and now for some unsoliticted thoughts on rugs...
rugs - you gotta have one, and there are so many choices, it can be overwhelming. here's what i know--
the best bet for budget, style, durability and no regrets is a big soft seagrass rug. you can also do sisal or jute, and yes, they do make soft ones, you just have to go touch and pick the right one. i've used the chunky jute from pottery barn with much success (it's soft) and i've used this bargain priced sisal from overstock several times (not as soft, but certainly not rough, and it's fairly indestructible - the black border adds a nice frame to the room). if you need a size that's custom, you can order any natural fiber rug by the foot from a local carpet shop, or a decorator in your area.
for a similar look, with a bit more pattern, i really like this classic from west elm. it's the perfect runner for a kitchen, and it looks great in a bathroom.
i tend to go for a bold statement rug in a room, and for the last couple of years, madeline weinrib has been my go to for fun and bright pattern rugs that add life to a room. her more affordable line of cotton rugs is available at abc home in NYC, or you can order through your local decorator. there are a few stores who carry madeline weinrib across the county, but not many. they are fairly pricey for cotton, but they are instantly recognizable, and i haven't found another line that has the same appeal.
when i have a tricky smaller space, or an area like a mudroom or under a kitchen table that gets a lot of action, i often use FLOR tiles. they come in 19.7" squares that can be arranged however you need them, and you can wash or replace individual tiles when stained. there are classic options like black and white stripes, or of-the-moment styles like the suzani print or the overdyed squares.
dash and albert is great when i need a classic stripe in a room - they come in tons of happy colors, and are perfect for beach houses. they offer lots of indoor/outdoor styles that can be hosed off when dirty, and they always have really good stock in every size.
anthropologie is my go to for statement making needlepoint and crewel rugs. my favorites are gloria's garden, which i've used in a huge all white master bath and in a entry way, the festival rug which is super soft and has the prettiest grays, and the conure rug (my mom has in her sitting room and it's soooopretty).
that concludes part 1. we'll talk more later.