The living room, A calm sanctuary with a wood-burning fireplace, contains black and white furniture. To maintain a calm mood, Barran chose soft purple, cream, tan, and ashes of roses for the color of the elements.

This sophisticated, art-filled apartment is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, close to Central Park. The owners travel widely and invest in artwork by up-and-coming artists. When it comes to furniture, however, their taste leans heavily to the Deco period. I was commissioned to design original rugs for the clients because my company specializes in fine, bespoke rugs. 80% of my work is one of a kind.

Inspired by the work of Deco rug designer Christian Berard, I created a soft, background palette of a greyed-out blue/green. I wanted a color that would provide a lovely background for the artwork; also, I didn’t want to limit the owners’ color options, so I stayed fairly neutral. From the elevator to the public spaces to the private areas, the apartment has a beautiful flow based on repeated colors and textures. I designed five one-of-a-kind rugs for this project.

All of the rugs were hand-knotted in Nepal at a GoodWeave facility, so no child labor was used to produce them. To tie the space together, I selected a Swiss-made, hand-sheared broadloom in a green/blue for the two bedroom areas. For me, the best part of this project is that the clients truly appreciate my work. They have told me that they still get excited when they come to Manhattan and see their rugs!

Two-level flowers of New Zealand wool and natural silk are scattered across the face of the rug. A silk border in the same color as the field frames the design and draws together the seating area.

In the dining room, the pattern is much more dynamic: geometric and floral elements in terra cotta, brilliant gold silk, and touches of purple, framed in a silk border. The designer’s idea was to create a lively pattern that would inspire conversation.

“The two rugs relate to each other,” notes Barran, “but they don’t copy each other. Each piece can stand alone as a work of art.” The living room rug is serene, while the one in the dining room has a tremendous amount of movement.

For the hallway leading to the master bedroom, Barran chose a wheat-colored linen rug with a Deco, chocolate and green silk tree motif. “The pattern helps you wend your way to another area of the apartment,” she said. This area is lined with original Sonia Delauney prints, so the rug design needed to be somewhat muted. The closets at the end of the hallway were hand-painted in greyed-out greens and creams, creating another original piece of art.