Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 Small Spaces to Love

etsy sign link

We are wrapping up small spaces month with five fabulous small spaces cleverly designed to meet their owners' needs.

Jacqueline's 400 sq feet studio space is inspiring. Being both work and home, she has maximized storage space with vertical shelving and storage-packed furniture. Keeping with a simplistic white color scheme, pops of color emerge here and there against the light background. A definite A+ in my book.

This is only 900 sq feet - are you kidding me? I was blown away by Ellekate and Tim's design in this loft space! They have every functional space of a traditional layout (dining, living room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.) and even separate areas for entertaining. Nothing is crowded, it has a feng shui vibe, and you could certainly find place for an impromptu yoga session! Ah-ma-zing.

I don't know which catches my eye more - the warmth that this hand-knotted rug adds to this living/bedroom space or the subtle pink hue on the wall that, even while surrounded by primary colors, acts as a neutral. Kelly's small (400 sq feet) apartment is tres chic!

Have you watched House Hunters lately? The term "open concept" is used frequently by homebuyers who desire an open floorplan format. The trick with an "open concept" is that it involves clever planning with few walls to dictate a layout for you. Ekaterina has done a beautiful job of defining her lounge space from her eating space in this airy London flat. While I am not a fan of the floating round rug, I do love that she didn't cover up those beautiful herringbone floors!

Closet turned bedroom - need I say more? What a fantastic idea to open up a small apartment and create a somewhat hidden oasis that surrounds you with things you love! Brilliant idea, Sarah! We've viewed some fabulous small spaces this month! Missed some? Check out these:

If you're looking for a wow factor, visit more Apartment Therapy's home tours! I find these real-life looks more addicting than Pinterest.

By: Samantha Palacio

Monday, May 26, 2014

Styling a Studio Space

Styling a studio space can be a tough undertaking. You're trying to create a home-y feel without the map of architecturally defined spaces. Though not impossible, it certainly requires a clear vision of what's ahead. The key to styling a studio is to keep only what you love and that which serves a purpose. Another really great tip is to think vertical. Walls can often be underutilized in traditional homes, but in studio space, these are precious commodities. Use them wisely and to their full potential.

Build walls. Or if you're not a structural engineer, create room "dividers" with functional pieces such as a large bookcase, privacy curtains, or get creative with clothes storage (like pictured above) that both divides a seating area and keeps your wardrobe at your fingertips.

Hang your lighting. Convert to hanging lighting fixtures and free up the need for lamps. Lamps both require hard surfaces, and depending on the size, can take up precious diameter.
"Book It" by Caracole

Functional Furniture. You should shop with the words "multi-purpose" in mind. Sleeper sofas, storage ottomans, and oversized coffee tables are three top choices. A sleeper sofa doubles as bed space or a bedroom if necessary. Storage ottomans quickly conceal movies, blankets, cosmetics, board games, and so much more. If dining space is unavailable, an oversized coffee table can serve dual purposes. Caracole's 'Book It' is my go-to option for a studio space. Books, movies, and storage all fit below, and the surface is large enough for (floor) dining for four.

Coordinate color schemes. Sticking with white walls and a monochromatic color palette will create a flow throughout the space. If you like more color, coordinate the areas you are trying to define, but please avoid a color explosion. A rainbow is overstimulating at best and you will tire of it quickly.

Create a focal point. Last, but most importantly: create a focal point. Start your design by determining where the center will be. Do you have a fireplace? Where's the TV going to go? Do you want your sofa to face towards or away from windows? The focal point will determine the placement. Structural details will almost always need accommodation. Plan for this ahead of time and then go from there.

Happy space planning!

By: Samantha Palacio 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Does lighting really make a difference?

Silk fibers as well as Wool fibers
Prior to having ever set foot in a Rug & Home store, I admittedly had never shopped for a rug in my life. Like most wide-eyed individuals, I was overwhelmed by the sizes and variety of options these works of art come in. You can only imagine my surprise when I settled on liking a slate grey number, it's dropped to the floor, and immediately the color has changed. Huh? To a rug shopping newbie, the concept of light and dark side can be a "wow" moment. What may appear bright and "light" on one side, changes to darker and less lustrous on the other. This is true of all wool rugs and even some machine made rugs though the intensity will vary based on color palette and fibers.

