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Design Dilemma : Area Rug Transformations

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

One of the easiest ways to lend eye-popping style to any room is through one element alone: an area rug. In one fell swoop, a room can become classic or trendy, sophisticated or wacky. An area rug is one of the easiest ways possible to show off your personality, whether you’re a wallflower or the life of the party. And the best thing about rugs is that they can easily be swapped out or traded when you tire of any one look. Just switch them around from room to room, or layer them when you want something completely different. If you don’t take advantage of all the possibilities a good rug can give you, you’re really missing out on an opportunity.

So what’s your personality?

Classic with an artsy twist.

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Let’s say you like order and classic decor, but you have an adventurous side that enjoys the arts and a little bit of color. The runner above called Bar Chart Bliss by Julie Dasher Rugs, is the perfect choice to inject a little drama in a very classic interior without going too wild. It’s just bright enough and unexpected enough that your friends will know you’ve got a wilder side but it’s also extremely practical and resistant to dirt and stains. That alone makes it an excellent choice for high traffic areas like the entry.

modern living room how to tips advice

The colorful geometric rug above also fits in with this personality type. Geometry suggests order and refinement but the bright colors are certainly beyond the pale!

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

The rug above, is another of the color block looks. Again, the rug gives the room an artsy vibe, but in an ordered sort of way that looks great with classic white couches and white metal chairs.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

This shaggy, colorful area rug in a Washington DC home is just unexpected enough to inject some bo-ho flare into a crisp all-white interior.

Buttoned up Glam.

contemporary family room how to tips advice

So you follow the trends and you like luxury, but you like to keep things sophisticated and not too in-your-face. The perfect rug for you could be this arabesque geometric rug in gray and white. The pattern is stylish and vibrant, but the gray and white palette refrains from taking over the room. The effect is a room that feels warm and lively but at the same time urbane and cozy.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

The room above takes a page or two out of the buttoned up Glam page book. The muted gray is cool and sophisticated but the raised shag of the rug hints at just a little bit of glam.

Solidly traditional.

traditional entry how to tips advice

Got antiques, a historic home, and a penchant for beaded chandeliers, chair rails and wallpaper? Check out the butter yellow rug above, which manages to hold its own while letting the room’s architectural details stand out. The key to its pop is the raised diamond design that takes this solid rug beyond the place where most solid rugs are willing to go. The color looks fantastic against dark wood floors and picks up the butter color of the walls.

traditional living room how to tips advice

And what is there to be said about oriental rugs? They are always on point, working in both traditional and modern interiors. Their vibrant colors and patterns stand up to pets and children, and they always enhance any room of the house.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

The room above is more transitional than traditional, but it uses a traditional oriental rug to lend the room a sense of rooted timelessness.

Sexy and Mod.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

Shaggy flokati rugs were all the rage in bachelor pads of the 60s and 70s, and they still have their appeal today. Soft underfoot, shaggy rugs are perfect in the bedroom, where they speak of romantic nights before a roaring fire. Shags are particularly adapted to bedrooms, since bedrooms get less foot traffic, ensuring your shag rug will not get crushed and matted. Check out another soft, sexy bedroom below:

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice
industrial kitchen how to tips advice

The leather rug above is a little too small for the environment, but the look is still sexy and modern in a masculine sort of way.

Outdoorsy.

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Do you wish you were living in a tree house? The next best thing may be this textured rug with a forest motif.

Or perhaps the grassy rug below:

And in the room below, a patterned kilim feels appropriately earthy with the forest green couch.

eclectic living room how to tips advice

Low-key

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And when is a neutral, plain rug the best choice in a home? When you’ve got dramatic, stellar artwork that you want to take center stage!

scandinavian living room how to tips advice
eclectic living room how to tips advice

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Design Dilemma: The New Way to Do Floral

eclectic home office how to tips advice

Floral pillows, floral wallpaper, floral couches, brings to mind visions of grandma’s house. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a way to do floral that can feel funky and modern, hip and au courant. We’ve found a few interiors that embody all that. Let’s take a look.

