Handmade can mean many things. Price and quality depend on a number of factors in Vidal.
Hand tufted: A tufted rug is made using a mechanical tufting tool that secures and inserts the yarns in the backing, often canvas. Since the tufted yarns are not securely enclosed by a knot, the backs of these rugs are usually sprayed or painted with adhesives to secure the pile yarn. These rugs cannot be truly called “Oriental rugs.”
Hand knotted: In a hand-knotted rug, each yarn is individually tied in a knot by the weaver. Each knot of yarn is tied securely around two or three strands of warp yarn, which is the vertical yarn set up initially on the loom as the basis for the rug that will be woven upon it. This is a completely handmade process, no mechanical tools are used.
A hand-knotted area rug will be more expensive than a tufted rug. In addition, a hand-knotted rug made in the crossed style of weaving is more time-consuming and durable (and expensive) than an uncrossed rug.
Shearing: After the rug is woven, overall shearing of the pile is done by hand, to an even depth or to variations of textural depth specified by the designer. Shapes within the overall design are usually incised, cut around carefully by hand to create dimension and clarity of design.
Knot count: This term refers to “knots per square inch.” The more detailed and complex the design, and the finer/thinner the wool, the more knots are required for clarity of color and design. High-quality rugs usually range from 50 to 100 knots per inch. Imagine the work that goes into that kind of hand weaving. Knot density will affect the cost of the rug.
When we moved a few months ago from our fairly small, thoroughly carpeted house to our new home, we were thrilled with the lovely old oak floors. We had the floors cleaned and polished before we moved in, and have lived with the rich, warm glow of the bare wood ever since. But now it's starting to get cold, we're all inside more and the kids (and the cats) are skidding crazily through the hallways when they run in the house. Also, it bothers me that my voice echoes even in the relatively small space of my office. It's definitely time to buy some area rugs.
I've never purchased a rug in my life and have the feeling that it's like buying a car: The less you know the more you pay. I called three different experts for advice on where to begin. While they disagreed on just a few points (most notably whether or not the rug should be the first or last purchase in designing a room), they offered loads of helpful tips.
- John Kurtz, former host of the PBS show Art Underfoot, is the designer for New Moon, a rug company he owns in Wilmington, Del.
- Karl Lohnes, interior designer in Toronto and co-host of HGTV's This Small Space
- Patrick J. Baglino, Jr., a Washington-based interior designer who was recently voted one of America's top young designers by House Beautiful.
You should buy the best rug you can afford, even it means living with bare floors while you save up your pennies. Look for good quality natural materials such as wool and silk. A high-quality wool rug will wear well and even look better over time, says Kurtz. "Wool has the capacity to develop its own patina through exposure to light and air and feet walking on it. It's like having a wonderful piece of wood furniture and rubbing your hand over it every day."
Sisal, jute and grass rugs often cost less, but are difficult to clean and don't last as long. "If you spill red wine on it, that rug is gone," says Baglino.
In general, use the cost of the other furniture in the room as a guideline for how much to spend, says Lohnes. In the living room, for instance, the rug should cost as much as the sofa, or slightly more. (Since our 12-year-old sofa has been spilled and spat up on through a decade of kids, I'm using what I'd spend on a new sofa as a guideline.) Set your price limit before you shop then add 10 percent, so you have some flexibility in that range.
Lohnes' rule of thumb: Choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. So for my 10 x12-foot office, I should look at rugs no more than eight feet wide. For our bare front hallway, Lohnes says I should swing open the front door and then measure the floor from that point, so the first three feet or so remain clear. Hall rugs should have at least six inches of floor showing on all sides.
Dining room rugs should extend at least 18 inches beyond the edge of the table so that the rug accommodates the dining chairs. In bedrooms, try runners at each side and even the foot of the bed, or place a rug one-third of the way under the bed so the rest of the rug creates a nice mat at the bottom of the bed.
