How to use Turkish rugs to create a rustic, charming family room

Tor Vivian’s use of kilims has lent character to this newly built extension.

This is the welcoming sitting room of a cottage in North Yorkshire, designed by Tor Vivian for her brother and sister-in-law Rupert and Philippa Abrahams. Giving space for four children, aged 10 to 16, there are several living areas in the cottage. This one is next to the main hall and is designed specifically for reading and playing music.

‘Building shelves into a recess creates a neat look, which makes the room feel larger’

Bookshelves, painted in Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball, have been built along the length of one wall. ‘Building shelves into a recess creates a neat look, which makes the room feel larger because the shelves don’t project into the space,’ explains Tor.

‘Kilims are beautiful and soft, yet eminently practical. They are hardwearing and easy to clean, so there’s no need to be too precious about them.’

Key to the success of the relaxed mood of the room is the use of antique kilims, sourced from Turkey, mixed with a glorious combination of traditional patterns and colour, some vibrant, some faded. ‘Kilims are beautiful and soft, yet eminently practical,’ says Tor. ‘They are hardwearing and easy to clean, so there’s no need to be too precious about them.’

‘The rather higgledy-piggledy arrangement of pictures, the simplicity of the fireplace and the eclectic mix of lamps and furniture all help to create the kind of rustic, inviting charm’

Although the sofa was made for the room, its vintage-kilim cover helps to lend character to the newly built extension. ‘The rather higgledy-piggledy arrangement of pictures, the simplicity of the fireplace with wood-burning stove and the eclectic mix of lamps and furniture all help to create the kind of rustic, inviting charm that suits a relaxed family home in the country.’

To find out more about Tor Vivian and Tor Interiors, visit www.torinteriors.com