Decorative Carpets | Introduction
What would a painting be without color? A sketch, one might say. A sketch can constitute a complete whole, it can be a valuable work of art, it may even take one’s breath away but it will always be just a sketch, not a painting. This comparison when in the realm of rugs would look as follows: what would be a rug without decorations? The warp and weft, continuously intertwining on the looms, are nothing but canvas to a skilled weaver who may take his vision, emotions and message and transfer it to a carpet by, in some measure, painting it with threads. Considering all the elements of a rug, the pattern is just one of many – there is also knot density, technique, shape, size and material which matter, especially in the category of solid rugs which cater for modern, minimalistic tastes. Nonetheless, it is the design that makes a carpet one of a kind, unique and in a way adjusted to our needs. Rug is a heart of every home so every mindful owner wants his one to be a work of art, he wants it to be a decorative rug.
In the past almost all carpets were decorative rugs – our ancestors really cared for the beauty of everyday objects; goods were not even closely as disposable as today because the making of a single thing consumed considerable amount of time and effort. Besides, it seemed pointless to lose such an opportunity of self-expression. Every pot, pitcher, piece of furniture or rug carried a signature of its maker, sometimes literally but most of the time figuratively, in the form of the artistic touch. It imbued those objects with soul and artistry. Thus, actually the entire choice of antique rugs can be included into the category of decorative rugs. By antique carpets we mean those which are approximately 100 years old (or older), so where made around 1920’ and before. No matter whether they were village or city-based rugs, their artistic value nowadays is estimated as similar. However, there are several differences between the antique nomadic decorative carpets and the carpets from the most renowned ancient weaving centers. Those discrepancies specifically relate to the meticulousness of design, the quality of execution and the refinement of fabric.
Decorative Rugs from Famous Weaving Centers
Among the countries specializing in decorative carpets – making since the antiquity, there are three which quickly moved from the production solely for the internal consumption to export – Persia, Turkey and India. Heriz or Kerman, Bakhtiari or Sivas, Agra or Amritsar, every weaving center had something to offer and this ‘something’ was always more than anyone could wish for. Needless to say, decorative rugs have conquered the entire elite of the Medieval Europe—some of the antique Oriental decorative rugs can even be found on Renaissance paintings. Their diversity in patterns and colors is immense as each weaving center had its characteristic features –the before mentioned artistic signature. This signature depended on the country of origin, particularly on its climate, natural environment (natural dyes were the only ones existing, so every color had to be extracted from nature in a long and tiresome process, which also ensured its durability), culture, symbolism, religion, mythology and philosophical thought. In regions dominated by Islam the depiction of animals and humans was strictly forbidden. This limitation paradoxically helped the art of rug decoration to evolve, as it led to the creation of many iconic patterns. One of them, the arabesque, was used both in carpet making and architecture. Paisley (originally “boteh” or “buta”), a droplet-shaped vegetable motif, proved to be so successful that it is in frequent use in textile and fashion industry until today. The most noticeable rug motif from Persian decorative carpets is the tree of life, appearing quite frequently in all kinds of carpets, regardless of whether they come from the country or the city. In general, the tree of life is a widespread mytheme or archetype, closely related to the concept of the sacred tree, and hence present in religious and philosophical tradition. It always has multiple connotations, even within a single cultural circle. In Islam, the tree of life signifies the garden of Paradise and more generally – eternal life. There are cases where two trees of life grow within one carpet field. Their branches entwine, so they resemble two loving souls holding hands for good and for bad – such a design is a variation on the tree of life and bears the name of the marriage tree. The marriage tree motif most frequently appears on decorative rugs from Qum and Tabriz. The weavers from the region of former Persia, especially form the towns of Isfahan, Qum and Tabriz, have mastered the skill of making lifelike representations of the tree of life. Moreover, it is a case of personification – two trees are in fact two loving people holding hands. So it is that every ban can be circumvented. As for Indian decorative carpets, the main emphasis in the art of decoration was put on flowers. Indian weavers have adapted a substantial number of motifs from Persian and Turkish decorative carpets but it did not stop them from developing their own, distinctive patterns. India, the land of colors and blooming nature, was a perfect inspiration for the artists of weaving in terms of design. All in all, the power of antique rugs lies in their intricate patterns.
