So you’re in the market for a new rug. You have spent months pouring over Instagram and Pinterest, swooning over posts from top interior designers featuring beautiful carpets ranging from bold and bright contemporaries to classic and sophisticated timeless antique rugs. You think you know what you want but find yourself asking, “Can I find a rug I will still love in 10 years?” How do you choose something that will grow with you as you swap out furniture, repaint, or even move? Fear not we’ve got you covered. We sent sales consultant and content extraordinaire Jess Zizzo home with our list of the top 5 timeless rugs to see how they work in her space. Check it out!
What is a Timeless Rug?
Look as far back as Renaissance Era paintings and as recent as an issue of Architectural Digest and you will notice a common thread – a beautiful rug that ties the room together. A timeless classic rug is all about craftsmanship, materials, and design. A timeless rug is hand-knotted with high-quality materials such as handspun wools and natural vegetal dyes that can last a lifetime or more. Timeless designs and colors transcend passing fads, such as a Persian Heriz or Serapi to Turkish Oushaks hand-woven in neutral pallets of beige, creams, grays, and black to shades of blues, rusts, salmons, and reds, colors that never really go out of style.
Examples of Timeless Rugs
Heriz and Serapi Carpets
Heriz and Serapi Carpets are hands down our #1 quintessential timeless rug! The allure and attraction of these 19th and 20th century masterpieces is stronger than ever as younger generations have leaned into sustainable design. Pairing these vintage rugs with clean lined contemporary rooms settings is a way to bring history and depth to new and old spaces alike. From the perfect floor covering beneath and atop Sigmund Freud's chaise lounge in his famous study to the rustic work-from-home office, the Heriz brings history and timelessness to a space that will never go out of style!
Sigmund Freud's Study featuring a Heriz Rug
Hans Holbein, the famous 15th century Dutch painter, was undoubtedly the first to shed light on the timeless appeal of the Turkish Oushak carpet. In his circa 1533 oil painting titled “The Ambassadors” Holbein decorates his renaissance masterpiece with a vibrantly colored and highly detailed depiction of a Turkish Carpet draped over a table. The carpet is strategically placed alongside other popular luxury objects most desired by 16th century European Nobility. Fast forward to the 21st century where we find interior designers and decorators sourcing Oushak carpets from Turkey as a refreshing alternative to the much more abundant and darker Persian carpet. Even today we see that these gorgeous carpets are seen as the latest in what’s new and fresh; talk about a timeless magical carpet ride that spans well over 600 years! See our extensive collection of soft and colorful timeless Oushak rugs.
The Ambassadors” by Hans Holbein featuring a Turkish Oushak
Jess’ Work-From-Home space featuring a modern Oushak Rug
Over the last 30 years of rug travels, regardless of country or continent, Jeff Arcari has always been associated with the Persian Bijar carpet through fellow dealers, collectors, or rug enthusiasts due to his New England roots. Some of this he attributes to the early 20th century Boston rug importer Mustapha Avigdor and his obvious love for Arabesque and Garous Bijar rugs, which still to this day serendipitously pop up at local estate auctions with a tattered cloth import tag sewn to the back. Fast forward 80 plus years to the life of John J. Collins, a Newburyport MA based rug dealer and Bijar collector, who also had an affinity for these hardy rugs. There is something truly timeless both from a stand point of longevity derived from quality materials and craftsmanship, as well as sharpness of design and use of vibrant jewel tone natural dyes that immortalizes the North West Persian Bijar carpet. Perhaps it’s these hard wearing and weathered characteristics that the rest of the world pairs with the personality of the New Englander... What’s your rug personality?
Donald Coleman’s 1926 Bugatti resting upon a 1926 Bijar
With its roots based in 17th century English hand-knotted carpets, these terms, Axminster, Wilton, Wiltshire, and Salisbury, have all become synonymous with contemporary clean line quality wool hand-knotted and machine woven carpeting alike. You can find many of the centuries-old patterns and weaving techniques throughout top designer carpeting showrooms around the world today. The names of these towns have also morphed into both a specific loom technique of weaving and the unique look of these mostly monochromatic clean line repeating patterns. Although the color combinations change with the times, the patterns have withstood for centuries. They are the Go-To for many discriminating interior designers, especially on hall and stair applications. This popularity and desire for fresh, clean lines in today’s design make Axminster and Wilton style carpets genuinely timeless.
Axminster carpet in the music room, Brighton Pavilion.
Jess’ Dining Room
The Moroccan rug is as timeless as the mystique that surrounds these illustrious, yet primitive utilitarian weavings. In our opinion there is no other carpet type that has stayed the "coarse weave" true to its primitive and personal expression freeform nature. These magical carpets have remained unchanged by outside influence or time itself. This is so even with the popularity Frank Puglia brought, who played the iconic Moroccan rug merchant alongside Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 film Casablanca. In the early 20th century, modernist movement architect icons such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright used Moroccan Berber rugs throughout the interiors of their projects. Probably most famous of these would be Frank Lloyd Wright's Pennsylvanian weekend retreat home Falling Water. Today we see our designers and clients alike being drawn to this crossroads that puts us somewhere between modernism, folk art, and cutting edge tribal. We think of these vintage Moroccan rugs as true timeless gems; rough cut right out of the Atlas Mountains.
Frank Puglia, the Moroccan Rug Merchant in Casablanca