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Jess’ Living Room MOTO Rug/Coffee Table Agony

Was I inspired to get my act together after reading Caitlin’s post last week? Yes, yes I was. So here we are. Things are getting almost done in my head! That honestly is the longest part. The lead time of my “idea brain” is long and the client (me) is annoyed. But today I’m taking you on a journey to find the perfect rug/coffee table combo. To be clear I LOVE the rug I have. It’s kinda become the “EHD rug” since it’s so versatile and has been in so many projects. And it was perfect in my last apartment. But for this place, it’s just not “the one”.


As you may remember, I have already made one mishap in my quest to find this room’s perfect rug…

Was the intention good? Sure. I thought, “Ah! What if I brought in A TON of texture to help balance the formalness that’s inherent in the apartment’s architecture/ how I’ve already decorated?” So off to Etsy I went and bought this long pile flokati rug for just under $400. I thought, “what a deal for a large rug!” But as you can see…it wasn’t right. As of now it’s in my bedroom and looks pretty great. Very cloud-like but TBD on it staying long term.

What I actually wanted from the jump was a Moroccan Berber Rug with a large abstract design. My issue with the checkered one I have is that the pattern feels too small scale for this space and how I want it to feel. So not only would a Moroccan Berber solve my need for texture, since they are typically plush, the large-scale pattern/design want would be solved as well. Below are my top contenders. I only want black and white or black and “natural” colors so that the art/decor I get can be the colorful moments. Plus don’t forget I already have beautiful pink curtains and while I love color, I don’t want too much;)

1. Handmade Wool Berber Carpet | 2. Balance | 3. Berber White and Black Rug

Hubba Hubba! Gimme big and gimme bold. I love the simple statement these options make. Still interesting but not too busy. I think that’s what I want so that there’s more “visual room” for decor and art. I don’t want the room to look too busy. While the design is different, I still want that same calming feeling I got every time I walked into my last apartment. Having my larger pieces be simple and less patterned is my go-to way to achieve that.

I definitely love this rug. And while those shapes are similar to the art behind it, it doesn’t bother me. It’s simple and bold…but maybe it is too similar to the art and one of the other ones would contrast slightly better.

Buuuuuut since I’m choosing black and white, maybe I could go a little “wilder” with a larger scale pattern…

1. Trio | 2. Berber White And Black Rug | 3. Nomad | 4. Simple Object 18 | 5. Moroccan Berber Checkered Rug | 6. Berber Groove Rug

Don’t laugh. I know these aren’t wildly patterned but they are “the most” I want to go IF I choose this route. I’m actually pretty into #2 and #5. They are the “busiest” of the bunch but I think they are fun and cool. Of course, I don’t want anything too trendy but I honestly don’t think these are. #3, on the other hand, is extremely fun but I do worry about its longevity with my ever-changing style evolution. But for the right person, it’s so freaking cool. As a fun exercise, I decided to do a little mood board photoshopping.

I am a check gal through and through so, OF COURSE, I love how this looks on the left. But do I really want to switch a small-scale check for a medium-scale check? Do I not want to try something else? Then on the right, I do love that rug. Lea has it in her basement now too! But I don’t think it’s right and is also matchy-matchy with the art, like the option in the first category.

An option that I’m highly considering, per Emily Bowser’s suggestion, is designing my own rug. I don’t plan to reinvent the wheel but it is a way to potentially get exactly what I want and feel even more connected to it. I’ll keep you posted.

Ok enough about rugs, it’s time to bring in the coffee tables.


photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: moto reveal: jess’ living room

You likely don’t remember the coffee table saga of my last apartment. Honestly, I’ve tried to block it out. I just remember thinking, if I never have to look at another coffee table again I will live a happy life. Luckily, I found the perfect duo to work both size-wise and functionally for my itty bitty living room (please see above). Now, these more or less work in my new space but they don’t feel totally right either. So I’ve been toying between a handful of options. Let’s talk about them.

