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Rugs as Design Inspiration

Where to start? In creating a beautiful room, it’s the first question both designers and homeowners need to answer. Often the best beginning is a decorative oriental rug, ideal inspiration to help clarify your vision and guide you or your designer to achieve the style you want. Here are some factors to consider to simplify the choices:

The dimensions of your room set the outer limits of possibility for rug size. Most living rooms and bedrooms will comfortably accommodate 9’x12′ or 10’x14′ rugs. Sometimes a 5’x7′ or 6’x9′ rug can make an impact as the center of the primary seating group.
For dining rooms, 8’x10′ is usually the smallest size that will work so that chairs all remain on the rug when guests are seated. Smaller oriental rugs and runners are ideal for entries and hallways because they introduce pattern and color into areas with few other furnishings. Some rugs are even available in squares and rounds, eye-catching alternatives to more common rectangles.
One way to visualize what best fits your room is to mark the corners of possible rug dimensions with strips of masking tape on your floor.
Although rug size is largely dictated by your room, pattern choice depends more on the atmosphere you are trying to create.
Stylized curvilinear or floral patterns replicate the most elegant designs of antique rugs and are particularly suitable for more formal or traditional settings. The more casual look of geometric rugs makes them good choices for family rooms and kitchens, or as the foundation for sleeker, modern surroundings.
A center medallion merits thoughtful consideration. The motif will draw attention to other features of your room like a fireplace or bay window when aligned with them. It also works well centered under the dining room table. However, it can be difficult to use in a space with other features that are not symmetric. Fortunately, many rugs are made in companion pairs with and without medallions.
Another consideration that will determine the final appearance of your room is the pattern’s complexity. Although orientals are typically known for their complex designs, many styles come in simpler repeated motifs that provide a serene background for your room and suit clean-lined transitional or contemporary styling well.
Your response to every color is unique to you, but even your favorites can be combined in ways that suggest different stylistic options. You may love reds and yet prefer the tone-on-tone coral of a subtle modern Tibetan or the traditional crimson of a bold Heriz.
The deep blues and reds of older oriental rugs are still beautiful and available, but their lovely designs are now being made in new and exciting colorways. Warm reds and golds or cool blues and greens, rich dark shades or soft light-filled tints, high-energy contrasts or serene monotones…these are all color choices that will make your rug and the space it fills more reflective of you.
The most reliable determinant of construction quality in your oriental rug is the quality of the dealer. Dealers who are members of the Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA) purchase their stock from the finest producers and abide by the highest industry standards.
High quality oriental pile rugs are hand-knotted of hand-spun wool and/or sometimes silk. Flatweaves such as kilims, soumaks, and needlepoints differ in that they are essentially hand-woven rather than hand-knotted. Vegetable dyes most nearly replicate the beautiful colors of antique rugs, but fine rugs may also incorporate excellent modern chrome dyes to achieve the broader range of colors desirable today.
After all your considerations of size, pattern, color and quality, remember that when you love your rug, it will remain one of the most visible, valuable and versatile components of your home. Enjoy it!

Halifax Fine Furnishings, a member of ORRA, specializes in decorative oriental carpets and beautifully designed home furnishings. Whether you are looking for assistance with a single room or throughout your home, Halifax offers knowledgeable and professional support.


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