Learn it! Posts

Rugs to Make You Swoon

As spring cleaning begins to wrap up, we thought we would share our philosophy and tips for choosing a beautiful rug for your home. From the materials to the size and orientation, we got you covered (bad pun intended).

Often times, the best designs begin with the rug. The right rug creates the vibe, the color palette, and the actual texture of the room. Here are some examples and tips to choosing the perfect rug for you.

Color Reform Rug from ABC Home

Natural Materials and Construction:
Our favorite material for rugs is one that has been around for thousands of years- wool. Hand-knotted wool rugs are still the gold standard in terms of durability, color and look. Many people pass hand-knotted rugs from generation to generation. They seem to last forever and look beautiful even when they are slightly frayed and worn. For hand-knotted wool rugs, the knots per inch and age of the rug will be factored into the cost. Usually, the higher knots per inch, the more time it takes to create and thus, the price goes up. For smaller budgets, you may want to consider a hand-tufted wool rug. These vibranat beauties will also last a long time (15-25 years), if they are well taken care of.

Photo Courtesy of Gary Gomez Photography

Size Matters:
The rug is the main element that unites a seating arrangement. Ideally we like to have at least the front legs of the furniture on the rug. Placing the rug under the majority of the furnishings creates a cohesive look, and collects the seating area together. We have found that a typical sized living room will often use an 8′ x 10′ rug. A larger family room usually starts with a 9′ x 12′ and can even go as large as a 10′ x 14′, or larger. As you can imagine, these larger rugs begin to add up in cost, so our trick – when the cost is too high- is to do a natural fiber rug under the smaller rug. The large natural fiber rug (like seagrass, jute or sisal) grounds the furniture and the smaller rug is placed on top.

Photography Courtesy of Christina Wedge

Vintage Rugs
We have found vintage rugs to be one of a kind and many times very cost effective for a memorable and cozy look. Most cities have rug retailers that are getting their rugs directly from their sources in Turkey, India, Nepal and Afghanistan. These countries have been creating rugs for centuries, and they are incredible works of art. Whether new or vintage, discover the story behind the maker and pattern history of your favorite rugs.

Norris Terracotta Indoor/Outdoor Rug from Rejuvenation

Indoor/Outdoor Rugs
Smaller budget? Consider indoor/outdoor rugs. Indoor/Outdoor rugs have come so far in their texture and durability over the past decade. Some of them are so soft, that they can easily be enjoyed inside. Indoor/outdoor rugs are also a wonderful solution if you have a pet, as they are easy to clean yourself! Typically these rugs are made of polypropylene and/or recycled plastic materials.

Hand Tufted Viscose Angie Rug from Anthropologie

Save Some Rugs for the Bedroom
Some materials do not wear as well as others, so you need to put rugs with materials like rayon, bamboo silk, and viscose into less traveled spaces like bedrooms. These materials have a beautiful and luxurious feel, but really struggle with maintaining their sheen and texture if there is an errant liquid that spills on the rug.

The most important thing when choosing a rug, is that you love it. It is the artwork for your floor and lays the foundation (pun again!) for everything that you put on it. Choose wisely, and enjoy the results.

Design Challenge: Great Living Rooms on a Budget

As we enter our third month of quarantine, places of business in our community are beginning to open up slowly. For many people, ourselves included, working from home will be the new normal. As we spend more time in our homes, we have heard from several clients who are wanting to utilize additional space in their homes and/or update a current space that they have, all on a very strict budget. This week, we decided to challenge our designers with updating the living room with only $4500 and $6500. This is perhaps one of the most challenging rooms to do within these budgets, because we are environmentally conscious and we wouldn’t want anyone to invest in “throw away” furniture. For this reason, we started the designs with a good quality sofa. We hope you enjoy what you see!

Stephanie Design: Budget $4500 – Total $4523 (without tax or shipping)

My happy place is the beach. Currently, I am wondering if our annual beach vacation will happen due to the virus. So, I decided to create a space that invokes the light, the breeze and the easy going lifestyle of my beach vacation. I started with a high quality sofa made in North Carolina, and added an indoor/outdoor rug and a wonderful scandinavian inspired chair for texture. The large 48″ square art is a fun, photographic print with bold colors. For an added punch, you could consider an accent color like a clay terra cotta behind the floating media stand, and keep the rest of the walls, trim and ceiling a clean white.

Melody’s Design: Budget $6500 – Total $6334 (without tax or shipping)

Sometimes, when in a space that you frequent, bold pops of color paired with a multitude of textures is just what you need to feel cozy and relaxed. A fresh, green velvet makes the sofa the focal point, while the leather chair and marble coffee table ground the space. The ample wood shapes and textures help to bring a bit of the outside in, and brass accents and abstract art elevate the design. However you choose to adorn your space, make sure that you invest in pieces that stay true to you and the feeling you want to have while enjoying the space.

Reach out to us if you would like some upgrades to your spaces. We can help you find creative solutions that reflect your style and fit within your budget!

Design Challenge: Multi-Use Space

Week 7 of our Shelter in Place in Atlanta. Although our governor has opened up some businesses in Georgia, most of Atlanta is still waiting for a clearer sign from the CDC. Over the past few weeks, we have been hearing from clients, friends and neighbors about their needs to have a multi-use space in their home. The purpose of this room is to be able to finish up the school year, some dedicated play space, along with other activities. We challenged our designers with a very limited budget ($1500 and $3000). These 2 designers actually have some very personal experience with this challenge. Enjoy their ideas and inspiration!

Melody- Budget $1500, Cost $1498 (not including tax/shipping)

As a former elementary school teacher, the importance of multi-use space is not lost on me. When designing for a smaller space, it is important for each piece to have a function and place. A folding table gives ample work/play surface space, that can be neatly tucked away in a corner or closet at the end of the day. Chalkboard paint allows for creative expression in every color, that offers endless use without ample supplies or waste. For all those little balls of energy bouncing about the house, a bouncy ball chair has desk time pulling double duty- energy exertion and focus! A colorful analog clock gives extra practice for those learners who are overly comfortable with their technology (we’re looking at you Siri!). And, when work/play time is over, a shelf with bins offers great storage for any toys or books that you may want to enjoy while lounging in a plush beanbag chair.


Jennifer- Budget: $3000, Cost: $2694 (not including tax/shipping)

When designing for a slightly larger work/play space, like a den or finished basement, ” work time” can easily be transformed into family time by offering multiple surface and seating options within the same space. Whether it be adults sharing a workspace with the kids or designing a space for multi-age siblings to work and play in together, providing a shelving or storage options is also key to keeping everyone organized and the space functional and inspiring. Tight on space, perhaps select a single work surface option like the double desk and setup to tuck nicely against any open wall and provide an individual work station for two or three.

Whether you are working with a tight space and smaller budget, or have the opportunity to splurge a little more, these designs offer great possibilities! Reach out to us at [email protected] if you’re interested in learning more about them.