Is it reasonable to think that my rugs could, and should, be seasonal?
It’s hot and humid outside and my beloved Oriental carpets are feeling a little heavy. I do have a lot of them — the joke around here is that we live at “rug mart.” So, along with my reaction to what our pal Nancy of Silver Magpies recently defined in a comment as my post-moving “clutteritis,” I appear to be developing a taste for summer rugs, which explains why striped, flat-woven dhurries have been looking so cool and attractive to me.
This latest syndrome began the other day in our guest room where I parked the indestructible fuchsia Chinese Deco carpet purchased for my single-girl bedroom 25 years ago. Our extra bedroom is small and it would look lighter and fresher with striped cotton rugs on the floor. Back in the 19th century – when people could afford two whole-house looks per year — staff would have rolled up the wool rugs in May and put the cotton floor coverings in place until the end of September. What a lovely fantasy. Meanwhile, I went to my files to see what would be manageable in a strictly DIY XXI-century home.
It’s common to see striped cotton rugs set over sisal to introduce pattern, since the natural fiber helps keep the lighter weight textile in place. A black-and-white striped rug looks terrific in the great hall of this rural Alabama plantation house [top] where designer Betsy Brown used this favorite high contrast combo to tweak up a super-neutral space.
In sharp contrast, an orange and white striped dining room rug was cleverly married into a fun, paintbox-color scheme by New York designer Todd Klein. It took a minute to focus on something other than the rug of the star pendant light but when I did I thought “how smart to work the stripes into a genuine play of color that bounces between the rug and the blue, green, red and yellow textiles used for chair and sofa cushions.
It’s difficult to discuss flat-woven rugs without mentioning Annie Selke, the reigning home textile force behind Dash & Albert and Pine Cone Hill. The Dash rugs are becoming iconic American decorating pieces and not just because they’re affordable and available.
The rug below home-style editor Newell Turner’s dining room table looks like a dead ringer for D&A’s two-tone, indoor-outdoor (and very practical polypropylene) Side Bar rug.
Another Selke woven appears in a mixed blue room that combines turquoise and royal shades opposite classic brown. With so many possibilities, perhaps it isn’t far-fetched to think about a future approach to more seasonal decorating.