November 26 , 2010

Custom Rug for AbbeyK, Finally.

My living room rug I hit the first time. I brought home some rugs. I loved one and bought it. Easy-peasy. It's a Persian Gabbeh and like a painting to me. The picture is bad. You have to trust me, it's really great.


The dining room rug, not so easy. I looked. I looked. I took rugs home. I looked some more. I got rug burn carrying in so many rugs. Something was wrong with each one. I have been in love with two Odegard rugs for years: Cloud Oushak and Tiers. Both washed out completely in my house though. Too much natural light, not enough color in the rugs. Custom coloring in Odegard would send me to the "dream land" category of price point. So I kept looking. Then I gave up.  I started to think maybe my dining room simply didn't want to have a rug! Not every room NEEDS a rug, afterall.

Finally one day a moth or so ago, Gretchen from Steven King — who what must have been feeling sheer exhaustion from my yapping about rugs – said, Abbey, "Why don't you just design your own rug and we'll make it for you!"

Well, duh! I have no idea why I never considered this. I tell you when it comes to decorating for myself, everything I know flies out the window. I get kinda dumb. But last weekend FINALLY I drew up a rug on graph paper.

I am a quilt-maker. I haven't made a quilt in about 10 years, but it was a hobby for about a decade prior. In quilt-making I worked WITH a grid, but not ON graph paper. My process is to rip up fabric and tape pieces to a wall and then move pieces of fabric around until it feels right. Then sew it all together. This would be considered more of an "art quilt" process than a formal, quiltmaking one. I thought I might have to work up a life-sized sketch of the rug to know for sure, but as soon as I started drawing to scale, I figured out what I wanted pretty quickly. And it just looked right.

I have a mild obsession with all things teal. Have for years. Fabric for the drapes was already picked. The chairs are a few years old. I know I tell my clients to find the rug first, yet another example of me doing everything backwords for myself.

So here's the process.

I took the fabric for the drapes (big leaf) and the fabric on my existing dining room chairs (smaller scale) since it needs to tie together.

            Dr fabrics

I got out the scale ruler, some graph paper, and the beloved Prisma Color pencils. First, I made a few black and white sketches. The circled numbers represent the colors. Color by number. Taupe walls, taupe in the leaf, taupe rectangle #1 in the diagram.

Rug sketch 

I photocopied the diagram and made different versions using colors I like until it felt balanced. Here are 2 that were finalists – the winner being more teal/bluewith just a hint of green! For an element of surprise and just for fun, I decided to drop a few rows of purple on the ends. Why not!

The one I chose is on the left, but it's a photocopy of the sketch. Gretchen kept the original. Again, you'll have to take my word on the colors. It doesn't represent well.

Color sketches  









Last step, I met with Gretchen, and we finalized the selection of the wool poms. Those are the little wool bunches she'll send to production to match. We'll get a strike off, a small sample of carpet. I like to make more than one version. Something can get lost in translation so it saves time in the end to get a few different versions made. And I wrote a check. See, decorating shouldn't be so hard.

 Gretchen from steven king

 This is Gretchen appreciating the beauty of it all!


Here is a bin of green poms.

All I have to do is wait about 6 months, total. But considering that I moved in a year-and-a half ago, that's nothing! Something to look forward to.

Thanks, Gretchen, for all your help!

Posted at , 9:13 pm in Products to Love Permalink | 4 Comments Tags: , , ,

4 thoughts on “Custom Rug for AbbeyK, Finally.”

  1. You’ve done much to reveal the process behind “custom,” the dining table and now the rug. The magazines and design shows toss the word “custom” around too easily I think.

  2. Funny you said that Terry. I recently went to a lecture where someone discussed process, but in fact, all he really talked about was himself. Hey, I’m all about a good story, but that’s why I decided to share the process. You are right, “custom” is not easy.

  3. Custom is far from easy especially if you don’t have a creative mind. When a company advertises custom i don’t think that means the customer should come back to you with an exact sketch but rather just an idea. Then a designer should take into consideration a few details such as the customer’s home style (traditional , modern, etc), colors they like, colors of their home, and wether they want their rug to make a statement or blend in. With these key elements answered then a custom rug can be made. To me that is the beauty of customization.

  4. Yes, customizing is difficult but has great rewards and really invests you into the project. The rug looks fantastic and what a treasure to know the process you went through to achieve the look.

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