1. Plinth Table Low in Various Colors | 2. Alvar Coffee Table | 3. Hera Coffee Table

All three of these are modern, chic, and have a bigger surface area than my old ones. They would also look great with everything I have (and plan to get). Let’s see them on the mood board:

I really love the two-level, sleek design of the one on the left. It’s simple but still interesting. Plus who doesn’t love marble??? What I love about the black one on the right is that it’s sneakily a two-level coffee table but has that VERY cool shape. Both modern. Both very pretty.

This one lacks a second level but the contrast and movement of that marble are stunning! It even has some pink in there to tie in with my pink curtains:) The main bummer with this one is it’s only 10″ high (very low) and $$$$.

So again, these are all beautiful but I really want my home to feel welcoming, not precious, and have a hefty amount of warm natural materials. I don’t want my home to feel like a museum and I’m afraid going this route would push me more in that direction. Naturally, I then went on the hunt for wood coffee tables…

1. Peagan Indoor / Outdoor Round Coffee Table | 2. Vintage Brown and Saltman Coffee Table | 3. Spezza Coffee Table | 4. Miri Coffee Table | 5. Column Legs Coffee Table | 6. Noir Tiered Coffee Table

Don’t these just have a slightly friendlier vibe because of the wood material?? At first, I thought that I wanted to go all black to help contrast the pink curtains and light-toned desk. Then I thought, maybe a white one like #3 would actually help tie in the light desk area with my dark sofa area. BUT then I really liked the idea of a darker two-toned option that would “talk” to my desk chair (the one below I refuse to never let go of:))

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: moto reveal: jess’ home office

Here is how the light and a dark coffee table would look:

They both look great, right? I like the white and oak one but I really want the space to feel earthier and grounded and this says, “light and airy” to me. I actually really love that square beauty (and might be good for kids since there aren’t sharp corners). However, ultimately my heart was with the two-toned look so earlier this week I decided to just go for it!


I had been looking at this little cutie on Craigslist for months but at the time it was out of my price range (then they finally were willing to come down to $375 so I was thrilled). Look that’s still not cheap but it had been on my mind for a long time and for the same table in a larger size on 1stDibs it goes for over $1k. I just loved the interesting shape, the two-toned colors and materials, and that little line detail on the bottom. Also, I realized that I don’t have any vintage furniture in my living room yet. That’s really what was truly missing…SOME SOUL! But buying vintage is very nerve wreaking since there isn’t a return policy. Happy and relieved that I love it. It’s not only going to tie in my chair but also my cabinet/bench design plan🙂

Here are some real shots of my picking it up and thanks to Caitlin who came with me to make sure it was worth the money and that I didn’t get murdered. The buddy system is the only system! Also the guys I bought it from were extremely nice.

Here it is pre-oiled in the warehouse (on the left) and post-oiled in my car (on the right). The guy was sweet enough to make it sparkle before I left and told me to oil it every couple of months with this brand of conditioner. Now, as you might have noticed it’s not huge. It’s about 25″x15″. My sofa is 84″ which means this little pumpkin needs a friend or two to help make her longer (coffee table rules here). Basically, I will need to do the same idea as my nesting table and pouf in my last place. If you are wondering if I can use one of the old pieces I might. The black table is the only one that fits with it since it’s taller but I’m not sure if I love the look. My other idea was to get a couple of floor cushions made to stack and nest under the new table. This way I can add a couple more comfortable seats, color, and pattern. Win-win-win, right?


1. Thalassa | 2. Commune Malmo Check | 3. Oyo | 4. Janas | 5. Cintamani | 6. Noos | 7. Cintamani | 8. Zuri | 9. Ephesus

Above are the fabrics I am currently thinking about. I’m pretty sure I want two different colors (maybe a third to put in the corner). Most of these are from Zak + Fox because I love love their selection for the style I’m going for and I know their quality because I saw it first hand in the canopy Emily had made for their kid’s bedroom in LA. Let’s take a look at some combos, shall we?


