Rug Shopping in NYC

My friend and sorta-client Catherine and I took the train from DC to New York not long ago.

She has been searching exhaustively for a dining room rug. Hours and hours have been spent on this project. Even her husband has been sucked in. He, while visiting California, conducted intense negotiations with an oriental rug dealer, snapped a number of pics with his phone and then aborted when they could not figure out if the color was right.

Poor Catherine. Who thought purchasing a rug would be so stressful.

She is not demanding or even remotely unreasonable. She just knows what she wants.

When I was in High Point this spring, I met a man from NYC  who was displaying the most beautiful array of Tibetan hand-knotted rugs.
After a short visit, I was convinced this was what Catherine and I had been searching for – wonderful quality with fair prices.

So a rug shopping trip on the train was scheduled and we were SO excited! Not only were we convinced we would find the perfect rug for Catherine, but we were also going to visit the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse! (More on that very soon.)

Here she is surrounded with 2′ x 2′ samples and trays and trays of wool and silk yarns.
This particular company specialized in fully custom Tibetan rugs. You can select from among their vast array of designs, or even offer a sketch of your original ideas. Select your colors – and voila´! Custom rug. Sounds simple, no?

NO!  It’s overwhelming.
More trays of poms. Color overload!

(sorry for the photo quality – my phone is all I had with me)
Which to choose? We had some fabric samples with us and had hoped they would bring inspiration (see them hanging on the rolled rugs in the background?)

Feast your eyes on these designs! The ground is wool and the star burst detail, silk. So yummy.

This one is all silk and all of the rugs are 100 knots per square inch. Very nice!

These are both wool with silk detail. I love the geometric designs the best.

Are you able to see how the silk changes color and becomes so luminous as the viewing angle changes? That is what makes these rugs so extraordinary. And breathtaking.
So finally, Catherine makes a decision…..

The beautiful geometric, shown left above, in her dining room and the rug on the right for the foyer. (But, not in these colors)

This process with Catherine has been amazingly instructional and I’ve acquired a profound respect for the ancient art of the hand knotted rug.

I would love to say that Catherine’s rugs are being lovingly produced in Tibet as we speak, but we had a bit of a set back as pricing negotiations ensued. Perhaps it is all my fault and I badly misunderstood that part of my pre-trip phone conversation with the NYC rug dude. (Not!)

Catherine’s search continues…..