Contemporary Floor Coverings

Modern Patterns Under Foot

It may still be dark and wintry outside but here’s a way to brighten the indoors: browse the range of contemporary floor coverings now available. Start with the new rugs designed by Los Angeles architect Stephen Kanner, FAIA and his 14 year-old daughter Caroline. These floor coverings give new meaning to the phrase “cut a rug:” the grid of vivid colors seems to float and dance, creating a room-within-the-room.

It, and the elegant runner below, are part of the “Squares” line.

The rugs are part of the Ariana + Kanner Modern Rug Collection, constructed by Ariana Rugs’ Ahmad and Alex Ahmadi, who are third generation Afghan rug weavers from Kabul.

These hand-knotted, hand-tufted cotton and wool rugs incorporate sustainable materials including bamboo silk and banana. The one above is from the “Square Compressions” line. Inspiration for the designs comes from the geometries and color field explorations of 20th century painting, including Russian Constructivism, the Bauhaus, and American Abstract Expressionism.

Stephen is known for sleek machine age architecture — from futuristic homes and a zig-zagging In-‘n-Out Burger outlet to the sweeping car-commanding canopy/marquis of his United Oil Gasoline Station,

completed in 2009 (photo by John Linden, courtesy archdaily) and  shown here.  But in the rugs I detect a new found freedom with hue and pattern that must have come from his collaboration with Caroline.

Another product — more a floor covering than a rug — is by a company called FLOR. It’s all about flexibility: you can mix and match the 19.7 inch squares or “carpet tiles” (made of renewable and recycled content) as you see fit. Launched in 2003, FLOR’s offerings keep expanding. We used FLOR in several Sunset Idea Houses and they were very successful.

These blue striped squares are part of the “Stripe It Rich/C Note” line and run about $16 per tile. Or here’s the “Shiny Doodle 2 Rug Kit:”

which includes ten tiles. A special “FLORdot” system holds each square securely in place.

Chilewich is a New York company that has made a name in very contemporary matting made from woven vinyl in a variety of textures, patterns, and colors.

They can add lightness as well as warmth to a room, as the image of a modern dining area, above, shows. Here’s their “Bright” series:

And the more subdued “Dark Neutrals:”

These mats are elegant and practical at the same time: easy to clean by vacuuming, or mopping with a detergent solution.

So now as you take a break from watching the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, you can think about ways to bring a little gold medal design excitement into your home!

3 responses to “Contemporary Floor Coverings

  1. love the rug compilation! Thank you

  2. correction: the website is

    sorry about that!

  3. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

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