5 Fab Friday Finds: Fiber Art

Man, tapestries have gone a long way haven’t they? We are loving artists’ & crafters’ new take on fiber or fabric art.

Let’s do a little definition, shall we!

Fiber Art: ( /ˈfībər/ /ärt/ ) fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components, such as fabric or yarn. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labour on the part of the artist as part of the works’ significance, and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.

Here are our Top 5 Fiber Art finds for this fabulous Friday {did you see what we did there?}:

1/ Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, a self-taught painter, began creating modern-bohemian, dip dyed fiber art because she wanted to something other than canvas art in her home. Her passion for modern art and art of macramé is what motivates her to continue designing art with texture, beauty, and movement. Check out her page to see her range of colors, styles, and textures!

fab-friday-1

Left, Lauren Williams art / Right, Maureen found this kapunuk in the heart of Athens & painstakingly carried it through 14 hours of air travel — she really loves it!

2/ El Anatsui

I have never seen something like El Anatsui’s shimmering hangings. Featured in monumental places across Africa, America, and Europe, these expansive sheets are comprised of millions of tiny, colorful pieces of metal and bottle caps that are shaped and held together by copper wires. Although El Anatsui does make public commissions, his mixed media art is only sold at art fairs and shows. Browse his instagram account, @anatsuiel, to see more of his legendary work.

GRAVITY & GRACE Monumental works by El Anatsui. Installation documentation June 2012.

fab-friday-2

3/ Faig Ahmed 

Faig Ahmed’s hyper contemporary wall sculptures embody ancient carpet-weaving techniques from his native country of Azerbaijan and are usually mounted on architectural structures. His intricately designed pieces are famous for their patterns that advocate digital manipulation, pixelation, and distortion. Like El Anatsui, his work is exhibited at prestigious fairs across the world and he does make public commissions for certain pieces.

fab-friday-3

4/ Sonadora Studio, Lisa Garcia

Talk about a dreamer and a doer, Lisa Garcia began as an interior designer and decided to take her career even farther by branching into product design and art direction. By incorporating fibers into her work, she turned her ideas into reality and opened up Sonadora Studio in Nashville. Sonadora Studio offers more affordable, hemp and brass minimalist art. Their hand-made art pieces are perfect if you need something to fill a blank wall anywhere in your home!

fab-find-4

5/ Kilim Tapestry from Anthropologie 

The bright orange, dip-dyed ends and sequin embellishments caught my eye as I was scrolling on the Anthropologie website. Made of hand-spun wool, cotton, and a metal rod, this funky hanging would look so cute in any room that needs a pop of color. P.S. the orange totally makes me think of Fall leaves, which makes me happy.

kilim-tapestry

I hope that these fab finds spur your imagination and give you some inspiration for your own home. Have a blessed weekend and check in next Friday for some more home decor ideas!

 

Featured Artist: Caroline Doyle

screen-shot-2017-09-29-at-11-56-52-am

Photo Cred: The Daily Texan

Today, we are featuring a young, vibrant & contemporary artist, Caroline Doyle. Here at Maureen Stevens Design, we are always looking for amazing art for our clients & well, hers? We fell in love with. We caught up with Caroline for a little Q & A on how her passion & drive for art started.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I have been fascinated by all different styles of art since I was young, from Realism to Abstract, and everything in between. Whether in a gallery, a museum, or a home, art has always been an essential part of enhancing spaces with its power to transform any interior atmosphere.

The art we choose to view and hang in our own space is always changing, as new artists and inspirations come along. For me, I have always been drawn to the bright colors and exciting vibrancy of Contemporary Art, with a hand from Pop Art. Pop Art has brought popular culture in the realm of high art since the 1960s, and reflects the realities and concepts of everyday life.

The evolution of Contemporary Art and the importance of incorporating artwork in spaces we design is what inspired me to begin this segment on our blog. To start this series off with a bang, I sat down with one of my most talented friends, Caroline Doyle, who has a knack for combining all of my favorite styles of art. She is heavily influenced by Pop Art, and incorporates both realist and abstract elements to create paintings that keep us wanting more! We asked her a few questions about her lifelong passion for painting that has turned into a full-time career as an up-and-coming contemporary artist.

c24d99b7-a138-462e-8e71-573514972c5e

Bey in the Air, 48″ x 48″

1/  Tell me about yourself, your art experience, and how you decided that creating art was something you wanted to make a career out of.

