Reader Dilemma

February 23rd, 2011

We’ve tried this reader question thing before and it was a lot of fun, but then I slacked off on keeping up with dilemma requests. No more! I’m a blogger. Look at me blog.

Mia recently wrote in with a rug dilemma. For someone who pretty much only has cowhides covering the floor, I seem to get a lot of rug questions. Also landscaping. Which is strange since there are weeds throughout the entire yard. Who cares! I love to have an opinion and you guys do to.

Without further rambling, here we go.

Mia writes…


I’ve just about saved enough money to buy a Moroccan rug from Moroccan Maryam’s website – but I can’t decide which one to get!  Your taste is awesome so I thought I would ask you for advice! I really love *(#1) – but I think it may be too huge for my tiny living room.

Thanks for your help : )


This is the living room in question:

ooohhh. White floors. Fancy.

This is the Room & Board sofa (in Terra) that Mia is buying to go with the rug:

And here are the four rug candidates she’s chosen:

Here is my take:

My first style choice is rug #1. You are concerned it won’t fit, (and rightly so) but at 63″ it’s only a little over 5′ wide. Now what I would need to know is the width of the room (is it 8′ or 10′?), but what may be a bigger issue is the length of the room. Rug #1 is almost 15′ long. Do you have over 15′ in that room or will you walk right through the front door straight onto the rug? Because front door to rug = hot dirty rug mess.

I know there are a number of rugs available at Maryam’s site, so the first thing to do is to take some painters tape and outline the most appropriately sized rug for the room – in other words, where you want it to go. Obviously you want it to float under the sofa and allow some breathing room in front of the media unit. Measure those dimensions and find a rug that is similar in pattern to #1 and as close to your dream dimensions as possible.

Also, I really like THIS pattern.

I think before you do any buying it would behoove you to do a little bit of measuring work. A bit of pre-planning can save you a bunch of money down the road, since the worst thing to do is invest a bunch of cash in an oversized or undersized rug. Nothing looks weirder in a room than a strangely proportioned rug.

My other question is – where is that sofa going?  Looks like that room is super narrow and awkwardly shaped with lots of broken up architecture. Space planning seems like it would be extremely difficult. Will your current pieces be moved around or moved out? How is the rest of the furniture layout being addressed?

OK, instead of a simple answer to your question I just raised a bunch of issues.

What do you guys think? Which rug should she go for?

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  1. Heather on 02/23/2011:

    I’d go for the 1st one too. The pattern is nice, clean, simple and fits in well both with the sofa and the room – it seems pretty organized despite its small size . #4 would also be an option to me, but it’s just too ornamental for my taste.

  2. Kris on 02/23/2011:

    I would hold off on buying the rug until that couch is in the house. If it is going where that seating thingie is now, it might be enough for the room, a huge sofa and a huge rug will make this space feel even smaller. So wait for the sofa, then decide, and use the tape-method then for sure.

  3. J&J on 02/23/2011:

    I agree with you. I like the first choice the best. It will look great in that already great looking room.

  4. Curator on 02/23/2011:

    Got to be number 2.
    Large pattern, small space…makes the room even smaller.

  5. lola on 02/23/2011:

    i love number three, with the ‘open area’ made by the pattern in the middle. out of curiosity, what price range do her carpets fall into?

  6. beatriz on 02/23/2011:

    I would definitely go for number one, it is the typical Beni Ouarain and it is very nice. I think you can cut to size the length of the rug. I do not see the problem, meanwhile you respect the pattern and keep it proportionate; anyhow, most Moroccan rugs and kilims end abruptly with black wool sewing in one of the sides and so many are not symmetrical, they are tribal rugs. I really love your Eames Elephant chair with the sheep skin throw, is that going to another room when sofa hits the room? I like the sofa very much but I personally do not think the color is the most appealing, at least in the picture. With that beautiful white Nordic room feel, I believe a white leather couch with beautiful exotic cushions ikat-like patterns or, if kids are around and you think white is out of the question, dark grey also can be nice. But it is only my opinion.

