As the foundation of a room, a rug has the potential to completely transform a space. Yet far too often, this integral home furnishing goes overlooked, a transgression Nordic Knots is all too familiar with. The Stockholm-based rug atelier was founded by Fabian Berglund, his wife Liza Laserow and his brother Felix, on the basis of restoring glory to the humble rug. The trio grew up in Sweden, where "at the centre of every beautiful home is a good rug," which they noticed wasn't necessarily the case in other parts of the world. Drawing on the Scandinavian tradition of functional, minimalist design, they began producing a range beautiful handmade rugs using sustainable manufacturing processes and high quality materials.
We caught up with the family of founders, who spoke to us about their love for Sweden, the evolution of their young brand and how they manage to separate the personal from the professional.
Can you please introduce yourselves?
We are Liza, Fabian and Felix, the founders of Nordic Knots.
What sparked the idea for Nordic Knots? Why rugs?
We (Fabian and Liza) had lived abroad for some time, so we brought our backgrounds in antiques, interior design and advertising together, while Felix added his entrepreneurial touch and a bit of sentiment to the trifecta’s humble dream of designing and producing timelessly current rugs in homage to our homeland.
For us heritage and high design run parallel. The idea to make rugs was sparked one morning while we were vacationing in Greenport – a quaint coastal town on the north fork of Long Island, whose vast open landscapes recalled our home country Sweden.
When we founded Nordic Knots in 2016, it was simply to bring a piece of the nordic aesthetic to our home in New York where we lived at the time. This then grew into a mission to inspire others by way of hand-crafted, high-quality rugs, the mark and heart of every beautiful Swedish home. Today we want to bring our Scandinavian design from our home to every home.
How has your home country of Sweden influenced the Nordic Knots aesthetic?
As a Swede you grow up surrounded by good design as a very natural part of life, it's everywhere. In that sense we are very spoiled and we would like to think it has given us a trained eye design-wise.
Where else do you seek inspiration?
In nature. For the past few months we have, like so many around the world, been forced to spend more time than ever at home. For us, getting out in nature has been a lifesaver as well as a way to collect inspiration. It even opened our eyes to what Sweden really has to offer. As a tribute our Fall 2 collections all have a connection to nature one way or another.
Where do you call home now?
After many years in different cities and even continents the three of us are now all living in Stockholm. We are building our company from the Nordic Knots Atelier on Tegnergatan in central Stockholm. It's an exciting time since we are growing our team this year. Doing it in Stockholm feels natural and is the best base for the company.
What are some aspects of Swedish life and culture that you think the rest of the world should take note of?
Swedes manage to keep a very healthy work/life balance. After living in New York for about 12 years it can feel slow at the start but the more you get into the groove the more it makes sense. You shouldn't need more than effective work days of 8 hours to accomplish what you want.
How have you found the experience of starting and running a business with family members?
It's a great way to get even closer but it can be incredibly frustrating as well. You need to be able to separate the personal relationship from the professional and it's important to not step on each other's toes and give each other space. It works since our goals are aligned and we give each other a lot of freedom.
What do you do when you’re stuck in a creative rut?
We're not and hopefully never will be. If anything, we have too many ideas and trying to find the time to make the best ones happen is challenging enough. We love creative projects but it's extremely important for us to keep our minimalist aesthetic. However we always want to be a work in progress and constantly evolving.
Can you talk me through the manufacturing processes involved in the crafting of Nordic Knots’ rugs?
Creative development is a process that can happen quickly or take a lot of time. It all depends. Inspiration comes from everywhere but we mostly pick it up from the Nordic landscape of the life we live in different parts of Sweden, from Stockholm to the South of Sweden, where we spend our summers.
Colours are equally as important as they are hard to get right. It's a curious process with a lot of collaboration with the artisans in Bhadohi, India where the dying is done by hand. The weaving or hand knotting is done over several days and sometimes weeks if it's a complex pattern. Throughout this process there is a constant back and forth between ourselves and the highly skilled weavers in India.
What are some of your own favourite Nordic Knots designs?
What do you see for the future of Nordic Knots?
A timeless collection of iconic Nordic patterns. We're not about trends. Instead we focus on creating something that stands the test of time and can be cherished in your home for a lifetime. With seasonal colour updates along with inspiring/interesting collaborations that inspire people to make the most of their homes.