A Brooklyn Creative Based Her Entire Living Room Around This One Piece
Hint: She designed it herself.
Published Oct 26, 2023 1:41 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Not everyone loves coming home still thinking about work—but not everyone is Anna Albury. The textile designer, freelance interior stylist, and cofounder of Cool Stuff NYC seamlessly blends her personal style (“colorful, joyous, and human,” in her words) across Instagram peeks into her Brooklyn home; the newsletter she runs with her husband, Garrett; and beyond. By day, she’s a rug designer for Crosby Street Studios, helping interior designers bring their space-specific visions to life. So it only makes sense that when it came to refreshing her own living room, she designed something custom.
“In a way, I designed the living room around the rug, and also designed the rug around the living room,” she continues. “I had the original rug idea a few years back and always dreamed of customizing it.” The design started out as a cut-and-paste collage that she digitized before she tweaked the layout and colors. “I love integrating hand-drawn elements into my work as a rug and textile designer,” Albury says. “I always think back to one of my college professors telling my textile class: ‘Anyone can repeat a flower out a bunch of times and call it a pattern, but the flower needs to be rendered and drawn beautifully to be a successful pattern.’ I still apply this idea today when I start creating a new design.”
But reworking a room around a single item is also an act of elimination—choosing what stays and what goes is the first step. For Albury, the items that made the transition from old to new included a navy couch, chartreuse side table, and pink reading chair. She got rid of a pair of red velvet curtains, replaced a media console, and gave a wood coffee table a new home in the bedroom at the end of the bed. A new set of curtains behind the couch now plays with the icy blue rug while simultaneously obscuring a set of closets.
Sure, going custom isn’t a reality for everyone, but Albury has a recommendation for finding a floor covering that no one else has: “I love sourcing vintage rugs for interior styling clients to use as a starting place for a room redesign,” she says. “I typically find [them] on Etsy, and I get superspecific with keywords. If the rug needs to have green in the palette because there’s an existing green couch, but you want to introduce pink and yellow into the space, use those colors as keywords in your search.”
From there, she evaluates where the rug’s pattern or details will fall in relation to her furniture. In her own home, “I made sure to keep in mind what shapes were landing where within the rug design in the actual room,” she says. “I thought about what I wanted to have slightly under the couch, and where I thought the pink dots should sit. I also made sure that each color within the rug was sitting next to an alternating color in the space: I wanted the light blue close to the navy couch, and the pink dots close by but not touching the pink chair.” The result is a textile that is 100 percent an extension of the designer, one that everyone who encounters it enjoys as well.