Interior Design Tips With Oriental Rugs

You don’t have to look too long or hard at any magazine for interior design or architecture to find a room featured with beautiful handmade floor rugs. Since the 16th century, oriental area rugs have played a big role in the overall design of a room. The reason for this is because they truly do wonders for a room and involve so little work other than rolling out the rug. Beauty aside, they are also extremely practical, highly sustainable and relatively easy to care for and will last a lifetime.

1. Start with the oriental area rug

The reason we start here is simple. The rug is the foundation to your decor and it is also “art for the floor”.  Your floor has become your blank canvas to paint a rug with.

Most of the interior designers we work with start with the rug because they know that this is the beginning of great design. Once you feel confident with your choice of carpet, you create the mood of how to lay out the rest of the details.

2. Determine the size of the handmade oriental rug you want for the room

This is often the most confusing part for many people, as it is common to choose a rug that is too small. Although there are no hard and fast rules for size, we usually recommend that you choose the size that will make the room appear bigger, rather than smaller. Thus, when choosing living room rugs with couches and chairs, its nice to have the rug underneath the front legs of the couch. This configuration creates a lot of warmth in the room and shows the rug beautifully.  The most common sizes for rooms are 8×10 area rugs and 9×12 area rugs.

3. Find the color that feels best

As mentioned in a previous blog post “The Art of Color in Fine Rugs”, color is really important both aesthetically and psychologically. We seek out color to give ourselves a good feeling. One thing we like to provide at Artsy Rugs is the opportunity to take rugs home on approval. This makes it so much easier to see if the colors work in your room. We have noticed on more than one occasion that rugs can change a lot in the home as compared to the showroom where lighting is very consistent. Ideally, when you are in the showroom, having swatches of your fabric or pillows will help you determine the best colors.

4. Find the right design for the room

Contemporary Rug: These rugs can run the gamut when it comes to design from paint splatter looking rugs to stripes or geometrics. Contemporary rugs are appropriate for modern looking interiors which are very popular today.  Artsy Rugs has the most exquisite modern collection of area rugs in the Bay Area brought to you from some of today’s best contemporary rug designers.  The best way to see them is in person to see and feel the quality and color. 

Traditional Rug: These rugs are the most common of oriental rug and usually have curvilinear lines and can be used in almost any style of interior. We have seen them used successfully in modern as well as traditional interior design layouts. (The photo below is a great example of a traditional rug in a modern environment.)  Medallions are popular in traditional rugs and thus can be placed in a room with a very nice chandelier or in the middle of a room or under the middle of a table. 

Tribal Rug: These designs are very popular and can be used in a wide variety of interiors, especially southwest and arts and crafts. However, because of their nature, they can also be used successfully in very traditional or modern layouts. It is all dependent on how the colors are put together.  The one below is from a beach house and looks absolutely stunning.

Transitional Rug: This is also a very popular style in the oriental rug store marketplace, as with these rugs we can mix and match both modern and traditional. Often these rugs have no border, or if they do, they use unusual colors not seen in traditional rugs, with a muted palette. Artsy rugs has many transitional rugs

5. Having the right materials in the right space

WOOL:  This is still the number 1 material for use in fine rugs.  The reason?  Because this fabric stands the test of time like no other.  It’s durable, sustainable and beautiful.  It can handle a lot of abuse as well including dogs, cats and other creatures.  Ideal for any areas of the house, wool will last a lifetime and look even better after you clean it.  Wool area rugs are still the industry standard of beauty.

SILK:  Sophisticated, luxurious and lovely.  Silk continues to fascinate people because of its incredible sheen and beautiful feel.  People who have a deep passion for silk rugs often times don’t even have wool.  Silk is actually much more resilient than most people believe.  It can also handle a lot of traffic.  It is slightly more challenging to clean and it is more expensive to clean as well.  However, it can be used in almost any space, although we would not recommend it for the kitchen or in an area where it would get wet all the time.

BAMBOO SILK:  This fabric is still experimental in many ways and has not been around long enough for us to truly make a comment to its longevity.  However, with special care this type of rug can still last a very long time, but it is definitely not recommended for high traffic and is more costly to clean.  Bamboo silk is often found in wool & silk rugs.  This type of rug is best to use in large areas.  We also recommend a product like “Fiber Seal” to avoid stains from spills.

VISCOSE:  Similar to bamboo silk, this material requires more care and attention.  Keep it out of kitchen and bath areas, as well as any area where there could be constant moisture.

6. Mixing and Matching

Clients often ask about this and how to have different rugs in spaces that are in close proximity to one another.  We have noticed that rug style is less important than rug color.  Having a matching element of color works best.  Otherwise, mixing it up style-wise is actually a lot of FUN!  We’ve seen highly contemporary rugs mixed with highly traditional rugs. The only connection between the two was an element of color and it works!  In the end, there are no hard and fast rules – only that you enjoy and appreciate your space and the rugs you have are giving your room a sense of harmony and joy.

Final note…

Some have noted that small designs give more attention to the furniture and details in the room, whereas the large scale designs bring more attention to the carpet itself becoming more of an art piece and central focal point.

The truth to the story about interior design with your oriental rug is that your rug becomes the main attraction in the room and makes all the details, such as artwork, pillows and other room accessories stand out. It ties the room together an gives it a feeling of warmth and joy for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

If you’re reading this blog and you’re visiting the Palo Alto area, visit our area rugs showroom and find the very best area rugs in town.  Our wool area rugs are second to none and you can find all kinds of unique home decor rugs for any palette.

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