Saturday, February 4, 2012

...about a tale of two rugs: Design on a Dime, 2012!

And so it begins: the process of designing from donations, for my sophomore entry into Design on a Dime, the annual fundraiser to benefit Housing Works here in New York City. It’s an amazing event, and an absolute honor to be included, but the selection, solicitation and assembly of donated goods is not without its challenges!

Unlike last year, I have a bit more time (a blessing and a curse: blessing, since it gives me and my donors a little more breathing—and shipping!-- room; a curse, since it has a way of leaving me too much time to overthink!) Like last year, one of my first Yes's was from the generous and lovely folks at Niba Rugs (headed by Beth Arrowood, whose happy confection of a Miami home was featured here.)

But I'm faced with a lovely dilemma: There are two rugs, mine for the taking (and subsequent sale at GREATLY reduced rates during the Design on a Dime sale). But which to choose??

The first, my front runner (no rug pun intended) pictured top: the Ikat-inspired 9 x 12 (the booth is 10 x 12). The pros: It's a traffic-stopper, the kind of rug you SHOULD build a room around. Its scale will command the space. I wanted a warmer palette than my watery blue-greens of last year. Ikats are red-hot right now. It's perfect with my front-runner for a wall covering, a SEXY embossed vinyl ("Alligator," in Bourbon!) from the equally generous folks at Koroseal. And since I love dark and moody masculine rooms with a reference to the global and exotic, this rug seems a no-brainer. Also LOVE that the near-random placement of the pattern lets me position furniture anywhere, without a center medallion or border to dictate a furniture plan. Flexibility is CRUCIAL this far out on Design on a Dime, since I’m not certain what’s still headed my way…

The probable wall covering, "Alligator," in Bourbon, courtesy Koroseal.

The cons: Will people buy a 9 x 12 rug on the spot? (This IS after all, a sale… and every decision is being run through that filter.) The second hesitation: A new donor this year (I am DELIGHTED to report!), Bungalow 5, tends to be lighter and airier, and I can see more of their pieces pairing with a lighter, paler rug.

The second choice, a modern organic, the branch-y Belleview. The pluses: It’s an 8 x 10, so perhaps an easier sale for the Manhattan space-challenged. I love bringing organic motifs into modern spaces, to soften and temper the hard edges (especially helpful in a three-walled booth with no architectural saving graces). It’s lighter and the event is a Spring event (April 26th! Mark your calendars!) Plus, I could see it working seamlessly with the lighter side of Bungalow 5.

The challenge, too, is I won’t be able to see either rug in person until they arrive on install day… so I am gauging colors (as designers often have to do) from small yarn samples (“poms”), to help guide my next round of choices, probably my upholstered pieces. The poms for the Belleview look a little less green-and-gold than the images… hmmm, what to do, what to do?

What would YOU do? SELL ME on your favorite rug!!


  1. I don't see the second rug working with the wall covering.

    1. Ah, a caveat on the wallcovering... I can do a grasscloth in a color, or a classic grasscloth...

  2. Love the first rug and the wallcovering. Second rug is more versatile.... But you know that already!! Good luck!

  3. I kind of like the statement made by the first one, although in real life, I think I'd find #2 easier to work with (but I lack your talent). But I don't think you can go wrong either way. love Bungalow 5, too!

  4. Rug #1 is much more versatile. It has more colors to choose from. You could pull from the very dark colors for a moody, masculine room or pull from the lightest colors for a more playful look. It is not as directional as Rug #2. Rug #1 can work in both a traditional or a modern space. I might even mount Rug #1 on the wall and treat it like a tapestry. I like the fact that Rug #1 is abstract. It will say different things to different people and, since it can go with so many styles, it should be easier to sell at the show. Sorry, but Rug #2 looks like an old-beaten up photograph. Live on the wild side - choose #1! Heck, if it is too big, have it cut down, re-bound and use the scraps on accent pillows.

  5. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

    Modern Rug