I was born and raised in Houston, and just graduated from the University of Texas in May. I majored in Studio Art, but never dreamed of turning my degree into a career. By a series of happy accidents and the incredible support of friends and family, the career happened to me! While I was spending my whole Senior Year, half-heartedly applying for jobs that seemed more practical, I started getting requests from people to purchase my work. Before I knew it, I was flooded with orders, and my little business had begun! I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who took interest in my work without promoting it, and it was then that I thought this was something I could seriously pursue after graduation. My art experience thus far has been a medley of exploring many different means and styles to achieve the same goal: bringing something beautiful into existence that did not before, and making it thought provoking and fun for viewers to engage with.

ed02096e-3523-4084-b2d9-deca8e9c9c53

Diamond, 48″ x 48″

2/ What is your favorite piece of art that you’ve ever created and why?

Gosh, so hard to pick favorites! If I had to choose one, it would be the first major painting I did freshman year of college, “Paint Coated Deer.” It’s a marker for my technical improvement from day one, and still represents some of the ideas I explore today. It juxtaposes the contemporary with the classic. I grew up in a family of hunters, and while I enjoy the sport, I constantly find myself more intrigued by the composure of deer. The deer exhibit the serene figurative aspects of traditional painting, interrupted by a stark breach of the absurdly contemporary. By “painting paint” on the poised animals, it suddenly brings them into a dialog between primal existence and fast-paced colorful modernism in an amusing way.

deerpaint

Paint Coated Deer, 48″ x 60″

3/ What are you trying to communicate with your art?

Truth, brilliance, and conversation with a satirical flair. I am drawn to exploring the fast and loud within our society – there is beauty to be seen in both the good and bad aspects of our culture. I seek to create work that is both pleasing and fun at first glance, yet dares my viewers to invoke further thought as to the underlying theme of each piece. I want my art to start conversations on anything from politics to pop culture to nature by adding energy, humor, and elegance to the otherwise mundane. Moreover, I just want people to enjoy it!

img_0226

Interior Luxe I, both 24″ x 36″

4/  Who is your ultimate inspiration and why? 

Ashley Longshore. If you don’t know her, you need to! She’s the most out-there, kickass artist in the game. I resonate with a lot of her ideas on pop culture and showcasing luxury and wit. I admire how raw and authentic she is in her work, and aim to be that way with my own! Her vibrant use of color, cultural icons, and text bring hilarity to a world of darkness – gotta love it!

d782de5c-80e0-4610-8c11-fd0312f2b586

Big Red, 48″ x 72″

5/ What is your process for taking custom orders or selling work?

So far, the word has spread itself!! I cannot credit enough the overwhelming support of friends, family, and even strangers to bringing in business. As of right now, I share my work on Instagram (@carolinedoyle_art) where clients can either message me or email me with inquires about purchasing work or ordering a custom commission. I love when people reach out, and I am always happy to chat ideas! So feel free to send me a note and let’s get talking! *stay tuned: website in the works*

76d63519-03cc-4d69-b8a8-87197b72542b

Beats by Deer, 36″ x 60″

img_0632

On the Fly, 42″ x 66″

9b9f53e6-fcef-4a30-a86c-888b8dca526d

Amanda-naut, 48″ x 48″
72ea479e-c7c6-408b-ac7e-fbd54967b8f8

Hilde, 36″ x 48

010ac279-23cc-44e5-8d42-4261bd4f1c54

Milary Clinton, 48″ x 48″

For more updates and photos of Caroline’s recent artwork, follow @carolinedoyle_art on Instagram. Cheers to the artist herself & her swoon-worthy art!