  7. mm on 02/23/2011:

    I prefer rug #3. I think the smaller design on the ends looks intricate with relief in the middle.

    But I wouldn’t spit on any of them.

  8. foo on 02/23/2011:

    definitely #2. =)

  9. Lisette on 02/23/2011:

    My choice would be the rug Morgan has chosen – it’s a ‘quieter’ pattern and thus (in my opinion) more suitable for the limited space. But I agree with previous comments: get that gorgeous sofa in first and do the tape test!

  10. misa on 02/23/2011:

    i’m in agreement about rug #1, but i don’t think the rug she has in there is so egregious. is it made from flor tiles?

  11. rivka on 02/23/2011:

    Noooo, she should buy number 2. Her room is so small and a pattern on the floor is just too much. Her rooms are tidy but it seems like she’s got a bunch of stuff. Even if she takes it out it is all going to filter back in there. The patterned ru + stuff + small room = mind going a little nutty. I think number 2 also has such luxurious look.

  12. my little apartment on 02/23/2011:

    sooooooooo jeallllllous. but good for you for savin’ up and investing in a gorgeous rug. they’re all amazing, though I think I agree that #1 is the jam.

  13. modernhaus on 02/23/2011:

    Eeeeee, I would first put more thought (and maybe a little $ for some design advice…this girl named Morgan comes to mind) into the layout and furniture for the space.

    I think the thinking sometimes is if you have a tiny space you put the largest piece of furniture that will fit so you have at least one spot to stretch out.

    I was thinking an L-shaped backless “sectional” made of stock white cabinetry (IKEA) with custom cushions on top, on the far wall under the window and across the half wall…make it look custom and “built in” but it would be totally modular and removable, and also give you storage underneath which you probably need.

    And then find a correctly fitting rug similar to #1.

  14. Chris @ Foible and Folly on 02/23/2011:

    I agree with Modernhaus – that sofa is pretty darn big AND the idea of the “built in” sectional is outstanding. Would totally open up the space.

  15. Ursula on 02/23/2011:

    At first sight I would opt for No 1, because it is light and has a transparent, but structured look, with this interesting twitch of being not symmetrical. But, all things considered that may not be represented adequately in the photos, a rug without any distinctive pattern could be even better. Which would be supportive of No 2.

    Isn’t there an option to try out two or three alternatives? Recently I was looking for a lamp to go beside my bed, which in a small and pretty stuffed room I wanted to be light and elegant, kind of invisible. I found two pieces, one black, the other one a light brushed silver, but didn’t know which one would fit better. I even brought pictures of the room to help me decide. I was leaning to the black one, because there seemed nothing silverish to be in the room. The store was so kind as to allow me to take both lamps home, so I could see everything in the flesh. And, quite surprisingly, I ended up with the light one! It was exactly what I had searched for.

    If there is no chance to try things out, why not do a rough Photoshop mockup of the room with the rugs doctored into the spaces they would go to? Maybe combined with the measuring advice …

  16. Suzy8track on 02/23/2011:

    My first choice would be door….I mean rug #2.

  17. Anna on 02/23/2011:

    Agreed. #1. crossing fingers it fits for you. nice sofa too.

  18. IFP on 02/23/2011:

    I like the first rug the most.

    I thought I would let you know that about a year ago I bought a similar rug from Mororocan Maryam and the whole process was excellent. The rug was expensive and I was nervous but it arrived swiftly and excellently packaged. Maryam and her husband were friendly and always responded quickly and professionally. The description was exactly right and the rug was fu*king beautiful.

    Good luck!

  19. Lorena on 02/23/2011:

    Definitely no. 1. BTW, I bought a rug from Maryam and wanted to say, the rug I got is amazing. More beautiful than I ever would have imagined. Also, she is a dream. She patiently answered all my questions–and there were lots as I was a little squeamish about buying an expensive rug that 1. I’d never actually seen; and 2. I wouldn’t be returning. She also has great taste and will give you very sound advice on the right rug for your space.

