To hitch onto the “granny chic” trend, florals and whimsical patterns are the order of the day. A loose rug, or area rug, is one of the easiest ways of updating a room’s look. Big patterns on the floor can be echoed in cushions and paintings. Remaining with the granny chic theme, colours may or may not match, but at long as the overall look is pleasing to the eye, then “anything goes”. Mix it up with cool retro furniture and time travel back to the 50’s!
Within this category, one has to discuss Persian rugs, also known by such diverse names as Pakistani, Afghan, Turkish, and Oriental. These rugs are today commercially produced and sold at affordable prices. However, as an investment, there is nothing more pleasing than a handmade rug. Once you’ve decided to invest in one of these middle-Eastern jewels, you need to know a few things so that you can choose the perfect investment. There are two easy ways of checking if the carpet is made by machine or not. 1. Turn the carpet over – the back should have same pattern as the front. 2. Open the pile and check for knots – Persian carpets have individual knots, machines weave the pattern. In addition, the more knots per square inch, the finer the quality. If you wander into a carpet shop and you see one large carpet for X dollars and a much smaller one for Y dollars, then chances are that the smaller one is the one you should invest in.
Once you get home, don’t hide your carpet away. The more it wears, the more valuable it becomes. It will soften up and get a “lived-in” look and that is what many investors look for down the line. Many of these carpets are made with natural dyed wool, or even silk. When you want to test the quality of the wool, it should reflect the light and be soft to the touch – this is called “live wool” and was harvested from live sheep. Over time and with use (walking on it) the oils in live wool carpets is released to bring a deep and beautiful sheen to it. If it is lacklustre and hard to the touch, then it was harvested with chemicals from slaughtered sheep and the carpet is naturally of a lesser quality and durability – this is “dead wool”. The third type of wool is wool gathered from old cloth, re-dyed and then used in low-grade carpets. High quality wool and silk carpets give a warm and everlasting appeal which never date. Patterns range from depictions of historical events, to modern geometrics, although these are not as common as the traditional designs.
Handmade wool and silk rugs are also an investment that will last for many years and through a number of décor trends. As stated above, the more you use and walk on live wool carpets, the better they look over time. As a décor piece and investment item, there is nothing that can beat a living fabric that improves with age.