Today, we are entering the golden age of Oriental rugs. Never before have consumers been offered so many different styles from classical Persians to French Aubussons, from Old World Village-made vegetable dyes to contemporary Tibetan rugs to decorate the floor of your waterfront cottage in Muskoka / Lake Of Bays.
By Michael Pourvakil, President of Weaver’s Art
The use of Persian and Oriental rugs has a rich history dating back as far as 500 B.C. The oldest sample in existence is the Pazyrik rug which was discovered in Siberia in 1948. It is presently on display at the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Oriental rugs were primarily woven by the nomads for use as floor coverings. In the 16th century during the Safavid Dynasty, the art of rug making reached its pinnacle. King Tahmasb of Persia had a tremendous love for this art; so he commissioned all the top designers and rug weavers to create world class pieces to be given as gifts to the European heads of states and dignitaries. Some of these fine examples are displayed in various museums around the world, and in particular, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, the villages of Sultanabad in Iran, Oushak in Turkey and Agra in India, where the Taj Mahal is located, created unique one of a kind rugs made from 100% hand spun wool and natural organic dyes, which became prized collectibles by the 20th century. Using nature as their primary source of inspiration, these artisans created masterpieces that generally had larger flowers and motifs.
By the early 20th century, with the discovery of aniline based dyes and imported machine spun wool, these unique rugs became almost extinct. However, by the early 1990’s, some of North America’s leading companies including Weavers Art started cooperating with work shops in Pakistan to recreate this almost lost art of Village-made rugs.
Today, we are entering the golden age of Oriental rugs. Never before have consumers been offered so many different styles from classical Persians to French Aubussons, from Old World Village-made vegetable dyes to contemporary Tibetan rugs.
Here are some TIPS for choosing the right styles and sizes for your Lake of Bays cottage:
1. If you have high ceilings and large scale furniture, choose a rug that has larger motifs and patterns.
2. If you have dark hardwood floors, you can choose a rug with a darker background for more impact or a lighter rug for more contrast based on the color scheme of your room. As Dr. Deepak Chopra says, without darkness, light is meaningless.
3. For placement of furniture in the living room, make sure that you put the front legs of your sofas on the rug and the side chairs fully or partially on. Allow 18” to 24” of the floor to show as a perimeter around the rug.
4. In the dining room, the size of the rug should be 24” to 30” larger than the table on all sides to allow enough room for chair movement while allowing 18” to 24” of the floor to show. Keep in mind that the size of the rug should also compliment the size of the room.
5. In the family room, use the same rule of thumb as in the living room when determining an appropriate size. As this room tends to be a more casual gathering place, select a less formal rug that has a warm and inviting feel to the eye and to the touch.
6. In the bedroom, avoid smaller scattered rugs and select a large piece that will define the space. A 9’ x 12’ rug under a king size bed set 24” away from the wall will leave room to place the bedside tables directly on the floor. This will leave 5’ of exposed rug at the foot of the bed and 3’ on either side of the bed.
7. Remember, every beautiful interior begins with a solid concept and plan. Hiring an interior designer is one of the best decisions you could make prior to any decorating project.