Playroom Design & Rug Shopping Tips

By Camille Styles

RH Baby & Child Fabric SwatchesOur upstairs remodel has been such a fun design project these last few months… but it’s also a great feeling to wrap them up and just enjoy our new spaces, especially since we’ll be welcoming a new baby home any day now and life is about to get a lot crazier! Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve loved getting to share Phoebe’s “big girl room” and baby H’s new nursery, and before we wrap up the series with our new playroom reveal in a few days, I wanted to backtrack and show you a peek behind the scenes at the design and planning process that got us there. Even though I was a first-timer at designing a playroom, I had a few goals in mind for the space: I wanted it to be fun to play in (and allow for some messiness!), but also be functional and organized, as well as have areas made for reading, creating art, and pretend play.Designing the NurseryI’ve long been a fan of RH Baby & Child’s furniture and bought Phoebe’s crib, changing table, and bookshelf there before she was born. What I didn’t previously know is that RH provides a complimentary design service from their team of professional interior designers, and working with them on this new project was seriously a dream. Based upon my personal design aesthetic and location, I was paired up with Brady, one of RH Design Studio’s professional designers in the Austin Gallery. He was able to assist me, from gathering inspiration (see the Pinterest board I’ve been working on for the playroom!) to an in-gallery design consultation, to choosing furniture and finishes, to actually getting in the space and measuring for dimensions and floor plan at an in-home consultation. The whole RH Design Studio experience felt so VIP that it’s pretty incredible that it’s a complimentary service offered to everyone.
Designing the NurseryBrady worked with me to measure all the spaces and determine the best layout for each room, and we pulled tons of fabric swatches to find a coordinated mix of bedding, rugs, upholstery and drapery that I loved.. I really felt like he captured my vision for the space, then came up with outside-the-box ideas to make it even better than I’d dreamed about. Since the designers at RH are experts in both RH Baby & Child and main-brand RH product, they find creative ways to pull pieces from both brands to come up with the most personalized result. The first step in designing our playroom was to determine what major elements would ideally be incorporated; in our case, lots of shelves for books and toys, a child-sized play table, and a place for grown-ups to hang out and supervise. Next, Brady provided a visual presentation that included to-scale floor plans- which is incredibly helpful for those of us (like me) who have trouble visualizing whether or not furniture will fit into a given space.
Designing the NurseryNext we chose the color palette — a beachy mix of whitewashed wood, grey, and linen, with a few pops of teal and coral to make it fun. Since the playroom is at the very top of our stairs and very open to the rest of the house, I wanted the colors and design to feel like they were chosen with kids in mind, but still feel cohesive with the rest of our home. Brady helped me strike the right balance to create a room that will grow with our kids and won’t feel babyish a few years down the road. After choosing the actual furniture pieces that we loved for the room, we brought in all the wood, fabric and rug swatches to make sure they worked perfectly together. The entire design came to life through the presentation he provided me, which highlighted all the finishes, fabrics and furniture selections and even included renderings of the finished space.

Designing the Nursery

I learned so much through the design process and will share more with you guys in next week’s post showing how the playroom came together, but for now, I’m super excited to share a few tips that I learned about how to choose a rug (one of my most daunting design tasks!) from renowned designer Ben Soleimani. He’s partnered with both RH and RH Baby & Child on the most incredible collections of modern, artistic rugs that reflect his global travels, and I jumped at the chance to ask him a few of my most pressing rug-related questions so I could spill everything I learned with you guys here!

1. What should I look for to ensure that a rug is high quality?

  • Quality materials and hand-craftsmanship are very important, and I also look at a rug’s texture. Texture creates layers of unique dimension that are difficult to achieve. I love the character and depth that rich textures can bring to a rug.

2. How should I decide whether to go with a more boldly patterned rug or if a solid rug is better suited for me?

  • Think about the mood you are trying to create. I would use more designed carpets with color in quiet rooms, but less designed and more textural rugs in the rooms with a lot of art and loud fabrics.

3. How do I determine what size rug to purchase? Any rules of thumb based on the size of a room and the furniture in it?

  • It really depends on the scale and style of the space. If a room is 14 feet by 18 feet, then a rug that is 10 feet by 14 feet will leave a couple of feet around the edges. In a more modern room with beautiful floors, a statement-making small rug with a table on top is a good option.

4. If I’m designing a space that kids will be using, how can I make sure a rug will be durable and withstand lots of foot traffic?

  • I am a kid at heart and I’ve grown up with rugs since my childhood. I remember loving rugs with borders and imagining them as racetracks for my toy cars. When I designed my first collection of handcrafted rugs for RH Baby & Child, I wanted to create rugs that were especially soft underfoot, and I thought about how much time children spend on their knees playing. I was equally passionate about designing sophisticated styles that adults could live with, too. Each rug is crafted with the same quality and natural materials used for the rugs I create for RH, and are designed to be durable and wear beautifully over time.

5. What are the advantages of a wool rug over other less expensive materials?

  • What is most important is the quality of the fibers and the quality in which the rug is made. I prefer to mix materials: good quality yarns and exceptional craftsmanship yield rugs that will last a long time.

And exciting news for Austin: RH just announced that they’ll be opening a gorgeous new gallery here in 2015! After visiting the Houston gallery, I’m so excited to have one even closer by — get ready for loads of inspiration from browsing these spaces in person!

*photos by Buff Strickland