Design Board to Reality: Casual + Relaxing Bedroom

Happy Tuesday everybody! I cannot count how many design boards we’ve made but yes, aside from Pinterest or Houzz ideabooks, design boards are really very helpful in conveying ideas to clients. A lot of times a board may not reflect all of what happens in reality but the client is able to grasp the style & feel we are going for.

We made this design board for a young, vibrant couple who moved from Cali to the quiet yet impeccable & affluent neighborhood of Tarrytown, Austin. They wanted their bedroom to be casual, soothing and relaxing. We did cool tones of blue, muted aquas & light grays. Here’s the …

DESIGN BOARD

master bedroom design board

So, most of the things on the board happened but a couple didn’t.

1/ The media armoire is from Restoration Hardware in a weathered grey oak finish.

2/ I was thinking of an ice blue-gray carpet but we ended up with a gorgeous one from Milliken. And we think it’s the right choice!

3/ The bed & bench is from good old Overstock! Have I told you, I also believe in doing high-low projects? Mixing high-end stuff with affordable ones without of course sacrificing style & functionality!

4/ A couple of accessories are from West Elm including the accent table beside the chair. I was also thinking of using a pattern from Schumacher for the draperies but solid, gray velvet ones from West Elm as well won in the end. There is a big difference between custom and retail with pros & cons either way. As designers, we believe in customization but also weigh the importance of budgets & timelines in the mix; I believe in giving options!

5/ A dresser was chosen in lieu of a vanity table + chair {Jonathan Adler}. Nightstands + dresser are from Brownstone.

6/ Most of the accessories are from a local showroom.

Oh and we painted the walls too! At first, the clients thought it was a bit glaring or too ice blue, but in the end, with all of the furnishings and accessories, it all comes together!

And voila! Here is the final space.

REALITY

lexi-bedroom-4

lexi-bedroom-remake

lexi-bedroom-2

lexi-bedroom-3

What do you think? It was featured in the Austin-San Antonio Urban Home Decor Mag {link} & we couldn’t be more proud, but more than that, the clients loved it!

Book Review : Out East – A Glimpse of Southhampton Design

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan is the respite on the beaches of Long Island, filled with the beautiful homes of the Hamptons.  Jennifer Ash Rudick, hailing from the Southamptons herself, has written a wonderful testament of old and new architecture and styling coming together in her book Out East: Houses and Gardens of the Hamptons.  With photography by Tria Giovan, Rudick highlights a number of Southampton homes, cottages, and gardens, describing not only their styles but the history behind the homes and owners.

Rudick describes the homes featured in this book as having many variations of style, but all having “a common lack of showiness and vanity” (17).  These residences reflect on the personalities of those who dwell within them, making for a wide range of visual elements.  The first home is named “Chez Louise”, a Hampton home with classic elegance and American vibe.

20170803_1916152

Following is the “Kilkare”, a home hidden away in deep fog right next the Atlantic; sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?  The owners attempted a modern reevaluation of the home without taking away from its original character and charm, which is something many homeowners desire to do, since the bones of a home often offer their own flair and sentiment.

20170803_1921012

Departing from the classic feel, Rudick includes a fun home deemed the “Vibrant Shelter”, and island house which she claims was inspired by the artists Richard Serra and Ellsworth Kelly.  Bold colors and clean, minimalist lines define the spaces, making obvious references to their artistic counterparts while delivering a totally different attitude than some of the other homes in Southampton.

20170803_1944012 20170803_1944292 20170803_1944452

Aside from the bigger, flashier homes, there is also a list of cottages included for a look into a slightly different style of Hamptons living, one which requires less square footage but lacks nothing in design.  One such cottage is in Sag Harbor, a nineteenth century colonial home furnished beautifully with dusty gray-blue tones and gold accents, making for a relaxed yet refined space.

20170803_1937262

Towd Point is another of these cottages, and to me felt reminiscent of a beach condo down in South Texas.  The rope details and nautical theme are so quintessential to an island experience, and were used refreshingly in this cute home.

20170803_1939322

Something completely different is found in “Into the Blue”, a cottage Rudick included in this segment, in which the owner wanted a blue and white theme.  Each space is packed with details, working together to create a chic, paisley wonderland.

