Decorating With Rugs

Designing from the Floor Up

Freshening up your space doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Something as simple as a beautiful new rug combined with a unique piece of furniture or artwork can dramatically change the look and feel of any room. “I hear over and over from customers about how their new rug just changed their whole house,” says Jenny Lanker, co-owner, along with husband Greg, of Area Rug Connection. “They often come back and get another one because it just made such an impact.”

Although the store has been in Bend for more than 20 years, Jenny and Greg bought it last year and have been busy expanding the variety of rugs and merchandise offered. “We have all price levels so everyone can feel comfortable here,” she says. “We have machine-made reasonably-priced rugs, but then we also have really high-end wool handmade rugs from Afghanistan, Nepal, Morocco, India, and Turkey. It's quite an assortment of traditional and modern designs.”

Jenny also brings in goods from markets she visits around the United States, and from other sellers as well. “We have vendors who are from Afghanistan and India who literally load up their trucks and vans with their handmade high-end merchandise and come into our showroom. They spread it all out and we just buy it off the floor.”

The furniture, throw pillows, mirrors and artwork are then paired with different rugs throughout the space so customers can see how well they may work with the colors and style of a particular rug. Best of all, everything on the floor is for sale, including gift items such as wine glasses and cutting boards. Customers can even take rugs and other items home for a few days to see how they fit in a space. Inspiration starts at the ground level.

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