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We sat down with interior stylist, Kayla Gex to get her top tips on the art of styling with rugs. Her approach often goes against the grain, creating a space that is authentic to her clients. She's given us the best advice on how to select and style your rugs to create a warm and welcoming sanctuary this Winter. 

We’re all about creating a space that is unique to you. What should we look for when purchasing a rug to ensure it will evolve with our personal style over time? 

When a rug catches my eye for myself or a client, I always start a photo archive. I collect lots of inspiration images of similar rugs in different styled homes and rooms. Once I have gathered enough images I see if it convinces me to love it or leave it. For example, I am a ‘blues’ girl but a few years back I bought a rusty red Moroccan rug and still love it to this day.  I strive for my home to be unique and I tend to go against the grain of what everyone else has so that’s why it caught my eye. I never thought I would have anything red in my home but I gathered lots of inspiration images of red rugs and saw how well it worked with blue accents and furniture pieces. I also saw that it worked in so many different styled spaces like bohemian, midcentury, modern… and I was sold! If it is versatile in many different rooms then it will most likely evolve with your style over time. 

What is your advice for choosing a sustainable rug which fits seamlessly in with your lifestyle? 

If you are certain of what you are looking for and want to invest in a quality rug then I would definitely recommend doing a bit of research and going with a sustainable rug. There are some amazing companies out there that are giving back to communities and striving to do what is right for the environment and people who craft these rugs. It will make your rug buying process feel right and it’s a great conversation starter at home when visitors see your beautiful rug. 

What are your tips for using rugs to style a warm and welcoming sanctuary?

I feel like rugs finish off a home and give your room a soul. If you want something to warm things up in your home and give you that cosy feeling then I would definitely go with a wool rug. Either a woven or shag pile style will look great and feel so soft and comfortable under your feet.

What materials should we look for when purchasing a rug to ensure it will be durable and functional? 

Materials I always look for are pure wool, silk, jute or hemp.  Definitely stay away from anything that says it has Polypropylene or Nylon in it. You can instantly feel and see the difference in quality. I also look out for “Handmade” rugs as well. Again, do some research and make sure you are going with a company that use traditional weaving methods and materials.  There is a reason why vintage Moroccan, Persian and Indian rugs are so highly sought after because they know what they are doing. It’s worth the splurge because these artisans (for example at Armadillo & Co) have been using weaving skills that have been passed down by generations. You can rest easy knowing that not only will your rug last forever but most likely be in style for generations to come.

What is your advice for creating a layered look with rugs? 

Sometimes pure wool or silk rugs can get pretty pricey for the larger sizes. My solution is to start with an oversized jute rug as your base.  They are very affordable, durable and create the perfect textural anchor.  Then you can layer a smaller vintage treasure or soft silk masterpiece on top.  It is a win-win because you can achieve a beautiful layered look without breaking the bank.

Which Totem Road piece are you loving at the moment? 

The Luxa Mirror is a stunner! I am 6 months pregnant with my first child and I have to admit that I am a bit obsessed with looking in the mirror right now. I am just so in awe of my body and this growing bump, it’s hard not to look.  There is a majestic grandeur of an oversized mirror in your bedroom that I just love.

What projects are you most excited about this year?

Just going freelance at the beginning of the year has been so exciting for me.  Getting to branch out and try different things.  I’ve been doing some interior design in peoples homes which has been fun and a whole new experience.  I love working and what I do so it will be interesting to see how I manage to juggle everything once the baby comes. 

Discover more about Kayla Gex on Instagram and find the perfect Armadillo & Co rug for your space at our Paddington Showroom at Shop 3/188 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021.

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