It’s not overstating to say the concept of home has been more on the mind than ever this year, given the unique circumstances of this year.
Home has always been the place we go to seek comfort from the outside world. With a year unlike any most of us have experienced since , home has now become an office, a school or perhaps even a restaurant. Whatever the current circumstances, many people are now looking at their personal surroundings with a fresh and more critical eye and seem to be ready to make changes.
When we first entered this situation, many reliable market indicators pointed towards one among the sparse upsides to this year, namely forecasting positive growth in many home-décor categories — and that welcomed news seemed to prove itself both to us and our colleagues in the industry over the last half a year of reflection. We especially found ourselves more consumed by unusual projects for custom rugs than many years to the trade prior, both here at home in New York and around the country where even some of our most respected colleagues in other states simply couldn’t cater to the unusual rooms we’ve become a part of this year.
To that end and in Josh’s hope to be an institutional resource for our peers, we thought it would be insightful to elaborate more on our thoughts regarding both the most abundant and uncommon projects where a rug might be integral to the design and functionality of the room. The discussion also seems like the perfect opportunity to remind our colleagues, old and new, of both our history of success in handling diverse projects and our continued position to offer the best selections for a variety of projects moving forward.
Below includes some of the frequent projects in our roster and on our minds lately, with more to be added to this list as an ongoing discussion we’d love for you to join:
Dining Rooms – Main, Second, Etc.
One of our most frequent projects on the mind of luxury home owners, dining rooms enjoy a more surprising variety of possibilities than many outside the realm of interior design and luxury rug curation understand — which isn’t to say the frequent preference for opulence and traditional rug designs isn’t as welcomed or valid in the modern day. Choosing a dining room rug or Kilim is a great example of how we’ve tried to educate our peers in choosing a rug as early in the process as possible. Some of our favorite designers adhering to the classic wall, furniture and floor hierarchy of design perspective understand how integral the rug can be, and how advantageous it can be to even design around a rug when the situation calls for it — though just as often, the dining room rug search is all about finding something able to sit comfortable underneath table and chairs, negotiating that fine line between outstanding and obsequious.
Main dining rooms (or main house dining rooms for those clients with estates to consider) can be so welcoming to classic aesthetics, and our own resume in antique Persian rugs naturally thrives in this capacity. The rich reds and browns we find even in our most quintessential traditional Persian rugs tend to play well with earth tone furniture and varied dining tables, but we’ve seen phenomenal results in transitional dining rooms open to a similar European grandeur from our Aubusson flat weave rugs. But in 2020 we’ve seen a greater abundance of more contemporary homes and dining rooms open to a wider array of styles, and the experience has been educational in curating more contemporary rugs to play off the brighter tones and sharper furniture that usually follows.
Second dining rooms are their own animal, often a little more open to transitional and modern rug styles but more discerning than you’d think. General secondary dining rooms, secondary residences, and those more satellite spaces can be tricky considering more often than not the rug becomes more integral in the early stages of design — often having to play in near proximity to the main dining room or keep with its theme in complementary colorways.
Across the full range of styles, even the more neutral dining room rugs have to present a slight element of gravity given the way the average luxury dining room whirlpools to a focal point as is, but in this realm of projects we’ve seen a phenomenal response to our Scandinavian Kilim as a dining room option. The variety of crisp-yet-neutral colorways, soothing movement in geometric patterns, and the unique durability of our Kilim line (particularly ideal underneath shifting dining room chairs and foot traffic) have all played a part in completing the look of some of our most elegant projects.
Living Room Rugs
Surprising few, living room rugs have arguably been the most frequent project of the year — both in how frequently a living room depends on a rug from inception to completion as well as the greater amount of time our people have spent in the living room while working from home. Given that living rooms arguably depend more on the shared furniture colorways and themes than any room in the home, living room rugs are no exception to a successful interior. More often than not we find ourselves called upon toward the end of the furniture selection for the sole fact that establishing a theme around the items in the living room is an arduous task.
General flooring, seating, couch and sectional sofa styles and colorways play the most into selecting a living room rug — the eye is generally led in levels, and before the near-infinite variations of living room themes come into play the decision between a living room rug as a centerpiece and a symbiotic piece is a natural starting point. Historically — from the perspective of our own collection — traditional living room rugs and even some transitional living room rugs tend to work the best as a centerpiece, whereas our Scandinavian Kilims and rugs seem to cater best to contemporary and select modern interiors looking for the more neutral look.
In that same discussion our Texture of Color line has proven its ability to sit comfortably anywhere, but back on the other side of the conversation we’ve begun to see our Mid-Century Modern rugs play not only as the natural complement to mid-century modern living rooms, but as the centerpiece of modern living rooms and even maximalist living rooms with discerning variety.
Main living room rugs vs. guest house living room rugs are in our resume in kind, given that the main living room and guest living room considerations (again calling back to estate interior design) can be vast and varied.
