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.

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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

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

Florals for Conversation


Greenery, not only adds color to a home, but it adds life. Faux plants are a great way to accessorize and add impact to a space with minimal cost. You can add plants that follow your color scheme or use something totally unexpected to bring in a pop of something new. These orange tulips break up the contemporary black on white feel in this room above for instance.

Tip #1:

Less is more. Don’t go overboard with flower arrangements and faux trees. You’re not trying to bring the outdoors, inside. Greenery should compliment you r space with adding life and color; it should never overwhelm guests.

Tip #2:

 As with pillows, scale your greenery. Make sure your centerpieces are in proportion with what you are styling.

Tip #3:

 Symmetry! One small plant on a mantle is insufficient but try a group of small, similar plants for impact.

 Tip #4:

 Like mirrors, plants can add height to a space. Use a tall, romantic plant to add visual interest. Use shorter plants on coffee tables, side tables, and end tables to add some color in small bunches. Add interest to open space by placing a plant strategically behind a floating sofa like we’ve done here.

For more ideas and pictures of how to incorporate florals into your home, visit us on Pinterest! We’ve pinned several of our favorites ideas here. “Remember that decorating your home is only the beginning: living in it means allowing it to change on a continual basis,” Ann Grafton, Interior Transformations.

Written By: Samantha Palacio

Designing with Mirrors

Everyone knows that mirrors are useful, but did you know they can also solve a wide range of decorating dilemmas? You can use mirrors to make a room look bigger, to bring a lovely outdoor scene inside, to reflect light in alluring patterns and to fill a void on a wall. A mirror won’t clash with furniture like a painting or photograph, and it can blend with any theme, from the simplest country home to the most upscale contemporary design.

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Restaurant and nightclub owners have long used mirrors to create a mood. To attract customers, they place them strategically behind the bar to highlight the lights shining among the bottles. Mirrors often line exclusive dining establishments, where dim, provocative lighting reflects enough so patrons can still see their food and their companions while sharing the intimacy of both. You can duplicate this effect at home: place a mirror in your dining room and turn down the lights!

Apartment and condominium developers often rely on mirrors to provide the illusion of space and largess.  Walk into an empty condo with mirrors lining the walls, and you’ll feel as if you’ve just walked into a mansion. Full-length mirrors in tiny spaces make the walls look taller. Hang them sideways to create a wider feel to any room.

 

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Another trick is to strategically place a mirror near your front door so you can quickly check your makeup and hair or straighten your tie before leaving the house. A mirror hung opposite a doorway can let you see the three-year-old trying to sneak up on you. And full-length mirrors on opposite sides of a closet or bathroom provide for a full 360-degree inspection.
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Although a frame-less mirror can accent many interiors, a framed mirror offers another way to add a dramatic, elegant, or rustic touch to your decor. Look for a plain black or brushed chrome frame to set off the clean lines of a contemporary setting. If you lean toward the more traditional, use ornate dark wood frames to match the elegance of your furniture. Rustic frames made from reclaimed wood highlight the natural elements of your home. Placing a large mirror framed in natural wood tones over your mantle complements your fireplace, anchoring it as the room’s focal point.

For decorative purposes, the height of a mirror is not that important, but for practical purposes, you should hang a mirror so that your eyes reflect in the middle of the mirror. Make adjustments as needed so that everyone in your family can see themselves without having to bend down.

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If you don’t trust your instincts for design, here are a few standard rules for hanging a wall mirror:

  • The top of a mirror should be no less than six feet above the floor.
  • Keep at least 18 inches between the bottom of the mirror and the floor.
  • Don’t place any mirror in front of lights. The glare will make it difficult to see the reflection.
  • Leave three to four feet of empty space in front of a mirror so you have enough room to step back to get a fuller view.
  • A bathroom mirror should not be wider than the vanity. Center the mirror over the vanity, not to the wall dimensions.
  • When hanging a heavy mirror, use a drywall anchor if you can’t find a stud.

If you have questions about how best to place a wall mirror in your home, stop by one of our three locations and ask one of our consultants or contact us on the web and a Design Consultant will get back to you.