It’s a beautiful day in Portland, Oregon. The late-summer light is somehow simultaneously both soft and crisp as it streams through the clouds. We’re at the home of celebrity interior designer Emily Henderson, and her space truly could not be more perfect. An over-100-year-old farmhouse she’s spent the last two-plus years renovating, it features subtle blue hues, tons of natural light, organic elements galore—and now, an entire collection’s worth of rugs from her exclusive collaboration with Rugs USA.
To say she’s excited about it is, in her own words, absolutely accurate. “This is my first rug collection. It’s my first anything collection, which feels like a really, really big deal to me,” she begins. “I’ve been in this space designing and influencing for 15 years, so to actually launch something—a product into the world—just feels really good.”
An interior designer, stylist, content creator, TV personality, and DIY expert, Henderson’s abilities in the home space know no bounds. The spaces she styles continually feel fresh and packed with personality. Widely admired for her design sensibility, she is known to skillfully fuse the modern with the traditional and the new with the vintage to curate rooms so versatile they resonate with everyone. As she designed her rug collection, she had that same universal style in mind. “I wanted these rugs to be really, really versatile,” she says. “Not everybody has a farmhouse, not everyone has my style necessarily, but these rugs are so transitional that they just work everywhere.”
But after all this time designing and styling spaces, what inspired her to launch her first-ever collection? And why rugs? “As I was decorating my own house, I felt like there were some styles I was looking for that I didn’t find,” she tells us. “I was surprised to see a hole in the market—because there’s a lot of rugs out there, right? But we wanted the ones that we designed to solve problems for people.” She details how there seemed to be a lack of versatile, comfortable, high-quality rugs that were also affordable and accessible—and how it became her goal for her rugs to tick all those boxes.
In order to design rugs that would work in a myriad of spaces and with a variety of styles, for inspiration, she turned to something that has stood the test of time—vintage designs. Specifically, vintage Scandinavian designs. “We took a little inspiration from vintage Scandinavian design, so we looked at a lot of Scandinavian fabrics and vintage rugs,” she begins. “What I love about them is that there’s usually a pattern, but it’s very subtle and more linear. I wanted this collection to be a little pared back—a little more neutral and accessible with patterns that your eye understands and digests easily. I find that I love when a rug can work in any room in my house.”
That intention definitely comes through in these styles. From the Oregon Plaid Wool Rug to the Raleigh Striped Jute Rug and each one in between, this collection features what Henderson calls a “simple but special” aesthetic. She says, “I don’t need everything to be loud or graphic or busy. Most of what I love is simple but special—so we put that aesthetic into the collection.”
Something else that goes hand-in-hand with these simple, Scandinavian-inspired designs? Comfort—and Henderson is all about it. “Everyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with comfort,” she shares. “I want every rug to be comfortable. And when I felt these rugs in person, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, these are soft, comfortable, and they’re affordable.’ It’s hard to check all the boxes, but I feel like these rugs really do.”
As is often the case when it comes to designer pieces, though, what really takes these rugs to the next level is the details. “I’m especially excited about the ones that are both plush and woven; the textural difference is so pretty. They feel so elevated, so high-end, but still very comfortable,” she explains. “And having that textural differentiation makes them really forgiving, too. You don’t really notice the everyday life happening on these rugs.”
As a mom who lives on a farm, Henderson knows how important that can be. She also knows that when you invest in something you love, you usually hope to love it for a long time. “These rugs are not trendy. They do feel current, they feel fresh, but they’re not trendy,” she says. “My goal is that in ten years, you’ll still really love them because they’re just so timeless, comfortable, and neutral. They’re all the things that you won’t get sick of.”
She continues, “It’s always a challenge to design something new that feels unexpected and fresh, but also timeless. And I feel like this collection does that. Finding the right pieces that you love and that you can also afford—it can be a challenge! But there’s something for everyone in this collection. Universally, these rugs just work.”
If we had to sum it up, that would be the common thread woven throughout this collection: a rug for every person, and a rug for every space. Good design for all. And in Henderson’s words, that was another one of the driving forces behind these styles. “Good design should be for everybody,” she tells us. “It’s hard to find beautiful, affordable rugs, so that was a big goal of mine with this collection. It had to be beautiful and affordable. We really want everyone to have the rugs they love.”