Area Rugs

 

Area Rugs


 
Area rugs are just the right choice for expressing individuality in a room. Area rugs will contribute so much personality to a room, that you'd be hard-pressed to find something more elegant than a handmade Chinese oriental with a Peking floral design on top of a beautiful light oak floor, or how about a simple yet tasteful Dhurrie on top of a honey pine wood floor in a family room. Classics such as the authentic braided weave would look magnificent atop a weathered plank floor in a sitting room. They come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, colors and prices, and their subtle nature will enhance any room in your home.
Area rugs will go beyond contributing aesthetic value to a room for they also contribute tremendously to that warm and inviting feel we strive so hard to acquire. Area rugs are particularly a beautiful statement when they are placed over a hard surface such as wood or ceramic tile. A strategically placed rug can instantly enhance an environment as cold and hard surfaces become noticeably softer and warmer. Area rugs can instantly inject just the right amount of color and hue to brighten and freshen that particular space or area we've been working on, whereas tile and wood seem to be monochromatic in color which could tend to make a room drab and dreary. Area rugs can be used effectively to define specific activity centers within a room. Think of a child's room with plenty of play area for instance. There are ones specifically designed as an activity center either incorporating math or spatial skills training that can assist you in teaching your child.

Area rugs can also be used effectively in those especially large rooms of your house and with floor plans becoming more and more open, there is a greater need for establishing room boundaries. Area rugs are accomplishing what walls once did, defining where the dining room is or the family room is in today's flowing, open-planned homes. Although not recommended, they can also be placed over wall to wall carpet. This may present a tripping hazard depending on how thick the carpet and pad is. When they are being placed over a hard surface as mentioned earlier, you may need to use a special pad to prevent slippage and keep it where you want it. Below is a sample of what types are available with an exhaustive list of choices at the bottom of the page.

Traditional


Traditional pieces are rich in history and hue, such as the jewel-toned Chinese Orientals which are the aristocrats of their class and are prized in traditional, formal, and eclectic schemes. Authentic hand-knotted Orientals such as Persian or Chinese, because of the tremendous detail involved in making them, could take many years from the time they are made to being placed on your floor. One things for sure though, once on your floor you can take comfort in knowing that they will literally last forever. Other classics such as the Aubusson, Bokhara, and Moroccan also add elegance and beauty.

Flat Woven

Flat Wovens are very popular and mostly used in more contemporary settings. One which is perhaps the most popular is the wool dhurrie, produced in India for centuries. These are noted for their warm pastel colors, stylized motifs, and striking geometry which characterize these flat-woven types as truly unique for being not only durable but reversible as well. Kilims are also a popular flat woven style and basically have no pile. Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan offer Kilims in both simple as well as complex geometric designs, while Besserabian Kilims are more floral in nature. Another group of favorites include the shaggy Greek flokatis, natural Scandinavian ryas style, and modern or contemporary pieces in bold color combinations and clever graphic designs.

Braided and Hooked

Braided, hooked and rag hand-woven types are timeless classics. Absolutely nothing contributes more to that 'family room' feel than one of these originals. Their  handcrafted ambience will  appeal to all those trying to capture that old-country spirit. No longer just Grandmas favorite, these have enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in recent years. Still made the old-fashioned way, they consistently wear well and can be ordered with specific colors and custom designs to suit even the most discriminating pallet.  Antique shops are great places to look for these treasures. Who knows, you just might stumble across a truly valuable collectors piece. In this same category of hand-mades are painted floorcloth and painted Sisal. These are artistic expressions on canvas, jute or other fabric backing. Designs are typically primitive but can also be contemporary as well as custom inspired designs.

Antique

Ones classified as true Antiques will not only beautify a room, but are also a great investment and if you're shopping for an actual authentic one, research the techniques, materials, and designs of the period and the region of origin, as well as the particular unique identifying characteristics. For example, high-quality Chinese Orientals are typically made of wool. The quality is determined by not only knot count, but thickness as well. For instance, a 5/8 90 line in excellent condition would sell for more than lets say a 3/8 70 line piece in the same quality. Also, whether it is 'open' or 'closed' back will have a determination of the value. Similarly, a Persian may have between 500 to 1,000 knots per square inch. With this in mind, know that cost is not simply determined by aesthetic value alone. For those on a budget, there is a huge market of reproductions. These are typically made on power looms, mass produced, and can very closely resemble their more-costly counterparts.

You might want to consider one from a particular region:

Persian from the various metropolitan areas differ greatly from those of small rural villages. Ones from most urban regions are comprised of very intricate floral designs with fine knots. Village or tribal pieces are much more basic, incorporating a variety of geometric patterns in a somewhat coarser weave with much bolder color combinations. Some of the more popular ones include: Kashan, Tabriz, Heriz, Sarouk, Isfahan and Kerman, to name a few.

Turkish are generally tribal in nature, and are typically geometric in design. One exception would be the Hereke rug. Hereke is an area located on the north shore of Izmit bay in Northwest Turkey. These were of high quality and were made from silk during the time period of around the late 17th century. It proved by far the largest manufacturer of silk products in the Ottoman empire at that time.

Caucasian varieties tend to feature a somewhat bolder and more geometric design. They typically feature much brighter colors. Antique Caucasians are truly collectables due in part to their extremely fine and rare nature.

Bokharas have a rich history and are exported mainly from Pakistan, which presently produces most all of them in existence today. This would also  invariably include those in the classic red shades and the newer pastel colors. Pakistan is also well known for their unique 'Persian Weave Pakistan'. These are very similar to the ones currently being woven in the urban villages of Persia.

Chinese orientals and beauty are synonymous and nothing is perhaps more beautiful than one of these handcrafted originals . The designs are almost invariably floral, with their most popular being the Peking floral design. Often incorporating Chinese symbols, these are designed with soft pastel colorations (mostly vegetable dyes) and  have much thicker piles than other imports. Their backgrounds vary from busy scenes to the more subtle. China also happens to be a producer of the popular Persian designs. India is one of the more larger producers of oriental reproductions today. Similar to the Persian reproductions, they are also being made in a variety of styles and colors. Colors tend to be more Western influenced, with an emphasis on pastels. Older collectibles from India include Amritsar, Agra and Larestan. The cultural and religious influence embraced by the artisans in India is definitely seen in the range of motifs and designs currently being produced.

From the simplistic beauty of the dhurrie to the more sophisticated design found in Orientals to the warm and inviting charm of rag and braided styles, there's certainly no limit to what one can find to satisfy every taste, budget, furnishings need, and personal palette. Yes, from the very expensive and collectible antiques, to the simple and inexpensive throw, there proves to be something for everyone. There are even affordable reproductions of the more expensive and timeless designs available today, and some styles are still made the old-fashioned way...handcrafted using time tested methods. Click below for an international sampler of classic designs.

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