Searching for the perfect rug for you home can be an overwhelming experience, but it doesn’t have to be. To be sure, it is an expensive investment, but one that you’ll live with for many years! You can go the standard route of the furniture stores, or you can look at shops that specialize in vintage and tribal rugs from places like Nepal, Iran, Afghanistan, and Morocco. Of course, you do need to decide what style you are going for and a color palette helps to guide you as you enter the doors of a rug shop. Sizing can be tricky as a lot of the vintage pieces are more narrow than typical and are not standard sizes. Good quality rug pads are essential too for comfort, slip-resistance, and protecting your rug. Keep in mind that what rug stores have on the floor and/or on their website is NOT the limit of their inventory!
There are a few great rugs stores in and around Denver that have high quality offerings and great service. Don’t be intimidated by the prices or trying to find the perfect rug. Prices are usually inflated and they will always work with you particularly if you buy several rugs from them. All rugs stores allow you to take rugs back to your home for a couple of days to test fit them. Often the shops will even transport and lay them down for you. This is critical; as the lighting and spaces will be vary dramatically from the showroom to your home. I am the pickiest person on earth with every design decision, so I love selecting a variety of rugs and trying them out in different spaces for clients, as well as myself.
Some guidelines as you look for rugs:
Style: This is, of course, objective. My preference is to keep furniture, floors, and walls fairly neutral and use color for the rugs, pillows, blankets, and artwork. Remember your eye is going to be drawn to pattern, so choose something that fits your personality. Keep in mind that if the detail is in the center of the rug and you have a coffee table covering it, this might distract from the design, unless the coffee table has a glass top. I prefer fairly symmetrical designs so that I have the freedom to place furniture wherever I want on the rug. Some regions produce more floral designs, while others focus on more geometric and tribal designs.
Size: I prefer to have the longer side of the rug parallel to the longest sofa in the room. Another personal preference is to have sofas only partially sitting on the rug, if at all. This way you don’t spend money where it won’t be seen.
Pile or Flat weave: For larger living areas, I prefer to have rugs that are comfortable to sit and walk on, especially if you have kids. I also prefer rugs with a single pile height. Each region has very specific motifs and tribal signs that they integrate into their rug designs. The flat weaves often have beautiful intricate designs, and are great for modern applications, but aren’t nearly as comfortable as the softer higher woven ones.
Color: The vintage rugs often have exquisite colors. Made with vegetable dyes and sun drenched for years, their faded perfection resonates with me. Numerous custom rugs makers are always trying to recreate that look – and some better than others. When you have adjacent spaces with rugs you have to be careful about competing patterns and colors, but have fun with your choices!
Price: How much should you spend for an area rug? While you can find area rugs from Room and Board, Restoration Hardware, or West Elm for prices between $1000-$5,000, you can find vintage and unique pieces for similar pricing.
Online Research: There are some great websites for searching for rugs with a wealth of information about style, technique, and the weavers of the specific region. Some of those websites that I frequent are:
The local stores with the best quality, both vintage AND new, that I have seen include:
Azari Rugs on South Broadway - http://www.azari-rug.com/
Matt Camron on South Broadway - http://www.mattcamron.com/
Shaver Ramsey, 3rd Avenue - http://www.shaver-ramsey.com/
The Scarab – Minturn, Colorado - http://www.thescarab.com/