Why Rugs? A Q&A with Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines_LOLOIWith the recent launch of the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines rug, pillow and throw collection with Loloi, we wanted to take a deeper look into rugs, and the design opportunities they afford.

We had a chance to catch up with Joanna and get her thoughts on designing with rugs, and why they are so crucial to a room.

-Why are rugs so important to the overall room design and aesthetics?
Rugs can change the feel of an entire space. They can tone down a colorful room, or bring a monochromatic room to life. Rugs are such a great design element because they bring in warmth and texture and have the ability to really anchor the furniture.

 What are some of the most important styling points to remember with rugs?
Rugs should cover a larger area than the space your furniture covers. So essentially, a living room rug should be large enough to fit underneath the couch and chairs, rather than in between them. A bedroom rug should be large enough to fit under the bed, and extend out on both sides with plenty of space.

 Do you feel rugs should blend in with a room, or define the space?
It depends on your style! If your furniture is neutral, it can be fun for your rug to be a show stopper. If your furniture is bold and tells a story of its own, a neutral rug that blends with the space will still add texture and an extra design element.

– What is your personal favorite kind of rug?
I don’t think I could ever choose just one. At the farm I gravitate toward neutrals, but a lot of our Fixer Upper clients appreciate a more bold choice. And honestly, I can appreciate both styles.

– Why did you feel this collection with Loloi was important?
It’s always been a challenge finding the perfect rug for a space, so this line has been a dream of mine for years. I wanted to curate a collection that makes the process easier for everyone. These Magnolia Home rugs are high quality and hand-woven. Each one is truly a work of art and I had so much fun putting the collection together!

Choosing the Perfect Rug with Kenneth Brown

Kenneth-BrownDesigner Kenneth Brown, of HGTV’s “reDesign,” shares his tips for adding a rug to your décor:

  • When using an area rug to anchor a furniture arrangement, be sure that you select the right size – a quick rule of thumb – at least the front legs of furniture should sit on the rug.
  • Use rugs to pull colors together. No matter what colors, materials or finishes you have, an area rug can pull all the colors together to help unify the space.
  • A sophisticated rug adds an elevated level of style to a design and completes the look. The intricate patterns of area rugs add visual interest.
  • Layering rugs creates a casual atmosphere with visual interest, and the best part is that it works in any space. Get layering!
  • Grounding the space with a neutral colored rug is a safe choice and helps define the area. If you are brave and bold, choose a bright and colorful rug. If you keep the furnishings neutral, the rug will stand out even more.
  • Area rugs are guaranteed to warm up any space. To make a living room more comfortable, bring in a large area rug so friends can feel comfy lying on the floor.

Come see Kenneth present “Decorating from Top to Bottom” on Friday, January 11, at 10 a.m. in Building 1, Floor 4, Room 4-D-8.Learn how rugs can kick start the design in putting the finishing touches on your designs and see how he’s incorporated those rugs in designing A-List celebrity homes.

Celebrating the Best of the Best

The undeniable beauty of rugs was celebrated at the 2012 America’s Magnificent Carpets® Awards, recognizing the newest area rug introductions. A rug pulls together a room and makes a strong statement, much like how we pull together the best of the best in the industry for this grand annual evening event. With entertainment by Dancing with the Stars and set in the world’s largest aquarium, AmericasMart pulled out all the stops to celebrate the rug industry in a BIG way!

A coveted award that has only been given out three times over the years was presented to David Harounian, a principal of Harounian Rugs International. The surprise of the evening was that Jeff Portman welcomed to the stage Lucille Laufer (Executive Director at Oriental Rug Importers Association) and Gene Newman (a retired importer/wholesaler of Oriental Rugs [owner of Noonoo Rug Co.] and Managing Director, EDEN Consulting Group, Ltd.) to present the ORIA Award to Chas Sydney, former senior vice president of AmericasMart leading the rug franchise.

Emcees Lynne Russell (former anchor on CNN Headline News ) and Chas Sydney announced the winners one by one in classic product categories such as Handmade, Hand-Knotted and Power-Loomed and in two new categories: Indoor/Outdoor and Licensee. The area rug winners—selected from the Museum of Introductions (MOI) gallery by an independent panel of renowned tastemakers—were announced and presented by AmericasMart. Click here to see all of the winners.

Handmade Rugs—the Orphans of the Decorative Rug Trade?

Photos Alix 5-30-2010 034Ever since I became immersed in the rug world in the 1980s working for HALI and later The Oriental Rug Magazine, I was frustrated that the decorative application of handmade rugs was basically ignored. Although rugs are designed for the floor—either as the focus or as the backdrop of the room’s décor—they were rarely featured in their decorative context. Instead, they were typically displayed as isolated objects hanging on a wall or on the floor. Yes, there are plentiful and admirable books on rugs’ history, construction, and designs but these are geared to the rug aficionado, not to the decorative buyer or user focused on finding out what rugs would work best in their home or their client’s. Moreover, shelter magazines feature beautiful handmade rugs, both antique and contemporary, but how often are they mentioned in the article or even in the caption?

And so, you may ask, why should anyone care? Actually, the decorative application of handmade rugs does matter. For one thing, they represent one third of the usable space and are the first element that catches your eye upon entering the room. Secondly, aside from furniture, they outlive any other furnishing in the home—including window treatments, wall paint and coverings, and upholstery. Their resilience to wear-and-tear and virtually all forms of human abuse is second to none in essence guaranteeing that they can not only move with you from house to house but also be passed down from one generation to the next. Hence they are the most-effective investment furnishing investment in the home. Last but not least, they are the greenest of floor coverings being produced with renewable organic materials such as cotton and wool, and free of from adhesives and petroleum-based products, present in most machinemade carpeting products that produce off-gassing. Still, despite these attributes, handmade rugs have been treated as the orphans of the decorative trade.

