Archive | Livingrooms RSS feed for this section

Sizing Up Area Rugs.

23 Feb

I had the pleasure of working part-time for several years at a Carpet One location (this is not a plug I promise) while I was attending design school.  It was fabulous experience and had many informative conversations with the different sales reps from Armstrong, Mannington, Primco, Dal-tile, Schnier….to name a few, as well as put questions to the fellows who installed the carpet, tile, laminate, hardwood etc.   Each guy had his specialty, meaning that there were “carpet guys” and “tile guys” …. you see what I mean.

Fortunately for me (and my design education), the owner of this location did mostly high-end homes and show-homes.  He carried mostly the mid to high-end price point products so very rarely did we have someone coming in and looking for a 99 cent tile or a 1.99/sq.ft. carpet.

Almost immediately, I began to see some recurring customer behaviors.  One in particular had to do with area rugs.

In the early part of the last decade there was a huge swing away from carpet to hard-surface flooring.  In our store this generally meant solid or engineered hardwood.  The customer would spend time and money ripping out the living room, dining room and hallway carpet in order to put down hardwood.  Happy customer.

Several weeks later they’d be back to order an area rug.  Many people often scoff, “why spend all that money on wood floors if you’re just going to turn around and cover them up?”.

Actually the answer is so simple – it looks really good!  Well, okay there’s more to it than that but a room always looks finished when there is an area rug in the decór.  Other benefits include, noise reduction, warmth, added comfort underfoot and the most important, I believe, is a rug anchors all that furniture you’ve got floating around the room!

via House & Home

To determine the maximum-size rug that will fit in a room, subtract three feet from the room’s width and length, which will create a frame of flooring between the rug and the walls.  Remember that in order for the rug to make sense it can’t be left to simply float on the floor, “miles” away from the furniture it is supposed to be anchoring. Nothing pulls a conversation area together better than an area rug.

via Elle Decor

In a dining room, an area rug under the dining set can often add some needed color or texture to the decor.  For a dining room, choose an area rug that is wider and longer than your table so that the chairs will remain on the carpet even when pulled out.  At the very least, when a chair is pulled out to be sat on, the front legs and most of the seat should still be on the carpet.

via Lonny Magazine

In a bedroom, nothing compares to stepping out of bed onto the warmth of a rug.  Great example below of how an area rug provides the grounding that this big white bed needs while adding some much-needed color.

via Focal Point

Had to include this photo illustrating this rugs dual decorating function of adding some color and crib “support”.      So cozy – shhhhh!

via HGTV

An area rug can help define areas, introduce structure and direct traffic flow such as in a hallway.

via SoStinkin'Cute

(This hallway rug really pops doesn’t it – love it!)

Two examples of what not to do…..

It makes me crazy to see a little postage stamp rug laid out between pieces of furniture with a coffee table plopped on top.  If you are unable to, in the very least, put the front legs of the furniture on to your area rug……. then it is too small.

via Rue magazine

ugh! What were they thinking??

(Another example of the wrong size – see the gap?  Additionally, that 6 inches or so between  the rug and sofa is actually a tripping hazard.)

More rug inspirations….

via Rue magazine

via Rue

Same living room but this angle shows that the sofa is pulled right up to the edge of the rug.  While all this furniture tends to cover the busy pattern, it really pulls this cozy conversation grouping together.

source unknown

Loving this all-over patterned rug.

via HGTV

The perfect overhead shot – a picture really is worth a thousand words!

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – design simply works.

(Are you lovin’  an area rug in your home?  Please share a pic!)


Mantle x Two

19 Dec

According to the pictures I’ve seen of our new house, we have two mantles.  One in the living room and one outdoor mantle located above an electric stone fireplace located on the back patio.

The fireplace in the living room is a dreaded corner unit.  However, instead of lamenting on its unfortunate location I’m going to celebrate it’s stone facade and large mantle.  Even though we don’t move in until 5 days before Christmas, you can bet the farm that I’m going to have that mantle dripping in Christmas!

