Area Rugs 101

Does your room need a pick-me-up? Start with the floor. Follow these tips on buying and decorating with area rugs.

Rugs in Every Area

Rugs in Every Area

If something seems to be missing in an otherwise well-decorated room, chances are an area rug will be your solution. If an area rug is on your wish list, don't be afraid to spend a little extra to get exactly what you want. Rugs are a wise investment, providing years of service and pleasure.

All area rugs can be applied over any type of floor covering. If you're building or remodeling, consider insetting the rug in the tile, marble or wood floor so you have a flush floor throughout, with no fear of tripping over the rug corners.

Here are the types of area rugs for your consideration:

  • Dhurrie rugs. These are thick, flat-woven cotton rugs made in India. They come in a variety of color combinations, pastels being the most popular. The designs on the rugs are geometric shapes, with animals, flowers and people woven in in a chiseled-looking fashion. Dhurries fit in well with most types of decor. Prices vary from $150 to $1,000, depending on size and quality.
  • Bordered rugs. These are simply rugs of any size or shape with a base color in the middle and strips of border on the edges. The borders can be one strip in a coordinating color or several strips in two or three colors. Bordered rugs' uses are innumerable. They can be put under cocktail tables, dining tables or an entire living-room set or used as a foyer piece. Prices will depend on the quality of carpet used, the shape of it and the number of borders tacked on the edges.
  • Inlaid rugs. Here's where your imagination can take over. Anything your mind can conjure, a good carpet designer can manifest. Doodle on a piece of paper until you come up with at least a semblance of what you want, and your designer can take it from there. Geometric shapes, florals, birds, stars and stripes, fans, your name or initials¾there are no rules. Pricing here again depends on the quality of the carpet and the complexity of the design.
  • Oriental rugs. These rugs have always been a symbol of wealth, and rightfully so, as they're quite expensive. They're a great investment, as their value never decreases and sometimes increases. The purchase of an Oriental rug should be preceded by careful study of the varieties available. Most are handmade. Silk Orientals are often woven with real gold threads, adding to the value. Wool Orientals are less expensive, though still a good investment.

 (Rosemary Sadez Friedmann is author of Mystery of Color.)

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