Chief designer of Kasthall.
SINCE 1987 GUNILLA LAGERHEM ULLBERG HAS PLAYED A VERY IMPORTANT PART IN
KASTHALLS INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS THANKS TO THE RUGS SHE HAS DESIGNED FOR THE COMPANY.
WHICH HAVE HELPED TO ESTABLISH KASTHALLS REPUTATION AROUND THE WORLD.
TO CROWN IT ALL OFF, GUNILLA HAS BEEN AWARDED SEVERAL AWARDS, FOR EXAMPEL:
The Elle Interiör Design Prize, 2012.
Rugs designed by Gunilla for Kasthall now have pride of place in homes and exclusive fashion stores all over the world.
Many embassies, international headquarters and designer hotels around the world are also decorated with rugs from Kasthall. Gunilla’s most enduring designs include the rya rug Moss, the sparkling hand tufted Monroe, the woven Marocco rug and the nostalgic Karin, with a pattern of crocheted squares, named after her grandmother.
Gunilla’s designs have strong roots in the Scandinavian design language, but stretch its boundaries by combining
age-old weaving techniques with modern effect yarns and colour combinations. Gunilla mainly takes her inspiration from the world of fashion, but also from nature and her many travels around the world. “I love walking into fashion shops and studying the materials, textures and detailing” says Gunilla, adding that rugs are just like the fashion world – they build on traditions but constantly need an injection of fresh ideas.
This idea of taking traditional designs and giving them a contemporary twist is Gunilla’s speciality: the Marocco rug is based on an ancient weaving technique that Gunilla has pushed beyond its original limits to create a contemporary, cosmopolitan look. The Karin rug was created from a blanket that Gunilla crocheted with leftover Kasthall yarn.
The pattern was then transferred and printed on a rug, and named after Gunilla’s own grandmother. Monroe on the other hand was the first Kasthall rug to use a silvery Lurex thread, which makes it sparkle like the night sky or morning frost. It has found a home in Chanel stores and the Sager Palace in Stockholm.
In recent years, Gunilla’s interest in flowers and gardens has also led to a series of images called Herbarium, in which designs are built up using flowers that Gunilla has collected, pressed and arranged in multiple layers to create kaleidoscopic, geometric patterns. Herbarium bears witness to her passion for collecting and her intimate study of the shapes and colours of flowers. Each image involves many hours of work.
The Herbarium series were exhibited at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm 2012-2013.
To celebrate Gunilla’s 25th anniversary as chief designer with Kasthall, one of her
Herbarium images are being made into a rug that will be sold in limited edition through selected stores.
"With its kaleidoscopic pattern and a three-dimensional textile experience, Herbarium creates the impression of a poem in the form of a floor rug. With a personal feel, a pattern is created on the floor with the same self-evident presence in a fine salon as the best tapestry. A pattern which can withstand being looked at for a long time and, like a pressed flower or classic haute couture, survives season after season."
Jury Statement, Swedish Design Awards 2012.