  20. Lisa on 02/23/2011:

    agreed with #1 or #3 :]
    sure is a tiny space for that large rug though…

  21. CK on 02/23/2011:

    The best decorating advise I received was to 1st buy the rug, as it is like a piece of art and then buy the furniture. These Beni rugs are really dominating, especially in a small space. Scale is the most important aspect in any room when considering rugs and furniture.
    Maybe a lower profile couch, like the Case Study Day Bed? In this small space, you don’t want the rug and couch fighting for attention.
    The tape outline is a great idea. Be sure before you commit! Good luck!

  22. Kimberj on 02/23/2011:

    I’m with you, Rug #1 it is. I also like the idea of taping things out. I’m nearly 55 and never thought to do this, thanks! Where did she get the rug she’s currently using? I love the faux woodgrain! Any idea?

  23. THE BRICK HOUSE on 02/23/2011:

    I just have to say, I have been obsessing over these rugs for years. I would kill for one. Literally. Kill.

    They are amazing.

  24. Coletta on 02/23/2011:

    i don’t care for ANY of them. TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring. with that brown couch she needs to get a rug with some COLOR in it!

  25. CU on 02/24/2011:

    I LOVE ALL of these rugs, yet I think they would work better with a darker floor. Since the walls/floor are white in this space–I would pick a warmer colored rug. If the price/size was right, I’d take home No.124 from Moroccan Maryam’s website just based on color. Is it me, the lighting, or does that rug look really gold?

  26. jeannette on 02/24/2011:

    i’d put a hold on the sofa-buying and measure that out with painter’s tape also, along with the ideal rug dimensions. frankly i’m not sure i’d want a sofa with arms in such a narrow space, they’d like block out the sky.

  27. maya on 02/24/2011:

    i would kill for a rug like that as well.

  28. Brandon @Tonshouse on 02/24/2011:

    Here’s the thing…they are all amazing. I like #2 but more importantly where is the existing rug from??? I LOVE IT!!!

  29. Lesa on 02/24/2011:

    Am I the only one to pick #4?….what a dufus. I’m a sucker for a great ethnic pattern and my eyes are just drawn to it…bam! But must admit it might be too much for a small space.

  30. L on 02/24/2011:

    All of the rugs are gorgeous — but agree w/ comments that she needs to plan the whole space first. Looks to me like Mia is copy-catting Morgan without really assessing her unique situation. Get a plan girl, THEN get the stuff.

  31. Kat on 02/24/2011:

    Ummm… I didn’t like any of the rugs. I think with the white floors and white walls they are going to look bland and dirty. I would definitely measure and tape off. Based on the pictures I don’t see how the couch, chair, rug and media stand will all work in that narrow space.

  32. Jen on 02/25/2011:

    I like rug 1 too. I would buy the rug first and see if you can find a couch with the same lines as Room and Board (there goes your moorage payment :P) through consignment, estate sales etc first…especially if you are trying to save money. Also, re address your attention to the front entry. It looks like you have a fab coat rack but currently it is totally full and cluttered. It might be fun to instead, mount hooks on the wall. You might be able to find some cool funky ones at a local salvage store. Then move the chair to the corner where the coat rack is. a nice place to take off your shoes before you enter the house. Good luck

  33. solovely on 02/25/2011:

    i like the number 3 a lot,i like the pattern with the crosses,the size of the pattern,i like the fact that it looks like there is 3 parts with a different area in th e middle , a kind of symetry

  34. Aidan on 02/25/2011:

    i like the rug she already has!

  35. jennifer on 03/02/2011:

    and they make an appearance in another groovy room:

  36. Joel on 03/08/2011:

    It’s difficult because their all so inherently different…I’d go with 4.

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