Silk rugs have the most variation in sheen. This variation is the nature of the nap of the rug (compare it to vacuuming carpet and the 'lines' that appear when vacuuming) and not a defect of any sort. If you're looking for an exact coloration throughout, your best bet may be a tufted or machine made rug, however, I would argue that the reversibility of sorts may be beneficial for certain seasons when you may want a different perspective on color. Silver sheen may be bright in a dull winter, but a grey tone may be more suitable to a colorful summer. Does lighting really make a difference? Absolutely! Look at both sides of your rug when shopping to get the full experience of color.

By: Samantha Palacio

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5 Nursery Must Haves

With a new baby on the way, you’re likely overwhelmed by all the must have lists for baby essentials. While we don’t stock the baby shampoo, our design experts can certainly help you outfit a nursery that is sure to please both baby and mom. Here’s a list of our top 5 nursery essentials from Rug & Home.

1. Start with the floors first. We always start with the floors first and a plush, comfortable rug is a must have for bringing home baby. We have many styles to choose from, but our most popular rug for comfort is the Bliss by Kas. In many different colors to choose from, this option features a canvas backing and unbeatable price.

2. Seating. Late night feedings are going to require a soft place for parents to land. Klaussner carries a large selection of custom fabrics for you to match any color scheme and the Lacey Swivel Glider is an affordable option for comfort and movement. A favorite for sure!

 3. Art. Creativity is born at an early age, so introduce art and whimsy into your child's world from birth. You never know - you may have the next Picasso on your hands! 

4. Accessories. Cute accessories are a must-have in any nursery. Girl or boy, we’ve got plenty to choose from like these adorable owls from IMAX.

5. Lighting. Harsh lighting is a no-no in a nursery space. Soft lamp lighting is not overly exposed for newborn eyes and also allows you to sneak in and out with ease when needing to check on a sleeping one. With so many styles to choose from, we recommend using a minimum of two within the space for times when you need full light but also for a late night diaper change when one lamp would be sufficient. Lamps are also interchangeable within the home, making it easy to transition as the little one grows. 

  Need help planning a layout? Have specific questions on rug types for baby? Leave us a comment, and one of our design associates will be glad to help!

By: Samantha Palacio

Monday, May 19, 2014

Top 5: Inspirational Gallery Walls

We've seen these floating all over Pinterest. Gallery Walls are a must-have in homes big and small. They can be a display of cherished family photos or a framed art collection used to fill an awkward space. If you're trying to fill a large wall this could also be a very inexpensive way to do so. In an office area, a gallery wall is a great way to surround yourself with inspiration. Below are five of our favorite groupings:

1. Making the most of an awkward bathroom space with this unusual gallery wall. 

2. Corner gallery wall of family photos, clippings, and various art. Here they're making the most of the wall height.

3. An inspiration wall that extends to the floor.

4. An art collection in mostly black and white. 

5. An eclectic grouping of art showing that mismatched frames can be beautiful together.

Whichever direction you choose, a gallery wall is great way to make a compact - or large scale - display of who you are and what you love. Pottery Barn put together these examples of how to style a gallery wall. For more inspiration, visit our Pinterest page and like us on Facebook.

Written By: Samantha Palacio

Friday, May 16, 2014

10 Tips for Rental Decorating

Twenty years ago my perception was that rentals were for college roommates. You graduate, you go to college, you get a great job, and you're automatically approved to hear those magical words: "Congratulations, you're a homeowner." You can imagine how stunned I was to be abruptly taught a hard lesson in what 'credit' is.

Long after the years of college roommates and having entered the work force a large population of us still find ourselves simply renting a home and owning a memory. I'm here to share some tips for owning the design in your rental. What truly makes a home, after all, are the family, friends, pets, roommates, and the memories you share it with.

1. Wall color. This doesn't necessarily mean paint. Lots of landlords are restrictive of renters painting or have that golden rule of "you must paint it back to the original color." There are other ways to add some pizzazz without touching the paint, such as washi tape as removable decor or using heavy starch to adhere fabric to the walls. If you want the real thing, there is also such a thing as actual easy-to-remove wallpaper as well.

Chasing Paper

Then there is always the option to paint if allowed. If you're one of the unfortunate souls who didn't inquire about the price of the paint to "paint it back" though, you may want to make some phone calls to find out. If your landlord used a custom paint color, you could find that your $30 makeover, may cost you double or even triple to repair. Just some friendly advice from a former Property Manager.