Decorative Rugs and Carpets
The closer to contemporaneity, the more fashion and design moved towards minimalism. Modernists of the late 19th and early 20th century discovered the appeal of simplicity and abstraction. Nevertheless, the art of decoration was thriving then more than ever, it just transformed, looked for the new solutions and drifted away from the antique abundance. The flagship examples of that change would be Art Deco carpets and Scandinavian decorative rugs. The first rug design, Art Deco, is not necessary minimal in all cases. It is just more geometric, angular and abstract in comparison to antique opulent and frequently rounded forms. It is a synthesis of many decoration styles, united by the desire to be modern. As for the Scandinavian design, the strength of simplicity is highlighted there quite vividly. Scandinavian, particularly Swedish decorative rugs, have become known around the world for intricate weaving techniques, exceptional color palettes and most importantly – their compatibility with both modern and contemporary interiors. Their strongest point is remarkable Scandinavian aesthetics which was born of history, philosophy and breathtaking landscapes of the northern countries. It is a style full of symbolism referring to nature, where the exact representation of plants, animals or landforms was substituted by geometric, simple motifs.
When talking about decorations on vintage rugs, one must mention Moroccan decorative rugs. Typically adorned with tribal patterns, they in a way constitute a book on the culture of the Middle-East. Each of them tells a different story, however letters are substituted by meaningful symbols. Everything matters, from the use of color to the smallest fret or star motif – everything bears a specific meaning. The message is usually supposed to be a blessing or a good omen to a person or a household. The looms were also the means of expression for the female tribal weavers, who could transfer their emotions, stories and dreams to decorative rugs. Moroccan decorative carpets became the apple of the eye of the 20th century Modernists, who employed them in the modern interior design. Their favorite type happened to be the one called Beni Ourain, whose appearance differs from what we know as typical Moroccan rugs. Beni Ourains are dichromatic, with toned beige background and a simple, seemingly reckless pattern, maintained in a light brown shade. So, back again we see here the before mentioned minimalism.
To summarize, no matter if minimal or abundant, angular or rounded, spare or intricate, village or city-based, the design has always been present in rug weaving and it constitutes one the paramount strength of this particular craft. Decorative carpets are supreme artworks and should be perceived as such by connoisseurs and laymen alike.
How to Choose the Best Decorative Rug for Your Living Room and Bedroom?
Although some would say that carpet’s ultimate purpose is to decorate, there are some types which take this task far more seriously – well known and beloved decorative rugs. It is fairly easy to differentiate such piece from a regular rug. Their patters are usually complex and often richly dyed, making them a spectacular sight indeed. However, what is decorative rug’s biggest advantage can be also considered a serious flaw by some. After all, placing them in a pre-designed interior might prove a difficult task with all the colors and patterns going on. In order to help you with that, we decided to write down some helpful tips that will make incorporating decorative rugs into your living room and bedroom a smooth process.
Luckily when it comes to living rooms we can allow ourselves to be creative and a little crazy. As a rule of a thumb, try to pick decorative rugs, that will be similar in color to the minor elements of your interior. It might be tempting to pick a rug that will be in the same shade as our walls in an attempt to create a sort of balance, but it rarely works. Instead of making the room look more put-together, it will cause beautiful decorative rugs to completely disappear among all the colors – on the other hand, if you pick a minor hue, it will help to accent other pieces of decor in the living room and draw attention to itself at the same time.
Patterns you’ll love
Patterns might also provide difficult to work with. It would be perfect if the interior of your living room was minimalistic or almost bare-like, as the problem of conflicting patterns would be non-existent. Sadly, life is rarely that perfect and it is difficult to live without any patterned goodness around us. So, when choosing a decorative rug, try to go for the design that is somehow related to those you already have. From colors to shapes, possibilities for that are endless… And even if your decorative rug of choice doesn’t fit entirely, so what? It will help you create an eclectic look!
Which Decorative Rug Fit into Your Specific Room?
Bedrooms are more tricky to manage, as it all depends on their purpose. Is it a place for relaxation and rest? If so, consider getting some of our decorative rugs in toned-down shade, nothing too strong or vivacious. Definitely avoid any reds, as they are known for their stimulating properties – blues, beiges or even greens would be much better for that. The choice of pattern is totally dependent on your personal taste. With a modest color palette, you can allow yourself for almost any combination and kind, from floral to geometrical. But what if you are going for a sultry, love nest-like vibe? In that case, go for darker, deeper colors such as jewel tones and sprinkle them with a little gold. Pick some nice, rich patterns that will complement your interior and there you have it! A perfect abode.
Size is a completely different matter for a decorative rug. Rugs with rich patterns are perfect for both living rooms and bedrooms, as they not only decorate but also make the interior seem more cozy and comfortable. Of course, if your rooms have a serious size limit, you will have to pass on that, but don’t worry! You can find a decorative rugs in all sizes and shapes, just to suit your needs! If you don’t believe us, check out our vast gallery and indulge into the most aesthetically pleasing experience of your day.