Founded by CID Awards 2013 Interior Designer of the Year winner Karen Michelle Evans, Ayka Design is a new rug design company that took off last year with its first collection. Now, just in time for the fall season, Ayka has launched a new range of designs called My Secret Garden.
The new range boasts six designs in hand-knotted wool and silk combinations and displays earthy designs revealing Evans’ source of inspiration.
Evans says: “These [rugs] have much more detail and colour than some of my previous designs as I wanted to express the many layers that you see in a garden—its shapes, colours and different types of fauna and flora. Gardens are romantic, mysterious and a thing of beauty; it is nature at its best, so it allowed me to be bolder in my approach to this collection.”
The new collection will be launched this September in New York at The Rug Show, as well as at Design Boutique New York in November. Evans notes that New York is a ‘vibrant city’, making her hopes high of the bold designs being well-received by the public.
While My Secret Garden will be launched in New York, Evans is planning to bring the limited collection back to the UAE in December for the Middle East’s first public viewing.
As with Ayka’s previous collection, each of the six designs is hand-knotted by highly skilled Indian and Nepalese artisans that work with fine hand-spun wool and silk yarns.
According to Evans, her designs are being well-received by Middle Eastern clientele. She tells CID: “I’m very proud to say my first rug from the Celebration Collection was sold in the UAE to a private residence on the Palm, so that was an exciting moment for me—the start of Ayka Design was here [in the UAE]. After my private exhibition Off the Loom at J&A Gallery, I felt people viewed my designs differently—more artistically as each person saw something else in the designs.”
Evans further notes that the Middle East is encased in a strong history of rug making, hence a great variety of rugs in the region.
She says: “Rugs have had a magical appeal since the first story of Aladdin and his flying carpet. The art of rug making is a common thread that tied cultures together through the years. The Iranian rug is recognised worldwide as a piece of beauty and art. Here, we have both traditional and modern designs available so the choices are endless, which creates a strong competition in the market.”
The My Secret Garden collection is rich in not only its materials, but its colours as bright hues like deep blues, cloudy whites, and violets are applied by large amounts. While Evans’ first collection was experimental in artistic direction, My Secret Garden seems to be more confident, more direct and more passionate through the use of varying textures and colours.
While the new collection is not on Ayka’s website yet, it can be purchased via email or Cachet Exclusive Living in Dubai.
At the moment, Evans in looking to collaborate with other artists, while she explores different materials. She says: “Currently, I’m doing some research on different yarns and textures with a designer from Peru to explore new ideas for the next collection. It’s still the very early stages but it’s an idea that I’ve had for a few years now since I first discovered her work. I recently met her in Lima three months ago to discuss the project and I am excited to start on that very soon.”