For option one, I like the happy medium tone of the colors and the slight scale difference between them. I also love that the yellow fabric has some pink in it to tie in with the pink curtains. Then for option two, I love the moodiness of these colors and the pattern of the blue fabric A LOT. Just not sure either of these combos are right though.


Here we are on the left with that blue fabric again but with a much lighter (and colorful) option as the second pillow fabric. The blue might be too dark. Thoughts? Then on the right, we have the same pattern as the blue but in a different color. I honestly kind of like this but again it doesn’t feel perfect yet. I would love y’alls thoughts on that too! Let me know in the comments:)

So that’s where I am at! Moving forward and feeling very inspired which is A RELIEF!!!!!!

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Jess Bunge | Styled by Emily Bowser | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Moto Reveal: Jess’ Home Office

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5 months ago

I love the art on the wall and the sofa you bought. I’m more into a low pile, smaller pattern and low contrast pattern in the rug for your space. In California a high pile rug seems counterintuitive.

5 months ago

SO modern and cozy

5 months ago

Such an interesting concept, the pillow pile coffee table addition! I always love your style and creativity and can’t wait to see the final result.
Since are taste appears to be kinda alike I’ve been looking for similar printed rugs the past months, but in a beige/rust color combo (to go with a black sofa). 🙂
Just a suggestion, since the salon is so close to the desk area, the angular shape of the rugs seems a little harsh to me. Would a rounded shaped rug be an option?
Also really loving the combo of the marble vain with your curtain. Maybe find a vase or another decor item in that type of marble?

Reply to  Jess Bunge

I want to know the marble idea!!!!! Teeeeeelllll meeeeeeee!

5 months ago

This is exciting! I’ve had great experience with this woman-run rug company: and I’d love to see some green in your floor cushions: to connect a bit with that side table, and also, rust + pink + green to me is…kind of the best 🙂 Can’t wait to see the final result!

Reply to  Annie

Yes, I love that color combo idea!

5 months ago
Reply to  Annie

I love my Baboosh rug! Most expensive thing I’ve ever bought but I wanted something that was ethical, long-lasting, and beautiful. And it ticks all those boxes and brings me daily joy! I’m still so impressed by the quality. It’s Moroccan/Canadian though so may be more expensive to get shipped to the States (but great for Canadians because we usually have fewer options!) I have the ‘Lady Rug.’

5 months ago

Remind us, what is happening with your fireplace? If it is being left “as is”, can the rug and/or the floor pillow repeat the “dirtier” fireplace color to tie things together a bit? BTW have you seen the price on this fireplace?

5 months ago

I have a similar rug I bought from the Anou Collective and had a good experience with them. This is one is probably too colorful but has an interesting checked pattern!

5 months ago
Reply to  K

I just returned from three years in Morocco and also recommend Anou – I have a beautiful handcrafted rug from the Ibilou Coop that features all natural dyes. A friend spent a lot of time with the weavers up in the mountains and so several of us were able to by directly from them:

5 months ago
Reply to  K

Also just bought from Anou! The weavers will make custom rugs. Love that Anou directly supports artisans & their customer service is great.

5 months ago

FWIW, I like floor pillow option #2! However, I know whatever you choose will be perfect!

🥰 Rusty
5 months ago

Heeeeey….things are getting a move on here!🙂
Lurvin’ your artwork, Jess!!!💞

I vote for the BENI rug hands down! 2nd choice is NORDIC KNOTS.
Curves and fluid lines.

Love the coffee table you bought! I’d keep away from square/angular.
You need curves in there to link in with the window curve and your special desk.

You can’t go wrong with any of those cushion fabrics.


🥰 Rusty
5 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Oooh! Jess….have ypu lookedcat Justina’s rugs at JUNGALOW????
She has a few that might be heaps more in line with bringing it all together for you!!

5 months ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Yes, maybe some round floor pillows would help with that.

