Trendwatch: Cutting a Rug

by Stephanie Arasim Portnoy | Mar 2, 2009
Trendwatch: Cutting a Rug …From the pages of Suburban Home and Garden Resource Guide…

Let a well-chosen area rug make its mark underfoot.

Hardwood floors are incredibly popular right now, but an unadorned floor can be a bit cold on the feet, and doesn’t do much to warm up the ambience of a room. With that in mind, we’ve picked some of the hottest area rugs around to help you give a more finished look to your space. Most of the styles are available in everything from runners to rounds. Choose your favorite and place your design sense out on the floor.

Black and white and red all over.
Inspired by the early works of Andy Warhol, this rug from the Warhol Pure collection by Oriental Weaver/Sphinx Rugs (Product# 504X1) definitely deserves its 15 minutes of fame. It’s machine made of heat-set polypropylene and will make a truly modern statement for lovers of contemporary design.
Burlington Carpet One Floor & Home 800.CARPET.1

Organically grounded.
Everyone’s going organic these days, and the Fibreworks Collection lets you bring your eco-friendly sentiments underfoot. These are mix-and-match custom rugs available in a host of natural fibers like coir, jute, seagrass, sisal, and wool. Simply pick the fabric you like, then choose a coordinating border from over 200 options. The rug shown above is from the Seaside Resort Collection. It is a sisal Panama pattern in ginger root with an umber vine woven tapestry border.
Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring

Make your room bloom
Angela Adams’ area rugs are a reality show staple, having been featured on The Real World, The Apprentice and just about every show in between. This selection, the Flora area rug in Chestnut, is a cut-and-loop pile made of 100-percent New Zealand wool. It offers a postmodern take on the chocolate-brown-and-blue craze that still continues to be popular, and will make you think you have your own personal field of flowers in your living room.
Kepple’s Carpet & Flooring America
Berlin: 856.753.8464
Marlton: 856.874.1400

Juicy floor couture
Tommy Bahama is well known for embracing the island lifestyle. This Lotsa Pineapples rug is woven in 100-percent nylon, and was produced by Shaw Floors for Tommy Bahama Home. Pricey airline fares may keep you from the Caribbean this winter, but this design, also available with a white background, will help you feel like you’re heading to the tropics.
Mazza’s Flooring America

Asian elegance
Safavieh produces some of the most beautiful hand-woven area rugs in the world. This entry from the award-winning manufacturer, the Iron Gate (Product# HK11A), is from the Chelsea Collection and offers a stately design in black, gold and cream that will go perfectly with your traditional décor. The rug was hand-hooked in China and features 100-percent pure virgin wool.
D'Eva Designs and Fine Furniture

Art for the floor
Whether your style is transitional or contemporary, there is something for every design groupie in the Decorator’s Choice collection from Mohawk Select. This pick, the camel-and-crimson-based Comet (Product# 58039-11310), is made of durable 100-percent olefin. It’s sure to come across as a flash of brilliance for your décor.

Advice from the Experts

Choosing a material. Area rugs are frequently divided into two categories: handmade and machine made. Machine-made rugs, which are typically created from nylon, olefin or polypropylene, are considered extremely stain-resistant and are usually quite affordable. Wool, silk, wool/silk blends and cotton rugs are often made by hand and are considered more of an investment. The kind of rug you choose depends on how you want to use it.
“We have people now that buy nylon rugs because they think they are just going to have them for five years and then change the whole decor,” says Linwood Bosler, an owner of Barb-Lin Carpet One in Doylestown, PA. “Good Oriental rugs … will last for generations.”
When choosing an area rug material, Dana Ebel, product manager for the area rug and carpet department at Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring in Cherry Hill, NJ, tells her clients to consider the amount of sun exposure there will be in the room. “If you have someone who has a lot of windows, we don’t want to give them a wool rug if the sun is going to be beating on it [because it can fade],” she says. “Cotton can also fade.”

Choosing a rug size. There are no hard rules of thumb on how to choose the size of an area rug, but experts say never to use it as wall-to-wall carpeting: Always allow at least a small perimeter of flooring to be visible in a space.
Bosler says that customers should also keep in mind how they move around in a room. To place a rug in a dining room, for instance, pull out the chairs as if you were going to be seated and then measure the width across the table from the back legs of the chairs on either side to find your minimum size. “When people are seated, you don’t want them taking their chair off the rug and then bringing it in and catching the edge of the rug,” he says. “The rug has to be big enough to accommodate that [movement].”

Keeping your home safe. When purchasing an area rug, don’t forget to factor in the price of a rug pad to go underneath it. Antimicrobial pads are great for preventing area rugs from buckling, says Ebel, especially if the rug is placed on top of carpet. “Rug pads also keep the area rug from skidding so that people don’t fall,” she says. “[They] help protect your floors underneath and will lengthen the life of the rug.”

Maintaining your rug. Ebel recommends that homeowners rotate their rugs twice a year to vary traffic patterns and avoid wear and tear. They should also have rugs cleaned professionally at least once a year. To handle spills between professional cleanings, Bosler recommends spot cleaning with a dry powder cleanser that has been purchased at a flooring store. Those with handmade wool rugs should always test a spot to be sure that colors won’t run. Once you’re sure your dyes are set, simply sprinkle a little powder on the stain and then vacuum after 24 hours. Bosler says in most cases the stain will disappear. “It sounds like a magic trick, but it’s not,” he says. “It really works.”

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Home and Garden Resource Guide, South Jersey edition, October 2008.
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Author: Stephanie Arasim Portnoy


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