Confused about rugs? Tips for getting it right

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • July 7, 2018

It happens all the time. Rugs are often the last item on the to-do list when decorating a home.

After the painting, furniture, artwork and accessories. That’s when most homeowners think about what goes on the floor. I have been guilty of it myself.  And often, most of the budget is spent by then so the rugs aren’t given the priority they should receive.

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I find that rugs are often an afterthought. And there are reasons for that. It’s not really as much fun as picking out everything else. And let’s face it: selecting a rug can be confusing. What size do you need? What color works best? What texture? How much of your furniture goes on the rug? Why didn’t it shed in the store?

 Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Carpet designer Malene B has created hand-knotted and hand tufted rugs that make a statement with a mixture of texture and color. Made in Nepal by skilled artisans, each is crafted by hand and no two are alike. The muted colors pair well with bright fabric choices. From Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Also, ignoring it until the end of your to-do list is not a good option. Check out a few of my tips that will take away some of the stress. And make it more fun.

We all have a budget, but if possible…

·       Buy the best rug you can afford.

·       Spend at least as much as you spent on your sofa.

·       Have a budget in mind before you shop.

Biggest mistakes everyone makes

·       Selecting the wrong size. This is #1.

·       Picking the wrong color.

·       Getting the texture wrong. A long, thick pile that you trip over.

·       If you are hesitant, call a designer for sources and experience that will help.

 From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade, her hand-knotted rugs offered feature two signature patterns, Sugar Rain and Mudslide, each available in four colorways. Both patterns are an organic and atmospheric take on natural elements found either in land or water. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Silk, wool or synthetic?

Understand these three choices and you will be able to make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget.

Wool: the most resilient, flame retardant and stain resistant.

Silk: beautiful but they run into the thousands.

Synthetics: Good price point but can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. 

Sisal, jute and grass: these have a nice look and cost less but they simply don’t last. They are hard to clean and the first red wine spill will send you rug shopping (again).

Indoor/Outdoor and made from recycled soda bottles

This is a favorite if you are on a budget: The Gianna rug from Pottery Barn is woven on a hand loom and recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it’s yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. And it works indoors or outdoors.

 Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Ancient art and innovative eco-friendly design merge in the Gianna rug from Pottery Barn. Woven on a hand loom, it recreates the soft feel and age-mellowed colors of an antique Turkish kilim using yarns made from recycled soda bottles. Fully reversible for twice the wear, it is yarn dyed for vibrant, lasting color. Use indoors or outdoors. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Don’t do this

Buy a rug from a going out of business sale.

Put a rug on top of another rug. Ever.

Buy a rug that is too small for the space.  Many homeowners purchase a small rug to go under a coffee table leaving the rest of the floor bare.  You will find that this is not a good look.

Do this

Research online, Pinterest, magazines.

Purchase from a name brand retailer.

Determine which weave works for your space: tufted, hand knotted, flat weave, braided, hooked.

Consider the pile (thickness) that is best for your room. For example, a thicker pile might be great for your bedroom where you will have bare feet but not so much for a living room where you may trip.

How to size a rug for the space

Living room: Most living rooms require a square or rectangular rug. Select a size that will allow the legs of all the furniture to be placed on the carpet OR measure it so that the front legs fit. I like to use painter’s tape to outline the dimensions of the rug to visualize what will work. Wool works best in this room.

Bedroom: Again, wool is durable, comfortable and easy to clean. For sizing, try to get all legs of the furniture on the rug. OR at least from the foot of the bed up to the legs of the bedside tables.

Bathroom: This is my favorite place to put a real rug (instead of a typical bathroom rug). A wool rug in a vibrant color gives the space a completely different look. Elegant. Try it.

 Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Artisan-made, Malika Persian-style rug from Pottery Barn is hand-tufted of pure wool. The beautiful colors make it a good choice for a bathroom in a 3 x 5 size. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Hallway: Typically, you want six inches of flooring to show on all sides. For high traffic areas, like a hallway or entryway, an easy-to-clean woven option works. Also consider an outdoor rug.

Dining room: Honestly, I am not a huge fan of rugs in the dining room. They are crumb catchers and are just waiting for an accident. Having said that, many of my clients like them because they warm up the room and help with sound. If you want to take a chance, a natural fiber rug is best here because it’s easy to shake out.  And if you use a jute/polyester/sisal blend, there is a better chance of removing stains. When it comes to size, make sure the rug is large enough to completely fit under the table AND chairs with enough covered area to pull out chairs without catching.  The rug should be proportional to your table. In other words, do not scrimp on the size.

And now the fun part: color

If the furniture in your room is upholstered in a vivid pattern, choose a muted or solid rug to coordinate with the room. For a classic and timeless look, match a color in a patterned rug to your sofa and match a second color to your sofa throw pillows. Simple but it works.

 From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

From Malene B for Kravet to the trade. Photo courtesy of Kravet.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. She has helped homeowners throughout Southwest Florida with timeless, affordable ways to create beautiful spaces and to solve decorating problems. Her article appears the first Saturday of each month. For more information visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips, articles and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

Bathroom redux: from drab to fab

There was a time when the bathroom was the most unmentioned room in the home. No longer. Today, bathrooms, as much as any room in house, reflect the style of the owners.  

It’s the most personal space in your home. It’s typically the smallest room and yet you begin and end your day in your bathroom. Next to the kitchen, it’s the most important room in the home.

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Your home in 2017: Is it time to call a design professional?

Your home in 2017: Is it time to call a design professional?

