how to layer carpets

One of my favourite ways to add texture and interest to a room is to layer area carpets. It’s an unexpected addition and one that seems to surprise most as I learned on the set of Breakfast Television. Here are a few great tips:

1. Start big: Fill your room with the largest possible base layer.

2. Go flat: The bottom layer should be a flat or tight weave. You’ll be adding at least one other layer so starting thin ensures the thickness doesn’t reach trip-able proportions.

3. Texturize: Texture on texture is a great approach. Contrast shag with a woven jute to add warmth and visual interest.

4. Add impact: With the base layer neutral and natural, take your next layer up a notch by adding colour and pattern, or both!

5. Go bold: Layer pattern on pattern for a “collector’s” feel to your space. Combine similar style area carpets with complimentary colour schemes for high level interest and impact.

Overall, have fun and take risks. If you’ve found the perfect area carpet or a small work of art, but the overall size is too small or it’s the size you can afford, layering is a great way to work it into your space.

Nyla Free Designs, Calgary Interior Designer, Calgary Professional, Interior Designer,



bt calgary: decorating with metals

Metals are everywhere in our home and much like the jewelry we wear there are statement pieces with huge impact to smaller items adding subtle, yet important details. Early this morning I was on BT Calgary sharing tips on decorating with metals. Watch the video for all the details.

1. Metals as accents mirrored fireplace, better homes and gardens magazine

2. Statement metals metallic wallpaper, elle decor

3. Mixing metals mixing metals, house beautiful magazine

4. Metals in furniture nailheads on furniture, traditional home magazine

5. Metals in the kitchen using metals in the kitchen, house and home magazine Take a look around and see how many metals you have in your home currently, even within one room. Any areas you could use a little more depth or sparkle?

Image credits: 1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5

Thank you to Herringer Kiss Gallery, Crate and Barrel, and DWA Interior Furnishings for providing the props!

Nyla Free Designs Inc. is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs Inc. also offers an online design service to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.


let’s learn: buying original art segment on BT Calgary

I had a great time on BT Calgary yesterday sharing tips on buying original art. If you missed the segment, not to worry, you can watch it online. Here I am with Ted just before we went on air. Thanks to Glenn for snapping the photo and for all his help with getting set up!

In the midst of nerves and complete absent mindedness, we missed acknowledging the Herringer Kiss Gallery for providing the art (hangs head in shame). Thank you Deborah!

You’ll find more tips in the current issue of Dabble, Reality Check column.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.


inspirations for choosing drapery fabric

Choosing fabric is one of my favorite tasks when detailing drapery. The colour, texture, pattern and flow of the fabric are important details to consider, in addition to the style and purpose of the room.

Although drapery is often considered a finishing touch and one that is last to be installed, it should not be at the bottom of the selection list. With a high level of impact, drapery is an important decision in the early stages of the room design. Being a vertical component of the room, it becomes a focal point or a backdrop to support furniture and architectural details. Knowing the difference is important.

Below are examples of work from my studio, Nyla Free Designs showing rooms with drapery treatments and details about the fabrics we chose.

Drapery in bedrooms must function and be aesthetically pleasing. In a modern space such as this one we opted to use a fabric similar to the wall colour. Creating a simple backdrop, however not compromising on style we used a silk fabric with metallic thread. The full height drapery skims the floor which allows the fabric to billow at the bottom similar to a beautiful gown.

This sitting area at the top of a staircase does not require drapery for privacy or light control. Here we used a semi sheer in wool to frame the windows, add depth and offer softness in the background.

We often think of drapery in a formal dining room but an everyday eating area need not be overlooked. With large windows in this kitchen nook, the room would feel bare and stark without fabric to finish off the space. We selected a charcoal silk with horizontal stripes in black and cream. It’s depth of colour and linear detail create a bold statement in the room accentuating the architectural detail of the bay window.

This dining room shares space with a sitting area and dramatic two story windows. From the second floor office the drapery is also visible. This formal charcoal and caramel damask pattern in silk acts as a space connector and adds a dramatic vertical statement.

Wanting a hotel style treatment with an edge we used a track at the ceiling with wall to wall drapery, creating a cocoon feel when the drapes are closed. We also wanted to introduce colour into the drapery so a muted mauve was selected with a subtle linear texture. It offers a warm feel with the impact of soft colour. Beautiful in a bedroom for an elegant, yet cozy feel.

I adore textiles and what they bring to a room, both in function and personality. Drapery is no exception to this. Plan early to include window treatments in your budget and watch your room go from basic to beautiful.

Thank you to Leslie Caruthers (@tkpleslie) and The Curtain Exchange for hosting a new weekly twitter chat with today’s focus on textiles in drapery. Also to Ann Maine, Editor In Chief of Traditional Home Magazine, Michael Diver, managing editor and Krissa Rosbund, Senior Style Editor for being the special guest experts joining in the discussion.

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.



let’s learn: wool carpets

I’ve been working on several projects lately where we’ve been on the hunt for carpet. Whether it be wall to wall or an area rug, I am a huge promoter of wool. Many of my clients are unsure and leery of carpeting their homes with wool, and several questions arise as we shop for the perfect colour, pattern, texture and of course material. I thought I would give some insight as to why I love wool, along with some pros and cons to help demystify the uncertainties.

The first reason I love wool is that it’s natural. It is naturally soil and stain resistant, however it is still porous so tending to a spill right away is important. Scotchguard or similar products will penetrate rather than protect so it is best to leave it alone. Speaking from experience, when my oldest daughter was 18 months old she fell and hit her head on the side of our bed. Blood was all over our wool carpet. Of course needing to rush her to the hospital for stitches, I left the blood to sit for hours. I will admit that it took some time but the blood stain came up beautifully and you would never know there had been an accident.

Wool is a breathable fibre that does not promote the growth of bacteria or dust mites. Dirt and debris make a slower descent to the bottom of the actual carpet, thus giving you more time to clean them, via vacuuming, than nylon fibers. People with allergies often favor wool for this reason. Wool being a renewable resource is also environmentally friendly ~ another great reason these days to make this selection over synthetics.

Wools fibers are very durable and therefore do not show matting and frizzing as soon as a nylon carpet would. Wool is quick to regain its good looks after a cleaning and the time that it takes a wool carpet to discolour is slower. Because wool is a natural fiber, it takes the dyes so much better than a synthetic material. This is another reason that I love wool. The colour selection in a wool carpet is much more appealing than that of nylon. The saturation is deeper and richer, and in turn adds a quality factor to the overall look and appeal.

Now wools does not come without disadvantages. Wools will sometimes pill, releasing fibers over time that come loose from the carpet. Another word for it would be ‘shedding’. Regular vacuuming is essential and this will not go on forever. The other con to purchasing a wool carpet is cost. It is not the least expensive option for your floors. Wool is an investment, and one that you will love for a very long time. If you have it in the budget, I would highly recommend it. Above carpets from Godfrey Hirst.

There are also many companies that manufacture wool area carpets, from several different price points. I recently purchased a wool carpet for a client from West Elm and absolutely love it.

Another area rug company that I love is Angela Adams. At a mid price point she offers organic, nature inspired patterns that would bring a room to life. A portion of the line is also available at Home Depot.

Weaver’s Art out of Toronto is a higher end source for Wool and Wool/ Silk combination area carpets. Beautiful designs and handwoven craftsmanship will leave your floors feeling like they have a piece of fine art on them.

I hope you found this little tutorial on wool carpets helpful!