Basically each client is different. If I am starting from scratch, then the floor covering is one of the starting points, as is color. Sometimes there is an inspirational piece, such as a piece of art, which might dictate the color. Budget considerations must be brought in then too. If the total budget for a room is say $15,000 then to allocate $7,000 to $8,000 just to the floor can cause quite a bit of anxiety.
What markets or design centers do you attend regularly?
I, of course, go to the Washington, DC Design Center often and travel frequently to New York City, which is so near. I go to High Point and Atlanta at least once a year.
Do you have a favorite fiber or style?
For me, wool “takes the cake.” It seems the very best. Lately flatweaves seem to be making a comeback. I have introduced some lovely hand knotted rugs, combined with a flat weave, for a stunning, elegant look to my clients, who love them. This came from the Stark Custom Rug Program. This high/low effect makes for something different for a client. Asmara has some too.
What about the custom rugs?
I often choose a custom piece, because I need a particular size that is not a standard size. But generally speaking I try not to order a custom rug for my residential customer, because of the long lead time, which can be 8 to 10 months. Commercial customers can deal with a longer wait time, so for them I will order custom.
Are there any design rules you like to follow or even to break?
To me, bigger is better when it comes to the rug. It can make the space more grand and beautiful. I will always encourage the larger sizes, so all the legs of the furniture are on the rug if possible. Generally speaking, my design work is classic and timeless, and I try not to break too many rules with a high ticket item. I try to stay within good design principles, maybe pushing the envelope with the pillows or perhaps the colors on the wall.
What about the internet or the computer?
Basically, I say “Yuk!” The colors are never accurate enough on the internet, so you always need samples. And then you can’t really tell the quality of the piece on the computer! That is so important. If you look just at the price, it may look as if you are saving a lot of money by buying it online, but then you aren’t comparing apples to apples. One may be good quality, and the other is not.
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