Choose Your Oriental Rug First

When clients are redecorating, I always advise them to choose their oriental rug before making any decisions about fabrics, wall coverings and paint. The reasoning is very simple. When purchasing an oriental rug, you have many more limitations than the other design elements that will go into the room.

You will need to determine:

  • The function of the room & high or low traffic
  • The room’s light quality
  • Do you want a new or antique rug
  • What are the minimum and maximum length and width sizes that will work
  • Do you want a rug with a center medallion or an all over design (this may depend  if your room has any off center architectural components such as a fireplace or bank of windows)
  • What style of design do you prefer (formal or casual, geometric or floral, modern or traditional etc.)
  • What is your overall color palette
  • Do you want your rug to be a strong focal point or more understated statement
  • What is your budget

It sounds like a lot of information but it really isn’t.  Most people can answer all of the above questions in a matter of minutes, however by taking the time to do so, you will be more focused and much more likely to purchase a rug with which you will be happy.

And Now Comes the Big Payoff.  Once you have purchased your rug, all other decorating decisions become much easier. Your rug acts as your generator pointing you in the direction of the most complementary colors, designs, and textures. There are literally thousands of fabrics, wallpapers, and paints from which to choose and your rug will help you make the best decisions. One of my favorite design activities is to gather a selection of fabrics and wall covering samples and place them on the rug. The colors and design of the rug will help you easily eliminate any samples that are off hue or too busy.  If your selection of samples was not quite right, you will now know in which direction to go for new samples.

Over the years I have worked with clients who purchased their fabrics or wall coverings and then went shopping for a rug. Scalamandre, Schumacher, Brunschwig & Fils, Old World Weavers, Stroheim & Romann and  Kravet are my favorite designer fabric and wallpaper companies. However, many of their fabrics have combinations of colors that make coordinating an oriental rug very difficult if not impossible. 
Unfortunately many clients realize this after the fact. 

Finally, another reason to choose your oriental rug first is because you can take the rug with you. I always recommend my clients to try to allocate the greater part of their decorating budget to the items that go with you when you move. Expensive window treatments and wall coverings can be wonderful, but they and the money you spent on them stay with the house however rugs, furniture and art go with you. 

Happy Oriental Rug Shopping!

Interior Decorating With Rugs as Wall Art

Most of us are familiar with the idea of hanging pictorial or landscape tapestries on walls, but more and more interior designers are turning to oriental and transitional rugs as an option to add color, design and texture to both large and small wall areas.

Rugs hung as wall art can make graphic bold statements or subtle yet interesting artistic accents to many areas in the home or office. They can add warmth and dimension to large expanses of bland wall space or make a small area both charming and complete.

Antique Rugs are a favorite of mine to hand as wall art. Not only are the colors mellowed with time, the texture of antique rugs adds a rich quality to the room’s overall ambiance. Some antique rugs are no longer suitable for floor traffic and hanging them makes wonderful use of decorative handmade textiles.

Silk Rugs are another excellent choice to hang in place of paintings. The play of light on the surface of a silk rug can be delightfully captivating and a silk rug will seem to endlessly change with differences in the amount of sunlight. I have a particularly special small antique Turkish Silk Hereke rug hung in the Doylestown Showroom. The foundation was woven with gold metal threads giving the rug an amazing brilliant sheen. I am often asked which rugs are my favorites and this one is definitely at the top of my list.

Kilims and Dhurries are another category of rug I often recommend for hanging. The light flat woven construction of this type of rug allows for larger sizes to be easily hung. I especially like using kilims on stone wall surfaces which can look stark without a focal point. Most of these rugs are woven in strong geometric designs that work very well with modern, arts and crafts and southwestern decorating styles.

Pile Rugs have been gaining in popularity with top interior designers and decorators to hang as wall art. Again, it is the fresh option of something other than the expected work of art. Usually designers will carefully select directional rugs or symmetrical rugs that complement existing art work and floor rugs. I had one client commission me to tent a bedroom in fabric then hang pile rugs on the walls for added interest. To this day it still is one of my all time favorite rooms.

Modern Rugs are wonderful options to add the wow factor to any contemporary space. It was a visit to The Philadelphia Art Museum and the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Bucks County that inspired me to create my Casual Contemporary and Modern Living rug collections. I even have one rug that is homage to the fabulous American modern painter Jackson Pollock. If you visit the website it shouldn’t take you long to find which one.

How to hang a rug is a very important consideration and usually best left to an Oriental Rug expert and professional installer. The size, weight, construction and age of the rug are factors to consider in addition to the surface and construction of the wall where the rug will be hung. There are a variety of decorative rods and clips that can be used or discrete
hanging pockets can be hand sewn to the back or a rug. For larger heavier rugs, I have used framing on the backside of the rugs to ensure even weight distribution.

Whatever your design style, I am sure you will find using rugs as wall art another beautiful option to decorate your home and bring many years of enjoyment to you and your family.