I have a knack for coming up with a good vision in my head and acquiring/making those pieces while Bobby is genius at arranging furniture and spaces to make them feel polished and maximize space – that teamwork has helped so much.
While I’m not a professional interior designer by any stretch, I think I’ve come up with my number one principle when trying to take a room from empty to home: choose a statement piece.
I’ve been following this rule in some way of another for awhile…that’s a picture of my first house in New Orleans. I got a million paint samples (well okay, 190) from Home Depot and painstakingly stuck them to the wall with sticky tack. (For the record, I did offer to pay for all of those samples but when I went up to the counter the guy looked at me like I was crazy and said, “But they’re free.” Let it be known that I was on the up-and-up for that project.)
“Hold up,” I hear you say. “What do you exactly mean by “statement piece?” Are you telling me I need to become a hoarder of paint samples?”
No dear reader, not unless you want to. Basically, I mean this when I say “statement piece”: anything large and (often) bold that can be the primary building block for all the other components of a room. This could be a large, gorgeous painting, a unique armchair, a bold bedspread, an accent wall of amazing wallpaper, or – in our case in Miami – the best rug of all time.
Anyway, I couldn’t get it out of my brain. At the time, though, Bobby and I were living up in Vermont in a furnished house and knew we’d be moving to Miami for the winter. Acquiring a giant rug would not have been the most prudent decision.
Then we came to Miami. We had hoped to rent a furnished apartment but it quickly became apparent that this was a near-impossible wish. Furnished places in our desired location that were dog friendly, in our price range, AND open to a 7 month lease eluded us. Oh yes – and we just happened to need something for the months of “high season” when absolutely EVERYONE wants to be in Miami.
So when we found our amazing loft, we had to jump on it even though it wasn’t furnished.
For our rug, this turned out to be the happiest day of it’s life – the day when everything changed, when it went from living in a warehouse to being conceived in the minds of Grace and Bobby as belonging to them.
We had saved our pennies up in Vermont, which was a good thing – large, wool rugs are not cheap. We knew, though, that this was a rug we would love to have for a long time (trust me, nobody is prying this baby away from me), so it was a worthwhile investment. We also knew it would be one of the simplest ways to take our new loft from zero to sixty since it would cover such a large area.
You can kind of see from that picture above that the room was far from complete. That chair ended up going by my crafting area and we searched for a couch to go against the wall. The big wall is actually still waiting for some type of art to go up.
Even with the changes that were to come, though, everything became ten times easier once the rug was there. All of the choices we made for the rest of the decor were tied back to the rug: the lamp that we bought, the color and industrial style of the pallet couch we created (which I’ll write about later), the color and style of the pillows that went on top of the couch – even the patio furniture we bought. The rug has been an anchor and directed our search.
I don’t know if I’ll ever go about decorating a room without a statement piece, it has made the process so much easier. The ultimate aesthetic of the room is more cohesive because of it and it was fun because I was enamored with the rug from the very beginning.
As I mentioned, World Market is no longer selling this particular rug. However, I did some searching and found some other rugs that are pretty amazing…1, 2, 3, 4, 5 gorgeous rugs (West Elm is killing it in the rug department right now). Check those out if you’re intrigued by this idea!
Fair warning, though – we have been collecting gobs of wool off this rug ever since we unrolled it. Apparently that’s normal for rugs like this in the first 6 months of being in a home. Bobby has actually started to furminate the rug. (Haven’t heard of a Furminator? Only the best pet/rug brush ever invented.)