26th March 2024

Creativity Aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The experience of creating bespoke carpet designs on the world’s leading hotels, casinos and cruise ships proved the perfect foundation for our work on Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe.

Working with luxury hospitality design experts, Wimberly Interiors, and J.K Interiors, who were responsible for the design management and procurement of this project, the expert team in our London Design Studio had the privilege of creating bespoke carpets as part of a redesign of the new suites, restaurant, and bar carriages.


“There was a very clear concept of how each area should look and it was our job to translate this into beautifully bespoke carpet designs,” explained Lois Norman, who worked on the project alongside fellow Ulster Carpets Designers Steph Rostron and Lydia McGarvey.

“Each suite represents a landscape that the train travels through, with influences of the countryside, mountains, forests, and lakes all incorporated into each design. For example, in the Les Lac suites, they wanted a blue inspired by the rich tones of the glacial lakes of Europe. We then took this a step further by incorporating soft crests of waves into the design. There is so much history and craftmanship in each carriage and we really enjoyed being part of a highly creative and collaborative process.”

Finding the right balance between respecting the history of the golden age of rail travel and the contemporary comforts for the modern traveller was central to the overall approach by Wimberly Interiors.

Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors, explained, “It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes.

“We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

Retaining the opulence, romance and allure of bygone areas was also vital for J.K Interiors as part of the design management and procurement for this project.

Sara James, Design Project Manager at J.K Interiors, said, “This is a one-of-a-kind restoration project with rich layers of history in every carriage. We wanted to respect this originality and infuse it with contemporary comfort and luxury.”