Artful Beauty Underfoot

I have been asked the question many times in my career whether the rug should be the first decision in designing a room’s interior. This is a variable and is determined on an individual basis; it is unique to each space and each individual for whom I am designing. Other designers may have a different point of view and may begin the design of each room with a rug. There is no right or wrong to this question. Rugs are definitely an important part of the design of any room.

There is a vast array of rugs in today’s marketplace. The fiber used to make rugs varies from natural to synthetic. I prefer natural fibers like wool, cotton, hemp, sisal, banana silk and a variety of grasses. In addition to the various fibers available, there are various styles to choose from as well; flat weave, pile, and many others.  Each of these fibers has specific characteristics and, therefore, are more appropriate for a specific use or style. Fine wool rugs that are hand knotted are very desirable and at the top of the price range. A very fine wool rug can take up to 1000 days of work by a highly skilled weaver. A 9’ X 12’ rug is square feet and square inches. If the rug has 800 knots per square inch that would equal 12,441,600 knots! A highly-skilled weaver can tie up to 12,000 knots per day. Fine rugs truly are a work of art and worth every penny spent.

Rugs can anchor a seating area in a large room; as well as add color and texture and warmth to any interior space. Consumers can be rather confused about what rug to choose – even if they will choose carpet or a fine rug. Rugs are woven by hand or machine loomed, and range widely in price. Style and color are also a wide variable. Oriental rugs are generally produced in Russia, Turkey, India, Iran, Tibet, Pakistan, China, and Nepal. Persian rugs refer to a sub area of the Orient. When talking Persian rugs, the area referred to is more specifically the “Old Persian Empire” whose borders changed over its thousand year existence. Since 1979, Iran is the modern day equivalent of Persia. Persian rugs are regarded as the finest rugs of all oriental styles of rugs by collectors. Genuine Persian rugs are hand knotted and their individual design refers to specific townships and cities where they are created. Rugs produced in these countries are genuine oriental rugs and are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. I consider them to be long lasting investments that become something one would pass along from generation to generation. Investment rugs with proper care will last a lifetime.

A professional interior designer can be of great help in determining the style, color, and size of the rug or rugs that would be right for your lifestyle, design and budget.

Santa Fe native LISA SAMUEL, Designer and Principal Owner of Samuel Design Group, is an award-winning interior designer. Read more about Lisa and her projects at the Samuel Design Group website.