Why are rugs on the bottom of the totem pole?
I work at a rug and carpet store, so for me, that’s why I don’t bring up rugs very often. I see them all day already. Before I worked at this store, I had zero appreciation for rugs. Zero. Everything I had been exposed to were either the stuffy traditional rugs (you know the usual blacks, reds, and blues- not my style) or the cheap rugs at Walmart. I almost didn’t even understand why they existed. Then I entered the rug industry. Literally, a door had opened up a whole new world for me and exposed me to so many beautiful rugs that were so painfully out of my budget.
And for good reason. These things are handmade. When’s the last time you sewed a quilt? If you ever have, you know how time-consuming it is and how much patience you need to stick with it. Much like quilting, handmade rugs are not in as much demand. I think this is largely due to budget and education.
Most of us can’t afford a real good handmade room sized rug. Luckily for us, machine-made rugs are filling in that price point and are coming out with designs much like you would find on a handmade rug. Still, the quality and beauty of a handknotted rug can’t be captured in a machine made one. Nor do they last as long. Much like searching for a good quality sofa to last you a long time (ideally forever- or rather a lifetime), a handknotted rug under good care will last a lifetime and possibly beyond. It makes for a great family heirloom piece.
Finally, there’s a great educational coffee book devoted solely to rugs: The Decorative Carpet by Alix Perrachon. If you’re trying to find a rug for your space and need visual inspiration for your space for all the different types out there, this book is for you. If you’re a beginner looking to just dip your toes ever so slightly into learning about rugs, this book is for you.
Getting insight on rugs from 32 interior designers was a really neat idea. I loved reading excerpts from each one. Not only was it an educational moment, but it’s from a design point of view. I can agree with a lot of these designers that a rug really do make the room. Rugs are often chosen last (or at least it is at the store I work at), so I get a lot of cool chances to see how much the rug really make the space come together.
What I equally appreciate about the book is that Alix listed a few different types of rugs in the back to help you learn how to identify some of them. Rugs have a long history, so it’s pretty cool to kind of trace it back as you would tracing back your ancestry history.
What are your thoughts on rugs?