Trend Spotting: Flat Weave Rugs

11381999_SBlogs are a wonderful resource for inspiration and spotting the latest trends in design. We’re seeing a trend for flat woven area rugs in magazines and in stores.  Flat woven rugs do not have pile, which is typical of carpet. Flat woven rugs can be plain, but the trend right now is for flat woven rugs in bold patterns.

One of the most popular flat woven rugs is the Kilim rug.  These rugs typically have a graphic pattern in a mutlicolored palette that can range from pastels to earth tones. Versions of the Kilim rug can be found from the Balkans to Persia to Pakistan. Turkey is a source for contemporary Kilims. These graphic rugs can work with a number of styles from contemporary to rustic, traditional to modern.

Along with these traditional flat woven rugs, manufacturers are making flat woven rugs in a number of patterns that include stripes and lattice.  Fretwork pattern, another big design trend, works well in the flat woven rug style.

Flat woven rugs can be found in wool, which is traditional, or cotton. Antique and traditional flat weave rugs like Kilims are often colored with vegetable dyes that have a different look than modern dyes.

Flat woven rugs can work in an entry, bedroom, living room or dining room. The lack of pile gives these rugs a more casual feeling that works really well in modern décor.  The lack of pile also makes these rugs work over wall to wall carpet.

Decorating with Comfortable Farmhouse Style

Even if you don’t have a farmhouse style home, the style can work for you. Farmhouse is all about comfort with a nostalgic, vintage flair.  Found pieces from flea markets, estate sales and antique shows mix with comfortable upholstered pieces in either traditional or shabby chic styles.  It’s an easy style to live with and great for all rooms in the home.

This living room is full of charming farmhouse furniture and accessories.  The room itself is a standard design with wood floors, recessed lighting and crown molding.  It could be a renovation or new construction, and demonstrates how well farmhouse style can fit into a home. Neutral wall color lets the colors of the curtains, furniture and accessories stand out.

Vintage finds add character to the room. An old painted trunk makes for a charming coffee table with storage in the seating area.  Vintage inspired lamps throughout the room create lighting zones and accent lights for reading.  Comfortable seating in pretty slipcovers in natural linens and cotton make for easy cleaning.  This is definitely not a living room where you’d be afraid to put up your feet.

The wide plank wood floors offer a rustic charm.  A jute rug with a colorful border that coordinates with the colors of the room centers the seating area.

This living room shows how charming farmhouse style can be. Mixing in vintage and antique pieces let the homeowner’s personality shine through to make the room feel comfortable and personal. Fabrics and furniture further the feeling of comfortable farmhouse charm.

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Creating a Cottage Style Bathroom

We wanted to finish up Bathroom Blogfest 2012 with a  traditional, warm bathroom design.  This design can work for both newer and older homes.

Cottage style is a charming choice for the bathroom.  Cottage style can work with traditional and farmhouse architecture as well as cottage homes.  These bathrooms favor traditional elements and surfaces and often reference vintage and antique elements.

This bathroom features one of the timeless classics of bathroom design: the claw-foot tub.  These antiques are classics because of their deep soaks and cast-iron construction that holds the heat. Antique claw foot tubs can be found restored to their original condition, and can also be customized with color on the exterior.

The pedestal sink is a nice vintage touch that fits perfectly with cottage style. While these sinks don’t provide storage, their narrow profile is ideal for a small bathroom. Additional storage can be created with a small vintage cabinet, bookshelf, or hanging cabinet.

You could add penny tiles or hexagonal tiles on the floor for a classic vintage cottage style.  Typically, white and black, today’s penny tiles and hexagonal tiles can be found in an array of colors to suit any taste. A soft throw rug next to the tub is a stylish and smart addition to create a soft place to step out of the tub.

Wainscoting on the walls is a great touch in a cottage bathroom. Subway tiles, in classic white, would work nicely on the walls in a cottage bathroom, as well. Charming vintage art and the simple framed mirror complete the cottage look in this bathroom. The wainscoting dark color framed by the white trim and patterned area rug adds visual interest to this bathroom.

We hope you all enjoyed reading about bathrooms this week as much as we did! We’re so grateful to have participated in Bathroom Blogfest 2012 and cannot wait until next year’s group blogging adventure.  Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the Bathroom Blogfest writers below:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo!


