Rug shopping is as old as the hills.
Knotted area rugs originated over 5,000 years ago in the Caspian Sea area of West Asia. In fact, historians have identified the day in 2956 B.C. when the first woven rug was completed as a gift for a village elder.
Unfortunately, the very next day someone spilled fermented berry juice on the rug, and someone else had to invent end tables to cover the stains.
Over the centuries, choosing a rug has become a rite of passage for homeowners and apartment dwellers alike. After all, it’s a major purchase like a garage door or a washer/dryer, and it defines any room it adorns.
Here are some helpful Do’s and Dont’s for rug shopping:
Don’t buy the cheapest rug you find, or you’ll regret it. Inexpensive versions (knock-offs) of ornate Persian rugs, often made from inferior synthetic materials, may look similar to authentic ones, but they don’t last very long and are very difficult to keep clean.
Do invest in a quality rug because it will save you money in the long run. Persian knotted wool is the best, but any handcrafted wool or silk will last a lifetime.
Don’t buy any rug that looks like a swatch of carpet when you turn it over. If the fibers are merely punched through the backing instead of hand-woven, it’s a piece of junk that will wear thin quickly.
Do look for an area rug with fringe that is woven into the edges of the fabric, rather than just sewn on.
Don’t buy an area rug that is the same size as the floor; you must leave at least 6 to 12 inches of floor showing, depending on the room.
Do make sure your dining room rug extends 18 inches beyond the edge of the dining room table to hold the chairs.
Don’t choose a pattern that clashes with the color scheme, fights with the furnishings or makes the room too “busy.”
Do use a solid neutral color if you want to showcase the furniture or wall art in the room; go with a bold or ornate design only if you want to design the room around it.
Don’t buy a rug just to cover a bare floor you’re tired of looking at. You’re much better putting up with bare floors until you’ve saved up enough for a really impressive area rug.
Do spend a lot of time and thought on your purchase. Leaf through architecture and home fashion magazines, and start becoming aware of the floor covering you see on TV and at the cinema (to give you some awesome ideas).
Don’t buy your area rug from a department store or big box store because they have almost no after-sale service, and they can’t offer a large selection. Never buy a rug you see hanging on a chain-link fence in a deserted strip mall late at night – the intricate Oriental pattern may turn out to be a silkscreen job.
Do consult an established major rug dealer like Nourison Industries, Inc. before you commit to any rug because a professional opinion can make the all the difference in the world.