Art­ful Liv­ing by De­sign


I have been asked the ques­tion many times inmy ca­reer whether the rug should be the first de­ci­sion in de­sign­ing a room’s in­te­rior. This is a vari­able and is de­ter­mined on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis; it is unique to each space and each in­di­vid­ual for whom I am de­sign­ing. Other de­sign­ers may have a dif­fer­ent point of view and may be­gin the de­sign of each room with a rug. There is no right or wrong to this ques­tion. Rugs are def­i­nitely an im­por­tant part of the de­sign of any room.

There is a vast ar­ray of rugs in today’s mar­ket­place. The fiber used in their con­struc­tion varies from nat­u­ral to syn­thetic. I pre­fer nat­u­ral fibers like wool, cot­ton, hemp, sisal, ba­nana silk, and a va­ri­ety of grasses. In ad­di­tion to the var­i­ous fibers avail­able, there are many styles, in­clud­ing flat weave or pile. Each of these fibers has spe­cific char­ac­ter­is­tics and is there­fore more ap­pro­pri­ate for a spe­cific use or style. Fine wool rugs that are hand-knot­ted are very de­sir­able and at the top of the price range. A very finewool rug can be more than a thou­sand days’ work by a highly skilled weaver. A 9 x 12 rug is 108 square feet or 15,552 square inches. If the rug has 800 knots per square inch that equals 12,441,600 knots! A highly skilled weaver can tie up to 12,000 knots per day. Fine rugs truly are a work of art and worth ev­ery penny spent.

Rugs can an­chor a seat­ing area in a large room, as well as add color and tex­ture and warmth to any in­te­rior space. Con­sumers can be rather con­fused aboutwhat rug to choose and even whether they should choose car­pet or a fine rug. Rugs are wo­ven by hand or are ma­chine-loomed and range widely in price. Ori­en­tal rugs are gen­er­ally pro­duced in Rus­sia, Turkey, In­dia, Iran, Ti­bet, Pak­istan, China, and Nepal. Per­sian rugs re­fer to a sub area of the Ori­ent. When re­fer­ring to a Per­sian rug, the area re­ferred to is more specif­i­cally the “Old Per­sian Em­pire” whose borders changed over its thou­sand-year ex­is­tence. Iran since 1979 is the mod­ern-day equiv­a­lent of Per­sia. Per­sian rugs are re­garded as the finest rugs of all ori­en­tal styles of rugs by col­lec­tors. Gen­uine Per­sian rugs are hand-knot­ted and the in­di­vid­ual de­sign ref­er­ences spe­cific town­ships and cities where they are cre­ated. A rug pro­duced in these coun­tries is a gen­uine ori­en­tal rug, hand­crafted and of course one of a kind. I con­sider it to be a long-last­ing in­vest­ment that be­comes some­thing one would pass along from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. With proper care, an in­vest­ment rug will last a life­time.

A pro­fes­sional in­te­rior de­signer can be of great help in de­ter­min­ing the style, color, and size of the rug or rugs that would be right for your life­style, de­sign, and bud­get.

Lisa Sa­muel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe na­tive and prin­ci­pal of Sa­muel De­sign Group, lo­cated in the heart of down­town Santa Fe. She is an award-win­ning in­te­rior de­signer known for cre­at­ing unique in­te­ri­ors im­bued with warmth and el­e­gance. Lisa (info@samuelde­sign­ is pas­sion­ate about good de­sign that sup­ports well-be­ing.


An an­gora wool rug is the per­fect ac­cent for this eclec­tic bed­room

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