Sunroom with Blue Rug

How to decorate with Oriental rugs 

Tips from a thirty-five-year Oriental rug industry veteran 

Interior design is the art of design and color in a space. You've probably heard the phrase, "the rug really tied the room together." from The Big Lebowski; well, it's true. A rug can tie a room together or the wrong colors, design, or placement can ruin a room and make it unappealing. Let's look at some key points to think about when rug shopping



Not long ago, designers would start from the ground up for a practical reason they were limited by the selection of rugs in a local rug shop. Times have changed with the internet and market changes; you don't have to start with the rug, but it's still a good idea.

 The internet, and almost instant access to rug production floors in far-off lands combined with an increased skill level of rug producers, particularly in India and Nepal, has increased the sale of custom-made oriental and area rugs. Today an increasing percentage of rug sales are custom rugs for the design trade and retail customers. 


A client can walk in with a color and design idea and, in a short time, have a rug graph and color swatches to make their own custom "dream carpet".

Finding a reputable rug dealer 




Seek out well-known and respected retailers in your community. Call around for references to a rug cleaner like us. Portland is a rug town and we work with many of Portland's top rug retailers, such as Kush, Christiane Millinger, Tufenkian, and NW Rugs. We trust these retailers to provide excellent service to clients. 


Which one is best? None of these retailers have the same rugs or business models all are unique in their service and inventory. I wouldn't be treating you fairly to say go to one or the other part of the rug buying process is finding the right rug dealer to work with. Often it's personality charisma and trust. 



 The advantage of a stock rug from a dealer showroom is you can try it before you buy and test the rug, and see if the colors, design, and size are the right rug for your room. This is not an option for a custom rug creation, so making a custom area rug takes a little faith, on an expensive purchase.


Do you have the right color and design? Can you visualize your room with a custom carpet? Interior designers are trained to calculate and coordinate color, design, and size with indoor environments, so carefully consider if this is within your skillset. This is also when you might ponder the help of an experienced interior designer. 


  Dealers have an upcharge for custom rugs and designs. The process adds extra labor to plot and graph designs, time, and attention to make a custom rug or carpet. Yet, a custom rug is all your own, and you won't see another like it; there is something appealing and even intoxicating about having your own unique oriental rug creation. 


Designing with Oriental Rugs

 Drop by your local rug store and see the extraordinary amount of options for rugs. Before you do, bring the dimensions of the space, color samples, and photos of any design elements that are important.


Most importantly write down three rug sizes;

-First is your ideal rug size 

-Second is the maximum you could fit in the space 

-The third is the smallest rug size you could fit in the space 

Do this to be prepared for the hunt for a perfect rug, you understand the size requirements and can easily communicate it to the rug dealer. Search on-line sites for rugs and copy it to your phone to show the style of rug you like. 


Try rugs before you buy 


People are often surprised by how well traditional Persian or Turkish rug designs fit in a modern home. Make sure to try the rug in your home lighting in a retail rug showroom is different. Any rug retailer unwilling to let you try a rug first is not one you want to work with, run! 


Rug buying, for many, is a process of discovery, not an impulse buy.

Keep your mind and options open. Maybe you can go a little larger or smaller in size or maybe the red isn't the right red, but the green and blue are dead on. Through the process of trying a rug in-home, you decide the red wasn't that important after all. Or maybe it's the most critical color to design around. 


How much furniture should be on an area rug?


There are no set-in-stone rules with this, but it's a shame to cover up a nice Persian carpet with lots of furniture. Options exist; go smaller Vs. Larger and use several rugs instead of one large area carpet. Consider a different orientation of the rug in the room or furniture. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you feel good about the placement of the rug in your room. 


Choosing the Right Material

We clean lots of rugs, so I'll cut to the chase and buy wool. Nothing has the durability and resilience of wool. Synthetic fibers age quickly and poorly; plant fibers lack durability and stain resistance, and silk stains easily and have poor resiliency. 


We clean many antique handwoven wool carpets over 100 years old; rarely do we clean plant fiber rugs and tufted carpets over 25 years.  


Some of this is the fibers, and some, as with tufted rugs, is a result of the construction method. Tufted area rugs are held together with adhesives, many only last 10-20 years. 



Do I need a Rug Pad?

Rug pads help to keep your Oriental rug in a place and much more. Pads help reduce noise from foot traffic, slip hazards on hard surfaces, and absorb crushing impact from foot traffic, thereby extending the life of a rug. Pads can also help prevent damage to your floors from use and also liquid spills such as pet accidents on rugs. Pet urine and other liquids can go through a rug to hardwood floors, warp, and discolor them. We carry water barrier pads to stop liquids from going through you or area carpet and damaging valuable wood floors 

Consider the Amount of Foot Traffic your Rug will get

A light-colored Persian carpet in an entryway will show soiling much quicker than one with darker, richer colors. It will need to be cleaned more frequently. Areas of your home that see high foot traffic will ultimately show signs of soiling much faster. In some cases, the function should lead to color and design or at least have considered when it comes to placing a new rug in your home. Some rugs hide soil so well that it's hard to tell they need to be cleaned, and such rugs are ideal in entryways and high-traffic areas.



Choose Handmade over Machine Manufactured carpet ​

Handmade rugs are typically more durable and resilient to foot traffic and last longer than tufted rugs and machine broadloom rugs. While handmade rugs are noticeably more expensive, the overall investment shines through overtime in esthetics, durability, and performance on your floors. Wool machine-made rugs make a good second choice, but the quality varies from producer to producer. Some contain wool/ synthetic blends or foundation material of inferior pant materials. 

Renaissace Rug Cleaning knows rugs; we have provided rug cleaning and repair services to portland clients for over twenty years.




Brown Rugs

Should you consider a custom-made

oriental carpet?