I’ve just moved into an 1891 house with beautiful hardwood floors throughout. However, the rooms are missing the coziness, color, and character a rug can bring. I’m currently on the prowl for beautiful rugs for my various rooms.
I was also thinking of rugs because I just finished reading On Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis, an American chef who moved into a 17th century house in France. In the book, she tells a story about an antique rug dealer that comes door-to-door to sell rugs. The rug dealer is very keen to pick up what she likes, what would work in the house, and working with her budget. The author becomes friends with the rug dealer and every year he stops by the house, with new rugs options in tow. Sometimes she can afford to purchase one, sometimes she tells him to come back the following year. Over time, she fills her old house with beautiful, handmade rugs. This story made me wish there were door-to-door rug salesman here, where I could see all the rugs in person and test them on my floors. Though with this format, I know I’d have a much more difficult time declining to purchase a rug I loved (which I suppose is the goal for the salesman).
Most of my rug picks below are Persian or Persian-inspired. Persian rugs have been around for many centuries. The earliest trace of a Persian rug is from the 5th century BC, where a rug was found in Siberia entombed in ice, which conserved it. This rug most likely came from Persepolis in Iran, which was known for their well-crafted carpets and intricate designs. In the 17th century, Iran’s carpet-production industry was revived and these handcrafted and exotic rugs were associated with luxury. The rugs were traded with European countries and often included in Western depictions of the wealthy, in both paintings and literature. Learn more here and here.
I would absolutely love real antique and/or new hand-knotted Persian rugs, but at this moment it’s not in my budget (one day I hope). This actually brings up another issue–Chinese and Indian factory printed rugs using Persian styles are now sold at a much cheaper price than the hand-knotted traditionally Iranian rugs. Though certainly not as well made or as beautiful, these imitation rugs may affect the market for handcrafted rugs and those who make the traditional rugs. If you can afford it, support the locals who make rugs by purchasing the traditionally crafted products instead. That said, I’ve included both hand-knotted and factory-made rugs below as I know we all have various budgets and true hand-knotted or antique rugs are not accessible to many people.
Maybe I should learn a lesson from On Rue Tatin and instead of focusing on getting my home completely decorated now, with my current budget, I should instead save up and purchase better quality, handmade rugs over the years.