What Do Interior Designers and Decorators Look For When They Shop For Rugs For Their Projects and Clients?
When it comes to buying area rugs, there are so many different and varied approaches. In this post, we will examine what interior designers and decorators look for when they go looking for rugs for their client’s homes.
The interior designer’s approach vs the private consumer’s approach when shopping for rugs
The approach of interior designers and decorators can differ from that of private consumers when looking for rugs for their client’s homes due to their professional expertise and considerations.
Here’s how their approaches might vary:
Interior designers and decorators approach when shopping for rugs:
- Design Concept Integration: Design professionals work within a specific design concept or theme for the entire space. They consider the overall color scheme, style, and mood of the room when selecting rugs. The rug’s design, color, and texture need to align with the larger design vision.
- Space Planning: Designers take into account the room’s layout, furniture arrangement, and traffic flow. They select rugs that fit the space appropriately and enhance its functionality. This involves measuring the room and considering the scale of furniture to determine the ideal rug size.
- Customization: Designers often have access to custom rug options, allowing them to tailor rugs to fit the exact specifications of a room. This can involve choosing specific colors, patterns, and sizes to match the design scheme perfectly.
- Coordination with Other Elements: Interior designers think about how the rug will interact with other design elements in the room, such as draperies, upholstery, and wall coverings. They ensure that the rug complements and enhances the overall aesthetic.
- Budget Management: Design professionals manage their clients’ budgets and balance quality and style. They have knowledge of a wide range of rug options across various price points and can make informed decisions that provide value while maintaining the desired design.
- Long-Term Design Goals: Designers consider the long-term impact of their choices. They select rugs that will remain relevant and functional over time, aligning with the client’s lifestyle and potential changes in design trends.
- Client Preferences and Needs: While designers bring their expertise, they also consider the client’s preferences, lifestyle, and any specific needs or requirements. They aim to create a space that reflects the client’s personality while achieving the desired design goals.
Private consumers approach to shopping for rugs:
- Personal Style and Preference: Private consumers often prioritize their personal taste and preferences when selecting rugs. They may be guided by their own aesthetic inclinations rather than a broader design concept.
- Immediate Aesthetics: While private consumers also consider the aesthetics of a rug, they might prioritize how it looks in their current space rather than how it fits into a larger design scheme.
- Budget and Affordability: Consumers often have more direct budget constraints and might be limited to available options within their price range. Their choices might be influenced by sales, discounts, or cost-effectiveness.
- Room Comfort: Comfort and practicality play a significant role for private consumers. They may prioritize softness, warmth, and coziness, especially in areas where they spend a lot of time.
- Ease of Maintenance: Private consumers might prioritize rugs that are easy to clean and maintain, especially if they have children or pets.
- Personal Connection: Consumers might choose rugs that hold personal significance, such as those with sentimental value or cultural relevance.
- Less Emphasis on Coordination: While consumers still want their rugs to look good in their spaces, they might have a more relaxed approach to coordination with other design elements.
Interior designers and decorators consider the holistic design vision, space planning, customization and long-term goals when selecting rugs. Private consumers often prioritize personal preferences, budget constraints, immediate aesthetics and practical comfort in their choices.
The interior decorator approach to shopping for rugs
For the most part, the vast majority of interior decorators care almost exclusively about the look and visual impact (as opposed to what how good of an example the rug may be). When speaking to interior decorators, most will flat out say that they don’t know much about area rugs but that they do know what they like and what they want for the project. This is because interior decorators are hired to create a look and feel, not build a collection.
When looking for a rug or carpet, interior designers and home decorators will offer clients a certain assurance that the decor of their home will achieve an impressive standard – that it will be appropriate, tasteful, and well integrated visually both within individual rooms and the spaces as a whole.
To a certain extent interior designers determine and then follow current trends in taste, as well as their own preferences. That said, decorators should also be able to elicit the tastes and preferences of their clients and work this into their plans. While some interior decorators may just lay down the law and tell their clients what they “have to do”, others will take the time to listen to what their clients want, like and dislike.
It is difficult to generalize when it comes to interior decor professionals because each one and even each geographic location may favor one type of rug or look over another. But if we were forced to make such totalitarian statements, then we would have to say that most decorator’s perfect rugs will those that boast soft or neutral color palette and an all over design.
The reason why designers tend to gravitate towards those to aspects when they are look for rugs is because those two factors can be the most restrictive. Most designers will start from the floor and move up from there. That is why the rug is one of the most important factors in the interior design project.
By picking softer rug color palettes, designers can more easily incorporate a wider range of colors in the fabrics, wallpaper and treatments they use. Softer colors will not fight with more rich deep color tones, they will compliment those richer colors rather than compete with them.
By looking for rugs with all over patterns (as opposed to ones with central medallion designs), decorators don’t feel overly compelled to try and center everything around the central focal point of the rug. In the USA, interior decorators tend to obsess over making sure everything lines up perfectly while in Europe, most will opt to go with their hearts and generally look for better examples in better condition. If they happen to choose a rug with a central focal point then so be it, they will just plop the furniture wherever they end up.
If pressed to provide criteria for what interior decorators look for in rugs, I would say that the main factors are:
- Rug Size – Designers will generally draw out the perfect size range as they envision it in the space.
- Rug Colors – While this may vary based on room and location, most USA interior designers favor softer color palettes.
- Rug Design – As noted above, decorators in the USA will push for all over design rugs and will reject most central medallion rugs (unless they are decorating a dining room, in which case, they tend to be a bit more flexible since the medallion will probably be covered by the dining room table).
- Price / Budget – Most clients will proved a decorator with a budget. Its up to the interior designer to find the best rugs to achieve the look they desire that are within the price range they have.
While some interior designers will latch on to specific types of area rugs as well as area rug styles, such as say Oushak rugs, Vintage Moroccan Rugs or perhaps Scandinavian rugs, others will tend to just be geared by the visual impact of a certain piece (as in designers will usually care less about the type or rug origin, and will focus only on the rug sizes, design and colors).