Jessica Lagrange Interiors LLC

The Cause For Carpets, Inspired By Our Carpet For A Cause

Magic carpets are the stuff of fairy tales. But given the foundational and functional influence an area carpet can have in a home, the name fits. Area carpets can add beauty, style, warmth, comfort, luxury and noise control to a space, and are even credited with improving indoor air quality. That makes them not only utilitarian, but also downright all-powerful! 

Jessica Lagrange Interiors was one of 16 Chicago luxury interior designers asked to design an area rug for Designs for Dignity’s Carpets for a Cause auction. (Image: Carpets for a Cause)

Carpets for a Cause, a charity auction benefiting Designs for Dignity, inspired our observations about the area carpet. We were one of the 16 luxury interior design firms asked to do an entry for the Chicago auction, which is spearheaded by Oscar Isberian Rugs and takes place this week. Brainstorming design ideas for our entry (see below) made us appreciate all the benefits of the area carpet. So to honor this formidable home furnishing, we thought it would be appropriate to point out the many incredible advantages of area carpets.

Our entry, “Urban Reflections,” was a subtle abstract design inspired by Chicago’s celebrated skyline and rendered in a versatile color palette that could work in a range of spaces. (Image: Oscar Isberian Rugs)

They’re transformative: Not only do they anchor a space by unifying its furnishings; they make the space what you want it to be. Use one with a bold pattern to make neutral or austere pieces pop; fabricate it in sumptuous fibers to up the opulence in a room; use weighty piles or deep colors to add warmth; go light and low to cool things off; or choose a certain pattern to channel a specific style.

We used two very different yet compatible area carpets to zone activity areas in a formal living room, as well as give each space different demeanors—one formal and the other more relaxed. (Image: Traditional Home)

The options are endless: From flat weaves to piles of every depth, area rugs come in every color, size and style and can be fabricated in a range of fibers. They can be used to define activity areas or layered to make a more dramatic design impact. And when we don’t find what we want, we design it ourselves and have it made (often by Oscar Isberian).  But perhaps best of all, it’s easy to give a room an entirely different aesthetic with a new area carpet, and retire the old one for a while since they’re easy to roll up and stash away in a closet. 

Two is better than one in the case of these dazzling, gold-speckled hides we fell for, but were too trim. So we layered them for more coverage. (Image: Jessica Lagrange Interiors)

They’re durable and sustainable: Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, area carpets can be sent out to be cleaned; rotated when they start to wear down in certain spots from foot traffic; moved from room-to-room or home-to-home as needs change over the years; and restored. Depending on fiber content, they can act as a passive air filter to improve air quality by trapping dust, pollen and other particles and removing them from the breathing zone, notes the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).

A sedate low-pile wall-to-wall makes sense in this master suite for functional reasons, and gets a vibrant decorative boost from a graphic flat-weave area carpet. (Image: Jessica Lagrange Interiors)

They make spaces warm, comfortable and quieter: Carpet provides thermal resistance in a space, and retains warm air—a conservation benefit in cold weather, notes CRI. But using area carpets lets us use thicker carpets to retain heat in the winter and lighter carpets to keep rooms cooler in warmer weather. Carpets also absorb noise pollution, and make floors more welcoming places to sit and play. Using area carpets allows us to strategically site carpets that play to these special needs.

A thick, cushy area carpet warms up this cool South Loop condo, figuratively and literally. (Image: Jessica Lagrange Interiors)

They’re a great investment: All of the qualities we’ve mentioned above make it clear why area carpets are splurge-worthy assets.  Not only do the finest quality carpets last for decades, or even centuries, they often appreciate in value. But Sarkis Tatosian, a co-owner of Oscar Isberian, put it best when he pointed out “you can’t have antique wall-to-wall carpeting.” 

Fine area carpets get better with age, as evidenced by this early 19th century Bessarabian and late 19th century Kuba rug, both from Doris Leslie Blau. (Image:  Doris Leslie Blau)

24 Oct 2017

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