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Anchored In Art: Rug Report

Today’s rug makers take art to the floor with vivid designs and colors that take their inspiration from original paintings, iconic illustrations, recognizable motifs and more.

By Diane Falvey
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Today’s area rugs encompass as many styles as they do weaves. While many rugs are designed to blend with a room’s decor — adding subtle texture and pattern — some of the area rugs we’re seeing today take a far bolder stance, creating a focal point that draws the eye to the center or floor of a room.
While rugs based on various other art forms have been around for decades, each new crop of art-inspired area rugs can bring a new level of design possibilities to the forefront. Not only can the weaving process capture an artist’s design, it can often add new dimension as the medium can be adjusted with pile heights, weaving techniques and materials.


Finding Inspiration

Serena Dugan, founder of Serena Dugan Studios and former co-owner of Serena & Lily, recently launched a rug collection with Erik Lindstrom based on her original paintings, for example. Dugan suggests that rugs are a perfect medium for showcasing artwork. “You design a rectangle that then gets created by weavers,” she says. In her collaboration with Lindstrom she continues, her artwork has been brought to life on rugs via master craftspeople. “A map of the design is set on a structure that they then knot the wool into. The colorways and pile height are all pre-determined,” Dugan notes. “Where a collaboration is such a beautiful thing is marrying my talents with Erik’s. He saw the opportunity to shift the pile heights and make the rugs more sculptural. The craftspeople, techniques and materials lend a richness that I couldn’t have anticipated. I had never created rugs that were quite this refined.”

Dugan’s new rug collection with Lindstrom incorporates three designs — Condessa, Roma and Polanco — and 12 colorways, although as each rug is made to order, colors and sizes can be customized.

Dugan is not the only designer to take an artistic approach to the surface on the floor. Loloi recently partnered with Rifle Paper founder Anna Bond to bring that designer’s iconic florals to area rugs. “The beauty of the Rifle Paper x Loloi collection is that it offers something for everyone,” the company says. “With materials that range from wool, jute and cotton to  various poly blends and created in varying constructions that range from hooked and braided to power-loomed, we are able to bring the iconic Rifle Paper aesthetic to any room in the home.”


Grounding the Room

As consumers tend to lean toward neutrals with the more permanent furnishings in their spaces, area rugs create an opportunity to go bold, colorful and art-driven to make a statement or to bring color and interest to a space. As the rug-making process can be done by machine to hand-knotted and -loomed as well as across a variety of materials, the ability to re-create or be inspired by art through this medium is poised to continue as long as consumers are purchasing rugs

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