When editor of The Oriental Rug Magazine and later consulting editor on AREA Magazine, I sought to redress the image of handmade rugs as important elements in the décor with an ongoing article series featuring  the country’s most prestigious designers’ use of rugs in their work. I knew I was onto something when they all responded with unquestionable enthusiasm. “Finally! It’s about time to publish articles on how rugs are actually used in interior design!” they exclaimed. When helping my clients buy rugs, I always was a bit at a loss when trying to recommend books helping them identify rugs they would like to buy.  Most found rug books too intimidating. Some sent me photocopies of illustrations of rare collector’s items that they wanted in oversizes. Not surprisingly, they were frustrated when I told them these did not exist in the market only in the hands of a few collectors and museums. Other clients, desperate for a visual guide, created their own “look book” with ads and images of rugs in rooms torn out of magazines.

And so, buoyed by the encouragement of my clients and featured interior designers, I took on the project of The Decorative Carpet—Fine Handmade Rugs in Contemporary Interiors, a monumental but very rewarding task. I was lucky to find Monacelli Press/Random House who believed in the project. My 32 featured celebrity designers—including Samuel Botero, Clodagh, Jamie Drake, David Easton, and   Bunny Williams—were overwhelmingly as enthusiastic as I about giving decorative handmade rugs at long last their deserved place in the interior design world. Today, handmade decorative rugs are orphans no more.


Learn more from Alix at her presentation on Friday, January 14 during Market at 2 p.m. Here she’ll discuss “The Decorative Carpet in Interior Design.” Plus, stay around and purchase a book for her to sign. Find her in Building 1, Floor 4, 4-G-7

Making More Room for More Rugs at July Area Rug Market

karastanThe Atlanta International Area Rug Market keeps getting bigger and better. Adding to the already large number of collections, Karastan is expanding and relocating its showroom to 3-A-1,3,5 in Building 1. The new location is now 5,600 square feet, nearly 40 percent larger than its previous showroom, and is set to open at the July Market.

Karastan has shown its products at AmericasMart since 1994. Its versatile rugs and carpets cover a diverse range of classic color combinations and offer countless coordinating opportunities. Karastan’s sophisticated approach blends classic style with on-trend colors in a lavish selection of rugs. Fashionably resourceful, each introduction has a gracious comfort that easily integrates into a variety of home settings.

More details can be found here.

To find out more about Karastan click here.

AmericasMart Welcomes Back Concepts International to the Area Rug Market

conceptsintlThis July AmericasMart welcomes back Concepts International in a permanent showroom located at 3-D-1 Floor 3 in Building 1. With this, Concepts International becomes part of the world’s largest collection of area rugs in one unified location.

 Concepts International will be among several others debuting  fall lines at Market. The company offers unique and innovative rugs and carpet manufactured in such places as China, India, Nepal and Europe. Concepts International has spent nearly 40 years bringing together the finest constructions and designs in order to create its area rugs.

More details can be found here.

To find out more about Concepts International click here.

Guest Blogger Brooke Giannetti Talks about Her AmericasMart Discovery

When I opened my store last year I never thought that I would be visiting Atlanta to find home furnishing resources.

I asked myself “What could AmericasMart possibly have that I couldn’t find here in Los Angeles?”

The answer to that question turned out to be “A lot!”

Here are my top 10 things that I discovered/enjoyed during my latest trip to AmericasMart:

1. Blue Ocean Traders

Blue Ocean Traders Showroom was filled with a wonderful combination of antiques and amazing reproductions.

2. Tritter Feefer

I found furniture maker Tritter Feefer during my first visit to Atlanta last July. I was really impressed with their beautiful finishes and their reasonable prices. When I stopped into their showroom this time I fell in love with their new designs, including these two new dining tables.

3. Bobo Intriguing Objects.

No other showroom is as inspiring as Bobo. Owner Mark Sage has no fear and is willing to go all out for his designs.

4. Peddlers Home Design

Owner Robert True Ogden’s passion for vintage industrial is apparent throughout his showroom. I loved everything!

5. Solaria Lighting

I’m always search for new lighting resources. I was thrilled to find Solaria. They’re designs and finishes are fantastic!

6. Aidan Gray

I knew of Aidan Gray before my trips to AmericasMart, but I never had the opportunity to see all of their products in person. Being able to touch their products convinced me to carry their lighting and furniture pieces in my store.

7.  The AmericasMart Rug Market.

I found some fantastic rugs for the shop!

8. Thom Filicia

Yes, I got to meet Thom Filicia and attend his talk about his new book! It was such a treat to get some insight into his design process.

9. Kathryn M. Ireland

I also enjoyed hearing designer Kathryn M. Ireland speak. Her latest book is about her love affair with a gorgeous Wallace Neff house that she beautifully restored. While listening to Kathryn, I could feel her passion for design and this home. Just stunning!

Me, Kathryn M. Ireland, and our mutual friend Veranda Fine Arts Editor Leslie Newsom Roscoe.

10. Meeting other design obsessed people!

It was so much fun bumping into other design bloggers (like my friend Rachel from the blog Nest Egg) as well as other designers and store owners.

Brooke Giannetti
Velvet & Linen
Giannetti Home

Giannetti Interiors