Cali-cool design school: AMAZING rugs Part II

6/17/2016 11:30:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

Hi all, time for the next instalment in the Cali-cool design school series – and it's more rugs! Last time we covered off Moroccan rugs, and I promised to come back with some other West Coast style favourites...did I mention I'm a little rug obsessed?

Kilim rugs

I'm starting with kilims today. Looking at these inspirational images it's hard not to be in love with a kilim rug. They come in such a huge variety of sizes, colours and patterns that there's virtually one for every occasion! The small kilim below, with its traditional earthy colours and diamond-motif, has been layered over a large sisal rug to add some colour and texture to the all-white backdrop (and what a great way to make a small rug go a long way?)


In the dining room below, a very large, wonky, neutral patchwork kilim (could I use any more adjectives?) beautifully grounds the large wooden table and visually links to the monochromatic artwork behind. Simple but very effective. 


Whilst I love a good old vintage kilim, there are lots of styles available online (and they're relatively affordable as rugs go). Kilims traditionally hail from Turkey and North Africa, where natural dies give them their earthy colour palette. But there are some surprisingly bright variations on the market, and many retailers stock their own newer take on these traditional flatware carpets. The following are all available to buy: 
1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. //

Geometric Rugs

Next we have geometric rugs – another favourite of West Coast designers. There's no doubt that a strong, monochrome rug makes a real statement, just look at these rooms:-


Nate Berkus via atticmag
Black and white has a great knack of making whatever you put on top look more contemporary. The furniture used above in this living room by Nate Berkus is all fairly traditional but that rug brings it up to date (in a classic kind of way). Geometric rugs don't have to be a black and white either – this large blue geometric rug design adds subtle colour and structure to the seating layout below:

7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. //

Persian Rugs

Persian rugs have grown on me hugely over the past few years. I used to think they were a bit too traditional and fusty. We were bought a beautiful large Afghan rug as a wedding present, and whilst I liked it at the time, I didn't honestly love it (it covered the hideous laminate floor in our then dining room almost completely, which was my main ambition for it at the time!) Now it has pride of place in our kitchen diner where it defines the seating area, and I see it in an entirely different light – the room has pretty much been designed around it. Persian rugs are incredibly hard-wearing and hide a multitude of sins (great if you have children, pets or an unruly spouse).

In the same way that a geometric rug can bring more traditional furniture and accessories up to date, a great Persian rug can add warmth and depth to a more modern scheme. I love the juxtaposition of a Persian rug with contemporary furniture and lighting – which is a look often used in Californian design. The intricate patterns and saturated colours add a rich, eclectic touch. They tend to be available in huge sizes (at a price of course) and there are some fabulous vintage varieties available with a lovely worn patina. I had such a hard time narrowing down the inspirational images of Persian rugs that I had to do a round-up below:

I can't really think of a room where a Persian rug wouldn't work. I've seen them look amazing in bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens, from Victorian terraced houses to warehouse lofts. An amazing Persian rug can do a lot of the hard decorating work for you; even if you keep pretty much everything else simple and neutral your room will look stylish! Check out these great sources:

13. // 14. // 15. // 16. // 17. // 18.

So there you have it, some more fantastic rugs to make a statement in any room. Thanks for all the positive feedback on these rug posts, and if there's anything else you want to see here on the blog then drop me a note and I'll try to oblige!