I admit it. I’m a rug snob, but probably not in the way most people think. I’m a designer who doesn’t generally believe in building a room around a rug. My mantra has always been “I want my money up off the floor.” If a client already owns a carpet which they wish to reuse and it’s right for the room (meaning it’s really great. . . . ) then that’s one thing. But I’m not a designer who believes in rushing out to find the most Versailles-worthy carpet and then having everything else follow suit. My approach is generally the opposite. As a self-professed fabric geek, I greatly prefer to find fabrics for a room and then have a carpet made.
Furthermore I gravitate to simple carpets – those without huge patterns. I love humble sisals and grasscloths and plain wools. And in that vein I have always loved wool braided rugs. You probably remember them. Just about everyone’s grandmother had or has one and they’re generally oval in shape. But what I love about doing custom braided rugs is that these days you can plait an endless variety of colors together to get a product that is at once modern (depending on the colors you choose – I did one a few years ago in red and orange!) but with a traditional heritage. You can also have them woven in virtually endless widths and lengths, making them suitable for wall to wall installations, stair runners or striking area carpets. They no longer have to be oval in shape. They’re also not hugely expensive.
The example here is a first strikeoff (from Patterson Flynn & Martin) I recently received for a client’s breakfast room. And while I plan to do another strikeoff using more heathered colors from the looped yarns shown to one side of the sample shown in these photos, I love the young traditional effect of this braided rug. Another really good thing about these braided rugs is that they’re reversible – not so easy to do with the one from Marie Antoinette’s estate. So take another look at braided rugs for your home because they’re modern, they’re traditional and they’re very Rustic Chic!
Photos by Joel Woodard