2. Washi tape. Speaking of washi tape, you might not believe some of the creative ways people are using this stuff! From DIY frames, to wall shelf trim, to furniture accents..... If it will adhere, it's happening. At roughly $3 a roll, it's a minimal investment that can yield a big impact.

3. Art. Small nail holes are usually acceptable in a rental space. Because art comes in so many different sizes and forms, you could literally cover every inch of your walls with something inspiring at any budget.

4. Shelving. In a small space, it's important to use vertical space as much as it is to decorate with purpose. Shelving adds more storage and also gives you space to display collections. Shelving in a landing strip could be a lifesaver by housing essential items needed for coming and going.

5. Under the bed storage. This should be a given, folks. Don't get me wrong - I love the look of a minimalist Scandinavian design. The pallet beds popping up on Pinterest are even a brilliant use of free recyclable materials, but you are forfeiting one of the best places of storage in your home! Storage under the bed is easily accessible (when there is proper clearance or risers involved) and it's the ideal location for storing seasonal clothing or extra linens that you may only need periodically. Please get those mattresses up off of the floor and take advantage of this prime [organization] real estate!

6. Functional Art. Refer to our post on Functional Art for decorating with your must-have collections and usable wares. Vases could house flowers or they could be a source of storage for pencils, cooking utensils, paint brushes, and even toilet paper.

7. Pillows. Pillows are for comfort, but with so many brilliant patterns and color choices, they are art in and of themselves. Ranging from $5-$100 a piece, you can find them in any budget and you can purchase or DIY covers to fit your needs. No damage or forfeiture of deposit required.

8. Give your furniture a facelift. Giving your furniture a facelift could mean out with the old, in with the new or it could mean revamping what you have currently. Take a well-loved wooden dresser, sand it down, and paint it a bright new color. A bold color against a white wall, or vice versa, can make a grand statement. Here again, you're not damaging the structure of your rental property and taking on a whole new look.

9. Change hardware. Just remember to change it back if you ever decide to move.

10. Make it your own. If you're not into refinishing furniture or you don't want to touch the walls, bring in something that makes the space your own (Like these adorable paint stick arrows).

It can be as simple as a "Hello Gorgeous" welcome mat or a quirky coffee mug collection displayed in the kitchen. Find pieces that you love and are unique to you to add a personal touch to the space.

By: Samantha Palacio

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Manmade v. Machine Made

Q: Manmade vs. Machine-made. Which is the better option for my house?

A: The answer to your question depends on a variety of factors. In terms of quality, manmade rugs will always win—hands down. The craftsmanship that goes into creating these rugs far surpasses that of their machine-made counterparts. As a result, handmade rugs can last a lifetime and many are coveted and prized, like works of art.

While machine-made rugs are a more temporary purchase and aren’t desirable from a collector’s standpoint, they are typically (although not always) less costly than handmade pieces and can certainly be a great option in many cases.

Pets: If you have a problem pet or pets, you’ll most likely want to keep your floor coverings affordable and relatively “disposable” in case they were to become Fido's favorite chew toys or bathroom spots.

Children: If you have young children, you know that spills and messes are inevitable. While manmade rugs can always be cleaned and repaired, you may want to avoid making a serious rug investment until the terrible twos are long-gone.

Renting: If you know you’ll be renting a house or apartment for just a short amount of time, pick a piece that’s less of an investment for you in case it doesn’t work in your next space.

If you’re a landlord, you may want to use rugs in your rental property or properties instead of traditional carpeting. Machine-made rugs will likely save you a lot of worry and allow you to keep your properties affordable for renters.

Changing trends: Do you like to change the look of your rooms often, keeping up with design trends? If so, a machine-made rug may be a good option for you. They come in a variety of contemporary styles with trendy color palettes, like the one pictured above, and are typically budget-friendly.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tips for the Big Move

Whether this is your first move, or you’re a frequent traveler, moving is made much easier with a plan. Follow these easy steps to make the smoothest transition possible:

1.       Collect packing materials. This is a big one. The last thing you want to do is to forget something, break something, or make the unpacking process painful. Gather supplies in one easy to locate spot to make packing your belongings easy.

