Being half Armenian, I have some quirks I have to be wary of: hairiness, alcoholism, a desire for cars that I cannot afford, and a love of rugs. The kind that are hand-made of natural fibers, with rich vegetable dyed colors, and intricate designs. The rug for me is the foundation of a room. It is the source of my colors and design scheme. When I see a beautiful rug, I fall a little bit in love.
The first time I was truly inspired by a rug was in a flute lesson. My teacher stopped me in the middle of Fauré and told me to wait. He went to the couch and reached under it. He pulled out a heavy carpet and started to unroll it. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful. The flowers were weaving throughout it in vine patterns and the all-over design was shimmering with pinks, blues, and greens. It was so vibrant, it made my flute playing pale in comparison and I understood his point. I was told to leave the lesson and go to the nearby and little known textile museum. It was there that I was to find the inspiration to play better. This was the beginning of a love of rugs that has only become more of a passion for me.
Unfortunately, rugs are expensive. I am always on the lookout for a hand-made rug I can afford. Auctions, yard sales, convincing my Grandma she is tired of one she already has, and even pure luck. This beautiful Bakhtiari rug was given to me as a gift by one of my Dad’s friends, who we refer to as “Uncle Rug”. All he got in return were some roses.
The Bakhtiari rug is currently in my bedroom. It is very rich and reminds me of my Armenian heritage.
This rug was purchased at an auction. I had about 5 seconds to decide to buy it and I have never regretted it. I paid $75, which was pretty much our grocery money for that week.
I found this rug at a yard sale in Lynchburg. It is a Bokhara (meaning elephant stamp) rug. It has a silky sheen that I love and is currently in my living room.
The Bokhara rug in my living room.
This rug, from Dubai, was another gift. Although “gift” is misleading here considering I kept two… troublesome dogs in my house for fourteen months. But the rug is fabulous and it makes quite a lovely little olive branch. It is made of silk and has the medallion in the middle. I love the green all through it.
When you are looking at a quality hand-made rug, notice the back. Is the pattern still visible on the backside of the rug? If so, it has a high number of knots per square inch. The more knots, the better. If it is made of wool, silk, or cotton, it will be easier to clean and will not retain odors. Is the fringe intact? These are all signs of a good quality rug.
The backside of the silk rug from Dubai.
My daughter had a nosebleed all over a sisal rug that ran in the hall from her bedroom to the bathroom. It was badly stained and would not come clean. I decided to paint it and that rug is currently in my kitchen.
If you are unsure of how to make your room feel complete, or if it lacks warmth, or you need a jumping off place, find a rug. It will define your seating area and add some glam to your room. You will not regret it.
© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio
2 responses to “Rugs”
My husband brought back many rugs from Iran more than a decade ago that the children and high-shedding dog have destroyed. I’ve had a particularly fancy one professionally cleaned twice and it still STINKS like the dog died on it. (She lives.) Any super-secret intel on how to get the horrible death smell out of an otherwise lovely rug?
Nature’s Miracle is an enzyme neutralizing cleaner that works really well, especially on a rug that has no synthetic parts. You can get it at Petco or Petsmart. Let me know if you have tried that already and if so, I will do some research.