Not only does Rudick do an amazing job weaving together stylistic elements of each unique home in her writing, but the pages and pages of beautiful photography are great to use for personal inspiration.  The stories behind each home and its eventual design make the book not only informative, but narrative–a great read for designers and others alike! This coffee table book from Vendome Press is a must for interior designers & enthusiasts out there!

This is Me | Greta

Hello readers! My name is Greta and I am the newest member of Maureen’s interior design team or may I say squad. I wrote a post last week on my top ten fall home decor favorites, but I didn’t get a chance to properly introduce myself…so, here’s a little bit about me!

1/ Today I am swooning over this space… NATIVE HOSTELS IN AUSTIN, TX.

Native is the coolest place I’ve ever been, and I’m not just saying that. Maureen and I visited Native last week and I felt like I was in a different place at a different time as soon as I stepped inside. Just being there is an experience in itself. The space is very open, yet cozy and is filled with all types of people: explorers, travelers, youthful wanderlusts, and dreamers. The twelve hostel rooms are tucked away on the backside of the cafe and bar and on the second floor. I didn’t get a chance to check out the sleeping areas last time I went, but I am sure they are decorated similar to the industrial and vintage inspired lounge area. Check out my new favorite spot, even if its just to grab a drink with a few friends!  nativebuilding_25471d0a14fa9584fe8d02917c1253e0

screen-shot-2017-09-18-at-10-26-56-am

2/ My go-to outfit… WORKOUT CLOTHES because I’m always on the go!

My new favorite brand of activewear is called Outdoor Voices. They have men and women’s clothing and are reasonably priced. My favorite piece of clothing that they carry are their leggings. I have the 3/4 Warmup Legging in Rose Quartz and I absolutely LOVE them. They are perfect for running errands on a normal day, for hikes in Colorado, or for my favorite Corepower class, Sculpt. Outdoor Voices has a new store in Austin, so go check it out!


about-me-blog-post-image

3/ I’ve traveled to ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA and loved it…you totally should go!

My family has been traveling to southern California since I was five years old. It is our happy place, without a doubt. This summer, I brought my boyfriend, Tucker, to Encinitas for a week and he fell in love, as well. Like I said in my bio, when I am by a body of water my heart feels the fullest. My favorite part about Encinitas is the public beach located in the middle of the cute beach town, Moonlight Beach. I love the days where we lay out in the sun for hours on end and fall asleep on our towels to the sound of the waves crashing next to us. Here are some pictures of me in my happy place and a few memories from this past summer spent in California.

img_3365

img_3119

blog-post-image

4/ My wanderlust…CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.

Cape Town looks absolutely STUNNING. I love that there are penguins there and that the water is crystal blue. My dream is to go visit Cape Town one day, either for my honeymoon or with my family on a vacation. Another cool thing about South Africa is that the natives have beautiful accents! I have heard that there are really cool restaurants in Cape Town (I’m a foodie), and endless sight-seeing. Take me there!

05-st-james-beach-exploring-10-of-the-top-beaches-in-cape-town-south-africa

cape-town-south-africa-magical-destinations-pinterest

architecture-buildings-city-exterior

5/ My #1 love is…. CHARLEY, MY GOLDEN RETRIEVER PUPPY.

Back in May, Tucker and I drove all the way to Tupelo, Mississippi to pick up our #1 love, Charley. Charley was 3 pounds at the time that we picked him up from a breeder out of Selmer, Tennessee, and he was a ball of FLUFF. The drive was worth it – let me tell you! So you may be asking, what made us want to get a dog at our ages? Well, both of us grew up with little dogs and have always wanted a big dog to love on, which is why we made the decision to get a dog together! We also felt like we are at the stages in our lives where we can handle the big responsibility of raising an animal together. Charley is now almost 6 months old, weighs about 50 pounds, and still thinks he’s a lap dog. No complaints though, we love to snuggle with our big ‘ole baby! Follow @Charley_the_golden_boy on Instagram to watch our fur baby grow and live his adventurous life!

charley-ps-for-blog
img_1630

charles untitled-2

 