Must Haves:
  • black permanent markers (lots of them)
  • packing tape with a sturdy handle
  • plastic totes and/or free cardboard boxes
  • bubble wrap and/or packing paper
  • labels (optional)

2.       Clearly label your containers. Black permanent markers are a must have as you need to be able to clearly define what is in each box. Some people prefer to write on the box itself or you may need adhesive labels if you're using totes. I recommend labeling them by room and then bullet point some defining items to make it easy to find items once you’re in the new place. No one wants to hunt for the toilet paper!

Likewise, using clear, plastic totes is a great alternative to cardboard boxes because you can see their contents. Plastic totes are also reusable, and should it take you a while to unpack your items are safe from critters and various elements. To use totes most effectively, pack what you won’t immediately need and especially anything of sentimental value that could be damaged if exposed to dirt and moisture.

3.       Protect breakables. Wrap your breakable items in packing paper or bubble wrap and label these boxes as “fragile”. If moving a long distance, I would recommend using some painters tape to “X” the glass on any pictures or frames you may be moving in the event that glass breaks. You’ll have less of a mess if it does.

4.       Unload your goods to their designated areas. It’s easy to just throw it all in the home and then organize later, but if you take the time to place your boxes in their designated rooms you’ll be much happier about the unpacking process. In this method, you’re eliminating a lot of steps to put things where they go once it’s time to unpack the boxes.

5.       As you unpack, recycle the leftovers. This statement can be taken many ways. First and foremost, please recycle or pass along your cardboard boxes and packing paper. They may be beneficial to someone else who is moving as well. If while unpacking you can’t find a home for something, try to let go. During the packing process I quickly found that I was packing up a lot of things that we weren't missing in our day to day life. When it came time to unpack, I was likewise finding things that didn't have a designated home or seemed unnecessary in new surroundings. Take the time to purge the trash, recycle the rest, and remember that there are many community organizations that will happily pick up your leftovers for free!

6.       Change of address. This is self-explanatory. Make sure you feel out your change of address forms and compile a list of everyone who needs to be notified of the address change. Make sure to follow through with contacting services to take the stress out of missing mail or packages. Don’t rely on the post office to do the work for you – they are people too.

7.       Consider delivery. If you are too overwhelmed by the process, there are several companies out there who will essentially make the move for you.  In long distance moves, some people find it helpful to take the smaller items that they can’t live without and leave the furniture behind. When you arrive at your destination, visit a one-stop-shop for home furnishings and set up delivery to take the hassle out of shopping.

Lastly, try to slow down and embrace the change. Moving can be a very stressful event especially if you are moving with children, across country, or it’s your first time. Taking a little time to plan ahead will make a big difference. 

By: Samantha Palacio

Friday, May 9, 2014

Favorite Things Friday

Abydos Small Vase // Avant Garde in Skyblue // Benissa Lamp // Lexi Blue Villa Pillows // Palais Neon Green Villa Pillows // Suri Light Blue Villa Pillows

Inspired by the natural beauty in agate stones, this compilation is cool and calming. Fresh on our showroom floor, the Benissa Lamp is a blue like no other. Silver and acrylic details lend this lamp to high-class styling, perfect for a bedroom space. The Abydos Small Vase would be lovely styled in a trio on a dining room table. Always a favorite, the quality of Villa's down-filled pillows is remarkable and the go-to for summer reading comfort.  These are no whimp-y cushions, my friends. In durable fabrics and trendy patterns, there is something for everyone at a phenomenal price point. The Avant Garde is a beautifully sculpted wool rug that adds color and a clean feeling to any room.

Have you connected with Rug & Home on Instagram? Get behind-the-scenes updates, showroom shots, and new arrival previews in a snap, like these Indoor/Outdoor pillows from Transocean. I'm loving the Agate-inspired swirls. What will inspire us next?

By: Samantha Palacio

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

3 Tips for Styling a Small Bath

If you aren't blessed with a spacious throne, there are still several tried and true style tips to help you maximize space in this must-have room. If this room is the only of its kind, it's especially important to maximize the floor that you've got for ease of use and making routines as seamless as possible. Three of my favorite ideas for maximizing space and making the bathroom a room you will happily pamper yourself in:

1. Go vertical. Maximizing vertical space is especially important in this space where you've likely got things (i.e. cosmetics) that little hands don't need access to. Keep necessities at arm's reach and go higher with less frequently used products. There are many stylish alternatives to dated medicine cabinets these days so shop around for something that catches your eye. Reclaimed wood shelves for the rustic soul, lucite for your contemporaries, or maybe a slim bookshelf for the traditionals.

