Unexpected Design Choices Make Traditional Wool Rugs Contemporary

“Take a risk from time to time, re-imagine a classic with a twist, mix old and new to create a beautiful room that you’ll want to live in”  Bill Barr, Interior Designer, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Traditional Wool Rugs, Geometric rug

 Sources: The Ascot geometric rug is available either as a needlepoint rug or as an oriental rug; Zebra sofa; Emerald green table lamps; Black lacquer sideboad;  70’s red Maison Jansen armchair; Gigantic natural clam shell70’s Brass coffee table; Vintage Louis Vuitton cabin trunk; Newcomb-Macklin oval gold gilt mirror; White wing chair.

Often, the unexpected element in a design scheme is what brings it to life.  Almost anyone can match a few fabrics and paint the walls a complimentary color.  It takes a little risk, the surprise of twist, to capture our attention and hold our interest when creating beautiful interiors.  The foundation for a well designed room often starts with a good handmade rug. The hallmarks of a good rug will include all natural fibers – wool being the most prolific and most durable – and the best dyes. One of the things I love most about Asmara rugs is the subtle variations in color their wools have. The “abrash” as it is called, is the natural variation in shading that occurs in rugs made with hand-spun yarns, as Abid explained in the abrash post a few days ago. 

For this blog post I’m  going to highlight Asmara’s Ascot rug because I love the strong pattern, a little bit Billy Baldwin, a little bit Hermes or Gucci, this classic would look good everywhere.  Obviously the Ascot rug would be at home in a traditional environment, but I’d like to make the point that risk can pay off and that perhaps (since I’m referencing other designers and luxury brands) a dash of Tony Duquette can wake up a classic, reinvigorate a sleeping giant and create an interior worthy of this beautiful rug. And maybe, just maybe, surprise just a little.  Not just a rug your mother could love, the Ascot rug easily adapts to a look that is younger and a bit more contemporary.  

The strength of this geometric rug allows for other strong patterns and color, the boldness of the black and white suits the deep reds and golds of this rug and balances visually.  Equally adept to fitting in a soft gold room with softly faux-painted walls and hardwood floors, I’d like to see this rug on a black and white checkerboard floor.  The funky mix of a zebra pattern and the warm tones in a deeply tanned leather would mix beautifully, and the sharp white of a leather wing chair adds a modern edge.  A vintage coffee table in brass is the right finish for the deep golds in the rug, but the 70’s vintage is a twist to a more expected form one might expect. Follow through with the theme of boldness in the accessories and you’ve got a winning room.  

Take a risk from time to time re-imagine a classic with a twist, mix old and new to create a beautiful room that you’ll want to live in. No matter your taste, Asmara has a rug to satisfy, and maybe even a few beyond your own imagination but not your limits.  


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