Eternally essential when considering a comfortable or regal rug but perhaps just as important as the living room and home office this year, even the most majestic and opulent selections for bedroom rugs typically require a degree of neutrality given that they sit under a greater amount of furniture than anywhere else in the home.
Another of our most-frequented projects is the master bedroom, where we’ve found antique rugs, traditional rugs, transitional rugs, contemporary Kilims and plain rugs have all found their day from project to project. How the rug catches the light through a windowed room, how it sits beneath the bed, how it travels from the floor to the adjacent furniture and how the rug ultimately balances the color and movement of the surrounding wall have all taught us the difficulty, and subsequent reward, of the master bedroom rug in completing the home.
Guest bedrooms and adjacent bedrooms — nurseries, childrens’ bedrooms, etc. — present more opportunities to explore neutrality while still ensuring comfort, coziness and functionality in the home. While often taking on the theme of the room or the house, in the guest bedroom is where the contemporary rug, Scandinavian Kilim and whimsical floral rugs have thrived for us in the last year, but the range of guest bedroom projects we’ve been tapped for over the years continues to surprise.
Home Office Rugs, Study Rugs, Library Rugs
Further unsurprising, with the resurgence of work-from-home living the need for home office rugs and study rugs has been equal parts challenging and rewarding for our team this year. The home office has always been a space flirting the fine line between studiously regal and effortlessly relaxing — concepts often mistaken as polarized when the truth is the home office rug can be as wide-spanning as the work-from-home professional needs, rooted in functionality above anything.
Even before considering the furniture, theme and natural vs. mechanical lighting needed to choose a home office rug, the need for a smooth, unobtrusive pile height or low-lying flat weave underneath rolling chairs and moving furniture guides our consultation first and foremost. In both the resurgence this year and our long-time catering to home office rug projects, this is where the all-natural hemp and aloe Scandinavian, general Scandinavian Kilim and varied Kilim rugs in our collection have found a niche.
The inherent versatility of our hemp Kilim’s color and pattern, paired with its greater ease beneath rolling office chairs, has born an interesting array of projects overtime — though it’s worth noting that a classic rug can just as often find a place in our home office projects where a rolling chair might be relegated to a desk near the window. Library rug projects seek a similar sensibility of intelligence, but often present a greater opportunity to embrace more regal and classic themes calling on our experience with antique rugs, Persian rugs, traditional rugs and a variety of classic styles often favoring rich colorways to complement the deep hues of library furniture.
Adjoining Rooms, Multiple Rugs, Layering Rugs
Interestingly enough this year has also been exemplative for our background in catering to projects where two or more rugs need to play off each other in close proximity. From adjoining and adjacent rooms to layering rugs — a particularly exciting prospect our principal Josh loves to explore with antique rugs and classic Caucasian rugs — this aspect of interior design perhaps calls on the expertise of a family company more than any other project.
Though the first thought when, for example, using multiple rugs for adjoining areas of living room and dining room projects calls for complementary colorways and a consistent theme, the latter is more important for layering rugs whereas a dramatic difference in colorway can actually create a regal, dramatic, or iconic look underfoot. One of our living room projects in collaboration with Richard McGeehan Interiors gave birth to a majestic living room in the Hudson Valley, layering three antique Persian rugs with the commonality of rich colorways that brought their variations to life in a stunning, unique way.
Though we’re well-suited in the width of our 3000+ inventory and full custom capabilities to any project, I would be remiss if I didn’t reiterate Josh’s particular enthusiasm for projects of this challenging nature where he has the opportunity to contribute his years of expertise to a look unlike any other in luxury rugs.
Beach House Rugs
Though our friends and clients have spent less time at the beach this year, the beach house rug remains an integral part of the theme given the inherent need for functionality, weather resistance and general durability in this discussion — often appropriately calling on our outdoor Scandinavian line and opening the talk to exterior design considerations.
In terms of design, we’ve seen fabulous beach house interiors complemented by minimalist rugs and soothing, light-friendly tones like those in our Texture of Color collection and our general Scandinavian Collection, though we can’t understate how fortuitous the launch of our outdoor line has been in light of its proven ability to stand up to the inevitable water and earth tracked into a beach house (without sacrificing the geometric appeal of the parent collection). Our work in Palm Beach living rooms and varied spaces in Florida in particular allowed us to explore both these lines and a variety of comfortable possibilities addressing both design and functionality in kind — especially in mud room rug projects where our outdoor line has showed great promise, though this warrants its own discussion of other contemporary and washable options in our collection.
Though a staple for what makes our Texture of Color rugs the ideal choice for beach front interiors is their ability to sit comfortably almost anywhere, its the subtle multitude of yarns creating the lavish sense of movement in the relaxing tones that particularly makes them so well-suited to the coziness and light tones a beach house inspires. The gentle fashion in which the silk catches the placid light and very quietly reflects it without punishing the eye here, for example, exemplifies all that we hoped when building this collection for the wide array of projects it’s been an integral part of so far.