DESIGN HOW TO: Rugs we used (and why we used them)

A rug is the foundation of a room’s look so don’t choose the wrong one! Starting with the right rug gives you a solid jumping off point to make the rest of your decorating decisions so much easier. Rugs are expensive and exposed to foot traffic, spills and accidents by pets, so you need to choose wisely to make sure your investment looks great, works great and lasts. Read here about a few rugs we’ve used in previous projects, and why we used them!

HAND KNOTTED WOOL RUGS – we used hand knotted wool rugs in this home office, living room and dining room to create a luxurious, curated look. These rugs come in many colors and patterns and they ground a space beautifully. Hand made by skilled artisans, the price of these rugs can depend on the number of knots per square inch, but they are extremely durable and wool is an excellent fiber for shedding water and its ability to be cleaned. Hand knotted wool rugs can be in a traditional Persian or Turkish style, like the first two rugs above, or a more transitional or modern pattern in the dining room at right. These rugs are the most expensive type, but nothing else provides the look or longevity of a well-made hand knotted rug.

NATURAL FIBER RUGS – we chose a seagrass rug at left for an eclectic, casual Charleston look in this historic house dining room. Seagrass is durable and more water-friendly than sisal, but sisal rugs have a wonderful casual look that can be patterned, like the diamond pattern in the living room, center, or with a casual allover pattern in the sunroom at right. Natural fibers make beautiful floor coverings when the look demands and the application allows.

JUTE & JUTE BLENDS – softer than sisal and seagrass, jute is an excellent choice where softness underfoot is needed. We used a hand-knotted jute rug, at left, in this bedroom for a soft, faded look. A jute-cotton blend was chosen for the historic home living room, center, for its modern take on a more traditional rug pattern. We also chose the runner for a butler’s pantry, right, for its great texture from a soft blend of jute and cotton chenille.

VISCOSE & VISCOSE BLENDS – in general, we don’t recommend viscose for rugs except as a blend with other fibers for low traffic areas, such as bedrooms or living rooms with little foot or animal traffic. We used a cotton-viscose blend rug in a modern pattern for the bedroom at left and a wool-viscose blend in an updated traditional pattern for the bedroom at right. Blending viscose with other fibers adds softness and a slight sheen to rugs for a luxurious look and feel underfoot, and without too much risk if used in the right locations.

INDOOR/OUTDOOR RUGS – for this mudroom at left we used an indoor/outdoor runner that can be taken outside and hosed down when dirty.  We chose a striped outdoor rug for the covered porch, center, and for the bath, at right, used an outdoor 2×3 rug as a bath mat, mixing it with the other rug, a vintage Persian.  Indoor/outdoor rugs are made of polypropylene or PET (an environmentally friendly material created from recycled plastic bottles) and are fadeproof, waterproof, and can be scrubbed, bleached and often reversed.

FLATWEAVE & KILIM – we chose a flatweave rug in a cotton check for this guest room, left, and a wool-cotton blend flatweave Kilim for the bedroom in center. We also chose a colorful striped flatweave wool rug, at right, for a colonial meets coastal look. Flatweave rugs are made without knots, are typically reversible and can give a trendy, cool vibe to a room. They don’t shed, are lightweight and can be more budget-friendly than other rug types.

RUG ON CARPET – we used a wool micro-knot rug on top of carpet in the bedroom at left for an extra punch of color and texture in this monochromatic teen’s room. We did the same in the bedroom at right, using another wool micro-knot rug on top of the broadloom. The key to doing this sucessfully is making sure the rug varies in texture and complements the color of the carpet, which ideally would be a short piled or looped type.

VINTAGE & ANTIQUE RUGS – we selected these vintage runner rugs for the hallway at left, foyer in center, and butler’s pantry at right. Vintage and antique rugs can frequently be found in unusual sizes, perfect for hallways and other small areas that need sizes that new rugs aren’t typically offered in. While antique rugs are often found in more traditional colors, vintage rugs can come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and the price point can be good for a hand knotted wool rug.

Please see our portfolio for these, and other, projects with lots of other rug ideas! And be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter to be notified of our next blog post, events and all things LBD.