I have no particular preference to style. To me the design style of the room often precludes the so-called style of the rug. I am very partial to area rugs. Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, they serve as a design tool that defines a seating area. It can become its background or an accent, depending on its color and design. However, I do gravitate to antique and modern handmade Oriental and Asian carpets. As interior design styles change, so do rug preferences and availability. Most of the interiors that our firm produces, whether residential or public spaces, are eclectic in style. The rug is often the only bold pattern in the room. The designs are often adapted from Samarkands, Bessarabians, Chinese Nichols patterns and the more bold designs, as opposed to Persian styles. While I bought and collected Moroccan Berber rugs and Kilims from Turkey—which I bought in those exotic places—I still love them now, even though they are difficult to find in the quality and price that was available then.
Do you buy many custom rugs?
We buy most of our rugs from Designer Showrooms, and they are what you might consider custom-designed rugs. Even though the design is pretty much fixed, the colors and size can be made custom. Believe it or not, it’s often the first decorative item we choose for a room.
Do you shop online, use catalogs, or see salesmen?
I sometimes go online to use as a reference or to find a dealer who might have what I need. But I never make a purchase before I see the actual rug. We only use catalogs as a possible reference. The quality and colors are too important to make a final decision. Salesmen come to our office, if they represent a manufacturer of custom rugs and patterns that can be easily reproduced either by hand or machine, or to show us how they can manufacture a custom carpet to our design and colors. For custom rugs I turn to Carter International. Dealers I particularly like are Alex Cooper Rugs in Baltimore, Timothy Paul and Soroush in Washington, and Michaelian and Kohlberg.
Do you have any suggestions for the industry?
It’s hard to tell how the industry can better serve us. The so-called industry is made up of so many different providers. It’s as important for them to find out what type of design studio we are, as for us to find out what type of rugs they handle. Sometimes a website can show the type of work a design group produces, as well as the internet can often show us where to get a Tibetan or a hand tufted American-made rug, which incidentally I can say we are now buying in our colors and design.