If you’re looking for a relatively easy way to spruce up a room, consider laying a solid foundation — not concrete or wood, mind you, but a rug.
Floor coverings can be a solution to anyone’s decorating dilemma or simply a means of adding a little pizazz to a room. Whether it’s a traditional accent rug or blocks, floor coverings provide visual impact as well as creature comforts. They also add oomph because often a rug is the largest design element in the room contributing color and drama to the overall feel of a space.
“A fantastic area rug can make a room come alive. Whether they’re handwoven or knotted pile, made from wools, silks or cottons, rugs bring in color and texture and can define the mood of the room it anchors, simply by lying about on your floor,” said Dorothy Willetts, an Indio-based designer who works throughout Southern California.
Rugs provide texture, either tactically through feeling or visually, while acting in support for colors of the room.
“I use them all the time,” Willetts said. “I’ll put one on top of the other to really stand out.”
They also are functional, helping with the acoustics of the room and cushioning the hard surfaces in wide use these days. When choosing, consider the size of the room, the colors in it and the furnishings.
“We’re doing everything from copies of antiques to new carpets that look antique,” she said with a laugh.
“Rugs have a lot of purpose and offer a lot of design opportunities for a space, and in some cases provide the final touch to pull a room together,” said Corinne Derusha of West Elm in Los Angeles, who helps clients turn room design ideas into reality.
“(Rugs) are more of a complement piece,” she added. “When I’m helping a client, we try to break it down into several pieces. We look at what they have and pick a floor plan: Is the room a more formal sitting area, is it a high-traffic area, are there children and pets in the house?”
Victor Derdak is the general manager overseeing operations at FLOR in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. The company offers area rugs, custom pieces and carpet tiles so homeowners can create their own look. Derdak called the selection of rugs an integral part of a room design.
“Space is the key and how you incorporate it,” he said. “Rugs can be the focal point, setting the mood and then going from there.”
FLOR offers a fun flooring option: 20-by-20-inch seamless carpet squares that when arranged look like a one-piece rug. The modular designs allow for a lot of creativity. Mix and match patterns or angle squares differently for a look that will capture the eye.
And when you’re decorating your home, it’s all about the visual.
Ashley Stark Kenner and Chad Stark have literally written the book about carpeting — “Decorating With Carpets: A Fine Foundation” (The Vendome Press, New York). Filled with stunning photos of rooms in which rugs are showcased, it offers homeowners plenty of inspiration. The photos act as a guide to decorating since they are from rooms by designers and decorators that their company, Stark Carpet, based in New York, has worked with throughout its more than 75 years in business.
“Carpet is an anchor to the room and more than a fashion accessory,” said Stark Kenner, creative director. “It helps pull the entire room together. When you’re thinking about designing a room, you can’t leave that out.”
Designers usually begin by choosing a color scheme and then a rug. From there, the possibilities are endless.
“I think people are becoming more fearless in their design,” Stark Kenner said. “People want a reflection of themselves.”
And that may mean using rugs where you might not expect, such as opting for an odd-shaped piece in an entry way or using a vintage Oriental runner in the kitchen. The book is a byproduct of Stark’s decades of success.
“Originally, Ashley and I wanted to create a book for Stark’s 75th anniversary that paid homage to our parents for the outstanding legacy that they have established,” said Stark, senior vice president. “However, we browsed our library and realized that there were books on almost every aspect of design except for decorating with carpets.”
So, with the help of writer Heather Smith MacIsaac, the cousins decided to look back and share the experiences of the almost 100 designers the company has worked with to inform people about different ways to decorate with carpets. The book title is apt.
“Designers and homeowners alike can use this book as a resource to see different applications of rugs, from how a simple design can ground the room to how something complex and colorful can add energy in both traditional and contemporary settings,” Stark said.
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