There is such a wide variety of Oriental rugs available it’s often very difficult to decide which colour, shape or size is the right one for your home. Fear not, there is a rug out there for you – you just have to find it!
Don’t be limited by what one or two retail shops have in stock – settle only on a rug when you LOVE it. After all, it’s probably going to outlive both you and me so it really is worth getting it right. Try LOTS and LOTS in situ first – don’t buy from a rug shop floor – the bright gallery lights can bring out different colours in each piece. Never buy a rug without seeing it at home first!
The beauty of a fine Persian or Oriental rug is that they tend to work in many settings – both modern/contemporary and of course a more formal traditional setting. Natural dyes in the wools and silks are often soft in colour and warm in tone. On sunny days the light bounces over the pile and will produce a fresh crisp tone, whereas in lower natural light or in evenings, the depth of colour will absorb the light and help the room to feel warm and welcoming. If one of our clients cannot decide between two rugs, that’s ok – as part of our Home Trial service, we often let clients keep both rugs overnight – laying them next to each other in the daytime and also in the evening. This taken the pressure off ‘making the right choice’ and allows our clients the time to make the right choice.
Fireplace fronts are the interesting areas for rugs as they tend to be open spaces and especially because half of the year the fireplace (if in London or the UK) will normally not be used. Therefore one needs an oriental rug which will be fresh and bright in the lovely summer days, but also warm and cozy for the cold winter nights in front of the roaring fireplace. Therein lays the conundrum! What works in both settings AND in both seasons?
Originally hearth rugs were specifically positioned to prevent fire embers and protect wooden flooring from any damage – therefore were thicket in pile and deeper in colour to hide the singe marks. Actually pure wool oriental rugs almost have a level of fire resistance as wool is a natural product which singes and doesn’t alight easily.
Picking the right colours and design for the room is not an exact science. Designs can sometimes conflict with other interiors such as armchair covers or curtains, and tones of colour sometimes don’t sit as well as one would hope. Again, it’s about trying out a number of different styles and colours in situ to see what works. Be brutal – if you don’t like it, then don’t consider it – we promise a Persian or Oriental rug or carpet won’t ‘grow’ on you! As above – it’ll be with you for a long time – so get it right!
As a starting point, if you want something soft and a little more luxurious under foot, then consider the classic and humble Persian Quashgi rug – we supply lots of these to our clients for use in front of fireplaces. They are thick piled, warm coloured, soft wools and make excellent hearth rugs as they are Tribal/Village rugs so busy in design and soft to touch. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations you’ll find online! If they are too traditional and you’d prefer something with a little more pizazz, then perhaps consider a Persian Nain, Tabriz or Qum. These tend to me much finer in weave and more intricate in weave – they make an exquisite centerpiece for a room. Lastly, if it’s a softer, more contemporary pallet you desire, perhaps a fine Afghan Chubi or Ziegler rug, as they are classed as ‘decorative’ and really do work well in many settings – modern or classic. Do be cautious though, plugging the above names into online search engines will reveal a world of cheap copies and knock off versions – give us a tinkle and we’ll find you the genuine article!
Size and shape is very important – too large and it’ll look strange, too small and it’ll get lost in the floor space. As a rule of thumb, the antique rug should stretch beyond the fireplace. Furniture should be either half on the rug, fully on the rug or not on the rug at all – in between can look a little strange. Confused? Thought so. It really is all about trying different designs and sizes until you get it right. On shape, rectangle is the correct shape for in front of a fireplace – runners do not work and are not designed for fireplaces, they are designed for hallways. Circular rugs are very 1980’s and square carpets are rare and generally not the best look for the proportions of the average sitting/drawing room.
Whether it’s a Persian rug or a Persian carpet – if you live in or near to London and are looking for the finest fireside rugs from around the world, please do get in touch. We sourced four Persian rugs (one fireside) for a family who live in Belgravia, London. They needed one for each bedroom and one for a snug area with a modern chimney fireplace. We took round over 40 different rugs to choose from. Once they saw them in situ, it was much easier to make the right choice. Thanks again Lady C for coming back to us to find you some beautiful Persian rugs in London.