LA flea markets. It was challenging because my entire inventory was dependent upon what I found the weekend prior. However, it created a sense of urgency with my customers – these rugs are one-of-a-kind, so if they saw something they liked and didn’t buy it on the spot, they would lose it forever! I now have a much greater access to rugs and buy in bulk. I have several vendors in Europe who import from places like Iran and Turkey. These two countries are where most of my rugs come from and while I do prefer their designs, it’s not so much about the origin as it is about the age. One of my signatures is a very worn-in look, so the rugs have to be at least 80 years old most of the time.

Where do you get your inspiration for interiors?

 

I find inspiration in everything, but I am incredibly influenced by the cities I am in. Both my interior and personal style in LA were much difference than they are here in London, purely due to my surroundings. In LA, I was into white walls with rattan furniture and loads of plants, while wearing denim and vintage tees. In London I’m much more into texture, layers, and deep colors, while wearing vintage French trousers with a blazer and a newsboy cap.

 

Besides incorporating a vintage rug, what are three items you think everyone should have in their homes?

 

At the moment, I’m inspired by warm and cosy places. I’m from America and we’re all about having friends over on weekends to watch sports and cook big meals. So I love a giant cosy sofa for friends, a good dining table for hosting meals. I also love candles and low lighting to create a comfortable, warm space. I’m also very into antique portraits at the moment; I particularly love portraits of nude women.

How does your love for vintage items and objects with meaning feed into other aspects of your life?

 

For me, I simply prefer vintage and antique pieces due to their wear – the sustainability portion is a HUGE bonus. At least 70% of my closet is vintage – I love shopping for vintage and antique clothing. I recently found a woman who sells men’s French trousers from the 1940’s at the Portobello market and I absolutely love them. When traveling, I love going to cities with lots of history and finding amazing hotels or rentals to stay in that respect that history through their designs – again, it’s all about the texture for me. And when it comes to gifting, there is nothing better than giving (or receiving) a thoughtful vintage or antique gift. I recently bought my Mum an antique French linen sleep gown, her initials “MV” were already embroidered into it, so I couldn’t pass it up! (It’s her Christmas gift, so hopefully she doesn’t read this!)

Will Frances Loom always be rugs exclusively or do you plan to branch into other areas of homeware? Would love to hear about your stockings here!

 

Rugs will always be the heart of the brand, however we do have plans to expand. Last year we experimented with a round of Christmas stockings made from salvaged pieces of antique rugs. They sold like wildfire, so we’re doing the same this year! They are so beautiful and timeless. The success of this project has led us to some other ideas that are coming in the very near future… I can’t say exactly what just yet, but we’ll be expanding into more homewares and it is VERY special!

 

Finally, what does sustainability mean to you?

 

For me, sustainability means being thoughtful in everything I do. From large business decisions like choosing packaging for the brand, down to avoiding plastic cutlery and removing kitchen paper from my grocery list (terrible habit, but such a tough one for me!) It allows me to bring another dimension of awareness into my daily life, and it’s a reallyimportant one. It’s very easy to get caught up in our little bubbles of life, unaware of the way our small choices impact the planet due to the fact that we simply don’t see the impact – “out of sight out of mind” is actually quite a powerful thing. I’m excited to see brands like Reve making steps towards bringing awareness to shopping smarter, and we’re working hard on doing the same thing at Frances Loom.

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