Area Accent Rugs To Make a Colonial Bride Cry!

bacova-tibetan-stripe-accent-rugsIn the Colonial days when cottages had dirt floors, housewives would sometimes spend an hour or more finishing up their housekeeping by brushing a pattern into the floor with a twig broom. Even then, the floor underfoot was a design accent!

If you wander through some of the small cottages in the restored village at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, you’ll find floors that have ‘area rugs’ patterned into them. And even back then, with only the dirt to work with, women used a different pattern or designs to accent a small area around a table or in front of the hearth.

The accent and area rugs available today would bring tears to the eyes of a Colonial bride. There’s a style and size to suit any use you can imagine, in colors to match or accent any decor. From a narrow floor runner to gleam against the polished wood or tile of an entry hall to a full size oval, to a wedge shaped hearth or kitchen rug, the choices are nearly unlimited. The right rug can perk up the atmosphere of any room, making it warmer or brighter, cooler and more stylish or add a touch of whimsy in an otherwise severe design.

Designers often use area rugs to define separate areas in a larger room, bringing the entire design together through the use of similar colors in different patterns. They know that one of the easiest and quickest ways to change the look of a room is to add a few accent rugs in strategic places. Place a round flower-patterned area rug beneath an accent table in the corner, for instance, and you’ve created a setting for it against the rest of the room. Define the perimeter of a conversation corner with a thick area rug beneath the furniture. Layer a few oval accent rugs over a larger area rug, or toss one over the arm of a chair.

floral-accent-rugArea accent rugs can serve both a functional and a decorative purpose. A thick, fluffy rug at your bedside will serve as a buffer between your feet and a cold floor on a winter morning. To help ease tired feet, place a colorful rug at work areas like the kitchen sink or counters. Use a bright play rug in a child’s room or playroom to add play value. What child wouldn’t love a rug patterned with city streets for building blocks or driving their cars over?

One of the nicer things about using area rugs as decorative accents is that it’s so easy to change the look of your room. Just pick up the rug and put down another one. With the variety of styles and designs available, you can decorate with area accent rugs anywhere in your home.

How to Care for Wool Rugs

wool-carpet-mille-fiori-by-habaWool rugs are generally hard wearing, long lasting and resistant to dirt. For this reason, wool rugs are often used in high traffic areas although oriental and Persian wool rugs or rugs with a fine weave are the exception due to their susceptibility to wear and tear.
The natural look and feel of wool is in great demand in area rugs.

New Zealand wool is considered to be one of the best in the world. Many well known carpet manufacturers weave their area rugs from 100% New Zealand wool.

Care of wool rugs

1. Vacuum regularly to prevent the build up of dust and dirt. Also regularly vacuum under the rug as dirt will fall through the fibers to the flooring underneath.

2. Remove stains immediately. Purchase a carpet stain remover suitable for wool rugs and use as soon as a stain is found. Always spot test on a conspicuous area of the rug before using to ensure the stain remover doesn’t bleach your carpet.

3. Have your wool rug professionally cleaned every six months or as required. Ensure you use a reputable carpet cleaning company.
For more information on wool rugs or to choose from a wide range of rugs and rug products select from the menu options below:

Afghan rugs – A Background to Afghan Rugs

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, sending thousands of refugees fleeing into Pakistan. The fleeing Afghanis brought with them a flood of rug designs and rug techniques and Afhgan area rugs. Those rugs have become a staple on the international Oriental rug market.

Afghan rugs are a deceptively simple categorization of a number of very distinct weaving styles that incorporate different colors, weaving techniques and styles. The Afghan rugs that make their way to the United States are often the product of displaced refugees working in Pakistan and Iran, or slowly sifting their way back into Afghanistan. Like any other art, those who create it are influenced by the things that they see and hear around them, including the rug designs being created by other artists in their area.

Traditional Afghan area rugs are created in tribal patterns that have been handed down from generation to generation. While we refer to them as Afghan ‘rugs’, many serve other purposes than carpeting. An ‘engsi’, for instance, is an Afghan rug that’s meant to serve as a cover over the entrance of a tent door. Along with the engsi, a young Afghani girl might also have woven a ‘kapunuk’, a shaped Afghan rug that is designed to fit over and around the door to the tent. Hand-woven bag fronts and decorated woven bands for use in ornamenting walls of tents are also common, and commonly sold here as ‘Afghan rugs’.

For many Afghani women, widowed by the ongoing wars that have ravaged Afghanistan, weaving rugs is one of the few sources of income available. Many labor for up to a year on a single hand-knotted Afghan rug – or create smaller pieces to sell at bazaar or to foreigners who come to markets. Far too often, the price paid for their work is negligible – but the Afghan rugs that they sell are resold for thousands on the open market.

Chicago philanthropist Connie Duckworth traveled to Afghanistan several years ago, and what she saw there ‘touched my heart’, she says. Upon her return, Duckworth founded Arzu, Inc., a Chicago based non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and help Afghani women through the purchase and resale of Afghan rugs. In the process, the organization funds schools and literacy programs and supports female rug weavers with quality materials and a market that pays fair value for their work.

Arzu means ‘hope’ in Dari, the main language in Afghanistan, and that is what Duckworth is spreading among the returning refugees in the war-torn land. Arzu pays Afghan rugs exporters to supply the finest materials available to women who join the program – yarns and dyes as well as traditional Afghan rug patterns. In return for their participation, the women agree to attend a literacy program and to send their children to school – particularly their daughters. When each Afghan rug is completed, Arzu pays one half the expected market price of the rug to the woman up front, then sells the rugs at charity auctions. The rest of the proceeds for the sales of the Afghan rugs funds literacy efforts.

A recent auction sold 13 handmade Afghan rugs and netted $43,000 that will be used to educational and health services for the families who are part of the project. Arzu is an example of grass roots charity at its best, building on the strengths of a people to mend and strengthen its weaknesses. With 120 families enrolled in the program already, Duckworth hopes that their success will spur others to join, and looks forward to the day when her efforts pay off in helping to rebuild Afghanistan, one Afghan rug at a time.

How To Choose An Area Rug

An area rug is one way to brighten up a room. But with so many options available how do you go about choosing the right rug for you?

An area rug can be a great investment that will last for years so it is important to choose wisely.

Placement

The first thing to consider is in which room you will be placing your new rug. If you are updating the lounge or dining area the you will require a large rug. If it is a kitchen or bathroom a much smaller area rug such as a braided rug or sisal rug will be better suited.

Size

The size of the rug will of course be determined by the size of the room and where the rug will be placed within the room. If you decide to cover the majority of a wood floor then generally you should leave about 8 inches of wood showing around the rug.

Color and Design

The color and design is a personal preference, but consider the following:

  • At least one or two of the colors in the area rug should match the colors of your walls or furnishings.
  • Choose a design that matches the decor of your room – an oriental or Persian rug will definitely suit a room with antiques while a braided rug with bold colors will suit a more contemporary home.

Texture

The texture of the area rug is another personal preference. Braided rugs look stunning in a room with a country feel; sisal and contemporary rugs suit bright modern rooms and hand-woven oriental rugs suit almost any room.

And always consider the purchase of a non-slip pad to place under your area rug. These are available in a number of materials for use on different types of flooring. A non-slip pad is not only functional for keeping the rug in place it will also keep it wrinkle free.

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