Home Decorating Rug Design Challenge Winner: Spotlight On Anita Joyce

Rug Design Challenge Winner: Spotlight On Anita Joyce

Rug Design Challenge Winner: Spotlight on Anita Joyce | Annie Selke's Fresh American Style

In the wake of the very exciting Rug Design Challenge this summer, we’re profiling each winner so you can learn more about them and their beautiful rug designs! Last month we profiled design blogger Nicole Balch and this month, we’re sharing a bit about Anita Joyce, the author of the French country style blog Cedar Hill Farmhouse.

Rug Design Challenge Winner: Spotlight on Anita Joyce | Annie Selke's Fresh American Style

Anita’s blog provides tips to help you create the “home of your dreams,” with a focus on updated Country French style. Anita lives in Houston with her husband, her two twenty-something daughters, Evangeline and Elise, and Molly, her Collie. Anita and her family spend as much time as they can at the family farm in Round Top, Texas. The farm is a place to get away from hectic city life, but Anita also uses it as an incubator for her design ideas. Her style is all about marrying rusty, crusty, chippy things with refined French furniture and antiques. She wants a look that is equally at home at the farm as it is in an upscale high-rise condo.


In case you missed it, here is Anita’s winning design:

Rug Design Challenge Winner: Spotlight on Anita Joyce | Annie Selke's Fresh American Style

We reached out to Anita with a few questions about her design:


What was the inspiration behind your rug design?

The humble grain sack was the inspiration for my design. I collect antique European linens, textiles and fabrics. Grain sacks, originally used by families to transport grains to the mill, have a unique appeal. The older ones are made from heavy linen. Each family had grain sacks with a unique stripe that acted as a way of identifying their bags. The pattern of stripes (number of stripes, thickness of stripes and the color) varied from one family to another. Some families even had monograms on their bags. Many of these bags have held up very well over time, even with repeated heavy use. They also tend to be stain resistant.  I love to use them for sewing and upholstery. The fabric holds up well and has a beautiful organic nubby look. I use them extensively in design, especially the monogrammed ones.


How do you see the rug being used?

The natural background color and blue stripes are perfect for most any décor. Although my look is farmhouse French, I think the stripe also looks clean and modern. It’s a classic look that would play well with so many different looks. I would love to see this rug in a large gathering room with comfy chairs and a big ottoman in the middle. I think it would be equally at home on a covered porch under a large dining table.


Tell us about the color palette you focused on. How did you choose the hues for your rug?

I was inspired by my collection of antique European grain sacks. Mostly they are an oatmeal color with blue stripes. The look works so well with French furniture and fabrics, but also with more contemporary fabrics. The stripe is simple; it will work equally with with neutrals or with bold colors.


How did Annie Selke’s designs play an influential role in your winning rug Design?

I really wanted a design that spoke to me, but also one that would fit in with the classic Annie Selke designs. I felt that a stripe made the most sense. Annie Selke has some of the most beautiful striped rugs I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing to me how such a simple design can have such a quiet elegance.


Any other thoughts on the design process or rug challenge?

The design process was challenging. I knew only the most popular designs would be made into rugs, so I wanted a design that was true to my style, but one that also would appeal to voters. It’s easy to second guess yourself as you work on designs. Is it too simple? Is it too complex? Is more color better or less? The more I thought about it, the more complicated it began to feel. That’s when I crumbled up my designs, threw them in the waste bin, and went back to the basics. I asked myself what is the hallmark of my style, and the answer was the simple, the humble grain sack.


Be sure to check back soon as we continue to profile the remaining nine winners! If you missed our post announcing our twelve Rug Design Challenge Winners, read it here!

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