5 months ago

Hurray for agony posts! I love this kind of process content.
My favourite is the medium check one, but it might not be the most practical for pattern mixing with floor pillows…

Hey, how’s your fancy desk holding up? It’s beautiful, so I went to the website and there were a bunch of reviews that said that the covering texture was discolouring or peeling. I’m really curious! I love it, though.

5 months ago
Reply to  Kira

Yes, I was wondering the same thing, based on the reviews!

Roberta Davis
5 months ago

I like option 3 on the pillows! There’s so much to putting a room together, isn’t there? I’m sure this is all going to look fantastic by the time you do the reveal!

5 months ago

Great post and I can’t wait to see what you come up with because I think you and Caitlin managed to find the most magical apartments in LA! I see things differently from the way you do so my thoughts may not be helpful but here they are! The black shapes in the first group of rugs read as objects to me so adding coffee tables and pillows on top doesn’t allow either shape to shine. The rugs with lined patterns (#s 2 & 4 in the patterned rugs group) are my favorites. #1 isn’t bad but I’d forever be trying to align everything to the pattern. You say that # 4 is too matchy with the art and I totally disagree. The art is shapes, rug #4 is lines, not at all the same to me and the curved lines make a nice counterpoint to the angular coffee table you’ve chosen. There are lots of line-patterned rugs around but #4 isn’t at all a bad choice. Now, on to the floor pillows. Who’s going to use them? Unless it’s you, or you absolutely know you’ll be hosting lots of floor lounging parties, they could just end up as visual… Read more »

5 months ago

How exciting that you found a coffee table that you love! Big check mark on your list, and glad you chose a more rounded shape, the rectangle corners in a small space look lethal to legs! 🙂 I love your new coffee table’s 2-tone look and shape – so interesting – great vintage find! 🙂
For the rug, I love the Nordic Knots rug, the one with the abstract curvy line. I think it speaks wonderfully with the turret and desk’s curve and will help to balance the straight edges of the rug.

So glad that art is a priority for you in your space, and can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the reveal!

Kali Benbrooks
5 months ago

It’s al coming together beautifully! Do you mind sharing where your sofa is from? The color is incredible!

5 months ago

Love the coffee table! A stack of floor pillows is great option. Have you seen these from West Elm?
They are pretty pricey, but seem really nice. I love the fabric options you’ve chosen, and I have a hard time deciding, but really like the idea of choosing three patterns. Some combos I like are: 2, 4, 8 – 4, 7, 8 – 1, 2, 8 – 1, 4, 8. I guess I’m really leaning toward 8. I think because of the color choices. But honestly, I like all the options.

As for the rug, I’m having a hard enough time decide on a new rug for my living room. I bought something inexpensive, and it’s not holding up. My 100% wool rug in another room is so much more durable. It’s just hard to spend the money when it’s so hard to see anything in person. A few companies offer samples, but I’m not sure that will make it any easier. I like the graphic patterns you’ve chosen, and I can’t wait to see the final reveal.

5 months ago

love love love the fabric roundup. finding modern fabric patterns feels like a chore and a half so I appreciate the curation!! Would love more dedicated fabric roundups!

5 months ago

Sharing my two cents. I had a wool rug in my living room and it shed like crazy, I finally gave up on it and donated it. I ended up with a polyester one (as a designer that probably sounds like your worse nightmare). I found it at Home Depot and I love it, I’ve had it for a year and a half now and it still looks great (I don’t have to vacuum everyday). I also bought a rug pad for extra cushion:

Sarah L
5 months ago

Would a Moroccan tea table work? Maybe not one of the highly ornamental ones, but a plain, modern take on them (or a simple antique one?). The hexagonal base would reference the existing table, and it could be taller than the existing table but because of its negative space would still let your solid shorter table be the anchor.

5 months ago

I love reading about your process! I think rug #6 is the sleeper of the group. It has a very cool, subtle swirl pattern that picks up so many of your current design features, will go with everything, and because it isn’t “loud” it will allow so much variety in fabric choices for pillows and so on. Best in my mind, it will look fabulous with your new coffee table, allowing it to shine and providing a lovely swirly water feature kind of thing under and around it. And maybe just a unique end table is all you need to accompany it.