 

It’s a new year and if you are like most of us, you’re getting your home back in shape after the holiday decorations come down and the guests leave.  Maybe you’ve done a little reorganizing. Some decluttering. Deep cleaning. And now you are thinking about some refreshing your décor for the winter season.

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Design directions: what designers want to change in your home

It happens a lot. I am often asked what I most want to change in client’s homes. And there have been a lot of articles recently about “what designers dislike most.”

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator who goes into lots of homes, I can tell you a little secret: there are things that make us cringe and they may not be what you would expect. The good news: most of them are easily corrected and some can be done before the end of this article.

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He said, she said...solutions for creating home sweet home when conflicts arise

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press • March 5, 2016

Classic and timeless, this elegant bedroom appeals to both sexes. Photo Courtesy of the Henredon Interior Showroom, Hickory Chair Collection.

It was a Saturday morning. One of my favorite, longtime clients called and asked me (begged me) to please head for a local furniture showroom. She and her husband had squared off in opposite corners and could not agree on a piece of furniture to go in a room that had been recently remodeled.

This final selection was one they thought they could do on their own without my help. But they could not agree.

When I arrived, they were not happy. I gathered them both together and the husband said the final decision was mine because they could not possibly agree and he was tired of fighting. So, we worked it out and there was a compromise. Life went on and I am certain they are still married.

Deep tones with rich textures are an ideal compromise between traditional and contemporary tastes. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Henredon Interior Showroom, Hickory Chair Collection.

These challenges are not uncommon. And sometimes in this profession, we are psychologists, marriage counselors and someone to just listen.

Whether it's between spouses, roommates, a parent and child who has moved back home, in-laws in the home or many other configurations of the way we live, conflicts about space are normal.

Maybe two separate households are merging. The conflicts can range from who takes the trash out to how the animal heads on the wall are to blend with the Lilly Pulitzer print drapes.

The bottom line: communication.

I can work with a couple on paint color and tell you exactly how they communicate.

My suggestion when bringing any two people together to decorate a home: diplomacy, humor and some basic respect.

Interior designer, Diane Torrisi, presented a lively "He said, She said" seminar with the Henredon showroom this past week at Miromar Design Center. Along with designer Dirk Anderson, she emphasized the importance of compromise in making home interiors functional for all members of the residence. 

"Compromise is a way of giving up something, most often in order to gain something else." Diane Torrisi of Diane Torrisi Designs

As a Southwest Florida interior decorator, I have strategies that I use to help create a "home sweet home" when there are disagreements. Some of these might help if decorating conflicts happen in your home!

 Soft hues as a backdrop with beautiful gender neutral furnishings and accessories. Photo Courtesy of the Henredon Interior Showroom, Hickory Chair Collection.

Soft hues as a backdrop with beautiful gender neutral furnishings and accessories. Photo Courtesy of the Henredon Interior Showroom, Hickory Chair Collection.

Do your work before the designer arrives.

Together, look through magazines, set up Pinterest boards, shop (together). Get an idea of where you agree, disagree and where there may be room for compromise.

He likes contemporary, she likes traditional

One of my go-to-sources for seeking examples of compromise is Restoration Hardware. Great examples of a rather utilitarian, minimalist look that allows for pretty accessories to smooth out the look. This helps to define what you can and can't live with.

Color conflict

I encounter this daily. And it's also important to remember that people see color differently. It's very complicated. If one wants tropical colors and the other wants neutral, I usually suggest whites or grays for walls and color in accessories and fabric.

Gender-neutral

Color is no longer quite so gender specific. Many rooms done in reds, blues, greens and earthy tones satisfy both sexes.

No way am I having a recliner

These are not your parent's Barcaloungers. Now they are streamlined and you can't tell they are recliners. Pick out a pretty one and upholster it in a gorgeous fabric. Compromise!

His space/her space

Man caves and she sheds have helped to solve some of these issues. But let's face it, most homes do not allow space for these luxuries. So create a his and her space in the home. A nook or area where each may have their own "stuff." A yoga area for her. A TV area for him.

Merging lives, merging space

This can be tricky. He has his stuff. She has hers. Honestly, it seems to work best when the two start off with a new space that can be "theirs." then go through what might work and what should go. And now, it's time to make new purchases together.

Pick your battles

Some disagreements are not that important. Figure out what you can live with, compromise and go from there. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have a happy home to call your own and that you are sharing it with someone that you care about.  And when all else fails, call a decorator or designer. We are really good at providing creative solutions to decorating conflicts!

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator, A.S.I.D. associate and certified gold member of the Interior Redecorators Network. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

 

Time for my own makeover

It was time. Past time. I needed to practice what I tell my clients and do a complete makeover.

So, I collaborated once again with Squarespace web designer and someone who has become my good friend, Melody Watson.

Melody does for me what I try to do for my Southwest Florida clients every day. She inspires me to think outside the box. Encourages me to let let go of what no longer works for me and to make space for something better and more beautiful.  As a Fort Myers-based interior decorator and News-Press writer of all things design-oriented, this is my mantra.

sofa-heels-pearls-wallpaper.jpg

It takes courage to embark on a makeover. We all want an amazing, blissful and beautiful space. It takes a lot of trust in your designer and you have to be fearless. Whether designing a room in your home or a new website.

I always ask my clients to tell me how they want their home to feel l when they walk in the front door. And then I work with them create that feeling. And it was that way with this new website.  I told Melody the feeling I wanted to convey and she helped me get there.

Having always been rather fearless, it took trusting my designer to help me create a new, refreshed Spectacular Spaces.  You be the judge!