Real Estate News

Working from the floor up

I want a totally different lookfor the new house, but I'mnot sure where to begin," myfriend, neighbor and new clienttold me as we sat in the living roomof her current home to discuss hernew project.

She and her husband had decidedto downsize to a smaller home, andthey found an ideal one literallydown the street. Recently renovated,it was filled with light and shewanted her new dècor to celebratethe open, airy and modern feel ofthe home.

While we chatted about her desirefor a fresh and bright interior for thenew home, I surveyed the furnishingsand contents of the living roomand the adjacent dining room. Imade a mental note of the ivory sofasand beautiful antique side tablesand chests. It was then that I noticedthe gray rug pads on the floor whereI knew beautiful Oriental rugs onceresided.

"Where are your rugs?" I askedher. She informed me they had beensent out for appraisal and cleaning,and she was hoping to trade themwith the dealer for something new."Well, that's where we are going tobegin." I said. "That will be our statingpoint."

I love rugs and relish any opportunityto look at them in a showroom,especially when I get to help choosethem for a client. For me, when designinga room, the ideal situation isto start with a rug, whether it be anexisting one the client already ownsor the selection of a new one. An arearug can be the focal point and set thetone for a room or anchor it and subduethe palette.

Rugs can be both practical anddecorative. In addition to providingwarmth, color and pattern, area rugscan also anchor the seating groupswithin a room to create an island andmake it more intimate.

They also can give pop to a subduedspace.

When choosing an area rug, thereare many factors to consider and explore.Styles can range from traditionalOrientals to ethnic tribal patternsto modern and contemporary. Naturalhides or woven textural grassesand fibers like sisal and seagrass canalso be selected.

Sizes, shapes, and placement arealso important. Rectangular rugs areperhaps the most common, with standardsizes such as 6-by-9 or 9-by-12being the most popular. Round rugsunder breakfast tables or in foyers arealso options.

I found an unusual 10-foot squarerug at an auction in Savannah to useunder the round table in my diningroom. Animal skins provide a unique,irregular shape to be used in conjunctionwith larger rugs or even layeredon top of them. And a runner can addboth interest and pattern to a hallwayand some acoustic insulation to foottraffic.

If you cannot find what you arelooking for, explore having a customdesign made for you. It is easier thanyou think and probably a lot moreaffordable than you expect. Imaginebeing able to pick the pattern andmotifs you desire, and executed inthe colors you want to complementyour dècor.

A few weeks later my client and Iwent to her rug dealer's showroomto look at his inventory. We chosetwo complementary rugs for the livingand dining rooms in a very lightpalette with subtle tones of predominantlyivory, tan and wheat. Subtleaccents of watery blue and terra cottaare present in the patterns and I willplay upon these in pillows and accessoriesin the rooms.

The overall effect will be calmingand welcoming and will not detractfrom the ivory walls and abundanceof light streaming in the spaces.

It will help create the new lookmy client is dreaming of for her newhome.

Gregory Vaughan is an interior designerwith Kelley Designs Inc. on Hilton HeadIsland. Contact him at 843-785-6911.