Home Decorating Custom Rugs 101 with Jana Bek

Custom Rugs 101 with Jana Bek

Buying a floor covering is always a big decision because rugs have a huge impact on the look and feel of a room. Plus, the bigger it is, the more of an investment a rug becomes. Custom rugs can be an especially daunting purchase because there’s no option to return them. To help you shop our custom rugs with confidence, we’ve gathered tips and tricks from our favorite designers who have gone custom in their own homes. Lamp designer Jana Bek shares her expert advice for buying a custom rug:

Go custom in an open plan.

Bek decided to get a custom rug when she realized how much of her open-plan living area wasn’t being used because of a too-small rug in the living area of the open plan. She says she regrets not doing it sooner. “When I realized a custom rug could increase the livable living space of this room so much, I got very excited about custom rugs,” says Bek.

Measure, measure, measure.

“Measure three times and then measure again,” says Bek about determining the size for a custom rug. To make sure you’ve got it right, she also suggests having a friend or family member double-check your measurements (she had her husband check hers). If you’re having trouble determining the size, tape it out with painter’s tape.

Get samples before you commit.

Bek strongly encourages people to get samples before buying anything custom—and not just for the reasons you’d expect. Bek says it’s important to look at color and scale in person, of course, but it’s also handy to feel the physical sample. In Bek’s case, she wanted to make sure the rug and its integrated pad were thin enough for doors to swing over the rug. The sample gave her confidence that she’d still have enough clearance to open her doors.

Or buy the smallest rug possible.

If a company doesn’t have a sample program, but they do sell the rug in readymade sizes, you could also consider buying the smallest size of the rug they have available. That way you can get an even better sense of the rug in your space.

Assess the true cost.

Going custom can be pricey, but it might represent a greater value than you realize. In Bek’s home, opting for a custom rug increased the livable space by six feet, a valuable addition to her home that was well worth the cost of the larger rug.

Shift into neutral.

While Bek is a big fan of fun, bright color, she says she prefers to stick to versatile neutrals for her foundation pieces, like large-scale rugs. The neutral colorway of the Panthera custom rug fit the bill for her living room.

Snoop on other people’s homes.

Bek says she loves shopping with brands like Annie Selke that share customer photos on their product pages. “Customer’s photos are great for understanding the scale of patterns,” she says. “Looking at other people’s homes helped me be confident in my decision of the scale of the animal print pattern.”

Get to know a brand before making a non-returnable purchase.

Bek says it’s a good idea to test-drive a company’s products before making a big investment. For example, she’d purchased several Dash & Albert rugs for her home before buying a custom rug, which cannot be returned or exchanged. “I’ve used Annie Selke rugs for myself and for clients when I was an interior designer. I think they’re beautiful and durable: The quality just can’t be beat.”

Set yourself up for success

  • Measure

    To help you visualize, “block out” the size of your ideal rug using painter’s tape.

  • Order Swatches

    To preview colors and styles in your space.

  • Add a Custom Rug Pad

    To protect your investment.

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