Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Area Rugs, What's Old Is Stylishly New

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Area Rugs, What's Old Is Stylishly New

Article excerpt

THE WALL-to-wall carpeting is threadbare and stained in high-traffic places, but it's still good around the edges.

Or the hardwood floors, just redone, are worth showing off.

Either case calls for an area rug, or rugs. Area rugs - especially those that reek of old money - are more stylish today than carpeting.

To some extent, this is merely a turning of the wheel of floor fashion. But it coincides with an abundance of affordable reproduction rugs - Orientals, Aubussons, needlepoints and more - and consumer desire for conversation rugs that reflect personal interests.

"The reproductions in some cases are so well done that they can fool even the keenest eye," says Bebe Winkler, an interior designer in New York.

The ample supply also coincides with the increasing scarcity - and rising prices - of antique rugs, and with a growing interest in antiques in general, according to David Amini, president of Beauvais Carpets Inc., a to-the-trade importer in New York.

With so many appealing designs, there's a temptation to use more than one in a room. Winkler put two arts-and-crafts-style rugs in her living room - a 9-by-12 and a 6-by-9 that share general design and color themes.

Rather than reproductions, Winkler prefers antique Orientals which have faded to a fine patina, but budgets rarely permit such extravagances. Amini says a 10-by-14 antique Aubusson might sell for $50,000, an excellent copy for about $14,000. Good copies of needlepoints and early 20th-century arts and crafts rugs are in the $3,000 to $5,000 range.

Even more affordable are area rugs found in carpet departments, specialty stores and mail-order catalogs. Rugs that buck tradition and are alive with color and pattern beckon the buyer.

"Consumers seem to be looking for rugs that reflect their personal interests, whether it be fruits and vegetables, birds, golfing, flowers, dogs or anything else," says Pam O'Toole, carpet fashion coordinator for Shaw Industries of Dalton, Ga.

Several new patterns were shown recently in New York by the Carpet and Rug Institute. …

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