The Vargas Cutwork Decor Bowl is a beautiful selection for a bangle collection.

2. Organize & Sort. Simple wall shelves and well-designed accessories can even conceal your inventory. Personally, I love pretty bowls (for q-tips), vintage trays (jewelry, glasses, and sunnies), and sturdy baskets to house my accessories. Towels are well-hidden in Sea Grass baskets.

3. Bold Wall Color. Personally, I prefer to go BOLD in wall color, and choose an understated rug when styling a small bathroom space. Contrary to most belief, the bold color when paired with good lighting, can make the space feel more personal and like an extension of your home. Let's face it, ladies, most of us shower longer than 2-3 minutes and if you're using this space to get ready, your spending some time here. Why not make it pretty as well?

By: Samantha Palacio

Monday, May 5, 2014

8 Gift Ideas for Mom

Family Circles Bronze Figurine // Alex Brass Frames S/3 // Amethyst Geometric Square Plates S/2 // Aramis Mosaic Coasters S/4 // Loloi Azalea AZ-03 // Counterflory Recipe Book Holder //  Marisa Graphic Ottoman  //American Rug Craftsmen Panoramic 90002 

This year we're celebrating Mom with a gift that will outlast the holiday. Offer her something she can enjoy year round like this Family Circles Bronze Figurine. This contemporary take on the bond of family love will surely touch her heart. Mom can display treasured heirloom photos in these Alex Brass Frames that are reminiscent of their Antique silver counterparts. Pretty glass trays to stash her baubles or keys are both decorative and functional.  A thoughtful gift - these coasters will help protect her furniture but are also beautifully done in a mosaic pattern. Give Mom something to brag about with this colorful Azalea rug from Loloi. She is sure to be the envy of all her friends with such a bright and cheery space. Working moms will appreciate this recipe book holder making it easier to whip up a favorite dish without damaging Grandma's recipe. Every mom could use a comfortable place to rest her feet. This versatile Graphic Ottoman is not only a place to prop her feet, but will double as a side table and even a vanity stool. Hip moms will love this trendy Panoramic rug for it's contemporary vibe in bright and cheerful colors.

By: Samantha Palacio

Friday, May 2, 2014

Making Changes with Karastan

When you think of Karastan, you may envision the colorful, traditional style rugs that they have been known for, for nearly 90 years. Karastan unveiled a fresh line of new designs, custom dyes, and shag style rugs at the Atlanta Market this January and we are proud to be supporting National Karastan Month here at Rug & Home. I'm here to tell you that these new arrivals are not your grandma's rugs! Moroccan inspired  designs, lush family room shags... Karastan has opened up to a whole new market of rug buyers and we are thrilled for the opportunity to bring you the change.

About Karastan

Karastan takes pride in the easy clean up and longevity of wear. Have you heard of the "Wonder Rug"? In the midst of a Great Depression, Karastan introduced a 12x15 rug to the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair. Here they invited 5 million people to trample this rug and they did it again 5 years later to total 13 million people gracing this tree of life pattern with muddy footprints, and many stories. The words: "If this rug could only talk," come to mind here. Look at this amazing before & after clean up depiction. If you are as intrigued as I am, read more about the story here. I promise it won't disappoint. 

Hard to believe a rug can retain such radiant luster after 80 years! I think this is a beautiful depiction of quality you can expect of this manufacturer. Karastan strives to match the quality and craftsmanship of its counterpart - the handwoven one-of-a-kind treasures we sell here every day. Down to the fringe and bright colors that mimic its more costly cousin, you would likely be fooled unless not a trained rug connoisseur. 

Did you know that by purchasing Karastan you are supporting domestic jobs? Karastan is a North Carolina-based company bringing local jobs and revenue back into our home state. You can feel good about your purchase both aesthetically and domestically. No pun intended. 

Go Green

Karastan uses renewable ingredients such as wool and "renewably sourced polymers" committing themselves to the environmentalism bandwagon. The science behind the making of handwoven rugs produces a positive footprint on the environment with longevity reducing energy consumption. To break it down - much like wool hand-knotted's, these rugs can be passed down or sold off once your family has tired of the look. The endurance of a Karastan rug insures less filling of the landfill and happy homeowners all around. 

By: Samantha Palacio