Bill Young sees a lot of carpet. A career pilot currently based in Texas, he spends a lot of time waiting for crew members at hotels—and finds his eyes readily drawn to the loud, kitschy patterns of the woven fabric covering the floors. He started jokingly texting pictures of them to friends, and later, at the suggestion of his wife, created an Instagram account dedicated to his discoveries. Young, who has no formal art education but is an avid photographer, seeks out “crazy” motifs—like squiggly shapes, garish colors, or skulls—because it’s easier to find something to say about them. He’s a master of groan-inducing wordplay (“The feel of nature abounds and I don’t want to leaf. Seed what I did there?” reads one caption) and free association (“Reminds me of a thin film of oil floating on water alongside of the road,” reads another). All together, it makes for an endearing, entertaining project that allows Young to connect with his family and others while on the road. It’s also evolved into a democratic forum for carpet design criticism, where followers share and discuss favorite patterns. Young is partial to one from the Long Beach Marriott that evokes a Pink Floyd album cover. But most of all, he says, he likes ones that don’t repeat, like a mural: “A lot of them really are works of art.”
@myhotelcarpet was the winner of the Individual Instagram category of the 2018 Surface Travel Awards. See a complete list of finalists here.