Monday, March 22, 2010

From the floor on up...

The theme today is carpet. Not the broadloom that your home may have wall to wall in many rooms, but individual carpets or rugs that you bring into your home to tie your room together, to make a statement, or to make that room complete. Given that statement, it would be easy to assume that the rug or carpet is the last thing to be added into a room. In reading many an article, design books galore and even direct quotes from people in the business, if you are not already thinking this, it is time to change your decorating order. The rug comes first. Speaking with Brad Andonian, co-owner of Pande Cameron (Bellevue/Seattle) , I learned that when you are decorating a space, you should build from the foundation up. Instead of running around with a paint chip, trying to be matchy matchy with your carpet and furnishing choices, find that perfect rug first. Brad said that it is very easy to highlight a given color(s) while at the same time, drawing less attention to others, so your rug does not need to an exact match to everything around it. Once you have that carpet, you can then go about choosing your furniture, window coverings and paint. Brad is the third generation of his family to own Pande Cameron, which has been in the Seattle area since 1924. When asked about assisting clients with a carpet purchase, Brad showed his expertise by stating that he always asks where someone lives, the direction a given room faces and what their needs are (living room, dining room, family room, master bedroom). He is so readily aware of the various areas and neighborhoods in the Seattle area that by hearing which neighborhood a client lives in, he immediately knows the amount of light a given neighborhood has as well as the general architectural feel of that area. Of course the direction of the room in question, allows a good understanding of how much direct or indirect sunlight that room will receive.

When you are ready to shop for an area rug, there are so many options from A-Z as to where you will go to shop for your rug. Initially, go through design magazines and online to get a head start in figuring out the styles that you like but when it comes to purchase time it really is recommended that you go live with the shopping so that you can use more than one sense to find the right one. Touching as well as seeing the rug is good. For mud rooms or the kids art room, area rugs from Ikea, Pottery Barn and the like are just fine but designer John Kurtz (former host of Art Underfoot and now designer for New Moon) says "You should buy the best rug you can afford, even it means living with bare floors while you save up your pennies. Look for good quality natural materials such as wool and silk. A high-quality wool rug will wear well and even look better over time, says Kurtz. Wool has the capacity to develop its own patina through exposure to light and air and feet walking on it. It's like having a wonderful piece of wood furniture and rubbing your hand over it every day". Washington based interior designer, Patrick J. Baglino, Jr. says "Sisal, jute and grass rugs often cost less, but are difficult to clean and don't last as long. "If you spill red wine on it, that rug is gone." The general guideline for how much to spend is relative to how much you are spending on the rest of the room. In a living room, the rug should be priced at as much, if not more, than the sofa. Set your price limit before you shop, then add 10 percent to give you some flexibility within that price range.

Once you do find the one, be sure to take care of it, as you would any other piece of art in your home. Brad, from Pande Cameron recommends the following; "In home broadloom should be professionally cleaned 2/x year for cleanliness, wear etc.
Area rugs should be cleaned regularly to increase life; if not, dirt reaches the base of the knot and acts as an abrasive and degrades the condition and durability of the rug. At $2.50 a square foot, area rugs should be cleaned every 3-5 years and pads should be replaced at that time". When a rug is cleaned it should have both the back and front thoroughly scrubbed and washed to ensure a deep and complete clean.

I did go to visit the Bellevue showroom of Pande Cameron and instantly felt the need to bring home all new area rugs. While, I did put a wish list together, I did abstain THAT day but I know I will be back soon. While Pande Cameron has a large selection of both traditional and antique area rugs, because they design and commission their own carpets, they have created a Craftsman series to suit the older homes of many Seattle neighborhoods but also many contemporary rugs as well. Some of my favorites were:

"Silk Road" - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation with silk accents. $5995 for 6'x9'

"D Swirl" in kelp - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $5400 for 5'x8'

"Bamboo Coral Honey" - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $2995 for 5'x8'

"Wrought Iron" in terracotta - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $5400 for 5'x8'

"Vase" in charcoal - Handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. You have to see this one in person, it was fabulous. Traditional design with updated colors. $5995 for 6'x9'

"Border Rug" in cinnamon - other colors include sage and graphite. Handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. Perfect basic for high traffic areas. $995 for 5'x8'.

I hope this information is helpful and inspires you for the next time you are ready to create or re-create a room in your home.

The most important consideration in buying a rug is finding something that "has a beating heart and is going to please you every time you look at it," says Kurtz. "A great rug, a place to sit, a can of paint and you're done."

For any questions about the carpets above, custom carpets or carpet cleaning and mending, contact Brad Andonian through the Pande Cameron link mentioned above or through his email at:

Happy Decorating!


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