As a child, I loved walking barefoot on the soft shag rug in my parent’s living room. It felt so luxurious that sometimes I couldn’t resist the temptation to roll around on the floor. Despite this comforting memory, I have always chosen homes with wood or laminate surfaces. They are just so much easier to keep clean with three constantly shedding cats! However, shag seems to be making a comeback and if I ever go that route I would probably chose something like Funky Rug’s Rocks rug.
The pebbly looking surface belies the suppleness of the thick wool fibers. When choosing a carpet, definitely take texture into account as it is as important as color in the design of a room; the texture of this rug provides a much needed contrast in the otherwise minimalist white room.
If you don’t want to commit to a fully carpeted space, consider an area rug which is a great way to anchor furniture within a room or define separate areas in an open-concept plan. It can also provide an important pop of colour to enhance your chosen palette.
There are so many custom options now that it is impossible not to find the perfect rug to compliment your décor. Rug Couture, a subdivision of Funky Rug, offers a choice of 5 shapes, 300 colours, and hundreds of designs. That’s hundreds of thousands of possibilities! I spent hours playing with their online design tool and finally settled on this paint chip-inspired example:
(Photo: Rug Couture, as designed by Tracey Eckersley)
Another option to provide a custom look is to use carpet tiles. Laid in the same direction, they resemble a regular rug but are much easier to install (and replace if needed). However, it is also fun to alternate the direction of the tiles to create a pattern to draw attention to the rug and the furnishings around it.
Flor offers a wide variety of carpet tiles, which are made from recycled materials. I especially like the fact that you can send your old tiles back to the company as part of their green initiative. Their website has an online design tool that lets you chose the colours and patterns and arrange them in different directions to see what it will look like before you buy. They also offer some inspirational photos of the types of patterns that can be created. I love this combination of shades of gray:
In Asian homes, it is traditional to remove one’s shoes and hosts often offer slippers to their guests. I have borrowed this custom and have a basket of flip flops by my door for friends who do not wish to go barefoot while still keeping my rugs clean. Lise El Sayed takes this concept one step further, with removable slippers built right into the carpet’s design!
When is a rug more than a rug? When it is one of Nani Marquina’s 3-D carpets, which transform a simple floor covering into lounge furniture. Something tells me that this Spanish designer spent part of her childhood rolling on the floor like I did.
Rugs are often categorized under craft or design but they can also be examples of art. Sayed Alavi’s “Flying Carpet” is a public art installation at the Sacramento International Airport. The aerial view of the Sacramento River was woven into the rug and foreshadows what the travelers will encounter once they take off. One of the artist’s intents is to “transform something ordinary into an extra-ordinary experience.” an extra-ordinary aesthetic experience
What kinds of rugs do you have that make your home extra-ordinary?