When it comes to enhancing the beauty and comfort of your home, few things are as versatile and transformative as a well-chosen rug. We have the pleasure of hearing from Jeannine Birch, the founder of Coral & Hive, as she delves into the exciting world of carpets and rugs. From innovative materials to unique patterns, there's a lot to look forward to in the realm of home decor.
The following Q & A was written by Jeannine Birch, the founder of Coral & Hive originally for a SA Homeowner.
Q: What are some of the latest trends in carpets and rugs (color's, materials, pattern etc.) that you’re most excited about and why?
Jeannine: Trends we are excited about and feel will be here to stay are around fiber mixing, locally we are mixing karakul wool + mohair fibers, because we hand spin we can play with texture, twisting and weaving methods to create very interesting fiber blends within our rugs. Patterns can come from mixing fibers, weaving styles or color and design, no rug is ever the same. Collaborations with artists are increasingly popular and in our highly tech driven world, it's not surprising that there is definitely a movement towards choosing natural materials and using tactile materials like rattan, wool, hemp and cork in your home. These materials are authentic, honest and connect us back to the simplicity and beauty of nature.
Q: What should readers always keep in mind when looking to buy a new rug?
Jeannine: Spend time to research what it is you really love, a good quality rug is always going to be a splurge but it's a piece that will last for years, especially in low traffic areas like the bedroom. Most of our rugs are understated, textured and perfect for defining areas of the home. Karakul rugs are breathable, all natural and ideally suited for high traffic areas while mohair is more luxurious and available in a myriad of color's. We are bringing in a few more affordable options that you can layer around the home. These are handwoven in India in gorgeous natural fibers like hemp and we are also mixing hemp and wool.
Q: What tips can you offer for choosing the best rug for a living room. (e.g.: size, color, shape, longevity etc.)
Jeannine: Ensure you are choosing a fiber like karakul which has longevity, and, because it is rich in lanolin, repels dirt and is easy to clean. The size should be generous enough to go halfway under the sofas if possible. Round rugs can also add another element to the room, if everything else has sharp edges, a circular rug can be quite calming. Our most popular fibers for living rooms are hemp & wool mix, karakul wool or New Zealand wool. In my own home I will have a mix of African and Indian rugs, the mix results in a variety of textures, pattern and color. Each one has a story too!
Q: When placing a rug in the bedroom, what design rules should our readers keep in mind?
Jeannine: Our feeling on bedroom rugs is to go for a large rug that encompasses most of the bed and the area at the foot of the bed, or a runner down one or both sides. If you're choosing to design a large rug then try to marry up some lines of symmetry with other reference points in the room and try to keep the symmetry around the sides and end of the bed. And cotton rugs are popular for children’s rooms. Your bedroom is a place to unwind and feel relaxed so the understated tones of wool work really well to create that zen!
"In our highly tech driven world, it's not surprising that there is definitely a movement towards choosing natural materials and using tactile materials like rattan, wool, hemp and cork in your home." ― Jeannine Birch, the founder of Coral & Hive
Q: What should readers consider when shopping for an eco-friendly or hypoallergenic carpet or rug?
Jeannine: Knowing where you rug is made and that the weavers are well looked after will make you feel good about buying a product that is having a positive impact on the community. Cotton rugs are eco- friendly as we use cotton offcuts from T-shirt factories that would otherwise have been discarded. Our karakul and mohair rugs are hypoallergenic and 100% pure natural fibres. This makes them easy to care for and have cleaned.
Q: Rugs aren’t just for the floor: what are your feelings about turning rugs into statement art by hanging them on the wall? What should readers consider if they’re keen to embrace the trend?
Jeannine: Throughout the centuries tapestries were hallmarks of wealthy homes. Today textured wall hangings as art make a powerful statement, affirming the owners sense of style. Wall art should reflect the owner’s taste and choices in the same way any painting does.
As you embark on your rug shopping journey, remember that each rug tells a story, whether through its texture, pattern, or the hands that crafted it. Your choice is an opportunity to create a unique, sustainable, and artful statement in your home, connecting you to both nature and the world's rich history of textile artistry. So take your time, explore your options, and let your rug be a testament to your individuality and style. Happy decorating!
Shop the full collection of our made to order area rugs. Each season we work to launch a few new styles so be sure to check back with every now and then.