Designer Advice: Rug Rules

19.5.10

In a world where rules were meant to be broken, it gets a little tricky trying to determine the do's and don'ts of designing and decorating.  So here is a new series to help you make the right decision for your home.   I am asking 3 designers for advice on common decorating questions, and design dilemmas.    This month we are looking at area rugs, and how to properly fit them in your space.  How big?  How Small?  All legs on?  You get the picture.  Mary Douglas Drysdale, Tobi Fairley and Barry Dixon share their expertise.



"Rugs come in many sizes, types and shapes, but I use in my classically and symmetry driven room plans, two basic shapes: first the "room sized" rug, which is fabricated to the shape and dimension of a room, leaving a modest border of 6 to 12 inches of finished floor showing, at the perimeter, and second, but most often, my plans call for the location of a defining "area rug", which acts as a frame for the furnishings scheme. I have equal affection for the simplicity of woven and textured pieces, such as sisal, as well as, the exotic patterning and colors of the classic Oushaks. I think a decorative scheme so much more successful, if the pieces are placed firmly within the borders of and clearly on a rug, or frankly and confidently off the rug, within the area of flooring, which surrounds the carpet, preferably with a consistent dimension, to further enhance the felling of balance in the room." 
You can contact and see more of Mary Douglas Drysdale's work HERE
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"I think rugs play a key role in both comfort and cohesiveness of any good design. For me, rugs define conversation areas and add warmth to every space. I am known for the custom geometric carpets that I so often use in my designs. One of my favorite vendors...New River Artisans. These custom pieces add pattern, color, and texture all at the same time. I typically fill a room with the rug which often unifies all the seating areas for a cozy yet sophisticated aesthetic. My rule of thumb is 12-18 inches from the wall around the entire perimeter of the room. This makes the space look larger and encourages homeowners and guests alike to really use the entire room, not just a portion of it."   
You can contact and see more of Tobi Fairley's work HERE




Barry Dixon


"Generally, I like for the carpet in a room to be sized to accomplish one of two things: to fill the room, leaving a small peripheral border of the floor underneath as a “frame” for the rug (6” to 9” in a small room, 9” to 15” in a larger room); or to define a particular furniture arrangement within a larger space. As far as furniture placement on the rug itself, I like for primary pieces to “connect” with the carpet (at least the front legs of a sofa, larger lounge chair or case piece should be on the rug itself). Secondary pieces may be completely on or off the rug."  
You can contact and see more of Barry Dixon's work HERE
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If you would like designers to weigh in on your design question, please email me. 

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