What markets or design centers do you attend regularly?

rnad for the web  brenda 1 for the web BatesBrook Court_Master_005My favorite market is the High Point market, because it is where I can make the most of my time since there is more product there than any other market.  I attend the Dallas market, because of the close proximity to Houston, and I love to spend time in New York City looking for things that are unique and different. Atlanta is the best if you have a lot of rugs to buy.

Do you have a favorite source for buying your rugs?

My favorites are the companies that are willing to work with me and allow me to be competitive. Over the last few years, the rug dealers have become much more helpful to the design industry by providing small samples for us to sell from. It is imperative to see the color and texture of the rug in the space. Kalaty, Feizy, Global Craft and Authentic Looms are some of the companies that do provide samples at a minimal or no cost.

What feature in the rug is most important to you?

A lot depends on the client and their project. My personal choice is a low pile, tighter woven handmade rug like a Sumak or a needlepoint. However when I want to go more casual, I might choose a more natural and organic rug with a hide thrown in there for texture and pattern. Every space needs a little animal in it, even if it is just a bench or pillow.

How often do you purchase a custom rug and why?

rnad 3.13 for the web  brenda 2 Elswick-master-0013More and more, I find I am buying custom. It is a great way to go if the client’s budget will allow it. I love having total control over a project. Custom rugs are a way to give my client exactly what they want.  I would love to see someone bring in a less expensive custom line.


Do you have any favorite style or fiber?

I love the durability of wool, making it an easy fiber to sell. Adding a touch of silk will bring a rug to life and add the depth and color you need. Natural fibers, like sisal or hemp, bring texture and warmth to a space.

Are there any design rules you like to follow or to break?

I love giving a client something they do not know they want. If you can get a client a little out of their comfort zone, they will end up with a product they love for a long time.  Creativity cannot be put in a box, but the basic scale, proportion and balance can never be ignored.

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