Lisa Staprans is a nationally recognized interior designer based in Portola Valley, California, with projects around the country. Lisa gains inspiration from the beauty of nature that surrounds her as well as the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley. I was pleased to have her take the time to speak with us about rugs. Her first response was “I love rugs so much!”

Sugar Bowl House (Photo by Bruce Damonte)

How do rugs and the selection of them come into your design process?
Rugs pull a room together; they can draw your attention boldly or be subtle, adding a layer to you textures and pallet. I sometimes source the rugs first and build the room around it. More often I design the space and finalize the rug to anchor the room.

If you wanted potential design clients to know one (or more) important thing about rugs in interiors what would that be?
Always source rugs from manufacturers and makers that get good marks for ethical and sustainable practice in the whole supply chain. Make sure the yarns are dyed through, stable and will not bleed when cleaned. Well-made rugs will last for decades.

Russian Hill Bay View Apartment

The color of the rug really sets the tone for the room. Using silk in a rug can add additional elegance and sparkle. Very neutral rugs can be layered with more colorful ones on top.


A rug can completely transform a room; it can energize the space or calm it down. The rugs I select always reflect my clients’ lifestyle and personality. I love rugs that tell a story or have the signature of the weavers hidden in the design.

Menlo Park

Do you have favorite fibers for rugs and why?
Yes, I love vegetable dyed wool and also using silk sparingly, it creates a beautiful subtle layering to the rug and also sparkles when the light hits it. Cashmere rugs are very luxurious and Mohair is also a wonderful fiber.

Are there fibers you stay away from? Why?
Even though it can look great I am very careful with bamboo silk*: it does not hold up well. I avoid low quality nylon; they are not elegant and can hold stains and show dirt and wear quickly. Higher end Nylons have improved and it is a good way to get a luscious and durable carpet if the budget will not support wool and silk.

Where do you source the beautiful variety of rugs that are in your portfolio?
I have worked with amazing rug weavers and companies:

Stephanie Odegard who cares passionately about rugs and the artisans who make them. They recently wove a custom wool and silk rug that ripples in variegated purple, my client’s favorite color! I work with Tony Kitz Oriental Carpets for amazing antique and contemporary rugs.

MERIDA: They are tops at customer care and high quality fibers and finishes with a commitment to supporting their local and global communities (which is critical to how I source rugs).

For more information about Staprans Design see:

*Editors note: According to the FTC, Bamboo Silk is Viscose and should be labeled accordingly.

Curated by Ann Shriver Sargent at