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The first question an interior designer will ask, and that you should ask yourself, is "How will the room be used?"
Anticipating a room's use has a very practical function: some rugs are better suited to high traffic and activity areas than others. A dark colored rug, for example, will hide the dirt between cleanings more readily than a light colored rug and might be considered for a family room, or entry way. A light colored rug, on the other hand, will help a small room seem a little brighter.
The Rug Defines the Room
Of the three major components in room decorating (walls, floor and furnishing), your floor covering is often the largest single design statement. A well-chosen rug will, at a glance, define the personality of a room. Furniture and wall decoration may make bold statements in and of themselves, or may combine together to create the atmosphere you desire, but the floor covering is, in a sense, a back-drop to the proceedings.
Defining a room's use will start to define its look, and will help start to narrow your choice of floor covering. A "formal dining room" will certainly have a different personality than a "casual family room" or a "master bedroom" or "country kitchen."
Balancing Act
A room should delight and reward the senses, and a well-decorated room is made up of a balance of color, texture and pattern.
Color, in this sense, means value: light, medium and dark. You want a little of each. Different values give depth and interest to a room. A predominance of any one value will end up feeling a little "flat." Think of value in terms of a good snapshot - a good picture isn't underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too light). Beautiful photographs have a complete tonal range from dark to lights.
Designers use a variety of words to describe texture: the "touch," the "face," the "feel." Juxtapositions of texture create interest (hard and soft, smooth and coarse) but be wary of extremes: velvet upholstery doesn't contrast with and complement Berber carpeting, it clashes!
Finally, patterns are infinite in their variety. Florals, geometrics, stripes, plaids and tiny repeat patterns ('minis') are only the most common. With patterns, 'scale' is the key: avoid a predominance of any one kind. For example a large floral patterned sofa and a striped arm chair on a repeat geometric pattern rug provide the right amount of visual contrast and balance.
Decorating with Oriental Rugs
The variety of Oriental rug designs and colors offers the home decorator complete freedom and flexibility. The sturdy construction of the rugs also guarantees that they can withstand the wear and tear of even the most high-traffic areas.
How, then, to decorate with oriental rugs? With careful consideration, even the most colorful and bold Oriental rug can assume its place in the three-part harmony of color, texture and pattern.
Say, for example, that you want to build a room around a sofa covered in large-scale floral upholstery. A rug with a small repeated geometric pattern would be a fine contrast. The key is to vary the scale of patterns. Such a rug might also complement a stripe or large-scale plaid.
Conversely, with solid or mini-print upholstery, a strong floral rug would provide the appropriate change of scale.
Finally, it's easiest to approach color hue (the weight of reds, greens, & blues) in the same way that one thinks about wardrobe! A good scarf or tie will "pick up" on other colors used. Look for the secondary colors in the rug and let those colors guide your choice of upholstery, and vice versa.
Just as an understanding of the many parts of an orchestra leads to a better appreciation of the symphony, so too does understanding the many parts of an oriental rug help one to enjoy the rug all the more.
Basic Oriental Rug Designs
The term "oriental rug" refers specifically to hand-made rugs from the middle and Far East. It defines, however, a very broad range of styles and design traditions. What distinguishes a great and original rug design? What combination of pattern and color makes a design compelling on first impact and sustains our interest day in and day out? Since Original Rug Company selects beautiful designs and infuses them with today's trend forward color palette - we make it easy to select from MANY area rugs that will compliment any décor.
Most oriental rugs can be categorized into one of the following basic design families:
Aubussons are formal rugs with an ornate central medallion surrounded by an open field which often has a delicate floral motif. Aubusson rugs are traditionally used in formal living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.
Bokharas are more informal, containing rows of a repeating geometric figure surrounded by an elegant border. Bokharas generally have no more than five colors.
Chinese pattern rugs are formal rugs with broad fields of color and bold, simple patterns. Hand embossing of design motifs accentuates the pattern and color.
Floral patterns are elegant formal rugs, with or without a central medallion, and rounded floral patterns. These rugs are extremely intricate, and can contain as many as thirty colors.
Geometric patterns are informal rugs that generally have a central medallion. These "masculine" rugs are rectilinear and heavily patterned, and are traditionally used in dens, libraries, and family rooms.
European Designs bear the strong influence of decorative fabric patterns and can be both formal and informal - as those influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th Century.
Design Elements
Look closely at an Oriental rug, and you will begin to see the world of nature come to life. Flowers, trees, stars, snowflakes, birds, fish, and butterflies are but a few of the many traditional design elements favored by weavers. Often, these elements have been stylized beyond immediate recognition; indeed, a weaver may not be so much interested in accurately depicting a particular element as he is in using that element, with others, to create a pattern that is in itself a work of art.