Tracy A. Davis is the founder and leader of Urban Dwellings a Portland ME based Interior Architectural Practice. Tracy has been recognized nationally for her designs, and she regularly contributes to design education and serves the design community on a variety of boards and juries. When I met Tracy in her light filled studio several things were immediately apparent, she is a creative force, professional and I was sure spending time with her would be fun! And it is. Tracy was happy to share her thoughts about design and rugs with us.

How do rugs and the selection of them come into your design process?

I keep a neutral palette of fabrics and clean lines with furniture selections. The rug selection brings some pattern and color and becomes a focal point of interest that grounds the room. It is typically one of the last pieces selected.

If you wanted potential design clients to know one (or more) important thing about rugs in interiors what would that be?

Longevity. Select a rug that stands the test of time. This is a piece that can be passed down through generations. It is an investment not to be passed over.


Where do you source the beautiful variety of rugs that are in your portfolio?

Through trade resources throughout New England.

Do you have favorite fibers you like your rugs to be and why?
Traditionally, wool. Wool is a stable yarn that holds up, is durable and cleanable. My latest favorite is TENCEL®* It’s a wood pulp fiber, liquid resistant and the hand is equal to that of silk.

Are there fibers you stay away from? Why?


Viscose. It tends to be temperamental. It is water loving and does not release stains well.

*According to the FTC Tencel is a branded form of viscose similar to Rayon.


Curated by Ann Shriver Sargent at