Rugs: the ties that bind

Everyone in the Lowcountry loves hardwood floors. I remember my dad grew up in a farmhouse that had planks so widely set, “you could throw a cat through them”. Many of the finest homes in Charleston have plank floors, too. So, whether your home is humble or grand, we all share a love for our beautiful wood floors—and we all need rugs.

The larger size and big geometric pattern in this rug visually expand the tiny room.

Charleston Interior Designer, Contemporary, luxury, thibaut wallpaper, study

Photo by Chris Smith

This month, DesignAFI is focusing on rugs with a great rug special and some beautiful examples of our favorite rugs, but first let’s start with important tips.

Photo by Alex Fleuren


I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is! You really have to measure correctly. We take multiple measurements for rugs or area carpets. We measure the full room size, the ideal rug size, placement and spacing of floor vents, placement of floor receptacles, basic furniture placement,  and ceiling mount light placement. We note any staircases, columns, millwork, cabinetry, thresholds, or door swings that might encroach upon the rug.

Here we made a template to notch the rug for the staircase:

Photo by Patrick Brickman

This may seem a bit excessive, but the last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on the perfect rug, only to find it doesn’t fit your room correctly. Also, it’s critical to know all the obstacles before we even start a search because those obstacles can determine the TYPE of rug I select.

This client bought a hand knotted rug that was too small for the space. We added a beautiful wool rug to make the room feel larger and cozier.

Photo by Client.

Photo by Client.


Do you have a cat? No loops or loose weaves will even be considered. Do you have dog? Cowhide rugs probably aren’t the best choice. Are you a neat freak who loves to vacuum? Pile rugs shed under vacuum beater bars, which would probably drive you crazy. Do you have limited mobility? I won’t consider deep rugs or lightweight rugs that could be tripping hazards. Do you live at the beach? Sisal rugs are considered beach friendly, but that is WRONG! Sisal rugs stink when salt water gets on them, and they shift sand straight to the bottom, which means it can scratch the floor.

The cowhide rug we selected for a show house would not be best for a dog owner:

Photo by Chris Smith

Here, a wool rug is perfect for a room with access to the pool.

Charleston Interior Designer, Contemporary, living room, family room, rug

Photo by Kerri Steele

A wool and viscose rug is fine for a glamour client who is super careful with her house:

Photo by Patrick Brickman


When I have a client who wants to use their dining room more often, I often recommend a  rug with lots of style that’s stain resistant. Dining rooms also need rugs that chairs can glides across easily. Hallways need rugs with flat or tapered edges, so traffic moves efficiently. Do you sit next to your bedroom fireplace in the winter? Then we need to select a deep rug that makes your toes cozy. Is this rug near water? Absolutely no viscose!

A master suite bath with a custom wool carpet and classic blue accent binding:

Photo by Patrick Brickman

Wool is almost always appropriate. A large pattern with muted colors still packs a punch in this dramatic master suite:

Photo by Alex Fleuren

Photo by Alex Fleuren

A gorgeous chevron patterned rug sets the stage for drama in this study:

Photo by John Enslow


If you move a lot, It’s best to not do cut outs around staircases, etc. because you can’t take those rugs with you. If you change your room colors frequently, a brightly colored over dye can give you the color you crave, and they are easy to mix with different color combinations later. Is this your dream home? Now is the time to select rugs FIRST, because investment rugs are works of art. Do you have an heirloom rug you cherish, but it’s an odd size? It might be a great time to plan a room sized area rug beneath your treasured hand knotted carpet.

A family heirloom rug was too small for this large family room, so we added a cut carpet with contrast binding beneath to correctly size the rug.

Photo by Chris Smith

All of these steps narrow the field of choices, so that I can select the best options for you. This month, we are offering a great special on rug selections! It’s so easy!


  1. Professional in home room measurements.
  2. A 30 minute online meeting with Alex.
  3. Storyboard with 4 rug options.
  4. Free shipping and delivery and set up of any rug order.

Photo by Chris Smith

Full Service Design  |  Custom & Quick Ship Upholstery  |  Window Treatments  |  Wallcoverings

 9 am - 5 pm
and by appointment

2447 N Hwy 17, Suite 100
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466

Alex Fleuren
Owner/Lead Designer

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