Boston Home & Garden Magazine - Autumn Issue

When, at 23, Linda Garriott took a course taught by rug artisan Hallie Hall, the New Hampshire resident found herself, well, hooked.

"Part of me was like, 'I'm 23 and I'm hooking a rug?'" she says.   "But part of me thought, 'For my next project, I'm going to do my own design.'"

Her first attempts were more geometric and experimental compared to the colorful, contemporary rugs she now designs for her company in Medford, Linda Garriott Design, which she founded last fall.  Garriott later learned that Hall, her mentor, was hesitant to encourage her after seeing the design for her first piece, but reconsidered when she saw the finished product, saying "You know something about design that I don't.  You have a future doing this."

Garriott pursued it, spending untold hours dyeing wool and learning about hand-knotting versus tufting.  "One rug took me 600 hours to make, and you learn a lot about rugs when it takes that long to do it," she says.  Piquing interest with samples she made for her own home, Garriott finally teamed up with a manufacturer in India to produce her designs.

Now the artist, who as a girl made Barbie doll dresses out of Kleenex, uses her creativity, a pencil and a pair of scissors to craft new designs that strike geometric harmony in their swirling lines, leaf patterns, and blocks of contrasting and complementary colors.  "What grabs me first is color, and it usually drives my work," says Garriott.  "Then I look at form and shape, and I create a collage using colored paper."

Everything from the curve of a garden vine to 20th-century architecture have been threaded into her designs, and Garriott adds a "Surname" inspired by the mood or color to each of the seven designs in her Signature Collection, including Foliage/Fiesta, Whirlpool/Morning, Moroccan/Spice and Passion/Dance (ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP).

"My approach is a contemporary perspective on timeless elegance," she says, "not trendy." And not a bad hook.

          - Cheryl Alkon