This week’s “I’m Shopping For” is about finding the perfect rug for a client of mine. (FYI- I’m patting myself on the back right now for doing an “I’m Shopping For” two weeks in a row.) My client, Ashley, is young & stylish and lives in a beautifully redone old condo in DC. Her style is sort of an updated traditional. She’s drawn to rooms that have an interesting mix of patterns with furnishings on the traditional side and bolder, more vibrant colors. She’s collected some pretty antiques over the years- both family pieces & on her own, and her place has great bones. When I first came to check out her living room, it looked great already. (And I’m thinking- are you sure you need me?! 😉 She, of course, wanted to keep her antiques & we decided on using a few other pieces she already owned that we loved for the new design – one of them being a patterned soft pastel area rug- and I got to work.
When I first dig into a design for a new client, I pour over their inspiration images, noting similarities and patterns in the various pictures. With Ashley’s pictures, I was a little stumped though. I wasn’t seeing the connection between what we were working with in her current living room and where we needed to be feeling-wise. The one thing I noticed in Ashley’s inspiration rooms was that they had bold mixes of patterns & colors and some of them had that sort of laid-back “undecorated” feeling so many of us strive for (vs. a more refined, planned out one) yet they still contained some more formal & sometimes glammy pieces mixed in with more casual ones. There was an energy about the spaces she loved. And one recurring element I noticed: many of the rooms had antique graphic-patterned rugs. The rug Ashley & I had decided to keep (above) was beautiful, but the more I got into what I thought was “her,” and what she wanted out of her new living room, the more it seemed the washed pastel rug wasn’t right for the design. I initially tried to work out a scheme that felt like “Ashley” out of soft colors that were beautiful with the rug, but it just wan’t quite jiving with what she wanted.
As a decorator, I feel that it’s my job to push my clients a little out of their comfort zones so that I can create spaces they’ll really & truly love & be excited by, but not to push them so much that they’re unhappy or really uncomfortable with anything like budget, style, etc., so it’s sometimes hard to know when to speak up and say something that might possibly push your client too much. Anyway, I got in touch with Ashley and she was very open to moving the rug to her bedroom (which btw will be perfect in there with its soft blues- yay!) and trying out a new one in the living room (= dream client! 😉 She totally got what I was saying about needing to go a little bolder with our colors & style and I was able to move forward on the project in the right direction. Thus began the hunt for the perfect antique(ish) graphic rug.
Rugs can be tough because you’re looking for the perfect style, the right feeling and colors that work. In some cases I found rugs with great patterns but their colors weren’t right for what we needed or vice versa.
To find the perfect rug, I look through hundreds of rugs, but I’ll only share the ones that caught my eye for the project. Anyway, here’s the story of the rug hunt:
I came across this little beauty from French Market Collection, but it was still too soft-feeling for what we needed. I did like the central pattern though:
I loved the graphic pattern of this David Easton rug but this wouldn’t work for our colors:
ps- If you have any questions, be sure to check back in the comments later, because that’s where I’ll answer them 🙂
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