A Brief Guide to Decorating with Antique Area Rugs
Older designer rugs don’t have to be dusty items that you no longer need or use. When used as decorative pieces, antique area rugs, coupled with complementing furnishings, can add depth and sophistication to your space.
You can add style and color to a hallway by using interesting antique area rugs. Oriental and Persian rugs can also be placed in front of a dresser, next to a bed, or grouped together with other furniture to create a balanced and attractive arrangement.
A subtle spun rug works well to complement a room with heavily patterned upholstery or wallpaper. If you choose patterned antique area rugs, keep your walls and furniture subtler to keep the room balanced. You should also use similar colors when combining spun or woven rugs and their patterns with the space you want to place the rug. A uniformed visual effect works best. Alternatively, you can use an oriental rug in neutral colors that will shift the attention to the heavy patterns and will avoid making the space overstimulating or overwhelming.
Four Types of Rugs
There are four main types of antique area rugs: court woven, village rugs, nomadic rugs, and city rugs. Each is outlined in detail below.
Courts have set up craft workshops since the 11th century when the Seljuks conquered Anatolia. The sole purpose of the workshops is to create textiles for use in court circles and some of the earliest examples can be found in Turkish museums. Both the Ottomans and the Safavid courts in Persia crafted area rugs, as did the Mughals in India. But, court weaving is not only found in eastern cultures. In Russia, royal workshops were held in St. Petersburg to make rugs for the tsars, and in France, Louis XIV instilled the Gobelins workshops for rug making.
These antique area rugs were woven by families in rural areas and sometimes their efforts were financed by entrepreneurs. Weavers followed their own patterns that had been passed down through the generations.
Nomadic or tribal area rugs were created in tents and temporary camps during migration. The pieces were created for use in homes and were sold for sustenance.
City area rugs were handmade in organized urban workshops. Weavers were required to follow specific patterns while supervisors would ensure quality control. These rugs offer a uniform quality and were well-produced.
How to Choose an Antique or Designer Area Rug
Designer area rugs are functional and serve as artistic pieces. The value of an antique or designer area rug is typically determined by its uniqueness and beauty, the level of workmanship that went into the creation of the rug, and the durability of the rug’s materials. People invest in rugs for different reasons, priorities, and venues. Consider where you want to place the rug to narrow your options.
Measure the Space
When placing a designer area rug in a room, it is important to achieve balance. To do this, subtract 2 to 3 feet from the length and width of the room. However, it is also important to remember is that antique area rugs are one-of-a-kind and are not often found in today’s standard sizes, either. So while Ideal size is certainly important, it's also important to know your absolute maximum and minimum parameters. These measurements will prove invaluable when it comes to having an array of options for your space.
The broad range of choices in antique and designer rugs can bewilder even the savviest of buyers. Answering a few primary questions can help to focus your buying process. Among them? Decide if you will be placing the area rug in a formal or informal space; whether you prefer small or large patterns; whether floral or geometric shapes will work best; and the types of colors, images, and fabrics that will complement the intended space.
The Quality of the Weave
The quality of the weave will depend on the area rug. Your first consideration when looking at antique and designer area rugs should be the beauty of the piece. Think about the balance of the rug, the colors, and size, and then you can consider the quality of the weaving.
Find the Ideal Rug at DECASO
At DECASO, we source our antique rugs and carpets from around the world to bring our buyers the highest quality antique pieces for the best value. Our online showroom is the perfect starting point if you are shopping for a rug. Take a look at our options and if there is something you have in mind that we don’t stock, let us help you source it.