The selection and purchasing of an area rug for your home can be one of the most-daunting parts of the home-decorating process. Just ask me,.....fifteen years ago, I had little knowledge, if any, on the way antique rugs (or reproductions, for that matter) were made,.....why some were priced in the hundreds of dollars, others, in the thousands.
In the past 15 years, I've tried to learn as much as I can about how rugs are made, where they are made, and what they are made from. I ask a lot of questions, especially to those who make area-rugs their business. I take notes, lots of notes. I attend seminars. I read books.
Sometimes I get lucky at Estate Sales. This is an Heriz rug from the late-1900s. It's about 9x12; right now, it's at my rug dealer, getting professionally-cleaned. He appraised it between $5000-6000. I'm selling it for $2500
If there were an "Associates Degree" in Antique Rugs, I would probably have one at this point in my career. Rug dealers at ADAC and Scott Antique Market have personally expressed to me my "extensive knowledge," sometimes saying, "Mark, you know more about antique rugs than any Interior Designer I deal with."
When you hear this as a decorator, it validates the years of LEARNING the PRODUCT-KNOWLEDGE that is SO important in proposing and selling to one's clients. "KNOW what you SELL" is something I remember from years-back at Beverly Hall Furniture Galleries, where I worked for over 14 years. As I learned the differences of quality-made furniture, I learned that there are MANY differences in the way area rugs are made. A rug " is not a rug is not a rug" to 'butcher-paraphrase' Gertrude Stein.
In a blog, I cannot begin to explain this complicated-Industry. For centuries, rugs have been made in the Middle-East, in India, and in China. Some are HAND-KNOTTED,... others,....."HAND-LOOMED" or machine-made. Some are knotted on a wool-ground; others on a cotton-ground. Some rugs get their colour from natural, vegetable-dyed threads; others use synthetic dyes. Some rugs take over a YEAR to make; others can be loomed in a few days.
(1) This is a Sarouk Ferahan, my absolute FAVOURITE type of antique rugs, period. As they were only produced for about 15 years in the late 1800s, they are rare and highly collectible. I own one like this one; it has definitely increased in value since I purchased it.
(2) Here's a peek of my own Sarouk Ferahan, now in my Home Studio under my 10' stainless steel industrial kitchen work-table.
Get the picture? ........and I haven't even mentioned the ETHICS (or lack-thereof) involved in the Rug Industry. Suffice it to say, many of you reading this have probably at one time or another been ABSOLUTELY INTIMIDATED by the whole process, and end-up getting a sisal or seagrass area rug if any rug at all.
This is a great example of a NEW rug (an original Oushak made in Oushak, Turkey).
Vegetable dyes are used and they LOOK old, but are a fraction of the price of an antique Oushak.
One of my favourite clients bought this antique Tabriz years ago.
Hiring an Interior Designer that you TRUST can be one of the most-rewarding experiences of your lifetime. As I mention in Spectacular Homes of Georgia, "The difference between a GOOD designer and a GREAT designer is this: a good designer makes your house look pretty; a GREAT designer does so WHILE SAVING YOU MONEY". Hundreds,....then thousands of dollars over the years.
Rug purchasing alone, whether it's that one perfect rug for your dining room, or replacing your existing-rugs (relocating them in secondary places, if possible) and trading-up to rugs that perfectly-compliment your home and furniture, can provide a "finishing-touch" to any home,....and, if done correctly through research and knowledge, can become a very rewarding and pleasurable experience. Saving money should be part of the Process. Just remember: