H&G: Rugged Design

Written by Rachel Dattolo in the November 2010 Issue

If you’re trying to brighten up a dull room, consider starting from the ground up by dressing your floor with the perfect area rug.

“You can find carpet or paint or stain color to match anything, but not so with things like area rugs or granite,” says Paul Kregger of Kregger’s Floors & More. With his 16 years of experience, he often tells Edmond clients that when decorating a room, it’s much easier to start with the rug and build up from there, rather than trying to go the other direction.

Placement of your rug is key within any room design, according to Don Pekrul, who was raised in Edmond and has been in the floor-covering business his whole life. In 1995, he opened Don’s Floor Gallery to service the local community with everything from laminate to ceramic, and carpets to rugs. The floor gallery also supplies design services to help residents choose the right size, shape or style for their needs.

There are some logical things to keep in mind about the size and shape of a rug; however, the designers say there’s really no hard-and-fast rules as to what you can and can’t do. Common sense tells you a rug under a dining room table should be big enough to allow you to pull out your chair without it plopping off the end of the rug, for example. Also consider how the rug will look with the room: a big rug, for example will dwarf smaller furniture, while a small rug will make furniture look bigger.

Edmond businesswoman Anne McCarthy has always had a passion for home design and opened up 1st Dibs Home Furnishing and Design Center four years ago with business partner Patricia Fransen. Most of the rugs 1st Dibs sells are wool, and all are handmade.  “People love our store because we are different,” says McCarthy. “We have things they don’t see anywhere else.”

When it comes to choosing a rug, before you consider color and pattern, you’ll want to consider the fabric it’s made from and the quality of rug you want. A denser weave has more knots per square inch, producing a higher quality rug that will last longer in high traffic rooms.

McCarthy advises that the synthetic nylon and polyester rugs are a lesser quality than wool rugs, but they resist stains well. So, if you want a rug for your kid’s bedroom which might get frequent spills, consider a synthetic rug as a cheaper alternative. The lower cost will help you change rug styles every couple of years as they grow older.

However, if you’re looking for a quality rug to be the center of attention in high traffic rooms for years to come, go with a longer lasting and better-quality wool rug, which can be either machine-made or hand-woven.

How can you tell if a rug is handmade or machine-made? Machine-made rugs will often have a backing on them, while hand-woven rugs are always open-backed, allowing you to see the individual knotting. And in the rare case that a machine-made rug is open-backed, you will still be able to see the difference in the knotting of hand-woven rug, according to local experts.

McCarthy says an 8-by-6-foot wool rug takes a family about six months to make. She recently witnessed the production process of hand-woven rugs on a visit to India. In the factories where the rugs are made, piles of yarn sit more than a man’s height high while families sit together on the floor, meticulously weaving and tying each knot by hand, McCarthy says.

Rhonda Kauk, of Factory Direct Carpet, says a trendy customer choice includes picking any desired carpet to be made into a custom-sized rug. Pekrul agrees this method is especially popular with patterned carpet. “If you were to bind a carpet’s edges into a rug, the possibilities would be endless,” says Kauk. “You could have a rug made from regular, plush carpet all the way to a high-end, patterned carpet. Leopard-print, for example. Or, you could even do a cut out design if you wanted.”

This method is also great for customers that need a specific size or oddly-shaped area covered, says Kauk. She recommends that anyone needing two colors, consider splicing two carpets together. “For example, if you needed brown and baby blue, you could match a brown carpet with a stripe of baby blue around the outside and bind them together,” she said.

Wool area rugs are very elegant and very expensive,” says Kregger. “The problem is they have almost no stain protection.” The best alternative, he advises, is to buy high-end quality carpet (such as Eurolon) and have a rug made out of it. “Eurolon wears long and cleans well,” he says.

When choosing a rug, you want to pick one that “is pleasing to you and striking,” says Kregger. “When you see the right rug, you’ll know. Then build your room off of it.”

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