Are you starting your search for the perfect rug? Here are a few tips and hints to make your selection easier and more successful.
Measurements: Take two measurements not just one! You should have a maximum size and minimum size for the space you are trying to fill. You can lay out your sizes on the floor with "blue tape" and live with them for a while to see if you need more or less coverage. Most hand knotted rugs do not come in standard sizes and you may need to make some compromises. Having a range of sizes will allow you to have more rugs options.
Colors: Bring your colors with you if you can. It may be a pillow, paint sample, fabric or inspiration piece you are working with. The colors, in person, are always going to be slightly different than you see on a computer screen. Cameras, photography and computer screens can not capture the whole essence of a rug. Most Persian and Oriental rugs have many colors, some are more subtle and others quite vibrant but they are not afraid of using 15-20 colors in one rug. You want to find one that plays well with its surroundings.
Style: This again is about playing well with the rugs surroundings. Do you have modern, straight lines? Are you trying to soften them up or are you looking for more linear patterns? Are you more traditional, working with older furniture and darker woods? A more formal rug may work better in your space. There are tribal rugs, which are more primitive and enhance many different spaces. An eclectic design can have a bend of these elements. Some rugs blend these design motifs in a more transitional manner. Think about the effect you are trying to accomplish as you choose your style. Rugs add drama and interest or tie elements together.
Personal Taste: This is probably the hardest to describe in words. When I ask why someone likes a particular rug, they often say it just "speaks to them". Personal taste comes into play with all of the above categories. Most people shopping for rugs have strong personal opinions about the rugs because the rugs invoke emotions. Some people like symmetry and are bothered by disorder. Others love the idea of imperfections and seek out unusual patterns or colors. If you can, bring pictures of your space. This helps show your colors, design style, floor plan and what you are trying to accomplish. In other words, your personal preferences.