At Fine Rugs of Charleston, we thrive on building strong, lasting relationships with Interior Designers. Today, I’m pleased to introduce Margaret Donaldson from Margaret Donaldson Interiors. She’s here to offer some insider tips on how to use rugs to enhance the beauty and flow of your home.

You’ve bought a new house.  Or perhaps you are sprucing up one that you’ve had for a while.  What are you going to do with those floors?  This very question has been plaguing homeowners for ages. Rugs are no small thing and they carry a lot of weight in the design of your home.  Few things can kill a design more than the wrong rug.

Here are examples of conversations we have with our clients on a regular basis.

Client: I just invested in these beautiful hardwood floors.  Do I have to put rugs down?

MDI: Yes!  For so very many reasons:

Houses echo. Getting some rugs down will help cut down on the echo in your house and especially those second floor stompers. Delineating areas. Particularly with the open nature of many floor plans these days, rugs are extremely effective in grounding the various areas of the house.


Rugs are beautiful. Rugs are a critical element to an MDI interior project. They can add color and or they can quietly add texture and warmth.

 8. Beautiful rugs


Rugs will actually show off your floors more.  We promise!! You wouldn’t go to dinner without shoes on… rugs are like the footwear   layer of your house.

3. Sisals in room

Client: How do I know what kind of rug to get?

MDI: We will answer that with some questions.  Once we’ve gotten the feel of the design that is, the questions will help us guide you to the right rug.

  1. What kind of traffic will the room receive?
  2. Do you have pets or kids?  Just trying to get a feel for your lifestyle.
  3. Do you have an idea of your budget?

Client:  My room is huge and I’m afraid I can’t find a rug that large.

MDI: Take it in phases.  Maybe start with a lower layer like a seagrass, (or a seagrass like wool blend if you don’t like the coarse feel of seagrass), and then top it with a decorative layer.

1. Silk Ikat in room

Client: Furniture on or off?

MDI: There is no universal, hard and fast rule.   However, we do tend to have some generalities that we consider first.
Bedroom: Rug should stop just short of the bedside tables. Living room: Rugs should encompass the furniture.  All four legs of that chair on the rug, please.

5. Oushak in bedroom

Client: Is it terrible to do wall to wall carpet in the bedrooms?

MDI: No, it is not terrible.  Sure, we would all love hardwoods everywhere but sometimes we need to drop back to wall to wall in the upstairs bedrooms.  There are some great wall to wall options out there these days.  It is not just the shag of days past (although, a shag can be fun and retro is very in!).  A wall to wall seagrass or a low profile wool broadloom are good options.

6. Wall to Wall

Client: My room is a funny shape.

MDI: This is the perfect time to have Fine Rugs of Charleston custom make a rug for you.  Goods that come in rolls are a wonderful solution for this dilemma.  Usually, we have Rob meet us on site and we measure off the wall 6 to 12” and have the rug cut to fit the room.  You wouldn’t believe how polished the final product is.

7. Room shape

MDI always encourages clients and potential clients to seek out professionals because your greatest ally is a knowledgeable vendor.  In our case, we just hop a few doors up Meeting Street to Fine Rugs of Charleston. Rob Leahy and his staff are ready to drop a rug down at a moment’s notice and is always available with a rug anecdote or tutorial.  We couldn’t be happier to have Fine Rugs as a friend, a neighbor and a colleague.

Margaret Donaldson opened the doors of MDI in 1988.   With an interior design degree from the University of Georgia, she stepped out to create what would prove to be one of Charleston, SC’s most respected interior design firms.  From residential to commercial interiors, MDI excels in bringing their clients the highest levels of design and service. 
We congratulate Margaret as she celebrates 25 years in business with an impressive new showroom at 1557 Meeting Street and an entirely new branding campaign.  Visit her exciting new website at or give her a call at 843.722.2640.


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