Category Archives: FLOORING


PROBLEM: How do you fit a baby grand piano, two accent chairs, a side table, a floor lamp, an area rug, and accessories all in a 12 X 14 room? I don’t know yet, but I’m gonna figure it out.

The client wants the room to be elegant, but simple, with clean lines. There’s not a lot of space to work with, in fact the room really only has two walls. The third wall is mostly windows and the fourth ‘wall’ is actually the archway to enter the room. Making things even more difficult is the fact that there will be a baby grand piano occupying most of the 168 sq feet.

SOLUTION: So what does one do when space is this limited? The answer is scale down. People have a tendency today to buy oversized furniture far too often. Part of the problem is that when we shop for furniture we usually see it in a giant store the size of a warehouse. Only when the pieces are delivered to our 12 X 14 rooms do we realize our eyes were bigger than our floor plans! We end up with giant sofas and enormous coffee tables that make it so we can’t even walk into the room anymore. So the plan with this room will be to make sure the items we place in it are the right size. Take a look at the sketch below which illustrates what sort of furniture and decor we should be aiming for as a guide. Also, as a bonus all the items you see (except for the Steinway piano and Benjamin Moore paint) are available from One stop shopping, you can’t beat that!


Here’s what’s what:

A. Bottoms up! We might as well start with the foundation. There will be hardwood flooring in this room which is a big plus for any room to start with. However, we need to give the room a little softening up, and one of the best ways to do that is with this gold Metropolis area rug. The rug isn’t meant to occupy the whole room, but rather to go under the seating area we are creating. It has a timeless Moroccan pattern and is a steal at $150.

B. The baby grand! Pianos can sometimes be a nightmare to work around, especially if you find yourself having to move it one too many times. On the flip side, they do provide a sense of classicism to a home as well as fill it with wonderful sounds, hopefully. If nothing else pianos can act as big shelves to display your curios!

C. Paint in the Butt. One of the hardest things to figure out in any room is what color to paint the walls. The client said she wanted a white with slate gray scheme. My suggestion is this palette from Benjamin Moore. The lighter gray called silver spring has just enough of that hint of slate blue but still keeps a very neutral tone. Match that with the much lighter steam color and you have a great base to start building your room.

D. Light it up! This Nova Lighting tripod floor lamp will make a great addition to the corner slightly behind the seating area. It should provide enough light for reading or just sitting back and listening to the music. It’s a bit pricier than I would like at $284, but still within reach. You might be able to find a cheaper version that looks very similar, so do your research before you buy.

E and F. Travel in pairs. Here are a couple of somewhat matching black vases that can be added to the room, be it on the side table, or perhaps on a corner shelf. The taller Tung Chi vase is 14″ tall while the shorter Jar is 12″ tall. Both cost $63 each.

G. Have a seat. These accent chairs are a great size for a smaller more crowded space. The Safavieh Noho Lounge Chair is about 30″ high X 30″ wide and 25″ deep and costs only $228 each. Buy two of them to create a nice seating area while saving on space AND money! These chairs have very simple lines. The fact that they are armless will help give the room a sense of having even more space. The white piping and buttons are a great touch that adds some contrast the the gray fabric.

H. Table time. I really like this gold table. Gold is in again so don’t be afraid to use it. This great little side table is also made by Safavieh and sells for only $130. It’s about 20″ high X 17″ wide and 12″ deep. This is a perfect size for a small vase, a cup of coffee, or just a place to rest your book. The top is actually mirrored so it will reflect a lot of light brightening up the room even more. The elegant gold color of the table against the gray side chairs and wall will compliment each other nicely. The lines in this table are as clean and sharp as they come. The straight verticals and horizontals will be a good contrast to the curved line of the side chairs.

I. Soften with Color. While I think the chairs may be great by themselves, you may find that they need a little more cushion. My suggestion is to add a pop of color with this set of two pillows made by Key Lipstick which sell for $70. The rich, deep, red color add a bit of luxury and elegance to the room, while the gold embroidery helps pick up the warmth from the rug and side table.

The Rug Bug

Ahhh carpeting or rugs. Which one is right for you? Wall to wall carpet is certainly practical if you don’t have hard wood floors, or if your floors are beat up, and not in a shabby chic way. But area rugs are also nice. They come in many sizes and many prices. Plus, when you get sick of your area rug you can just roll it up and get another one. With carpeting it’s a bit more labor intensive and much messier, not to mention more expensive, usually.

When people install carpeting they usually go with a solid color. Why exactly that is I am not sure? I suppose if there was a pattern that went wall to wall that it might be overkill. Or maybe people just like solid olive green running through their rooms, that way it matches their drapes, and couch, and love seat, and tablecloth, etc.

The beauty of an area rug is that you have endless options of shapes and styles, patterns and prints. So even if all your furniture is olive green (ick), you can choose an area rug that will certainly match your style.

I like a nice geometric pattern myself. And again, there are literally thousands of options from about $180 to $1000+ for an 8 X 10 rug. Take a look below and see a few that I found. Remember, if your room is all beige (guilty) these little geometric designs can really add some pop without busting your budget.



Here’s what’s what:

A. This navy blue diagonal patterned rug is from One Kings Lane and is currently on sale for $509. This is right at the top of my price point but something about that blue really stands out as luxurious and rich.

B. A bright green indoor/outdoor area rug from Target for $199. This may be my favorite of the 7 choices from above. The bright green gives you a strong pop of color without being obnoxious. Plus, the price is great!

C. And while we’re already at Target here’s another choice by Room 365 for a bit more at $280. Similar to the color pop form the rug above, this choice also gives off a similar vibe. The overlapping octagonal white shapes make this area rug somehow feel very French. It is also available in 4 other color, Dark Blue, Gray, Yellow, and Surf.

D. Called the Mohawk Ziggidy, it feels decidedly native and, well, ziggity. The rug is only $180 at Home Depot. This busy rug might do better in a larger space where it has room to ‘breath’. I think if you try to put this in a small room it may end up taking over everything and become more of a distraction that a part of the space. But, if you have a larger room this can do wonders. It adds a lot of color and pattern that can really help out a dull room.

E. Okay I lied, this Pandora Flat-Weave area rug is the most expensive at $669, also from One Kings Lane. The large octagonal pattern almost looks like a honeycomb. Plus the three colors, gold, ivory, and lavender/gray, make a good combination to help set the shapes apart from each other.

F. Diamonds are forever, at least in interior design. This side diamond rug is only $299 from CB2. This is probably the most neutral of my choices and should work really well in a small space where you don’t want to feel crowded. It is a very simple pattern with a simple two tone color scheme that’s really all you need!

G. From Bed Bath & Beyond this is also a Mohawk Ziggity rug, but in a different color choice, and at a different price point of $250. If the bright reds and yellows from option D were too much for you, perhaps the more subtle blues are your cup of tea. Don’t forget your 20% off coupon to bring the price back down closer to option D’s!