Designer Q&A: Daniel Whitlock, Head of Creative at Stark Carpet

Palm patterns have been a huge trend this year and BCFA members, Stark Carpet are right on trend with their Geo-Palm hand-tufted collection…

Inspired by the city of Barcelona, a focus for us this month, Daniel Whitlock , Head of Creative at Stark International created the latest collection –  Geo-Palm.

geo palm design insider stark carpet daniel whitlock

‘Geo-Palm’ is the new hand tufted collection from Stark. Can you tell me what brief you were given for this collection?

We have a dedicated team of product development in the US who are constantly innovating with new designs.

Part of my role is to create new collections in house tailored to the European market and this season we wanted to reflect fashion trends that have a synergy with interiors.

Palm patterns are a big fashion trend this year that translates really well into rug design and as geometric patterns have long been a Stark staple we found combining the two worked really well. Whilst taking influence from the tropical/palm trend we wanted to make it fit the Stark style.

Barcelona is our city theme for the month, and I was told this city was a great influence for this collection, can you tell me more about that?

During a trip last Summer, I took some pictures of the shadows created by palm trees on the seafront boulevard at dusk.

I noticed the patterns on the paving slabs with the shadow overlayed created a really interesting layered effect. So during a creative meeting when revisiting ideas, these images sparked off the idea and also linked well with the current fashion trends.

Image result for palm tree barcelona

What was your design process for this range?

I sketched out some ideas and had them put into CAD layering different patterns in the background and experimenting with different colour ways. I wanted the colours to be more muted than a typical bright green palm leaf to create the feeling of dusk.

The first samples came out too flat so decided to inject more colour which has worked really well. Its very rewarding when a client orders a design without making any changes but of course we often tailor the colours to a particular scheme and might provide 3 or 4 different options.

What kind of spaces do you imagine this collection in?

We have had a great reaction so far from clients to this collection. It would work brilliantly in commercial spaces such as bars or a hotel lobby. We work with a huge range of fibres so can easily substitute silk or viscose for nylon where it has to be particularly hard wearing but still create a silky look.

Image result for barcelona gothic quarterCan you tell me 3 different things you love about Barcelona?

I particularly like wandering round the Gothic Quarter…finding interesting little shops and tapas bars with the food I love. I also love the different styles of architecture from the ornate Art Nouveau buildings but in particular I like the smaller details such as hand made tiles or the detail in a door handle. There have been a serge of rooftop bars recently which gives new perspectives to a city full of inspiration.

Contact Stark International

About Kate Nannery

Kate is a freelance writer for Design Insider. She thinks that the beauty of design comes from great craftsmanship and has a masters degree in tea-consumption. If you would like to appear in Design Insider, please email
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