Aanchal Agarwal Gupta Gives Class on Rugs and their Role in History

Aanchalteaches 11112014On November 11, Rug & Home Director of Strategy Aanchal Agarwal Gupta led a Continuing Educational Unit (CEU) for the Interior Design Society of Charlotte on recognizing rug quality and using rugs to accent different rooms. An expert in rugs in her own right, Aanchal gave her exclusive audience a condensed history of the decorative floor covers. Covering roughly four thousand years, the historical portion of the afternoon ranged from the first hand-woven rugs created by the Mongolian empire (c. 2000 BCE) to the recent (2011-2012 CE) trend of Sari Silk rugs; these latter are upcycled by weaving wool together with the silken threads of unused saris.20141111_152948

Afterwards, attendees participated in networking while being treated to snacks and soda. Later, ISD-Charlotte held its monthly meeting right here at Rug & Home!IDS spread 11112014

Keep your eyes peeled for future events like this one, and in the meantime, why not drop by for a friendly visit with the rug experts here at Rug & Home? Those experts include our helpful and friendly staff, who will be thrilled to help you choose the rug, furniture and other home furnishings that you need to design and arrange your perfect room.


Does Lighting Really Make a Difference?

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

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

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

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.

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. PillowsPillows 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 toyou to add a personal touch to the space.

By: Samantha Palacio

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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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

5 Office Spaces to Love

In today’s digital age, most homes require a home office of some sort whether it be a space to work from home, a place to pay bills, or an area for children to study. Even in the tightest of spaces, you can carve out a little niche to make the daunting task of paperwork a little easier.

1. The simple wall-mounted surface in this Scandinavian design takes up little space and allows for storage at the floor and with shelving above. It’s simplicity and function at its finest. 
2. Carve out a nook in a kitchen or closet for a command center. Use wall space for notes and inspiration or add shelves for office supplies and storage. Colorful and functional!
3. A drop down desk concealed in a cabinet. Great storage in an unused corner of a home!
4. Some simple 2′ x 6′ boards create a standing desk in this home office at a Beautiful Mess. This alternative would work well with just a small section mounted such as in a studio space. This would be ideal followed by shelving to the ceiling for maximum storage.

5. An office on a stair landing? Brilliant use of normally underutilized space! Thissetup houses tons of storage and eliminates the need for an extra room just to craft. Perfect, again, for small space living. 
Want to see more office ideas? Connect with us on Pinterest and view our “Office Spaces” board for inspiration. Do you have a note-worthy office space? Send us an Instagram of your space @rugandhome and we may feature YOU on our Facebook page!

By: Samantha Palacio

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.

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 12×15 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. 

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

Top 5: Color in Unexpected Ways

In home decorating, it’s perfectly acceptable to ‘think outside the box.’ We’ve compiled a list of Top 5 favorite ways to unexpectedly add bold color to your space and why they are so fresh. 

1. The unexpected pop of lime green accents this space very well. This dining space is cheerful and light alongside the exposed brick. You can easily imagine enjoying many citrus-flavored meals in this gathering.
2. Where do I begin in this space? While this decorista kept to a flowing color palette, there are lots of color pops to notice here making it difficult to look away. What makes it unexpected you may ask? The unique use of window sills to display artwork and greenery. If you are fortunate to live in a home with windows ledges, these are a perfect opportunity to display accents in unexpected ways.
3. I will likely never tire of this simple pop of color drawn onto the walls in this space. I have seen several amazing renditions of geometric patterned accent walls, but the simplicity of lines is very eye-catching here. I can’t decide if it looks like my child drew it on or it’s an eccentric wallpaper. 
Either way … love it!
4. Iridescent shower tiles. This photo needs no explanation, but if you have to have one: how can you not love this? It’s gorgeous and surely trumps traditional shower stalls!
5. Forego a stair runner and paint your risers in desirable hues! Accent the foyer with a coordinating rug for bursts of color in the entry. This falls at number 5, but it certainly no less of a favorite!
By: Samantha Palacio