A famed rug designer’s DIY home construction project uncovers a second-century Roman villa. And, with it, inspiration.

His kids wanted to play ping-pong, so Luke Irwin — the celebrated rug designer who’s created bespoke works for the likes of President Obama and Bono — decided to run electricity underground to an old barn where they’d have the space. After he got about a foot and a half into the topsoil, the designer struck a hard surface. It turned out to be the mosaic floor of a Roman villa called Deverill, built around 175 AD and occupied for nearly two centuries.

Naturally, the startling discovery inspired Irwin’s newest line, which uses wool, silk, and cashmere to re-create and expand upon the weathered look of the mosaic pattern as it appears today. The made-to-order rugs are pricey, but think of it like owning a piece of history. A really good-looking one.

Buy Now: +$20,000

Collection Launched: May 2016
Pieces: 18
Other Items Found at the Villa Site: oyster shells, a well, a coffin, a perfectly preserved bath house


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