Some hard-core procrastinating happening over here as I just can’t bear to look at another box. I’ve managed to clear away some of the detritus and have started to place our furniture. It’s very easy to move everything around because the tile floors are smooth and indestructible. When I looked at houses last spring it bummed me out that everything everywhere was tiled, but I am really loving how light they are and the glow they add to the room by being reflective in the sunlight. And let’s face it, it is also an incredible shopping opportunity for rugs!
I’m showing you the living room as it looks right now, definitely against my better judgement. It’s like showing a photo of myself, unshowered, with no make up or accessories – you know what I mean. But the basic building blocks are these, as well as a lacquer tansu (seen recently here) on the left wall that you can’t see and a second coffee table (ideally brass and glass) as yet unpurchased. I’m doing the double coffee table thing both to fill the space and because I just love the way unmatched ones look together. Lots of art to go up on that blank wall and longtime readers will recognize many shrine sale goodies in this photo already taking on a different feel and a new life.
Originally I was just going to have my sweet husband order big squares of bound jute or sisal for the living room, dining room and TV room to cover almost all of the tile before we even got here. In the TV room I have two antique carpets to lay down over it, a kilim and a Khotan, but nothing for the other two rooms. I’m glad he didn’t get to it because I have been having second thoughts and all kinds of other rug ideas, particularly for the living room.
Over the summer I decided a great idea might just be to buy a big bound square of lavender carpet – certainly a cheap and easy choice – much like the one in Vanessa Bruno’s Paris loft below. Instead of living lavender dreams with wall color, I could have it on the floor, a lovely mix with the warm gray walls. But as I have been pulling things out here all week, there is starting to be too much color on everything else to want that much on the floor. The pink chairs had been hidden under slip covers and it is great to see them out in the light again. Sigh, but I do love this space, so perhaps its an idea for the girls’ bedrooms.
Another option that would be very appropriate is a Madeline Weinrib dhurrie, whether it be a Brooke or a Mandala or a less used pattern like the Wes featured below in an Ashli Mizell design. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to show photos, you all know what I am talking about anyway or click the links to scroll her carpets. Madeline also has a great Pinterest page with tons of unpublished projects featuring her designs – it’s well worth a browse! I’ve never really seen a room look bad with one of hers on the floor, so I am considering it, but I feel like the very flat dhurries just don’t warm up the tiles enough to use in the living space. I don’t think I want that much of a dominant color either, for the same reason I nixed the lavender carpet. I do think one might be ideal under the dining table, but that’s for discussion some other time.
If I want to go neutral but graphic in the living room we could use black and white stripes, either Madeline Weinrib’s Buche or the easy inexpensive option would be an IKEA Stockholm, especially as IKEA just opened here this spring (a little bit of copy cat chic going on there too). The large size is just big enough for the space. But somehow it feels too bold and graphic and like a dhurrie, not quite warm enough. Especially since this Nate Berkus room was published, I feel like it is everywhere too!
I am utterly obsessed with the rug in Susan Hable Smith‘s living room (and the entire room for good measure) but it seems to be a custom one-off made for her by Elson & Co. based on one of her fabric designs. Maybe she is bored of it by now ands wants to sell it to me?
That rug leads me right back to Ms. Weinrib, who tends to decorate not so much with her own dhurries, but often with vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs. They have the same simple colors and graphic quality as the rug above but with the added comfort and texture of the thick wool pile. Made by the Berber tribes in the Atlas regions of Morocco, they were originally used as warm bedding. Beni Ourains have been hugely trendy and desirable for a while now although their popularity in the design world reaches way back into the early 20th century. While I had always liked them, they had never been on my “must have” list as I tend to like my rugs very patinated and almost threadbare. But that shaggy warmth might be just what the tiles need! Madeline uses them at home in NYC…
…and out in the Hamptons. This room has so many of the same pieces that I have in my space. Chesterfield? Check! Octagonal Syrian style table? Check! (Hidden between the pink slipper chairs)
Funky brass stool? Check! Silk ikat? Check! No horns though, although I do spy some thread spools in my photo.
She even has a Chinese “antique” cabinet and some porcelain garden stools, East Asian mixes so well with Moroccan. For more of this great house, check out Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Yet another Asian meets eclectic interior from Ballard & Malson features a Beni Ourain. Dark lacquer cabinet? Check! (The aforementioned hidden tansu).
Pretty pastel chair? Check! The Scandinavians just have such a way with pale colors!
I’ve spied a few promising rug shops here in Doha in my reading online but they seem to specialize in tribal pieces from Afghanistan and other eastern regions (which won’t stop me from visiting them, don’t worry!) So I’m thinking buying a Beni Ourain might just mean I need to take a trip to Morocco. Anyone interested?
A Clean Slate and a Lot of Volume
It’s a Crapshoot…Picking Paint Colors Long Distance
Ja Mata Japan…Hello New Beginnings
Timeworn Rugs in Kitchens and Baths
Preferring Patina Over Perfection…Chipped Porcelain, Threadbare Rugs and Old World Glamour at Tissus Tartares