A scene in Downtown Abbey I always notice is where three or four housemaids are charged with the rolling up of the long hall runner because there is going to be a party. Wise move. Nobody wants a champagne soaked rug particularly when it is as decorative and luxuriant as the one that graces the hall way of the Abbey. These traditional Persian inspired rug designs, so beloved of our ancestors, are making a comeback –and our love of Edwardian elegance as demonstrated by the success of such shows as Downton have kick started a renaissance for all things historic. Their oriental patterns connote both the exotic splendor of ancient Persian palaces, but also Colonial era British heritage, wealth and elegance. They are a comforting link with the past in an era obsessed with electronic gadgets and reality TV.
Property buying programmes (back on the TV in force) also demonstrate our continuing love affair with period features. Cornices, ceiling roses, fireplaces and real wooden floorboards are top of most people’s wish lists and what better way to embellish such an interior than with a rug that brings with it the weight and grandeur of a better time.
Large traditional rugs, in particular are an excellent alternative to carpets, particularly if you already have wooden, tiled or laminate flooring in place. They bring to a room all the warmth and comfort of wall to wall carpets but also allow the beauty of the traditional floor covering to shine too. There are also practical benefits to be gained from opting for a large rug: No expensive carpet fitting to pay for, no strangely shaped ‘off cuts’ to house, and, a huge bonus to most, there is less to hoover !
Here at Rug Merchant there is a large selection of rugs of oriental design. The Bokhara, Gabbeh, Orient and Samarkand ranges evoke all the exoticism of the Silk Road, Sheherezade and the Ottoman Empire whilst the Viscount, Royal, Heritage and Diamond traditional rug collections summon to mind the cosy grandeur of the British Empire.
Investing in such a traditional rug is also a way of creating a piece of heritage for your family. The designs are timeless in their appeal and being machine woven, are extremely durable. A rug bought today could, with care, see you through several generations. Just remember to take the Downton route and roll it up if you’re planning on having a large bash, then roll back out again for cosy family nights in. And these rugs are certainly cosy. Despite the impossible size of such residences I for one, would love a room, like the drawing room at Downton Abbey with its roaring fires, plush upholstery, elegant ornaments and its rather splendid and comforting rugs.