The first thing to strike us about our CEO Katherine Power's décor style was her impeccable taste in rugs. From home to home and office to office, Power has proven time and again that her rug-picking instincts are flawless. So when she needed to choose rugs for her new Spanish-style 1920s Los Angeles home that she shares with her two cats and her husband, photographer Justin Coit, we decided to tag along for the ride.
First she called on the help of her most trusted rug resource: David Nourafshan from Lawrence of La Brea. For over 20 years, the West Hollywood store has been working with clients to pick the most unique and sought-after rugs and textiles. This was Power's secret—Nourafshan is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge, and his store is filled with the most exquisite soumaks, kilims, and oushaks.
"Rugs can set the tone for an entire room," says Power. Picking the one can be a nerve-racking process, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it can also be an exciting one. To help shape her decision, she called on her friend, interior designer Jake Arnold. The designer drew inspiration from Power's signature style—a mix of well-curated vintages pieces and antiques mixed with more modern elements—before going to the store to pick out options.
"Going into Lawrence of La Brea is like a field trip since it has so many amazing options," he says. "I narrowed down the selection to five options I knew Katherine would love and that I knew would work in her spaces." To showcase how rugs can truly transform a room, Arnold decorated our CEO's den and guest room two different ways, and we documented the entire process.
Curious to see which style you prefer? See the results for yourself, and pick up your own Lawrence La Brea rug for 10% off and free shipping with our exclusive promo code, "mydomaine10." Keep reading for tips on how to source the perfect room for your space.
It was Arnold's mission to provide distinctly different options for Power to choose from for each room. On installation day, he brought two rugs he had selected for the den. The first rug was an antique Persian Mahal from the 1940s in a rose-and-gold palette.
"The rug is a soft print with tones of peach, yellow, and gold," says Power. "Both rugs are super soft, which is important to me, but this one felt a little dressier, more formal, and more feminine. That rug prompted us to go with a gold coffee table and a New Zealand laurel tree in a vintage basket."
Arnold, who has a soft spot for vintage and antique rugs, brought in cognac leather club chairs from Obsolete and a pair of gold coffee tables from Hollywood at Home to complete the look. "I love vintage rugs because they have so much soul and character. They add an instant focal point to any room," he explains.
The great thing about Lawrence of La Brea is that it's full-service. You can go into the showroom and pick a bunch of rugs, and the staff will bring them to your house to lay them out and try them. Or you can pick rugs online and have them delivered to your house to test.
As a second option, Arnold chose a pair of vintage Turkish kelp rugs woven together to form one large rug. "This rug is a cream-colored kilim with a black stripe," says Power. "Most of the rugs I've used in the past have been distressed antique Turkish rugs, so this striped rug felt very fresh to me," says Power.
As for styling the rest of the room, Power explains, "The den is in the kitchen, which is Justin's domain. He does all the cooking, so our kitchen is more masculine—like a chef's kitchen. The cabinets are matte black, the countertops are black soapstone with extra-long subway tiles, and there's a lot of stainless steel. So with the den, we didn't want to go too feminine since it's connected to the kitchen."
To take the room in a more masculine direction, Arnold accessorized with a distressed leather ottoman from Hollywood at Home.
For the first option in the guest room, Arnold layered a smaller antique Russian soak rug on top of a jute rug. "Layering is a really great way to get the style you want on a more limited budget," says Power.
"These vintage rugs can be pricey depending on size," explains Power. "Typically you can buy a less expensive plain jute rug (which they also sell at Lawrence of La Brea), and then you can get an extra special rug to layer on top. We loved this perfectly worn-out antique rug—it was such a great juxtaposition to the modern frame bed." Arnold finished the look with leather armchairs from Hollywood at Home and nightstands from Nathan Turner.
When layering rugs, Arnold says the best trick is pulling out the neutral tone of the antique layered piece for your large-area rug so that there's a relationship between the two. "I also think it's important that the rugs are super low-pile so that there's no competition between the them," he says.
Choosing a rug really sets the tone for the whole room; it can take it in totally different directions.
As a second option, Arnold brought in a Kender flat-weave that was originally woven as a tent in 1940s Turkey. "This rug took the room in a very different direction," says Power.
"Jake styled and pulled furniture according to the direction that the rug made the room take," says Power. To complement this more masculine rug, Arnold picked darker-colored furniture, like this dresser from Nickey Kehoe, as well as the mirror and stools seen here from Lawson-Fenning.
"A rug grounds a room," explains Arnold. "For that reason, I typically aim to have most of the furniture on the rug or at least half on or off; that way everything works harmoniously. A good rule of thumb, whether you are placing a rug in a bedroom or living room, is allowing a couple feet on either side of the bed or sofa so the room feels proportioned and grounded."
From a simple rug swap, you can see how the room transforms from quaint to modern, incomplete to finished. "Rugs are fundamental to creating a well-layered home," says Arnold. When sourcing rugs yourself, he advises to look for four main elements.
1. The pile: "Personally, I prefer low-pile rugs, as they are the most classic and stand the test of time," Arnold says. "Rugs are forever pieces, and investing in a good rug should mean you can use it in multiple areas in your home and use it even if you move houses."
2. The scale: "Whether it's a woven rug, an antique rug, or a design with a print, I consider its scale," Arnold says. "You want the rug to work harmoniously in a space and not overpower it or dictate it too much. It shouldn't limit the mixing of other elements in the future when you want a new look."
3. The color: "Muted tones and neutrals are definitely always in vogue—they're timeless," Arnold shares. "They allow you to create a more lived-in feel in your home, and they complement other furniture or artwork in the space."
4. The texture: "Whether a rug is new or antique, the texture is an important element that I always look for," Arnold advises. "Where the rug is going to be used can determine the feel of the composition of materials. In high-traffic or eating areas, a rougher material may withstand more wear and tear, whereas a living space where you want to relax may lend itself to something softer and more plush."
Now that you're armed with tips, don't forget to head to Lawrence La Brea to receive 10% off your next rug purchase and free shipping, with our exclusive promo code, "mydomaine10." Which rugs are you planning on picking up? Tell us below!