What markets or design centers do you attend regularly?
I have one dealer that I have been using for many years. He can get just about anything I can chose, need, or use. Therefore, even though I go to the Philadelphia market for other items, I don’t buy antique or semi-antique rugs there.
What features in the rug are most important to you?
The age of the rug is important, which of course includes the condition, the quality (knot count per square inch) and the mixture of color tones. I begin by designing the room’s furniture and then I place the rug in the space. The quality of the color tone is important, so that it knits the colors together, never exact matches, but color blends. The pattern and color pull the room together.
How often do you purchase a custom rug?
Not very often, particularly if you are referring to a true custom rug, where everything is decided by the client and myself. We look at pom colors and work out the design of the rug. Sometimes if we are working with a design, I may choose to change the construction, perhaps a tufted area or having another area sheared. This too can be considered custom, but not quite as total.
I will turn to custom sometimes, if I need to tie room or rug colors together, but don’t quite have what I need. Perhaps I have an lovely Aubusson in the dining room but would like a nylon rug close in color in the kitchen, that kind of thing.
Do you have a particular style of rug that you prefer?
I almost always specify antique or semi-antique Orientals, either with a formal city motif or a country motif. The quality of an Oriental is so much better than anything else, and it can be passed down from generation to generation. Orientals do not lose their value. They are a true investment. No, they are not always absolutely perfect and may have an imperfection, like a crooked edge or fringe not even. They are just wonderful and so relaxing in the home.
Do you have any design rules you like to follow or like to break?
Occasionally I will suggest one large rug for a room, and the client will prefer to have three or four smaller ones. It must be practical, so we work it out together for their space. I like to mix up the colors, so they “don’t argue” with each other, but complement each other. I love modern furniture with antique rugs. Sometimes my clients are really afraid to do this, but once I show it to them, they love it.