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I wanted to cover the topic of Hygge this month so invited Hygge expert and Interior Designer Sherri Smith from Sherri Smith Interiors who lives on the sunny, Sunshine Coast in Queensland to cover this beautiful topic for us. So go grab yourself a warm drink and a comfy spot on your lounge and let’s launch into what fabulous tips Sherri’s going to impart with us.
Hi There Everyone,
Have you heard of the new decorating style Hygge? It has hit the headlines in recent times
This style crush is all about Australian designer Florence Broadhurst.
Florence Maud Broadhurst (28 July 1899 – 15 October 1977) was an Australian designer and businesswoman whose 1977 murder remains a mystery. Born 1899, in Mt Perry, QLD a remote country town where she lived on a rural cattle station. She rose to great notoriety mainly resulting from her compulsive ability
There are so many types and styles of rugs on the market to choose from dhurries, kilims, sisal, jute, hemp, tufted, wool rugs, synthetics, shag, dyed rugs, persian, ikat, tribal and the list goes on. Today I thought I would give some tips on how to choose the right rug for your needs.
Which fibre is best?
In my opinion wool is the best quality fibre used for rugs, wool is strong, is vibrant when it’s dyed stunning beautiful colours, it’s naturally fire resistant it self extinguishes itself, spill resistant the liquid will suspend before it soaks into the fibres, wool ages well and just feels beautiful under foot. It’s worth the investment.
Synthetic fibres of olefin (polypropylene) are petroleum or plastic based products and don’t have the same natural feel or strength that wool does. Synthetic rugs (also polyester or acrylic) are used to create fake wool look rugs, so be sure to check the composition of the rug when you are purchasing, although often price is the give away being sometimes 10x cheaper than a wool rug. Synthetic rugs may be cheap to purchase but they can end up costing a lot in cleaning. Wool fibres have lots of nooks where it hides dust and grit due to the pile density so they look good even when dirty however synthetic fibres (plastic) soil sticks to the outside of the fibres meaning they will require professional cleaning within months unlike wool rugs requiring professional cleaning after 2-3 years. Synthetics don’t wear well (nylon would be a better wearing synthetic, often used in carpeting for this reason) and their colours don’t remain the same as when new.
Which style is best?
It depends on your home. Generally I think pattern rugs add personality to a space. Rugs can be used to cover a lot of surface in a room, so when a plain coloured rug is used it can drain the life out of a space where as a print or texture adds to the space. Also prints hide a multitude of stains. Choose a print you love in colours you love however be sure that it ties in with the existing scheme of your room. If you are going for an investment beautiful quality wool rug choose something that is classic in it’s design as this will last longer than a current fashion piece.
Be mindful of the backing used for your rug, some backings are made of jute which can yellow so if you are choosing a lovely white rug with a jute backing and the backing happens to get wet it could seep through and stain your white rug yellow, which means when it comes to professional washing this causes a problem. Check what the warp and weft fibres are if they are jute (often used in synthetic rugs) and you happen to have pets that aren’t trained these stains will remain in the rug fibres and it will smell – jute holds odour like no other fibre. Jute will also become brittle or rot with age so you aren’t particularly wanting this as a backing for your rug. A quality wool rug won’t necessarily have a backing but you will see it’s woven design.
Finally keep in mind where your rug will be used and how long you are hoping to have it for, these factors will help determine your fibre choice.
Over the past month I have found myself saying to clients “It’s okay, you don’t need to fill every corner of the room – sometimes less is more”. It’s like the fashion stylist advice I’ve read or heard about when you are getting ready and have your winning ‘outfit’ on, take one accessory off. Sometimes I think it’s the same with interiors. Have you ever walked into a room and there is so much stuff in the room that the beauty of the space is drowned out? I’m a tad passionate about this subject, can you tell?
Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying go all out minimalist and banish that layered lounge room with it’s warm friendly welcome, I’m just saying let’s reassess and don’t be afraid to move a few items out of the room so that it can breath again. Especially if there is a hero feature piece in the room, give it space to sing!
A key element to knowing if your room is too cluttered is to look at the interior style you are trying to achieve. Modern, Contemporary, Classic, Industrial, Retro styles definitely lend themselves to the less is more approach. Traditional, Country Cottage, Rustic, Vintage etc… are more content with clutter. When I say clutter I don’t mean mess, I mean having a decorative item in every corner, nook and cranny of your room. They may be gorgeous pieces but this brings me to my next point.
The art of rotation. Freshen it up. Just like when you go to your favourite home interior store and the window display and store displays get changed on a regular basis do the same at home. I have a storage nook where I put my decorator accessories, cushions, rugs, art and rotate them on a regular basis (okay sometimes not as regular as I would like) it gives my home a breath of fresh air when some old newbies come out of storage and get positioned in new vignettes.
Same goes for walls, leave some of them bare. Groupings of art are far more impacting then scatterings.
I love going to homes where the interiors reflect the personalities of the owners, homes that are filled with furniture and items that have meaning to their owners. Isn’t this quote from William Morris inspirational? For me implementing what I am writing is a constant challenge. Being an Interior Designer I often stumble upon so many ‘things’ that I just ‘need’ but I think if you decorate using the things you LOVE than you are on the right track to creating a home not a house.
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
After all a home has soul, a house that is too minimalist doesn’t!
What do you think? I would love to read your thoughts below.