Finding inspiration is no problem!  (My ponderings follow each picture).

via Centsational Girl (favorite blog)

Kate never disappoints with her thrifty decorating tips and tricks.  Everything in her home looks like it’s brand-new right outta the box!  I love thrift store shopping and she continues to inspire and encourage me not to give up on finding the next treasure.

Colored glass, bowls filled with sparkly ornaments, swoops of beaded garlands….what’s not to love!

(Side note: Has anyone else noticed that the U.S. thrift stores seem to be filled with more pieces that are worthy of transformation than the thrift stores here in Canada?)


via Susie Harris

Love the use of the branches – bringing in an element of nature into any decorating project is always a great idea.  I have several footed glass jars with lids and have a ball changing them out all over the house over the year.  Don’t restrict yourself with what you put in them and if you don’t own at least a couple in various sizes, keep your eyes open for a sale!


via Home Goods

While I’m not fond with how the collection of finials are spread out seemingly evenly along the length of the mantle, those draped beaded garlands with the hanging stars are terrific!  I know I have some rattan stars and if they aren’t glitzy enough – I can take care of that!   (now where did I pack that glitter??)


via Google Images

Love this photo!  Would love to have this on a large  canvas to put up every season.   This puts me in the mood for sitting by the fire with a hot beverage and carols playing in the background.  I have a whole collection of flame-free candles…. yes, the wheels are turning….thoughts forming….


via Cottage Hill

A simple palette of red and green – lovely with a capital “L”.   Way more than just a mantle-scape here!  With the raining red ornaments shimmering down from the ceiling  and the light-infused cedar boughs that wrap down to the floor, this design makes a statement.   Notice the white bulbs are the big variety – nice touch.   J-O-Y, definitely!

Don’t limited yourself to just using your ornaments to adorn your tree.  Hang them in front of your windows, attach them to a wreath, hook them to your drapery treatments, dangle them from your wall sconces or chandeliers…. the opportunities or endless!


via Cottage Instincts

The homeowner here is working with and not against his/her gray brick.  Really a stunning, calming effect.


via Echoes of Laughter

More nature – love it!  This is a good lesson on using what you have – eg. the desert tier to showcase glass ornaments and add a punch of color.  And don’t overlook the use of stacked books to give height to an item that needs a little boost to be noticed.  This is one trick that I admit I overuse.  I can’t help myself!


via Cottage Hill

More draping of beaded garland – I’m definitely going to attempt that.  (Wonder if I’ll have enough beads left once I’ve finished the tree??)  Using the ceramic and glass birds is a wonderful idea – very woodland.  And of course you know I love seeing the use of picture frames in nontraditional ways!


via House & Home

How great is this?  A row of simple metal trees and the use of the floor directly on the hearth for two topiary trees.  You know I don’t like all white interiors but I appreciate the simplicity of this fireplace decor and the punch it brings to the room.  Love, love, love those trees – I need to figure out how to make them for next year!


via Google Images

The look of a cedar wreath against a stone backdrop is just classic to me.  Since this wreath is not dripping with ornaments or Christmas ribbon, I’d be tempted to leave it up during the remaining frosty months.  Love the simple groupings strategically placed on the mantle.  Don’t forget the punch of color – with the help here of a Poinsettia!


via Home Goods

Again, not my color palette but it’s a great lesson…..big statement pieces, add height, create drama….. the goals of any effective mantle/fireplace decorating scheme.


Google Image

I have boxes of pine cones that I’ve collected over the years and while they may not show up in the indoor mantle scheme, they’ll likely have a role in the outdoor one.

Just a couple more days…… tree, mantles, front entrance, back deck ……getting excited about putting my Christmas decorating ideas into action.  Oh ya, unpack first…then decorate.  I better keep repeating that to myself!

I can still be reached here! How are your holiday plans coming along?