Custom-made carpets are worth the cost

January 02, 1994|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer Los Angeles Times Syndicate

It's not unusual to see traditionally designed carpets in rooms done up in a contemporary style. This juxtaposition of the classical and the modern is meant to marry two types of design often regarded as being on opposing ends of the spectrum. The combination does indeed succeed on occasion, especially when the carpet serves to introduce needed color and softness into a setting that would otherwise be too slick.

Many contemporary-style rooms, however, do require that the floor treatment be consistent with the overall design. And there's no lack of choice along those lines, ranging from monochromatic wall-to-wall carpeting, to sisal rugs, to contemporary area rugs that feature small, subtle patterns. Unfortunately, many of these commercially available area rugs are not particularly attractive -- at least not to my eye.

Custom-made carpets, however, would fill the bill. Because they offer an infinite variety of sizes, colors and patterns, they can meet any need. But whenever the possibility of "custom-made" something or other is suggested, many people instantly conclude that the price of such an item places it outside the realm of serious consideration.

While I'm not going to pretend that this option is cheap, a custom-made rug doesn't have to be hand-woven or even necessarily a one-of-a-kind design. A little research will reveal, in fact, that the price of many custom rugs is no higher than that of a typical sofa. And that's definitely not an unreasonable outlay for such an important design element. Think about it -- the floor treatment does more to define a room than almost any other facet of interior design.

Consider, for example, the contemporary room shown in the photo. Tigerman McCurry of Chicago, the winner of the 1992 residential design award from the American Society of Interior Designers, chose to use a customized contemporary rug to emphasize the stylistic direction of this space. The abstract pattern of the floor covering meshes well with the exposed hard surface while being a soft frame for the sitting area.

As I hope this model suggests, all sorts of affordable and highly attractive options become available when the customized approach isn't rejected out of hand.

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