Traditional Dining Room Style

Formal dining rooms often follow a pattern in their design. Many formal dining rooms have a traditional style even if the rest of the home is more casual and comfortable.  In many minds, the dining room should be formal and for many of us formal means traditional.  This is the room where we dress up for dinner and celebrate holidays and milestones.

Achieving a formal feel in the dining room is often done with traditional design elements and furnishings.  Even if your style is more modern, these traditional elements are the foundation of any formal dining room.  You can take the traditional elements and modernize them to suit your taste, but you’ll find that you use the same pieces as a traditional style dining room does.

The dining table is the focal point of the room. Surrounded by a set of four, six, or eight chairs, the table is centered in the room by a light fixture, most often a chandelier.  The chandelier is typically hung thirty-six inches above the table, low enough to relate to the table and high enough not to interfere with the sight lines from the chair.  Other pieces in a traditional dining room include a sideboard or buffet and often a mirror above it.

This dining room has all the classic elements of a traditional dining room. The large area rug ties in the artwork and the colors of the table and chairs.

Life’s Little Messes

25714482_SCheese puffs on the rug, dirty paw prints on the wood floors, juice spilled on the sofa… life’s little messes can happen throughout the house, and they do on a daily basis.  Having the right flooring and upholstery can help make sure life’s little messes can be easily cleaned up.  The perfect house that is never dirty or the perfect sofa that never has popcorn between the cushions might exist somewhere, but for the majority of us, it isn’t a reality. Homes and rooms are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. So eat your cheese puffs and let the dog into the house.

When shopping for carpet or area rugs, look for materials that are stain-resistant. Ask about stain fighting properties when purchasing your carpet and rugs. Wool is a natural stain-resistant material because of the natural oils in the wool yarn. Other types of carpet and rugs may be engineered or treated to fight stains.  To hide stains and dirt, look for rugs with deeper colors and complicated patterns.

For new upholstered furniture purchases, ask about stain fighting properties in the different upholstery options.  Some retailers offer a stain protection plan that will protect your investment with professional treatment of stains. Using outdoor upholstery indoors is a smart idea if you have kids or pets. Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand moisture and dirt more than delicate fabrics.

Messes happen. This is a fact of life. Choosing the right flooring and upholstery means the little messes are no big deal.

Decorating with Area Rugs

There is no easier way to change a room quickly than by putting down an area rug. While some designers actually suggest picking your rug first and then choosing your furniture, not all of us have that option.

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind while shopping for your carpet. If you have a family and pets, be sure to choose your color and material carefully. Wool rugs with a pattern are best to hide the signs of your active household. Area rugs should not cover an entire room. Be sure you keep at least a 12-inch border. Likewise all furniture does not need to be placed directly on the rug. Position just the front legs of your chairs and sofas to help anchor the carpet. Be daring and unexpected.

If you have a monochromatic room use a rug with a vibrant pattern or color as a visual surprise. Area rugs come in all sizes and shapes. Use the shape of the room as well as the shape of your furniture to help choose which rug would look best. Use round rugs under round tables, rectangular rugs for long tables and hexagonal rugs with square tables.

If you have a long narrow room, choose a long, narrow rug. Area rugs define space. If you have a very large room don’t be afraid to use two rugs. Just be sure that they complement each other.

If you have a very colorful or busy room (think patterns) a neutral area rug is best as it can tone down and bring unity to the space. Always use a non-skid pad under your area rugs. Pads should measure 2 inches smaller than the rug so that it won’t peek out but still allow your rug ends to lay flat. Excited to go rug shopping now? We have the rug for you!

Shopping for Imported Carpets

Shopping for imported carpets can feel like going to a foreign bazaar. Carpets are often stacked, folded or hung by the tens if not hundreds. Sorting through all the selections can be daunting if you don’t know what you are looking for. Before shopping for imported carpets and area rugs, do your homework—it will save you time and sometimes money.


Before deciding to invest in an imported new, vintage or antique rug, do your research. Online is a good place to begin.  Learn what kinds of carpets come from which countries. Knowing the difference between a Dhurrie and a Kilim will cut down on what you’ll look for at the store.


Identifying what your color palette is and what colors you are looking for in a carpet will narrow down the selections once you are at the rug store. Bring paint chips as well as fabric and upholstery samples to get the best rug for your color palette.


Measure your room and the space for the rug so you will know what sizes will work for you and which will be too large or too small.