That’s all for now! Thanks so much for reading about me and I will catch y’all later this week!

xoxo,

Greta

Our Top 10 Fall Favorites

It’s still pretty hot here in Austin, but here we are daydreaming about the cool weather that should be right around the corner. This autumn, I hope that the leaves turn their brightest, boldest colors and that the air will stay crisp and cool. Other than the weather, my very favorite thing about the fall is that the home becomes its most inviting all year. Maureen and I compiled these fall favorites for all you readers to get inspiration from when prepping you own home for the cozy season to come!

screen-shot-2017-09-13-at-3-41-58-pm

Top 10 Fall Items

  1. Fox by Amanda Pratt 2. Metalwork Hurricane in Rose Gold 3. Ugg Oversized Knit Pillow 4. Agate Coasters – Natural + Gold 5. Faux Fur Leopard Ombre Throw 6. Fable Collection Rug in Granite 7. Velvet Swivel Office Chair in Forest 8. Capri Blue Copper Candle in Lagoon 9. Sculpt Vases 10. Modern Knot Pouf in Gray

Well, back to work…I will continue dreaming of a chill in the air and a reason to cuddle up next to the fireplace!

xoxo

Greta

Modern Living: Chalet Style Book Review

Ramelli Paris Cover 3.indd

© Modern Living – Chalet Style by Claire Bingham, published by teNeues, $55, www.teneues.com.

The crisp chill of Alpine air conjures the desire for a big, cozy fireplace–perhaps if you’ve been skiing or hiking around in the mountains, you know this sensation.  Comfort, warmth, and shelter are the natural human response to high altitudes, concepts which author and journalist Claire Bingham explores in her book Modern Living: Chalet Style by Teneues.  Oriented around design principles that deliver an authentic Alpine chalet experience, Bingham highlights the most important elements of these homes and resorts and how they can be implemented, regardless of location. So here are some tips!

VIL_8507 Photo © Philip Vile, Design Nicky Dobree

Broken down into segments discussing each space (kitchen, dining, bath, etc.), Modern Living gives both design details specific to each area, while also tying them together with broader ideas that can be integrated throughout a home.

1/ One of the biggest concepts for a proper chalet is its feeling of a “nest”, or “cocoon”.  Bingham uses these terms many times throughout, emphasizing the importance of the chalet as a relaxing, inviting space which practically swaddles its inhabitants with warmth and comfort.  These vibes are expressed through the use of both rustic and contemporary elements throughout the home, intermingling earthy textures and palettes with minimalism and stainless steel.

9783832734206_8 Photo © Philip Vile, Design Nicky Dobree

2/ Wood, leather, and furs are the three big buzzwords for the chalet living space.  Bingham recommends layering these different textures to create an inviting social space (with a fireplace, of course!).  She also labeled the kitchen as a social “extension of the living area”, utilizing wood but keeping the textures minimal and the features dark.  The brilliance of this design is that the kitchen is both a warm and welcoming space, but can also fade into the background as the living or dining becomes the main focus of a gathering.

3/ Speaking of the dining room, Bingham lays down the law regarding proper chalet style: Table. Is. Everything.  Well, maybe not EVERYTHING, but having a massive wooden table as a centerpiece to your Alpine dining experience is crucial.  The focus remains the same in this space, emphasizing comfort (big upholstered chairs) while also being mindful of style (rustic mix-matching or a fusion of styles).

9783832734206_2 Photo © Philip Vile, Design Nicky Dobree

4/ Extending towards the inner sanctum of the chalet, Modern Living offers us many examples and ideas for the most comfortable room of the home: the almighty bedroom.  Leave behind any notions of rigidity or hardness, and think SOFT.  Spacious soft bed, luxurious soft furs and blankets layered one upon the other, fluffy rugs, and furniture you can just sink into…these are the staple comforts of the bedroom.  Bingham even offers us tips for how to make your own (cruelty-free) fur throws, a little DIY that will be specific to your taste.  Style-wise, she advises to either go homely or minimal, depending on your aesthetic; both work.

