As you know my favorite place to hang out is's where you will find all things design!  I met a friend over there on Tuesday because she was stuck on this fabric plan for a DR with a challenging rug.

**not an ugly rug**

We have all been there.....a client that insists something stays in the room.  I gave her my advice [because the rug was dark and busy ] and that was to go with black and white with beige accents.  

Don't accentuate the negative.  I won't wear big flower print pants cause that is not where I want attention....right?  

Oh hell no.

It got me thinking that maybe there are a few of you that have a rug like that so I am here with my design cape on to help refresh the situation!

Let's say this is the rug....maybe your first thought is to pick out all the colors in the rug and add them to the room.  Don't do it!

In my humble opinion nothing would stand out in the room if you did that.

What you need to notice is that it's a very tight small pattern.  Which means you want your main fabrics to be loose.

Chalonnais Noir Vervain

I think black and white forces you to notice both the rug and the fabric....separately.

The most prominent color in the rug is red so I chose this for silk so that they are not the same texture as the rug.

Keep the walls neutral with Benjamin Moore Pale Oak.

Since the rug and curtains are traditional.....bring in some more contemporary items to keep it from looking predictable.

Coffee table:  Crate and Barrel
Lighting:  Currey & Co.
Sunburst Mirror: Wisteria
Art:  Terrell James
End Table:  Arteriors
Leopard Velvet pillow:  Stuck on Hue [Etsy]
Stripe pillow:  Lulu Belle Designs [Etsy]
Sofa:  One Kings Lane
Curtains:  Overstock

OK....what if you say to me "I hate black and white".  

Then I would say we can't be friends.

Kick and scream.....but come up with another plan.

One:  Chennai Linen Embroidery [Schumacher]
Two:  Antique Strie Velvet [Schumacher]
Three:  Imperial Trellis [Schumacher]


One: Conundrum [Schumacher]
Two:  Greek Key Stripe [Schumacher]
Three:  Kerry Joyce Fabrics

At this point you would be adding more color in the pillows.....keep the curtains neutral with a cream and maybe add black and white art on the walls.

That's all I got.....but I hope it will get you thinking:)

Other news....I got one of these.

It is the Fit Bit Surge
I am obsessed with it!

And.....I had to let Cami destroy a pine cone so I could get this post written.

Nights are the worst.  I can walk her 4 times [up to 4 miles in one day] and between 6-9 I want to kill myself.  And her. 

Crazy energy.



René said...

I love hearing your thoughts on the rug situation Sherry! Great advice and the plan is gorgeous!

Linda @ a design snack said...

I love your plan number one.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Your plan looks amazing.

Sharon Williams said...

I'm all for the black and white plan, but all of the options nicely make the rug less obvious. I have a pottery barn rug (Brandon) that isn't to my taste anymore but I hate getting rid of things. I'll probably try to work with it (cheap-o here). Love getting Cami updates--you are one patient woman!

Lauren said...

Such a fun post and something with which all of us real people struggle! Keep these design dilemmas coming!

Kathysue said...

Great advice and you are spot on!! as always. Cami, is so pretty, it is probably a good thing she is a pretty pup since she is a bit mischievous.
Making for design decision on the new house on my blog post today. Having fun thinking of some new ideas.

Maureen Wyatt said...

The bits of pinecone adds lovely texture to your floor. Cami is coming along well as an apprentice decorator.

Mary said...

My daughter sends her new rescue to a doggy day care during the day while she works from home. He comes home exhausted but loves playing all day with the other dogs. He gets so excited when they drive up the street to the place. He knows where they're going.
Your advice on how to work with the rug is excellent. I love the black & white plan.

A Perfect Gray said...

oh my gosh. you made that rug look so fresh. I wouldn't have thought that could have been done! donna

Emily A. Clark said...

Love hearing your thoughts on this. I would never have thought about pairing it with black and white (I know! Me!) but I love how it all works. Sherry Hart- The World's Smartest Designer.

Shirley said...

I love your design ideas, plan 1 for me! Also, enjoy hearing about your new dog. We have a bichon who needed to play between five and nine. We thought she would grow out of it, but at 18 months we rescued a 5 month mixed Japanese Chin from a back yard breeder to keep her company. The Chin had trust issues with humans, but she and Suzie our bichon bonded immediately. They are now going on 8 and 9 and still playing like puppies. Best decision we could have made.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried one of those Kong toys for dogs? They are very sturdy and some are made so you can put peanut butter in the center of the toy. Most dogs love peanut butter and it is good for them. It's in the middle of the toy so they can't smear it all over the place. It will keep them busy for a long time! It would give you a break! It's worth a try!

debra @ 5th and state said...

Good God, that is my rug! And, I am a designer, one who has ignored my own home. Know how a little used space, aka living room, can be ignored, REALLY ignored?!?! next stop, dash and albert

cindy8w said...

Ahhhh! I took a double take with the rug. Debra, I had that exact rug for many years too. Finally gave it away before my last move.

Sherry, just wanted to recommend a second dog for those hours from 6 - 9. Before you take me off your blog list, remember, you already have experience with two at a time. My daughter has an Australian Cattle mix that should be on Adderall. She got another herding dog mix about 5 months ago. They play all day and sleep really well.

cindy hattersley design said...

Cindy has a good point! We have crazy Beau as you know. He has pretty much settled down...he is 4 going on 5 however. We should have gottne a second dog for him, but now the thought of it makes me crazy! By the way I love that Kerry Joyce fabric!!

Anonymous said...

At least we know Cami is getting her Fiber!! Two Thumbs up for that!!

Holly Irwin Fine Art said...

Hi Sherry,
I love black & white, I'm with you!!!! That little Cami is a handful, isn't she? Hang in there, it'll get better:)

Unknown said...

Girl you are so good ........fabric whisperer - you need your own show!

Cindy said...

Again laughing about the dog. Haven't we all let a child or dog destroy something to get one moment of peace?
I can't believe you pulled it off with that rug!!! When i saw it in the first picture, i couldn't even imagine that anything good would happen - and then, damn!!! the storyboard shows this insanely gorgeous combination!!! That's crazy!... you're brilliant!


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