Going Bold

One of the best ways to bring floral patterns out of the grandmotherly mold is to make them big and bold. That’s something grandma wouldn’t have done. In the living room below, an accent wall of big bold flowers adds a funky punch that is complemented by smaller patterns on both the wallpapered kitchen wall and the geometric patterned rug.

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In the bedroom below, a huge floral wall treatment instantly gives a bedroom a luscious punch. What makes the wall feel particularly modern here is that they sit on a wall painted black. Grandma wouldn’t have done that, either.

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And here, a headboard upholstered in a dramatic and large floral makes a bedroom feel fresh and feminine.

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Mixing Patterns

The new take on floral involves mixing florals with other sorts of patterns. In the rooms above, we see floral mixed with animal prints, geometric prints, and smaller scale patterns. Grandma’s tendency would have been to do up a room entirely in florals.

In the bedroom below, an upholstered floral headboard looks fresh and fashionable when contrasted with pillows with a geometric pattern

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And below, another mix of florals and geometrics.

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Floral with lots of white.

Large doses of white always seem fresh and modern.

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And here:

traditional bedroom how to tips advice

And here:

shabby chic style bedroom how to tips advice

 

A More Graphic Floral Pattern
Floral patterns are not all equal. The more modern spin on floral involves patterns with a more graphic take and bolder colors. The print on the chairs below, for example, have an almost  pop art Andy Warhol quality:

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And so too does this actual painting incorporating flowers and a cow’s head.

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And below, vivid purple flowers in a guest bathroom feels very hip.

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So what’s the takeaway? Simply put, florals have moved way beyond the faded floral prints of grandma’s house. No need to shy away!

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Design Dilemma: Celebrating the Feminine

shabby chic style living room how to tips advice

For the last few years, there’s been a distinctly masculine feel in interior design. The industrial look, embracing reclaimed wood and raw materials, including materials such as iron and leather, was the epitome of this design direction. But lately, we’ve had our eye on the opposite look — interiors that are unapologetically soft, cozy, feminine. After a long period of industrial and mid Century modern, it feels like it’s about time.

All White.

Nothing says feminine as much as an all-white interior. The one below manages to feel feminine but not in a girly kind of way. It’s chic, sophisticated and even minimal.

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Soft Textures.

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Texture is important in any design, but for a feminine look, it’s got to be the right textures. You’re not looking for anything rough. Instead, flokati rugs, silky upholstery and velvets fit the bill.

transitional bedroom how to tips advice

Pastels.

shabby chic style bedroom how to tips advice

It may seem trite, but pink continues to be a feminine color. Use it in small doses in a white room, and you’ve got a classic feminine look that doesn’t feel like kitsch.

Happy Colors.

shabby chic style living room how to tips advice

Sometimes, pastels aren’t the only way to go to create a happy and feminine vibe. In the living room above, colorful floral pillows, a bright kilim and a colorful bouquet of flowers stand in contrast to a white slip-covered chair. Mom would have been proud.

Likewise for the interior below:

contemporary home office how to tips advice

Florals.

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Florals are feminine, but it’s hard to keep them from feeling grandmotherly. The room above feels fresh and youthful because the floral pattern on the headboard is more graphic and set in contrast with the geometric print on the pillows.

Chandeliers.

shabby chic style home office how to tips advice

It’s no mistake that several photos in this post have included chandeliers. The gold chandelier in the room above feels very girly and is a nice counterpoint to soft gray walls.

What else feels feminine?

  • Curved shapes, including curved tables, headboards and lamps.
  • Patterned wallpaper, especially in pink.
  • Slipcovers and ruffles in white, a la shabby chic.
  • Attention to comfort items, such as plump pillows, silky throws, thick shaggy rugs — the whole point is to mute or tone down any hard straight lines and surfaces.