In large rooms, rugs should fit the configuration of the room and furniture. Our 15 x 20 foot living room, for example, is arranged in one large conversation area, so we should look for a rug to cover and frame that entire area, big enough so that at least the front third of the furniture sits on the rug. A big room set up with two smaller conversation areas would look best with two separate rugs, as long as they're linked by color or material (they don't have to match exactly).
Start by shopping with your eyes — not your wallet — so you know what you want. "Look in high-end magazines for ideas about what great interiors have on their floors," says Kurtz. If it?s an antique it will be very expensive, but there are probably contemporary versions of the same rug.
Baglino says he would stay away from department stores ("the markup is HUGE") and "would always avoid the `Going out of business' rug sale." Look for name brand retailers and manufacturers, such as Karastan, Royal Intercontinental, Merida Meridian, Elson and Tufenkian and Rug and Roll.
Ask friends for referrals to good rug dealers. And while all the experts emphasize the importance of seeing and touching and experiencing a good rug before you buy, they also suggest browsing online to get a feel for designs and colors and trends. I found lots of options at www.arearugsonline.com and www.rugandroll.com, as well as the web sites of some of the makers listed above.
The most important consideration in buying a rug is finding something that "has a beating heart and is going to please you every time you look at it," says Kurtz. "A great rug, a place to sit, a can of paint and you're done."
What if you have the opposite dilemma: you own great area rugs but buy a new house with wall-to-wall carpet? If they're really beautiful rugs, hang them on the walls, the experts say. In general, putting area rugs down over carpet just doesn't work, unless you have wall-to-wall carpeting with very low pile. Another suggestion: If you own a beautiful area rug, "it's great incentive to tear up the carpeting in at least one room and put down hardwood floors," says Kurtz.
How important is the size of your rug?Super important. Area rugs are designers' dream decor accessory for severalreasons - they add comfort, texture, color pattern, and most importantly, they defineyour space. Even if you have the best color in your rug or the best pattern inyour rug it all falls by the wayside if you don't have the right size of rug. Area rugs define your space. In a living room, the rug defines the main seatingarea and gives that furniture arrangement a sense of place andpermanenc. A rug that's too small will look like it's floating and you losethat sense of place. I've got some guidelines here to help you make theright decision. The first is to size the rug according to the room. This means youwould deduct 3 feet from the overall length and width of the room leaving anideal 1 and 1/2 feet of floor space all around the rug. However this might meanyou'll need a custom size rug! Alternatively, you can determine the rugsize by measuring the area beneath your main seating area. So here we have atypical layout for a living room and something that I see often is a smallrug, maybe a 5 by 7, sitting in front of the sofa like so. None of the furnituresits on top of the rug in this case. The distance between the rug and the wall isalso quite large. All of this makes the rug feel like it's floating in thecenter of the room. Similar to this image. The rug just isn't connected to theseating or the room. If we use a larger rug, perhaps an 8 by 10, you'll noticethat most of the furniture touches the area rug. This is an important guideline!When the furniture, even just the front legs of the furniture, sits on the arearug there's a visual connection from the furniture to the rug and vice versa. Plusthe size of the rug is now larger so it sits more comfortably in the roomoverall so this is a much better layout because the main seating area is nowdefined by the rug. Here's a great example of having a rug that defines theroom because the seating area is connected to the rug. If you have an evenlarger living room where your seating is away from the walls then I wouldrecommend having all the furniture sit comfortably on the rug. This is much morepleasing to the eye because it further connects the rug to the furniture andthe rug to the room as well. You can see in this image thearea rug contains all of the furniture in this living room. This is especiallyimportant when you have an open-concept space where you might have a dining roomnearby. By placing your furniture completely on an area rug you create avisual boundary and define your living room seating arrangement. So here's yourtake away: In a living room, the rug defines the main seating area and givesthat furniture arrangement a sense of place and permanence. Either all or atleast the front legs of the furniture should be sitting on the area rug. Thiswill clearly define your seating area and it's the foundation for a greatliving room. Thanks for watching this little design tip. I'll have lots moredesign tips just like this one coming soon so don't forget to subscribe!I've got new videos every week. And leave a comment! I love hearing from you alland if you like this video please hit the like button! See you soon!.
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