Abelardo Gonzalez - CarpetVista's Interior designer

Home decorating can sometimes be a daunting and even overwhelming task. To the layman designer, trying to take into account all the countless rules, tips, and do and don’ts, the end result is not always what we had hoped for

Someone who knows this better than most is CarpetVista’s interior design architect, Abelardo Gonzalez. Founder of his own design firm, Abelardo Gonzalez Arkitektbyrå, he is faced with these challenges on a daily basis. Since opening his office in Malmö in 1980, he has gone on to gain worldwide recognition, win several international awards and earn a great deal of respect from fellow architects on his way to becoming an innovator in his field.  

CarpetVista had a chance to sit down with Abelardo recently and ask his opinion on some of the more common questions that arise in his profession. Here is what he had to say: 

How can you explain the rising popularity of Kilim and Persian carpets?Interior decorators around the world have discovered the many possibilities of combining these colorful and prestigious carpets with stark minimalistic interiors. They provide a lavish contrast and can easily be placed in different interior spaces.  

Does an Oriental carpet need to be combined with a particular style of furniture and how important is the design of the walls?Although many people believe that these carpets can only be used in combination with artique furniture one would be surprised at the stunning effect given when placed in a modern interior.The most successful interior decorators have understood that the secret is to respect the balance between contrast and harmony. There is no rule that wall design and furniture must be a specific way, and to be honest, the mixture between modern furniture and traditional carpets is much more exciting. 

What are some important elements to keep in mind when combining different styles of carpets in a room? For example, a Kilim and a Persian carpet?Color, texture, and motive. Don’t be afraid of trying different possibilites, you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. 

Would you suggest combining an older carpet with a new one?This is perfectly acceptable, but keep in mind the proportion and distance between the carpets must be respected in order to avoid overlapping. 

Are certain carpets better suited for a particular room?This depends on who you ask. According to me, classical carpets with red and warm tones work well in a living room, whereas more daring mixtures work well in the bedroom. The boundaries are only limited by your imagination. 

How important is the lighting?Light is another influencial factor. I love playing around with the effect of artificial lighting to reinforce and enhance the depth of color and material of my carpets. 

I want to decorate a smaller room, any suggestions?
The same goes for a small room as for a big one – make sure the carpet is proportional to the space. 

What should be kept in mind when placing a carpet in a room? Do certain designs only work in a larger space? Should the carpets compliment or harmonize with art or patterns on the wall?
Carpets may be used in many different ways depending on the effect you wish to portray. They can certainly be combined with pictures, wall hangings and wall paper. The size of the carpet is probably the most important factor when decorating your floor. Because of this I would like to emphasize the importance of the proportion a carpet has in a room – it should never be placed too close to a wall or overwhelm the furniture.

Many people chose to hang carpets on the wall. Is there a particular carpet that is better suited and should the wall be quite large for it to work?Carpets are ideal and unique wall decorations. You can use a large tapestry or composition of carpets on an empty wall to achieve harmony or contrast. This is a relatively simply and economical way of decorating a wall in a home or open spaced area. It also helps in reducing the echo effect in a room. Kilims work well as wall hangings and do not weigh so much, thereby minimising the risk of damaging the carpet. 

Are there any ”faux pas” when integrating a carpet cushion? Not really. They can be used in almost any setting regardless of the dynamic of the decor. 

If I wanted to sew my own cushion, what kind of carpet would you recommend?The easiest to work with are Kilims. 

In your opinion what is the biggest difference between a Kilim, a Persian, and a Gabbeh carpet?These are three completely different types of carpets originating from different regions that use different techniques. I would use Persian styled carpets in the most important areas of my home, Kilims in more private areas and Gabbehs in the office or open spaced areas. Imagination is the limit and I love testing the different effects of color and material. One recommendation I have is that you take the time to get to know a little about the history and specifics of these carpets. It is a very interesting world and the more informed you are the easier it is to make the right choice. 

Carpet Encyclopedia - Styles & Origin

After 30 years in the business Abelardo has stood by one important belief:”The most important thing to keep in mind is that your home should suit your style and personality. After all you are the one who lives there!

Top Image: one of Abelardo Gonzalez's newly renovated objects

Bottom images:
A: Private home, Istanbul
B: Penthouse, Västra Hamnen, Malmö
C: Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires