As artworks in their own right harking back to antiquity, Oriental rugs have long been an interior design staple. Balancing sophistication and personality in equal measure, designers of the past sought them out for their wild colors and intricate patterns. And now they’re making a comeback. Keep scrolling to find out more.
“The soul of the apartment is the carpet.” — Edgar Allan Poe, American writer
What Are Oriental Rugs?
It’s important to note that Oriental rugs and Persian rugs are oftentimes used interchangeably. Both named by their point of origin, Persian rugs specifically refer to rugs handmade in Iran, whilst Oriental rugs are hand-knotted pieces from other ‘rug-making’ areas of Asia (e.g. Turkey, India and Afghanistan). As such, Oriental rugs can also refer to Persian rugs, but not the other way around.
Genuine Oriental rugs are hard to procure nowadays. This is largely due to their costly price and rigid maintenance requirements. Handmade by some of the best artisans in the world, the cultural richness and versatility of genuine Oriental rugs are self-evident when compared to the abundance of machine-made products on the market at present. Nevertheless, these “Oriental-style” carpets commonplace in design stores are still a good alternative for those on a budget.
Home Styling Ideas for Oriental Rugs
For optimum cool, mix up modern styling with a sophisticated Oriental rug.
In this contemporary living room, the colorful pattern of an Oriental rug provides a nice counterbalance to the darker furnishings. The juxtaposition of this austere white backdrop and the rug’s bold and playful color palette enlivens this cozy space.
Use as Runners
Oriental rugs in long and narrow shapes can function as runners in the corridor to add depth and a sense of order.
I love how this Oriental rug shines as a centerpiece in an otherwise overlooked area. When choosing a runner, make sure your rug is approximately four inches narrower and 18-24 inches longer than the dimensions of your hallway.
For something a little more subtle, Oriental rugs in monochromatic styles exude pared-back elegance.
How about layering one Oriental rug atop another in a patchwork style to achieve an intriguing play on depth?
In this white bricked room with cactus accent, these layered rugs act as a striking focal point, infusing this space with a boho-eclectic vibe. Just make sure the edges overlap for a cohesive look. Pro tip: when hunting for the perfect combination, remember to keep the scale of colors and patterns consistent so that the final look favors polish over chaos.