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From large rugs stretched across hardwood floors, to smaller and more intimate rugs by the fireside, the beauty of a traditional rug lies in the designs and patterns which have truly withstood the test of time. Crafted by the world’s finest craftsmen and often imitating the cultural art of a time or a place from history, traditional rugs tend to be woven with intricate detail and different colours – a distinct shift away from the more modern block colours and bold prints we see so many of on the market today. Though antique and second hand dealers specialise in traditional rugs over their more modern counterparts, there is still a demand for traditional rugs in the high street market, and our members will be pleased to find that most high street collections do contain one or more rug which is more unique and traditional in style. For that’s exactly what a traditional rug should be – unique, in the most subtle of ways.
What makes a traditional rug such a standout and unique feature?
Though from afar it would be easy to confuse one traditional rug with the next, many old pieces were handmade with distinct differences in both patterning and colour – only recognised by those who closely study a series of rugs next to each other. While the modern replicas no doubt follow patterns and churn out multiple rugs with one identical design in an attempt to modernise and boost the viability of the industry, the finish is still intricate and ornate, and can give any room in your home a sense of grandeur and finesse. TOP TIP: If you are lucky enough to own an antique traditional rug, study the patterning and see if a story can be pulled from the designs and images woven into the rug. Sometimes, makers would reflect basic storylines in their craft, particularly if the rug was made uniquely for a family or individual at the time.
I inherited a traditional rug – where should I put it?
Traditional rugs were designed to be celebrated, creating a focal point within any room. If you’re looking to place a traditional rug, rich with colours and patterns, consider seeking out a space which is quite bare or modern, and could benefit from a pop of personality in the form of a rug. Traditional rugs tend to work well on wooden floors or pale coloured stone or tiles – steer clear of lying them on dark tiling if possible, as the dark surroundings can very easily swallow the rich colours and patterns of the rug. Another option is to use the rug to create warmth in a place which may be feeling quite cold – for example an outdoor patio space. Though extra care will have to be taken to protect the rug from the elements, placing such a highly patterned and colourful rug in a natural outdoor space can create a unique and aesthetically pleasing juxtaposition.
Buying a traditional rug in today’s market
When it comes to picking up a traditional rug in today’s market, our first port of call for authentic pieces is antique and second-hand dealers. If you are more interested in a newly made piece which simply looks like a traditional rug in terms of its design, homeware and soft furnishing stores are likely to host wide collections – though often you will find that these stores are limited on the sizes available. For something made to measure, look for a dedicated rug retailer who can alter products according to the space available and the desired finish.