Area rugs undoubtedly have been a staple item in man's home since the beginning of civilization and even prior. Certainly hides and skins served as the earliest area rugs, blankets and bedding. Area rugs were made from primitively woven reeds. Knotted area rugs evolved of wool, silk and royal households even possessed area rugs knotted with gold and silver threads. Over the centuries weaving techniques developed as well as spinning, dying and other skills required in the making of area rugs. As time progressed, we find that the area rug became one of the household's most prized possessions. Over the centuries area rug making evolved, and area rugs became transformed into artistic expressions. Today the finest hand made area rugs are considered even works of art. Area rugs are still important in the artistic traditions of peoples and cultures around the world.
Area rugs today are made in many ways, of varied materials for different uses and budgets. For a thorough description of the many technical aspects of rug making, see our “Area Rugs Glossary”. There are two fundamental types of area rugs, and that is hand made and machine made. Hand made area rugs may be knotted or woven, and machine made area rugs are generally made from synthetic yarns for more economical applications. However, machine made area rugs can now be made to mimic very well more expensive area rugs. And a machine made synthetic area rug has the advantage of being economical and very easy to care for. Such an area rug is ideal for high traffic areas. A machine woven area rug can also be made in a fantastic array of patterns, colors and styles. These durable area rugs are available in many shapes as well.
Amazingly, hides and skins retain their timeless appeal as area rugs as well. Natural cowhides, animal print and dyed cowhides, sheepskin and lambskin area rugs and faux fur area rugs still bring the basic look and feel of nature to your home. An area rug of these natural and faux natural materials is always hand sewn. Other handmade area rugs are made from many natural materials. An area rug made of wool is still a wonder of natural and healthful qualities. A wool area rug is durable and naturally resistant to fire, water and stains. A wool area rug always retains a soft, rich appearance unmatched by synthetic fibers. Silk has a very beautiful and soft sheen and remains a choice area rug making material. Cotton is soft, economical and durable that is easily dyed. Natural fiber area rugs have amazing qualities of beauty, durability and with various degrees of resistance to stains and moisture. An area rug of bamboo, sisal, jute or sea grass is reminiscent of our timeless regard for these natural area rugs.
There are a myriad of considerations when choosing an area rug, but no rigid rules. Area rugs can be the starting point of a room design or a finishing touch. But in our years of working with professionals we have noted some tips about what to think about when considering an area rug purchase.
An area rug can be the anchor for a rooms decorative scheme, and the rooms accessory colors can be built around the colors of the area rug itself. Often area rugs can be used to pull in all of the color elements of an interior and its adjoining views and gardens to create a harmonious continuum.
When thinking about area rug size, many feel it important that all your furniture fits onto the area rug. Sofas usually look better on area rugs than off, or half on and half off. For bedrooms, an area rug should leave about one foot of floor space between the area rug and wall. For living rooms, an area rug should leave from one-and-a-half to two feet of floor space between the area rug and the wall. This is a common rule of thumb, depending on how the room is shaped. Sometimes you want your area rug to appear as an island in space, supporting the furniture, and sometimes you like it to fill the entire space with your area rug.
General considerations in the choice of an area rug should be: quality, beauty, durability, appropriateness, size, color,pattern, manufacture style, ease of care, and of course budget. No matter what the cost, all area rugs should be well made with color fast dyes and good materials and straight seams; whether machine or hand made.
Keep and open mind. Area rugs could be appropriate in every room or any room of the home, depending on function and design. Allow your imagination to wander in choosing area rugs for each room.
An area rug can state something very personal about a person, his or her history, and an area rug can create sort of a self portrait. Area rugs can even make political, cultural, social and political statements. Its your home, engage the possibilities when considering area rugs.
An area rugs can be suitable as an accent in certain designs. If the room is architectural and sparce, it can be very effective to have area rugs as accents instead of having them under furniture.
Consider the acoustic effect of your area rug. Big open architectural spaces with wooden floors can be very noisy when walking, and when entertaining. In spaces that need dampening, the fullest and deepest pile area rugs will help quiet the space.
Area rug texture is all important. It will visually look tailored or more organic. Also, an area rugs texture will affect the comfort of use. Will the area rug be laid on? Will the area rug be walked on with formal high heeled shoes, casual shoes or even bare footed?
If your area rug is going to be hidden beneath furniture, you might consider buying a simple area rug in a natural color. Area rugs can delineate space, but you may want to limit the size of your area rug because you want to the floor to show more.
An area rug must fit the owner's personality and the room's usage. Area rugs for households with children and pets must be beautiful but also durable and easy to care for. Reserve pastel and white colored area rugs for that occasional-use room.
The shape of an area rug is dependant on the shape of the room and the layout of the furniture. Pay attention to entrances and exits when choosing your area rugs. Look at the room details; such as door swing and furniture leg placement when selecting the shape your area rugs.
Climate considerations are all important in your selection of area rugs. What kind of foot traffic will your area rug be exposed too, and in what kind of weather? Will your area rug be exposed to moisture or humidity? Will your area rugs be exposed to excessive dust? An area rugs made from a natural fiber like sisal, sea grass and jute have amazing properties suitable for different climatic conditions. An area rug made from certain materials are less suitable for certain climates. Do your research.
Don't forget the custom area rug solution. While a custom area rug can be expensive, some natural fibers like sisal is a fairly economical material from which to fabricate a custom area rug.