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It is our belief there is no better way to make a home say something special about who lives there than with a beautiful hand-woven carpet. Here at LaBrashe Fine Rug Gallery it is our goal to bring the finest quality carpets available to our clients. Our original designs are woven in the himalayan region of Nepal by the most experienced artisians. We select the highest quality himalayan wool and silk to be used in the production of these pieces. In our inventory we carry a wide variety of traditional as well as contemporary styles. We also have many years of experience in custom designing carpets for our clients. If you can imagine it we can make it.
How to choose your rug Often, interested consumers are cautious about acquiring hand-made Oriental Rugs simply because there seems to be so much "mystery" surrounding them. Our purpose in this section of our site is to de-mystify the process of buying Oriental rugs and to explain the essence of their beauty and singularity. We believe that a few moments spent browsing through this information will give you a "key" to entering the fascinating world of Oriental Rugs and discovering for yourself how they can enrich your home. Design Basic Oriental Rug Designs The term "oriental rug" refers specifically to hand-knotted rugs from the middle and far east. It defines, however, a very broad range of styles and design traditions. What distinguishes a great and original rug design? What combination of pattern and color makes a design compelling on first impact and sustains our interest day in and day out? Experts and newcomers have been trying to answer these questions for centuries! Most oriental rugs can be categorized into one of the following basic design families: Aubussonsare formal rugs with an ornate central medallion surrounded by an open field which often has a delicate floral motif. Aubusson rugs are traditionally used in formal living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. Bokharasare more informal, containing rows of a repeating geometric figure surrounded by an elegant border. Bokharas generally have no more than five colors. Chinesepattern rugs are formal rugs with broad fields of color and bold, simple patterns. Hand embossing of design motifs accentuates the pattern and color. Floralpatterns are elegant formal rugs, with or without a central medallion, and rounded floral patterns. These rugs are extremely intricate, and can contain as many as thirty colors. Geometricpatterns are informal rugs that generally have a central medallion. These "masculine" rugs are rectilinear and heavily patterned, and are traditionally used in dens, libraries, and family rooms. European Designs bear the strong influence of decorative fabric patterns and can be both formal and informal - as those influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement of the late 19th Century. Design Elements Look closely at an oriental rug, and you will begin to see the world of nature come to life. Flowers, trees, stars, snowflakes, birds, fish, and butterflies are but a few of the many traditional design elements favored by weavers. Often, these elements have been stylized beyond immediate recognition; indeed, a weaver may not be so much interested in accurately depicting a particular element as he is in using that element, with others, to create a pattern that is in itself a work of art. Religious Significance? The designs of many oriental rugs do have roots in religious and cultural traditions. Muslims, for example, are forbidden by the Koran to depict living creatures in any art form. To the weaver from China, a dragon is a revered symbol of benevolent power who rules over nature. Beyond these various traditions, however, there is no particular "meaning" to a rug's design; a rug cannot be deciphered! A weaver from a particular culture will simply incorporate the traditional symbols and design elements which he or she enjoys. Size and Placement When you plan to include an oriental rug in your decorating scheme, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is "What size?" Here we offer a few guidelines in helping to match the size of a rug to the size and use of a room. Living Rooms and Family Rooms If you are planning on one large oriental rug, look for a rug that will leave a balanced, symmetrical border of flooring on all four-sides. Rooms and rugs being what they are, however, mean that you may not be able to match a rug to a room so perfectly that all four borders are even; instead, position the rug so opposite borders are equal. In any event, an oriental rug should not abut the baseboard molding. For a more traditional or formal scheme, a central medallion in the rug will help define the center of the room around which you begin to group furnishings. Keep an eye open for architectural details as well; a fireplace, for example, also tends to focus a room. A rug (especially one with a medallion) may look best when you keep in mind the overall symmetry of the room. If, on the other hand, a room does not have a natural or well-defined center, you might try a rug with an overall repeat pattern. A rug such as a Bokhara, Serebend, or Herati tends to be symmetrically neutral. A somewhat more adventurous approach is to use more than one rug in the same room. Doing so starts to define areas within a room, separating a group sitting area, for example, from a reading chair and lamp. Don't divide a room in half with two equal-sized rugs; a large rug and a smaller one makes for a better contrast. Also, designs and colors needn't "match." Rugs should complement each other-vary the scale of the pattern and the type of design. When arranging furniture, it is general practice to place the front legs on the rug (don't forget to use adequate protectors under heavy furniture to protect the rug!) and the back legs on the flooring. The primary concern, however, is not whether the furniture is on the rug or off-as long as the uncovered spaces on the floor are balanced, the rug is right for the room. Dining Rooms The natural durability of Orientals makes them an ideal choice for dining rooms. The rug should be of adequate size to move chairs away from the table without falling off the rug. In most cases, an eight-foot-wide rug will be adequate. A rule of thumb is to measure your table, and add two feet to all four sides. The resulting dimensions will be your minimum rug size. Surrounding furniture in the dining room (breakfronts, serving stands, China closets) should be on the floor, not on the rug. Bedrooms Few things are nicer than stepping out of bed directly onto a plush rug! In addition to the wonderful tactile experience, a rug in the bedroom also muffles sound. A bedroom is a restful place, and an oriental rug helps keep it quiet and comfortable. Many people are reluctant to cover a rug's design with something as large as a bed. Most oriental rugs are symmetrical, however, and if the rug is of adequate size your eye will "fill in" the missing pattern. Kitchens, and Other High-traffic Areas Remember that your oriental rug is virtually indestructible. Professional designers are increasingly calling for Orientals in kitchens, active family rooms, hallways and foyers. Younger couples with small children, especially, are using oriental rugs for just this reason. Few types of floor covering can withstand the wear and tear that comes with a growing family as well as an oriental. The sturdy construction and all-wool pile of an oriental rug means you need not be overly concerned about the rug wearing thin, or becoming stained and discolored over time. Decorating The first question an interior designer will ask, and that you should ask yourself, is "How will the room be used?" Anticipating a room's use has a very practical function: some rugs may be better suited to high traffic and activity areas than others. A dark colored rug, for example, will hide the dirt between cleanings more readily than a light colored rug and might be considered for a family room, or entry way. A light colored rug, on the other hand, will help a small room seem a little brighter. The Rug Defines the Room Of the three major components in room decorating (walls, floor, and furnishing), your floor covering is often the largest single design statement. A well-chosen rug will, at a glance, define the personality of a room. Furniture and wall decoration may make bold statements in and of themselves, or may combine together to create the atmosphere you desire, but the floor covering is, in a sense, a back-drop to the proceedings. Defining a room's use will start to define its look, and will help start to narrow your choice of floor covering. A "formal dining room" will certainly have a different personality than a "casual family room" or a "master bedroom" or "country kitchen." Balancing Act A room should delight-and reward the senses, and a well-decorated room is made up of a balance of color, texture, and pattern. Color, in this sense, means value: light, medium and dark. You want a little of each. Different values give depth and interest to a room. A predominance of any one value will end up feeling a little "flat." Think of value in terms of a good snapshot-a good picture isn't underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too light). Beautiful photographs have a complete tonal range from dark to lights Designers use a variety of words to describe texture: the "touch," the "face," the "feel." Juxtapositions of texture create interest (hard and soft, smooth and coarse) but be wary of extremes: velvet upholstery doesn't contrast with and complement berber carpeting, it clashes! Finally, patterns are infinite in their variety. Florals, geometries, stripes, plaids, and tiny repeat patterns ("minis") are only the most common. With patterns, "scale" is the key: avoid a predominance of any one kind. For example a large floral patterned sofa and a striped arm chair on a repeat geometric pattern rug provide the right amount of visual contrast and balance. Decorating with Oriental Rugs The variety of oriental rug designs and colors offers the home decorator complete freedom and flexibility. The sturdy construction of the rugs also guarantees that they can withstand the wear and tear of even the most high-traffic areas. How, then, to decorate with oriental rugs? With careful consideration, even the most colorful and bold oriental rug can assume its place in the three-part harmony of color, texture and pattern. Say, for example, that you want to build a room around a sofa covered in large-scale floral upholstery. A rug with a small repeated geometric pattern would be a fine contrast. The key is to vary the scale of patterns. Such a rug might also complement a stripe or large-scale plaid. Conversely, with solid or mini-print upholstery, a strong floral rug would provide the appropriate change of scale. Finally, it's easiest to approach color hue (the weight of reds, greens, & blues) in the same way that one thinks about wardrobe! A good scarf or tie will "pick up" on other colors used. Look for the secondary colors in the rug and let those colors guide your choice of upholstery, and vice versa. Frequent Questions Why Is One Rug More Expensive Than Another? The price of a new oriental rug is determined by labor costs and materials; but a rug need not be expensive to be beautiful. Cost factors include: Knot density - It takes a weaver longer to hand tie 40,000 knots per square foot than 7,000 knots per square foot. Simply put, the more knots in the rug, the more labor. Intricacy of design - A simple, elegant Bokhara may have no more than five colors while a floral pattern can have as many as thirty. A complicated design with many colors requires more time and an experienced weaver. Labor cost - Imported oriental rugs are subject to international economic and political conditions that cause the cost of labor and exchange rates to rise and fall. Wool quality - There is no such thing as bad wool, but there is such a thing as better wool. How to tell? Length of fiber, springiness and luster. Better wool costs more. Is an Oriental Rug Really a "Work of Art"? The answer is a definite "yes!" And like all art, you'll be drawn to some rugs more than others. The design and color of oriental rugs follow centuries-old traditions; new rugs are interpretations of those motifs, conceived by a real artisan, taking several craftsmen many months to hand tie the millions of knots that make up an average 9x12 Persian design Isn't the Design a Little "Busy" for My Home? In the showroom, an oriental rug is subject to much staring and close attention. The center medallion of a Persian design rug may seem enormous; the colors may seem intense. In a natural room setting, however, the rug tends to "calm down". While in the showroom, try to view the rug at the distances and angles from which it will be en-countered at home. Why Do they Add the Fringe? Actually, the fringe was there before the rug! These cotton threads run the entire length of the rug and form the "warp" onto which the weaver ties the knots. When the rug is cut down off the loom, the ends of the warp become the fringe. Why Does the Color Seem Lighter from One Side? The dyed wool from which the rug is made doesn't stand straight up. The pile "leans" in one direction, and light is either reflected or absorbed, depending on where you stand. Even standing in one place, the color may seems to be different shades. Variations in color are part of the natural beauty, of handmade oriental rugs. Often, wool is dyed in separate lots, and this will sometimes cause a slight difference in hue over the course of a rug. This effect is called "abrash". I've been hearing about child labor in the production of hand-made rugs. Do I need to be concerned about this when I'm purchasing a rug? Recently, media attention has been focusing on the issue of child labor in the production of imported merchandise. Conscientious retailers and importers stand firmly against the use of illegal child labor in the production of carpets. However, as UNICEF has noted, not all child labor is harmful or illegal: In a "family child labor" setting, children work alongside their parents or family members on looms, learning a craft that will provide a source of income, essential for the economic well-being of struggling families. Reputable rug retailers and suppliers are committed to implementing on-site loom monitoring programs and to working with exporting countries for the improvement of economic conditions and educational opportunities. For you as a consumer, selecting such retailers can relieve your concerns.
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