9783832734206_6 Photo © Fritz von der Schulenburg, Design Christina Seilern

5/ I love the way she describes the bathroom as a “dark, enchanted cave”.  It makes the space sound more like an ethereal experience than a real place, and perhaps being in the bathroom should be an experience!  Similar to the other spaces, Bingham suggests a focus on texture and tactility, using combinations of stone, wood, and ceramics.  As exciting as designing a bathroom is, we are instructed to consider ergonomics before details, which may be difficult for the impatient of us…but in the end, a functional bathroom is crucial to maintaining that feeling of comfort and relaxation.

9783832734206_4 Photo © courtesy of Hild Home Design GmbH

Having guided us through a vision of the Alpine chalet, Bingham tantalizes us with images of indoor pools, home gyms, and other design elements such as “crazy paving” and decorating with rosy quartz.  These extra elements contribute to the function of the chalet as a rustic palace of well-being, a place to unwind and escape the outdoor elements.  The feeling of being wrapped up in a snug, earthy environment is exactly what this type of home promises, and Bingham helps us get there both verbally and visually.  Modern Home: Chalet Style is an absolute must on the reading list of both designers and those looking to create their own palace of relaxation.

Written by Sophie Gilliam.

Elements of Modern Country

When designing homes for my clients, I see a common thread. They all want their spaces to be warm & inviting; casual, comfortable, unpretentious and where you can put your feet up without worry and judgement. Hence the surge of the modern farmhouse and enter modern country or new country. It’s rustic living without being too rustic, it’s simple, yet it’s filled with furnishings that screams a “passion for craftsmanship allowing the natural materials to shine through.” I came across this book that celebrates all of that and more; Modern Living | New Country by the amazing interiors journalist & design writer Claire Bingham {she was the Homes Editor for Elle Decoration UK and her work has been featured in international glossies, including Vogue Living and Architectural Digest}.

There are tons of eye-candy in this book; you’ll find a Moroccan villa, a French chalet, a Nordic log cabin — the book re-interprets what “country” is. But my best takeaways are the practical tips to achieve this look, here are my Top 10.

modern-country

Let’s examine what I mean by each one, shall we?

1/ Layers: The lived-in look is all about layering and mixing & matching. Love 2 rugs for your living room? Why not layer & use them both? Have so many textures going on & think it may be too much? The answer is “No.” Go ahead and have linen, velvets, kilims & sheepskin all in one space.

2/ Whitewash Walls: In the era of shiplap {thanks Joanna Gaines}, whitewash walls takes it to another level of rustic. Don’t think whitewashing can be done to wood only, essentially any surface can be whitewashed — sheetrock walls, brick, anything!

3/ Vintage Tub: I saw lots of them in this book & for good reason. They are just so adorable & gives a bathroom so much character. A simple refinishing is just what a vintage tub needs but if you find one, don’t get it refinished to where it’s too pristine; the wear & tear should still shine through.

4/ Ticking: That casual fabric made of cotton & textile used in the old days to cover mattresses & pillows is now used as upholstery,linens & napkins, cushion covers & even drapery. I’m rather partial to red ticking. See some of my fabric obsessions here & here.

5/ Functional Spaces: This seems like a no-brainer but how many of us have spaces in our homes that literally have no function? In a modern country home, each space is important. The stair landing may hold a cabinet storing extra linens or a wall niche may hold firewood logs.

6/ Natural Hues: The organic tones of wood, the crisp whiteness of clouds, the ashen gray & black hues of burnt firewood.

7/ Salvaged Rustic Pieces: What is country without rustic pieces right? A factory cart turned into a coffee table, lighting suspended on old pulleys, old barn doors turned into wall art, the list goes on.

8/ Wood Beams: Of course, right? Get some reclaimed ones while you’re at it. It will be perfect!

9/ Rethink Wood Floors: Real wood floors — it’s timeless, it’s classic. But give it a modern twist — mix it with other materials. By now, you’ve probably seen a lot of the tile-wood combo where the tile bleeds on the wooden floors {or is it the other way around?}; you would need a geometric tile & at Fireclay tile, the possibilities are endless.