Most importantly know your budget. Once you see a rug and fall in love with it you don’t want to be disappointed that it is out of your price range. You can do some research online to get a general sense of what imported rugs may cost. When you get to the store inform them the size, colors, type and the price range you want.

Choosing the Right Size Area Rug

Hardwood floors are the perfect backdrop for an area rug. Hardwood floors are durable and stylish but can be hard and cold under foot. They don’t invite you to sit down and sprawl out to play a game on the coffee table or watch movie like carpet does. An area rug is the perfect compromise between the beauty of wood and the comfort of carpet.

Once you decide you want an area rug for your hardwood floors, you’ll want to make sure you select the right size for the space. Measure your room and then measure your seating area. Buying a rug too big for the room is a mistake you don’t want to make, nor do you want a rug that is too small.


If the area rug is too large it will hide all the beautiful wood floors. Too small and the rug will feel like Aladdin’s magic carpet. The right scale area rug should allow some of the wood floor at the perimeter of the room to still be visible. For a seating area, the area rug should accommodate the furniture so that each piece can be on or touching the rug. For a dining room, the rug should accommodate both the table and the chairs when they are pulled back.


If you are unsure what size rug to purchase, measure before you buy. You can also tape out the standard rug sizes on your floor to see how each size rug will fit in the space.

Karastan's new area rug styles for 2012

(DALTON, GA—JANUARY, 2012)Karastan is stepping into the New Year with a stellar line up of area rugs that celebrate timeless design yet are clearly in sync with today’s lifestyle needs. The group of newcomers—eight to be exact—joins two of Karastan’s most crowd-pleasing collections, and boast captivating colors and magnificent motifs.

All of the additions are nylon construction, woven in the U.S., and perfectly portray Karastan’s distinguished design principle of creating heirloom-quality floor coverings that stand the test of time.

Carmel Collection

Four new patterns have been created for this collection. They are fresh, fashion-forward looks brimming with botanical motifs and bold geometrics. Monte Vista Fog features a pleasing patchwork of traditional Persian florals in soothing shades of chocolate brown, steel gray and caramel that’s punched-up with paprika and lime green. Whitman Place Brown is a style that elevates a traditional classic to a modern masterpiece with its luminous interpretation of a Persian panel rendered in warm grays and cream with accents of ochre and amber. Bristol Lane Gray is a beauty boasting a Regency inspired fret pattern that caters to contemporary and classic styles with its caramel, ivory and gray tones. Portola Sage resonates with an earth-colored field of philodendron leaves that come to life against an ivory ground.

Knightsen Collection

Designed for connoisseurs of classic who appreciate contemporary compositions, this collection offers time-honored styles that have been enlivened with eye-catching colors. Among the four newcomers is Walnut Park Red, with a pleasing pairing of palmettes and vines that dance across a brilliant red field accented by ivory and chocolate brown. Equally expressive is Westridge Slate/Ivory, which entices with a scene of traditional rosettes and curvilinear vines in coral, yellow and gray. Its counterpart, Westridge Taupe/Plum, offers a similar sensation, yet is bolder in its beauty with coral, gold, purple and gray tones. A more traditional take is Prewett Ranch Fog that incorporates a decoration of spice, lime green and aqua-colored florals found within a gorgeous gray border.

Amy Butler Handmade Rugs: Lacework

We have to admit that we have a little design crush on Amy Butler.   Known for her print and textile designs, Amy is the kind of designer who lives their design philosophy.  On her website she says, “Beauty is in the way you live. Enjoy your surroundings. Let them inspire you. Follow your own path, and approach everything you do with love in your heart.”  How lovely is that?  What a beautiful way to approach life, our homes and gardens. Don’t you want to visit Amy in her studio in Ohio and talk about art, design and gardening over a cup of tea? We know we do.

Until that happens, we’ll have to continue to adore her designs for the home. Her new rug collection for Chandra is based on her fabric and bedding prints. The rugs are all handmade of 100% New Zealand wool that is hand-tufted, hand-dyed as well as hand-carved to create the designs.  There are 13 designs in the collection, six of those have two color ways for a total of 19 rugs to choose from.

Our favorite rug in the collection, since we had to choose just one (we love them all!), is Lacework, based on one of her most popular patterns.  Available in two color ways; a soft blue/grey background with yellow and white; or a deep brown with a more limey yellow and creamy white.  The pattern reminds us of Liberty and William Morris and rooms in homes owned by the Bloomsbury group.  Gorgeous and timeless.