Home Decorating Custom Rugs 101 with Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes

Custom Rugs 101 with Julia Dzafic of Lemon Stripes

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 a rug is, the more of an investment it is. 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. Lemon Stripes founder Julia Dzafic shares her expert advice for buying a custom rug:

Start thinking about rugs early

“Ideally your rug should be part of the design process for the beginning,” cautions Dzafic. “In our living room, we had picked everything else first and it meant we had a harder time finding the perfect thing, until we finally landed on the Cypress Bark custom indoor/outdoor rug.”

Get a sample or see it in-person

“It’s important to see a rug in person first because a lot of things you buy online are hard to color match,” cautions Dzafic. “If possible, order a sample or go to a store to see the rug in person before you buy it.” When Dzafic was designing her living room, the Cypress Bark custom rug was one of the later decisions she made, so she ordered multiple rug samples to see them with her curtains and chair upholstery.

Another reason to get samples? “You also want to be able to feel it,” says Dzafic. “Something can look great on a computer, but what matters is how it feels under your feet. I am kind of obsessive about that.” She notes that with a curtain or another fabric it’s a little bit removed (you might not even touch it at all), but with a rug you’ve always got your feet on the floor.

Tape it all out

“The number one thing I’ve learned from working with professional designers is to tape things out,” says Dzafic, who had an interior designer help her with her living room and bedroom designs. When ordering a custom rug (or any large rug), she recommends using painters tape to mark out the rug dimensions—and she says put your furniture in place on top or tape out where new furniture will go to see the proportions clearly.

If you’re not confident, get a pro to measure!

“I am notoriously terrible at measuring,” laughs Dzafic, who cites some curtains she once ordered that arrived too short because of faulty measurements. If you fall into the same camp, she recommends getting a professional to help you measure. If you’re not working with a designer like Dzafic was, you may be able to find a local pro to help you through your closest retailer.

Custom creates a cozy vibe

In Dzafic’s bedroom she opted for a custom rug that goes almost to the room’s perimeter. She says, “Before we put in the Henly Woven Wool custom rug, we had one that was smaller and there was a lot more floor showing. The second we put in the custom rug, it just felt so cozy, but not with that dated wall-to-wall look.”

A custom size elevates your look.

“In our bedroom, we could have gotten a traditional rug, but I loved the idea of having the Henly Woven Wool custom rug be the exact same distance from the wall to the rug on all sides,” says Dzafic. “There’s something about that precision, that just makes the room look elevated and professional.” Dzafic thinks subtle details are the key to a room that feels well-designed and intentional.

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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