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Common Threads: The Power of Area Rugs

Crafted from threads of color, texture and everything in between, area rugs have the power to weave a story of harmony within every room.

By Gianna Annunzio
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Nourison’s Prismatic in Ivory offers vibrant strokes of purple, blue, pink and gold.
Nourison’s Prismatic in Ivory offers vibrant strokes of purple, blue, pink and gold.

Rugs have been used as a decorative element in homes for centuries. Today, they continue to play an essential role in interior design. They serve as a grounding element, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in a space. A well-placed rug can also serve as the ideal accessory to add color and texture to a room. With so many options available in the market, area rugs have become the go-to accessory for designers and homeowners alike.


Color & Pattern

From bold and vibrant hues to muted and subtle tones, the color of an area rug can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a space. Interior designers often use area rugs as a way to tie together a room’s color scheme, adding pops of color or creating a cohesive palette. Additionally, the use of color in area rugs can help to create a focal point or draw attention to specific areas of a room.

When selecting a rug, it’s important to consider the colors already present in the room, as well as the desired mood or atmosphere. Whether it’s a bright and cheery accent or a calming neutral, the right color can make all the difference in the design of a space.

“A rug has the ability to anchor, enhance and soften a space,” says Stacy Garcia, designer and CEO of Stacy Garcia Inc. “It sets the tone for the space bringing energy, personality, creativity and allowing the user to reflect their unique style.”

A rug can also complement or contrast other colors in the room — either blending in or standing out.

“Choosing the right material and color allows flow and balance throughout the room’s design scheme,” says Garcia. “The different textures, patterns and colors create different moods and visual effects.”

Garcia says her team creates rugs that are dynamic in all three: pattern, color and texture. This offers an opportunity to have fun and layer a space. “The rugs act as a perfect starting point for creative vision, inspiring designers and consumers to play with complementary hues, textures and accessories,” she says. “We wanted our collection to be a culmination of various design influences. With designs inspired by traditional kilims, abstract watercolor paintings, stylistic geometrics and more — there’s something for everyone.”

If homeowners opt for a neutral palette throughout the home, they’ll likely choose tones such as gray, white or brown when committing to larger furnishings (sofas, accent chairs). Rugs on the other hand, are low commitment and easy item to change out seasonally. According to Tamara Day, Designer and host of Magnolia Network’s “Bargain Mansions,” rugs should be able to move seamlessly between different rooms.

“Our rugs in particular are at a great price point, so you can change your look by the season,” she says. “In addition, I don’t want rooms to feel like you ‘bought a room.’ I want it to feel like you collected a room. Your entire house needs to fit that vibe to make it feel fluid. The rug you pick for the living room should be able to easily swap into the office or bedroom, regardless of the space.”

Color can also breathe life into a space. Though neutral rooms often exude serene energy, the palette can quickly bore some homeowners.
To introduce a playful vibrance, incorporate tones including pinks, blues and oranges.

“You can get so much color from your area rugs,” Day says. “You really build the room with a neutral palette of everything else, and get the ‘wow’ of the whole space because of the rug and the color. I think it’s a great way to get a lot of feeling in a room in an easy way.”


Home Style & Developing Collections

Whether it’s a rustic farmhouse style or a sleek modern look, developing a rug that fits a specific aesthetic requires a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the style’s key elements. When developing a rug design, designers must also consider the practical aspects, such as the materials used and the size and shape needed for a space.

“Our goal is to bring an artisanal approach with a vibrant aesthetic, and bold color combinations to the residential market,” says Garcia. “It is our mission to help create beautiful things that elevate a room and make people feel good.”

When designing any product, Garcia also considers how that product is going to be used, how it will make the person living in the space feel and how it will perform.

“We develop collections that take the guesswork out of design and represent superior quality and style,” she says. “We create products that work well together and can be used to complement each other and transition from one space to another.”

As mentioned, Day’s rug collections are based on the entire vibe of a home she’s designing — not just specific to one room. Her Charlotte collection, for example, combines inspiration from three homes she designed for Bargain Mansions on Charlotte Street. Her Juniper collection was inspired by Day’s first home to air, offering a French chateau design and masculine feel.

“Each collection is based on a certain house, and the vibe I felt from that house,” Day says. “I’m not a white kitchen, white walls designer. I’m more of an eclectic and collected designer. With every collection, you can really see a difference from house to house.”

When partnering with designers, companies such as Nourison Rugs often search for designers with a different perspective.

“We aim to collaborate with someone who can serve a space that we’re not currently in,” says Giovanni Marra, Marketing Director at Nourison. Nourison recently developed two new area rug collections — Brushstrokes and Iliana — alongside Farah Mehri, founder of Insprie Me! Home Decor. Brushstrokes includes softly textured abstract patterns with a metallic sheen for a glamourous touch. The Iliana collection infuses elegance with classic and contemporary patterns in neutral colors. By working with designers who have unique viewpoints, Nourison is able to create collections that are diverse and versatile.

This also includes newfound rug durability practices, as the expectations for rug quality have shifted dramatically industry-wide in recent years. According to Marra, wool has always been the best fiber for rugs.

“It’s organic, renewable and very resilient,” he says. “A well-made wool rug will last decades. Unfortunately, the market has been racing to the bottom on pricing. The most popular rugs today are made from cheaper synthetic fibers that will not last as long as wool. We produce rugs from synthetic fibers as well, but we use higher quality yarns to help the rugs last longer and be more stain resistant.”

When done well, performance fabrics are the godsend of all active families — designers love to use them in design projects and in their own homes. Regardless of the level of fabric being used, at the core, the best practice to ensure rugs will last is regular and routine maintenance.

“That means immediate spot treatment according to care instructions, gentle cleaning every few months, and never underestimate the power of surrender,” says Aly Morford, Co-Founder, Pure Salt. In February, the team released the Pure Salt for Pottery Barn Collection with these principles in mind, featuring 10 designs in various colorways.

“We know just how much living can be done in a busy home, so we purposefully designed rugs that are meant to be well-loved and worn so that it ages beautifully with use,” she says.

Designers also want to make sure when a customer invests in a piece from their collection, the quality is on par with their expectations according to Leigh Lincoln, Co-Founder, Pure Salt.

“For us, that means heavily relying on the experts — talented artisans who know how to make a rug that will last,” she says. “We opted for the more intensive practice of hand-making each and every rug, which helps to ensure durability as well as a true artisan craftsmanship that will age well with use.

“As we grow our partnership, more sustainable materials and methods may come, but we are pleased and grateful for the opportunity to take those leaps with the men and women who marry history, tradition, art, and incredible knowledge into each and every rug.”

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