The easy-peasy puzzle-piece assembly and relative affordability of its carpet tiles makes Seattle’s brand-new Flor store (Belltown, 2000 First Ave.; 206.448.3365; flor.com ) the go-to shop for those seeking a dramatic, quick-change flooring (aka room) makeover. While the possible permutations of the tiles are limited only by one’s imagination—from funky kaleidoscopic area rugs to understated, monochromatic full-room carpet—we especially love their adaptive use when it comes to entries, hallways and unusual spaces. New styles that make marvelous runners include Hither & Yon, a spongy wonder of recycled nylon available in nine colors, orange to pearl, and the aggressively plaid In the Mix (both, $18 per tile). The option for asymmetrical configurations is not only eye catching but super-practical for odd or tight spaces; for example, squeezing some zippy Reoriented tiles (five-tile rug, $94) in front of your tub. And not to be ignored is Flor’s fuzzy Button rug collection (starting at $40 each). Pick from a variety of sizes and colors to fashion a perky path at your entry or an entire carpet of button bubbles.
When you first enter the rug room at Seattle’s new Room & Board store (University Village; 206.336.4676; roomandboard.com ), you might think the pickings are slim. You’d be wrong. Beyond the modest, tasteful racks of rug samples and the large hanging rug representing various pile choices, is a rich, virtual inventory of plain and patterned rugs, materials (natural fibers to felted wool), color palettes and endless customizing options, including by-the-inch sizing. In addition to the traditional, hand-knotted India-made Obeetee lines ($999 and up) and the modern, super-lush, Georgia-made Arden collection ($1,199 and up), culled from New Zealand’s finest wool, styles rolling out this year include the intensely black Pure Linea cowhide rug ($3,520 for 8-by-10-foot). >> A handy service offered by Room & Board are its rug samples, ordered online and mailed to you, available on a $25 lease basis, refundable if returned within six weeks. What better way to ease purchase anxiety than to preview a rug shade and pile right in your own space?
When Debby Allen’s son left for college, he also left behind the typical teenage detritus—including a closet packed full of his old T-shirts. Instead of donating or just dumping them, this crafty Seattle mom upcycled. Allen’s T-shirt rugs (made from repurposed cotton jersey tees) can now be found at the eco-craft-centric shop NuBe Green . Priced from $38 for a “6-tee” rug (about 30 inches long) to $110 for an “18-tee” rug (about 50 inches long), each boasts a cheery, one-of-a-kind color scheme.
For an affordable color and pattern blast, you can’t beat the rug supply at West Elm . Style standouts include the handcrafted Cadiz wool rugs ($199 and up) in brilliant blue and ruby red, and the striking geometric, gray-and-cardinal, overdyed Alyson Fox chevron wool rug ($149 and up) from a collection by the Austin, Texas–based designer that was introduced just last fall. And this spring, West Elm expands its dhurrie rug ($49–$749) collection in such hot hues as sand dune and canyon red.