Home » Homes » Decorating Ideas » Modern or traditional rugs: What your carpet says about you
Decorating Ideas Shopping For Home

Modern or traditional rugs: What your carpet says about you

In the market for a new carpet but unsure which style to buy? Instead of asking, “Which carpet matches my house?”, why not ask “Which carpet matches me?”

The Modernist
The Modernist


The Modernist
The Modernist

The Modernist

Your philosophy: why dwell on the past when you live in the present? If something is new, hip or cutting-edge, you are on it. Vintage? Never – unless the subject is champagne. You are particular about your home and are known to circle the region in search of the perfect piece. Mass-produced furniture? No way. Why be relegated to others’ ideas when you can design your own to match your distinctive taste?

Sound familiar? Try a customised carpet.

Customised carpets are made according to a buyer’s unique specifications, says Amin Bagheri at The Orientalist. You choose the:

• materials – pure silk, wool, or wool with silk highlights

• knot count – 100, 120, 340 or 500 knots per square inch

• size and shape – square, rectangular, oval, round,

triangular and different shapes of all dimensions

• colour – 1,800 in-house colours, or bring in your own


• design – create  your own or work with an in-house


Plan ahead. Hand-knotted carpets can take five months to create, while hand-tufted carpets (made by machine) can be completed within four to six weeks.

Why customise?

If you can dream it, it can be made into a carpet. From tapestries to tablecloths, any sample can be duplicated.

The Traditional
The Traditional


The Traditionalist

Fancy yourself a bit of a history buff? Be it books, movies, or pastimes – you strictly stick with the classics. You’ll bypass a month in Fiji in favour of a day of trekking in Turkmenistan, and you consider The Travels of Marco Polo to be the ultimate holiday travel guide. Your interior décor? Antiques are in every room, yet little emphasis is placed on items matching as long as each piece has a story.

Music to your ears? Try a tribal carpet.

Tribal carpets are hand-knotted carpets woven by nomadic tribes in Central Asia, says Suliman Hamid at Hassan’s Carpets. Woven from memory with designs passed down from generation to generation, tribal carpets reflect objects encountered in everyday life, such as the moon, stars, trees, animals and flowers, as well as the weavers’ spiritual beliefs. They are often neither symmetrical nor straight –knowledgeable buyers view this as adding to a carpet’s character and natural beauty.

Tribal carpets are distinguishable by their geometrical designs and bold colours. Made from hand-spun kurk wool, tribal carpets use natural dyes derived from minerals and organic sources such as plants, bark, roots and even insects.

Unlike most carpets, tribal carpets are woven out of necessity. Lacking furniture, Central Asian pastoral nomads ate and slept on the ground. They wove carpets to cover the hard ground under their tents, swaddle their babies and stay warm on chilly desert nights.

Pure tribal carpets reflect the weavers’ culture and civilisation. They are made strictly for self-consumption and are immune from market influences. Today, tribal carpets are produced by the Caucasians, Turkomans and several Persian tribes, including the Bakhtiari and Lurs. Work from each region can be identified by the design, colour combination, material and knotting technique.

Why go tribal?

As one of the oldest surviving methods of artistic expression, tribal carpets tell a story of passion, heritage and history.
Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!