Worldly Dallas designer Jane Waggoner lets the rug lead
When we sat down with Dana Card recently at Number One/Le Jus, she told us we had to meet Jane Waggoner, who happened to be sitting one table over. Because we know Card to be full of great advice, we made plans to visit with Waggoner, the celebrated interior designer whose artful rug collections have created quite a stir in the Dallas home and design community.
Waggoner says she fell into the business when she designed a rug for an interior design client, and it caught the attention of Paige Swoden, Interior Resources rug buyer and custom studio manager. At the time, Interior Resources didn’t have a local designer with a collection of rugs. Within a year, Waggoner had seven rugs in her first line.
“For every room there needs to be one piece that serves as a focal point that is disproportionately more expensive,” Waggoner says.
To build her collection, she started with the design of that first rug and either added layers or took some away. By using similar elements in each rug, she created a complementary collection suitable for dining and living spaces. Today her rugs are available for retail exclusively at Forty Five Ten. (Or you can try your luck in the auctions at the upcoming Junior League Ball and Art Ball.)
Waggoner says she’s inspired by her travels, and her artful approach comes from a degree in art history coupled with stints at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Dallas Museum of Art. When she shows us the Daniela rug — the first piece in her collection — she also pulls out a picture from a trip to Barcelona, demonstrating how she reimagined the photograph as a rug design.
As she flips through her book of designs, a theme emerges: There is a matching photo for every rug.
“When I was young I just loved the idea of blowing up pictures of the things I liked,” she says. And that’s essentially what she does today. She takes an image or an idea and turns it into a beautiful piece of floor art.
Waggoner describes her rugs as “big and clean,” not fussy, and she says she doesn’t pay attention to trends. “I guess I have an inner radar,” she says.
Like art on the walls, one of Waggoner’s rugs makes a bold statement in a room. “For every room there needs to be one piece that serves as a focal point that is disproportionately more expensive,” she advises. Also like art, her rugs are meant to be heirlooms, thanks to timeless designs and fine craftsmanship.
Each 9-by-12-foot rug takes five months to make, because it is hand-knotted (100 knots per square inch) using only the finest Tibetan wool. In addition, all of her carpets are GoodWeave certified to ensure no child worked on any of the pieces.
As for what lies ahead, we ask Waggoner if there are any travel plans in her near future. “No,” she replies. “But it’s time.”
To have a rug custom made at Interior Resources, you can go through Waggoner, who still dabbles in interior design, or any other designer.