By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
City & Shore Magazine
Have a wood, laminate, stone or tile floor? It is a design sin to go bare. Rugs should be added to define areas and add an anchor for the furnishings especially in our popular South Florida Great Rooms.
The offerings today range from splashy prints and colors to subtler designs based on historical patterns.
Luke Irwin, a British rug designer, has made gifts of his custom work to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Obamas. His paying clients include U2 and the Rolling Stones. Recently he introduced a more reasonably priced collection for Williams Sonoma Home. He says he’s happy to create designs in more affordable prices to expand his reach beyond the super-rich. The rugs, which come in 6 x 9, 8 x 10 and 9 x 12 feet, sell for $1,955 to $5,995.
Irwin doesn’t follow trends; he sets them.
“I’m very odd,” he says in a call to his London office. “I don’t read interiors publications because I prefer to do my own thing. I would rather be ahead of the curve rather than behind.”
Doing his own thing started seven years ago with ikat designs, a form of tie dying in Indonesia. He resurrected them because they were relaxed and easy.
His mosaic rug collection was inspired after he had an electric cable installed to his home. The workmen were like archaeologists, uncovering an ancient Roman mosaic18 inches below the surface.
“We discovered what the experts believe is the biggest Roman palace in Britain 20 yards from my front door. I thought I should do a collection inspired by this. I created rugs that are applicable to today’s aesthetic, not with Venus, Bacchus and the Gods.”
How do you know which size rug to buy?
He suggests using tape to mark off the space so you can visualize what you need to buy. The rug, which creates a room within a room, helps create smaller areas of interest within a larger space such as a Great Room.
“Having something too small will drive you crazy,” he says. “I don’t think a rug should dominate the room. It should be the last thing you notice.”
Available at Williams Sonoma Home, The Gardens, 3101 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, 561-799-2425; williams-sonoma.com.