Dec 15, 2008

These floors were made for gawkin...

Whenever working on a project, there is always the rug debate...purchase something with a lot of color and pattern or stick to something subtle and neutral such as sisal, seagrass, or jute.

Most clients don't understand nor want to try to understand the benefits of a natural fiber rug or carpet. They instantly feel that these rugs are very uncomfortable on the feet, lack visual interest, and are too boring for the space; however, most designers beg to differ. I know from personal experience that it is a hard introduction to make- natural rug, meet client. Client, meet natural rug. The feelings are rarely mutual unfortunately.

There are so many advantages of using these types of floor coverings- they really can complement any type or style of room. They are very versatile, and with the trend moving towards natural/organic home design with less fuss, these rugs are a perfect answer to any room's problem. Not to mention, they are inexpensive too! Paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for a Persian rug is beyond me.

Let me forward you on to the queen of natural fiber carpets- Joni.
Joni's seagrass lesson: a properly sized seagrass rug should cover the room almost as if it was wall to wall carpeting.

This image above from Cote de Texas depicts the most gorgeous sitting room with a custom cut seagrass matting rug. Why put pattern on the floor when you already have it in a funky animal print chair? This room is soothing without being boring and sophisticated without being uptight.

Another beautiful photo of a formal living room from Traditional Home. A warm, textured, sisal rug covers whitewashed flooring.

But what if the room's furnishings and design requires the rug to be more bold and adventurous or what if the client fails to accept a natural fiber rug into their home deeming it too uncomfortable?

Well, do not despair! There are definitely very fun and fashionable alternatives to natural rugs...bringing in pattern, style, comfort, and color to a floor near you :)

Layering a few different rugs on top of each other is a very interesting and fun way to present pattern and texture to your room. In this parlor, the designer placed a criss cross print rug underneath a zebra rug that is set on the diagonal.

With a palette of grays and ivories, this room featured in Traditional Home looks fresh and light- wall to wall carpet with a pattern of straight lines gives the room structure.

This dark rug gives the room tons of warmth. A small animal print pattern draws attention to the floor without overwhelming visitors. The patterned rug ties everything together- the off white from the lamp shade/ painted ceiling with the dark walls.
A delicate and small geometric pattern covers this neutral rug. I love this room because it is soft and doesn't scream out "pattern" yet still gives you something interesting to look at!

This is such a Domino room- I love it. Its neutral scheme was inspired by a book of Turkish patterns and the owner's infatuation with florals. This rug provides an earthy element to the room.

I have always had a thing for this study designed by Celerie Kemble. The graphic carpet is very David Hicks-esque!

We've featured this Dallas home on our blog before- the owners definitely don't have to worry about this room being too blah- a large zebra printed rug gives this room all the pattern it needs! Large or small, a zebra printed rug is always a great way to throw a little pattern on the floor.

Horizontal stripes on this rug creates a linear pattern throughout the room- which mixes nicely with the rounded ottoman and circular print pillows.

And...even more stripes! These floor stripes echo the ceiling's linear beams on a smaller scale

Choosing a more traditional rug for a living room, automatically gives the homeowner a nice color palette to work off of- it provides inspiration and guides the designer when choosing coordinating pillows and paint color. However, the bad thing about such a colorful rug is that you could tire of these colors quickly and then are stuck with a designated palette. Another reason why designers love neutral seagrass- versatility!

I first saw this room (well, just the photo!) when working for a model home merchandiser a few years ago. She was using this photo as an inspiration for one of the presentations we were working on. I remember noting how cozy and homey this room looked- who knew I would be posting about it years later! The couch and wing chair give a sense of traditional comfort, whereas the rug provides a nice graphic punch and shakes things up a bit.

Oh Nate! We can't seem to not post about your lovely rug! I feel like we've posted about this room a few times already. But with this post being about rugs with a large WOW factor- how could we ignore this room?

Mary MacDonald "wanted a contemporary pop" so she chose a pattern for the floor. This Lisa Fine rug has a large scale pattern which actually makes this small room appear a bit larger! The trick to expanding small rooms, is to use large furniture and large patterns- you just might be surprised how deceiving it is- makes people think the room is a lot larger than it is. And in interior design, we are all about optical illusions and hiding our room's flaws!

Solid and muted hued furniture let the flooring take center stage for once!

So if you aren't able to use a natural fiber rug in your design, it isn't exactly the end of the world. Lots of beautiful rooms come out of using patterned rugs and carpets!


Visual Vamp said...

Great post!
And nice shout out to Joni!
I love my black and white stripe rug in my living room, and a cow hide rug in the guest room.
xo xo

Paloma said...

Fabulous post! I love all of the rooms you posted.

Anonymous said...

Great post, I could use a little rug session at my own house. Thanks for the ideas.

Anonymous said...

I love sea grass and am planning on using it in my home. The thing that I haven't heard much about, though, is how to go about cleaning them and how they hold up with animals? Do you know what kind of care they take and how long to expect them to last?

Elements of Style said...

That last rug- AMAZING- must find out who makes it!