10/ Linens + Slipcovers: Dress your seating in this type of fabric — they just spell comfort.

More eye candy ….
modern-country-bedrooms new country living room

denim chair and ticking

From top left: 1. A white bedroom with canopy makes for a New Country bedroom dream 2. A rustic French chalet makes way for a Rococo bed 3. A very Scandinavian Living room 4. A glorious nook

The verdict for the book? Two thumbs up & five stars — you will not be disappointed with a whole slew of inspiration & heaps of practical tips — to making the most of small spaces to lessons in layering. Go get it at Teneues or it’s here on Amazon too! It’s a must have for every design enthusiast & a perfect coffee table book.

Modern Living New Country Book

Rug Pile 101

Some weekends, I intently think about how to make a blog post that will make the topic of rug pile exciting {yes, not all weekends are exciting}. But hey, although rug shopping is mostly fun — thinking about color, size, shape & patterns, form and function is important. Thus, please consider the rug pile height when you’re selecting the right rug for your room.

What is rug pile?

Rug pile is essentially the density of a rug’s fibers. Longer pile usually equals a softer feel, while a shorter pile generally equates to a more rugged, durable texture. The height of the pile is the actual height of a rug measured from the rug backing to the top of the rug surface. These pieces of information can be helpful when you are buying a rug online since you don’t have the opportunity to get up close and personal until you buy the rug.

The best way to visually understand rug pile and pile height is to see the two ends of the pile spectrum. On one end is low pile, think flatweave rug. These fibers are tightly woven and kept short causing them to look and feel flat. On the other end is high pile, think of a super plush shag rug. High-pile rugs are made of longer, looser threads, hence the soft plush feel.

Ok, now you know WHAT pile and pile height are, but what does this all mean for the interior design of your home? How does this help you in your hunt for the perfect rug? In some rooms or areas of your home, understanding the pros and cons of the different pile heights can come in handy! Here are some tips from RothRugs.com for helping you pick the right rug and pile height for every room.

rug-pile-101

Flat, Low less than 1/4″ (low); 1/4″ to 1/2″ (medium); 1/2″ to 3/4″ (plush)

Dining Room

For a dining room we recommend a low pile rug. The reasoning here is simple, you need it to be easy and smooth to pull out a chair. A low pile rug will also hopefully cut back on the amount of spilling that happens from tripping over the rug.

Bedrooms

For bedrooms, it is completely personal preference. If the room is for a young child or if there is a pet and you often find yourself on the floor, it might make sense to have a higher pile but not too high (meaning steer clear of shag rugs). You want something that is soft and cushiony but not so high that it makes it difficult to clean should your little one have an accident.

chair

Living Rooms & Dens

This rug choice depends partially on personal preference and partially on how the room will be used. If your living room is more of a formal sitting area, any pile height could work. If the room is set up for movie watching and laid back family time, a pile similar to the bedroom choice makes the most sense.

dining

Kitchen

Whether the rug is for under a kitchen table or in a high traffic area you most likely want a shorter, denser pile. This will help with sliding chairs again, as well as with the annoying problem of pile crushing. This is what happens when either heavy furniture weighs down on a rug, or constant traffic stepping on the rug flattens it out. There are many tips for helping to battle pile crushing, but that is for another day.

kitchen

So, the next time you are rug shopping — don’t forget that oh-so-important {and exciting} criteria of rug pile height.

5 Mid-Century Modern Brands to Love

We’re no longer in the 50’s but just like how fashion evolves, interior design takes it’s cues from the past. When designing a home with clients who loves Mid-Century modern, I guess I can say I’m not a purist. I like mixing & matching and taking the design style to now & meld it with the styles of other eras as well.

Mid-Century Modern {MCM} is more than a buzz word {not just in Austin but definitely beyond}. If you’re into the contemporary & minimalist vibe, pared-down forms, organic & natural materials and no fuss, no muss functional furniture, this style is for you! The brands above are some of my go-tos, some affordable, some are not but love that they took MCM back in the mainstream {Article, Bludot, Joybird, DWR, Rove Concepts}.