Monday, January 14, 2013

Downton Season 3:Episode 2...unrolling the rug...a rug roll out.

Slight Spoiler Alert:

Whoa, last night's Downton Abbey.  Oh, boy. Where do I begin. Yes, there were plenty of sub-plots to follow.
But, poor, poor, Edith. And yes, poor sweet, yet very pale now, Sir Anthony. That's all I'm going to say.
So what happens when life throws you a curve ball?
You clear out all the flowers and champagne glasses and unroll the rug...
I loved the camera shot from above that showed the staff unrolling the mammoth oriental rug back into place when it was clear that no reception would be taking place at Downton that day.
Vienna Persian-Style Rug
It got me thinking about rugs and rug designs.  I grew up surrounded by Oriental rugs both at home and in my father's auction gallery.  These days, the trend is more towards contemporary designs and patterns, natural woven rugs and Oriental rugs in updated color ways.

You could do a thesis on some of these ancient rug designs and rug making techniques but today for our purposes,this is sort of an overview for you to identify some of your favorites or to familiarize yourself with styles and textiles commonly associated with certain styles.  It's important to keep in mind the texture and functionality of a rug, not only for its wear and tear and cleaning factors, but for other practical reasons as well. For example, I was so into the natural sisal rug look that I ran out and found one for my family looked divine but two days later I walked into the room and my kids were all sitting around the rug on the hard wood floor because the rug was so scratchy that they would have had marks and dents and basket-weave-burn in their bare legs if they had sat on it.  SO, I took it back and brought home a soft, fluffy shag rug and had happy kids and a slightly less stylish family room. It's good to think about these things when making bigger budget purchases, right? Because your home is a home for your family first, and style needs to adapt to fit your home. The two must work together.  That in my opinion, is good design.

This is a very basic visual Rug Style Round Up, or for Edith: A Rug Style Roll Out.

Basic Rug Styles:

Natural Fiber Rugs
Basketweave  Seagrass
Alternate View
Color Bound Seagrass

Nubby Jute Rug
Nubby Jute 
Owen Herringbone Jute Rug
Jute Herringbone
Chunky Wool & Natural Jute Rug
Jute and Wool Weave
Color-Bound Sisal Rug - Chino
Color Bound Sisal

Contemporary: just about anything that doesn't fit into another established category made currently.  All designs, colors, patterns. Think popular fabric patterns like Damasks, chevron, stripes, geometrics, etc. Trendy and varying in price from high end wool and silk blends to $30 Ikea Specials. These all fall under a very large "CONTEMPORARY" umbrella. (I've limited myself to a few examples but this category could encompass thousands of examples).
Contemporary Circle Fret Tufted
Shag, baby.
Haveli Chevron Blue
Contemporary Chevron wool
Herringbone Rug
Contemporary Herringbone

Sellarsbrook Yellow
Contemporary Graphic

Tribal Diamond
Contemporary Tribal Dimond
Durbar Hall: Image 1
Contemporary Damask
Contemporary Raised Damask, "Crawley" ..hmm, where have I heard that name before?
Isis Chenille Tapestry Rug - Porcelain Blue
Contemporary Chenille Tapestry
Scroll Tile Rug - Mocha
Contemporary Scroll Tile
Mixed Metals
Contemporary "Mixed Metals" monochromatic wool and silk blend
Contemporary  (Tibetan)
Contemporary "steps" hooked rug
Contemporary hand hooked rug
Burst of Blossom Rug by William Morris
Contemporary Art Needlepoint with William Morris design
Contemporary Cotton rugs in stripes, diamonds, etc.
4x6 Oval Chindi Braided Rug
Contemporary Braided rug (not your grandma's braided rug).

Aubbosson Rugs: Wool or silk, or a blend of the two. Antiques are tapestry, needlepoint, loomed, now mass produced, machine made. French, Feminine. You'll often see Aubbosson rugs partnered with Damask fabric in some way. If you're into ultra feminine FRENCH COUNTRY, then this may be for you.
Detail of Aubbosson
Aubusson One
Aubusson rugs, Aubusson rugs for sale, Fench Aubusson rugs
Yup, Downton's Aubbosson blends right in.  And oh, is that Damask silk fabric on the walls? Why yes, it is. 
Oriental: So many colors, patterns, styles and rug techniques. The real, hand woven wool rugs can be pricey. But many look at them as investments. The reproduction rugs all over the market today are an excellent way to infuse instant character into your room...depending on what character you'd like!

Bokaras originated in Turkey.

Antique Bokara (Turkmenistan)

Antique Bokhara (Pakistan)
Beni Ourain originated in Morraccan mountains.
Beni Ourain Rug
Contemporary Beni Ourain (Morrocco)
Dhurries originated in India, Andalusia, Spain, Morrocco.
Zonia Ikat Dhurrie Rug
Contemporary Ikat Dhurrie 
Contemporary Greek Key Dhurrie
Udaipur originated in India.
Udaipur Black
Contemporary Udaipur  (India)
Kilims orginated in Persia (from Balkans to Iran).
Gianna Recycled Yarn Kilim Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Contemporary Kilim
Alternate View
Antique Kilim 
Persian from Persian Empire (from Balkans to Iran).
Elham Persian-Style Rug
Contemporary Persian (Iran)

Contemporary Persian style runner
Alexandra Persian-Style Rug
Contemporary Persian  (Iran)
Ushak or Oushak originated in Turkey. Early Aubbossons can fall under this category, but I've seperated them out into their own style.
Antique Oushak or Ushak (Turkish)
Antique Oushak or Ushak (Turkish)
Valentino Rug
Contemporary Oushak
So, what's your style?

BTW, My Favorite Rug Sources:

Dash and Albert ($-$$$)
Ballard Designs ($$-$$$)
Pottery Barn ($$$)
Home Decorators ($$)
Urban Outfitters ($)
Ikea ($)



  1. AAAAHHHHH RUGS! I love the saturated dye Turkish rugs! We were in need of a rug last year, and since those Turkish or Persian rugs I like are so expensive my husband decided we should get a LARGE Flokati rug instead. Worst decision of our lives.

    1. oh, lauren, flokatis are gorgeous, but I can only imagine cheerios stuck in one! I always have a hard time choosing a rug because I love them all! XXOOO!

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