While I love your go big or go home first choice, I think it is too much (too dramatic) for the room, and will draw your eye away from all the unique pieces, textures and art you are assembling. Just my humble opinion, but once you see a Holstein cow, it can’t be unseen…. 🙂

5 months ago

I love this process post and your mock ups! So many good options. Did you check out these rugs? It’s a fantastic small business I try to recommend to everyone. HANDMADE, environmentally conscious, kind owner who gives fair wages, highly recommend! They can also customize colors and sizes on request. 🙂
This one reminds me of your nordic knots one!

Ok, late to the comments. But here we go: 1. I got so excited when I saw this room yesterday! I just love that desk situation. And the chair! I forgot how obsessed I am with this chair! 2. Ahhhhh, how I used to obsess over flokati rugs in the 00’s. I was convinced I had to have one! That made me nostalgic. 3. Ok, this is a first, and I hate to say this, but I don’t love any of the rug choices (sorry! 🙈) I actually just love the checked one you already have! 4. That peek of your old apartment always makes my eyeballs squeal with excitement! I loved it too too much! 5. Coffee tables! The marble block one is a STUNNER. I want it. Saving it for my lottery plans. Love love love. 6. Of the vintage/wood ones, the white Burke decor one was my favorite, but I also really like that one you ended up choosing! It looks best in that post- oiled shot! The wonders of oiling wood! 7. For the floor pillows, I’m not sure what I like (what is happening, I always have an opinion). None of these fabrics jump out… Read more »

emily jane
5 months ago

LOVE the soulful, new-to-you vintage coffee table (and how the circle inlay references your groovy cabinet/bench design)! Option #1 for floor pillow fabrics injects a welcome playfulness (translation: that’s the only Fabric mood board that made me smile : ). I’m with you on the current rug scale being off for this space (but PERFECT for your last living room because Everything about that room was perfect -btw, I’m still desperate to build a Bunge knock-off wraparound bench Somewhere on my property!) and my gut is responding to any of the rug options that resemble the flow of cursive handwriting (maybe because it ‘suggests’ symmetry by nodding to the curve of the turret window..? or possibly because a ‘swirly’ energy = a touch of whimsy..?). ANYway, you are well on your way to another dynamic Jess Bunge MOTO and I am looking forward to seeing/reading MORE of/from you.

5 months ago

i just adore your style! did i miss where your art pieces are from? i love them!

5 months ago

Hmmm. Something about the large scale black and white feels too stark to me with the cognac to feel earthy & grounded but I’m sure it can all come together.

Personally, I’d play around (sparingly) with some navy and cream/slate/caramel/maroon colors. (I’m thinking Commune design color palette with your warm dark floors and couch and fabric choices & a quick scroll on Pinterest at their stuff sort of confirms my thought process re: large black chunks being too stark.) I also like some of the rugs on that reflect the shape of the lil coffee table more.

Agree that cognac/rust and moss green and pink play well together. That being said I also like 1,2,3,4 & 8 as fabric color options. The Lorna woven pillow by McGee & co is on sale and would play well with them, I think! The commenter-suggested stacked pillows by west elm are kind of cool… not sure about the scale but those in conjunction with a custom one might work!

5 months ago

I had the Nordic Knots Nomad in my living room, and it looked great and is super cozy. However, it’s SUCH a pain to maintain. It’s really dense and high pile, which makes vacuuming a challenge. I bought a carpet rake and that worked better, but I wouldn’t recommend this for a high traffic area. It’s now in storage until we buy a place where it can live in a room with limited traffic. Womp Womp.

5 months ago
Reply to  Liz

Saw a comment further down about wool rugs shedding, and this one does massively. I had to rake it then vacuum daily for it to stay looking nice.

5 months ago

I am really into the stuff of Anthropologie for some reason, after ignoring it forever. This is my choice:

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