I typically hit the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, as it really does offer everything as the design hub of the Midwest. I just recently starting going to Arlington Design Center. It has some of the same showrooms as the Mart, just on a smaller scale (but so much more convenient for me!)
Do you have a favorite source for buying your rugs?
I have several go-to’s. If the Client has some money to spend, I will go to Oscar Isberian (several locations, family-owned) or Caspian Oriental Rugs or Peerless Rugs. They rep many different rug lines and have a little bit of everything. If we’re sourcing a custom sized broadloom, I also love to go through Home Carpet One. All of these offer me value, great product and treat me like I’m part of the family. It makes working with my clients that much easier.
What feature in the rugs is most important to you?
It depends on the role the rug needs to play in the overall concept. Is it only there to define a space or is it adding value to the color/concept? If it’s to define a space or ground the room, then it can be very clean—little to no pattern, one color, even neutral. If it helps elevate the concept or balance the room, then it’s extremely important and it’s one of the first elements to start with. The photo with the blue rug and large chrysanthemums: this room’s concept was rooted in playfulness and spunk and could take a large graphic rug—much like oversized art on the floor. In the picture with the white sectional—this was a vast open floor plan—similar to lofts and high rise condos where the rooms spill into each other. We chose to leave the custom-sized sisals from the previous owner, as they defined the individual spaces nicely, but with all my client’s antiques in this otherwise modern space, this large rug helped to tip the scales a bit more toward traditional and tie all her colors in.
How often do you purchase a custom rug and why?
I have only done one and wasn’t thrilled with it (although the clients were ecstastic.) I’m doing another through a different company and currently waiting for the strike off (Glen Eden via Oscar Isberian)–very excited. I wish my client’s budgets were higher on rugs, because I’d love to do a custom rug, or any rug, with Organic Looms (Chicago). But truly there are so many gorgeous selections out there I haven’t had the need to go custom.
Do you have any favorite style or fiber of area rug?
Personally I love sisal/natural wovens under my bare feet. I feel like my feet are getting a little massage. For my clients all of whom have dogs and small children, wool is the name of the game.
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