Few accessories can bring a room to life than a wool area rug in a spectacular design. Like a great painting on the wall, textile art on the floor can serve as the perfect complement to a seating group, dining table, or cluster of furniture pieces needing anchor.
As a provider of imported contemporary area rugs at the retail level for over 35 years in my own home furnishings business, I know firsthand how exciting any interior can feel with a great woven or tufted design underfoot. Rug colorations, patterns, and repeating motifs often reflect and reinforce other elements in the space found in accessories, furniture lines and shapes. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to create custom area rugs for our clients, made by local fabricators, to astounding effect.
Last year Roche Bobois-International Design took the leap to create tufted wool area rugs designed in-house, but made by traditional craftsmen thousands of miles away. Given the opportunity to launch the line, I quickly discovered the design possibilities were both endless and challenging. It’s not easy to create a great composition within specific size borders that has eye appeal, suits a variety of interiors, and is affordable. As I began to work, some of my cues came from nature, others from science, some, even from fashion.
Plenty of talented resources are available in Denver for the consumer who wants an original rug design. Serving the interior design community for over 25 years, Allure Rug Studio, owned and operated by Avner Giladi, has provided beautiful results in quality materials from their showroom at the Denver Design Center. No custom design is too big or small for their skilled suppliers and in-house designers who can help realize your vision.
Another approach to custom area rugs and runners is the pieced or assembled rug, a totally hand-crafted process. Kensington Designer Rugs, also known as Aurora Rug Binding, maintains a showroom and facility on South Havana open to the public. Owner Richard Cantone proudly celebrates his firm’s 35th anniversary this summer. “We can boast product installed in some of the most exclusive residences and businesses in the state,” said Cantone. “Our commercial clients include the Brown Palace Hotel, the Broadmoor Hotel, and Coors, among others.”
Kensington can take a customer from concept to completion with a complete library of fine wool or manmade products. Onsite, a talented team of craftsmen cut, seam, and bind the rugs together. With a variety of tools that produce beveled edges, angled cuts, and a variety of insets, surface levels, and other textured variations, they create sculpted rugs that rival woven ones in beauty and complexity. “We’re also famous for the custom patterned runners we make for spiral staircases,” said Cantone. “They’re very challenging; something many other fabricators don’t want to tackle.”
Aztec Custom rug and Carpet off west 14th Ave. near downtown Denver has provided the city with custom area rugs for over 30 years. Many area rugs here are also assembled by hand, ensuring the highest quality and attention to detail in an infinite range of colors, materials and finishes. Owned and operated by Jim Rodriguez, a certified wool expert, Aztec is a member of Premiere Wool dealers, a buying group affiliated with the wools of New Zealand. The company’s primary market is to interior designers to whom they provide fine carpeting as well. Custom hand-tufted or hand-woven area rugs can easily be coordinated with wall-to wall goods. “In today’s global marketplace,” explains Rodriguez, “outsourcing is common.”
Commercial clients often order logo specific carpets, many with specialized cuts and lengths. Some of these include the United States Air Force, Denver Broncos, the John Lynch Live Show and the Pepsi Center, to name a few.
For a true piece of art meant to be walked on, Colorado artist PJ Bergin in Salida has mastered a remarkable technique by layering studio-dyed, damp, wool felt and wool yarn together, creating rugs that are as beautiful to look at as they are to walk on. For years, PJ was known as a top-notch wall upholsterer, then a designer of wall art under the name Felt In Hand, serving the entire Front Range and Denver metro community. For the last three years, her new company (titled, coincidentally, Art on the Floor) offers handmade rugs that dazzle the imagination. “The effect of the layering is almost like looking into a pond,” said PJ. “It creates a kind of transparency that is never lost, no matter how much the rug is used. Customers ask if these creations aren’t meant to hang on the wall, but they’re not. They’re really designed to be walked on. A typical piece has fifteen to eighteen layers. Each one is unique. Sizes vary, as does price.”
One final example is the work of artists Joyce Barker-Schwartz and Eric Waldron. Their geometric cotton canvas rugs are hand-painted, hand-woven and sealed with a protective coating. This enables them to be used for high traffic areas of the home, both indoors and outdoors. Minimal care is required. Available as both sophisticated runners and area rugs, they are available through Michele Mosko Fine Art at 136 W. 12th Ave. in Denver, by appointment only, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who want to define their interior with a specific color scheme or image on the floor, design possibilities are limitless. And with wool yarns, the expectancy of the product might last a lifetime.
Bio: Corinne Joy Brown pursued interior design for over 30 years before choosing the pen over the scale ruler. She and her husband still own and manage Roche Bobois-International Design, one of the most unique collections of contemporary furniture and accessories in the Rocky Mountain West, including rugs. Occasionally, both careers overlap. "When they do," said the author/designer," it feels like winning the lottery."
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