Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Rugs!

This is the display in our showroom in Suite 542 at International Market Square in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Casbah Tangerine...Hot and Spicy!

With the recent announcement of the Pantone color of the year for 2012, I couldn't resist showing you "Casbah Tangerine"....a hot and spicy coloring with tangerine orange and salsa red.  I prefer the design without the border.  How about you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flat weave rugs on the stretcher in Nepal

Have you ever wondered how the weavers get the rugs into a perfect rectangle after removing them from the loom?  Well, being a lifelong quilter, I wondered if the rug workshops blocked the rugs when damp and then let them dry to a perfect shape.  In fact, my supplier in Nepal uses a stretcher to create the perfect rectangle.  Here are pictures of 2 flat weave rugs on the stretcher in Nepal.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Update a traditional rug pattern with modern colors

The lotus flower design is a traditional motif in Tibetan rugs.  However, the traditional colors used in the lotus flower rugs may not be suited for today's interiors.  It's an easy problem to fix.  Simply, update the colors in a traditional design to reflect more modern colors.  Here's an example.

Lotus Flower design in traditional colors
Image courtesy of Wikepedia

Modern colors in a traditional lotus flower design
Round Rug--colored by Julie Dasher Designs

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Raised Silk--A Beautiful Touch in a Rug

I love the color purple and what could be a prettier use of that color than in raised Chinese silk in a rug design...   I created this trellis pattern for a client in Florida who loves the color too.  The silk is raised about 2 mm higher than the wool pile in the background.  The border is the same color as the background but in a loop pile instead of a cut pile, which makes the color look a shade lighter.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art in a Rug

We recently contracted with an artist, Tracie Thompson, who created a beautiful mural in our new showroom at International Market Square in Minneapolis.  Tracie shared some of her lovely paintings with me and I decided to have my manufacturer in Nepal "rugify" one of the pictures.  I changed the background color to a neutral brown to make it more "rug friendly." This would make a lovely rug for an entry way or even a wall hanging.

Tracie's Mural
Tracie's Picture

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tulip Wreaths

Today's inspiration was a tulip...multiplied into a circle of flowers and centered with a starburst.  Pink and green always seems fresh and crisp.  This rug would be a beautiful focal point for a dining room, sunroom or bedroom.

Tulip Wreath Rug--Hand-knotted in Nepal with Tibetan wool

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are you looking for a hard-to-find rug?

Here's a Tibetan rug we just shipped from Nepal in the client's favorite color...purple!
With a purple abrash wool field and a cream wool and silk design, the rug is a unique and lovely option for this client's living room.  As an alternative to shopping for the perfect rug, creating a custom rug is easy and fun. Our lead times are excellent.  The rug below is a 12 X 12 foot that was completed in 8 weeks!

12 X 12 feet--Tibetan wool and Chinese silk--100 knots per square inch

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Having trouble finding runner rugs?

If you're having trouble finding runners for your projects, a custom runner can be a great solution.  We can create the exact size you need with the perfect colors and pattern.  Here's an example.  We did 2 of these runners for a client, one is 2'6" X 12' and the other is 2'6" X 15'.

If you would like to see more runners, please see our website gallery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tired of beige and grey? How about pink?

A rug doesn't always have to be shades of beige or grey.  A pop of pink in a runner can be just the punch of color needed in a room.  Here's my Rocky Medallion design specified in pink and cream...from digital rendering straight to the loom in Nepal.

Rocky Medallion Pink (Digital Rendering)

Rug on Loom in Nepal

Finished Hand-knotted Tibetan Rug

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hereke Rugs found me on Google+

If you haven't heard of Google+ yet, you may want to check it out.   It's Google's answer to Facebook and appears to be a very powerful tool.  I joined Google+ about a week ago and my very first friend request was from Solveigh Calderin, owner of Hereke Carpets in Istanbul.  As a rug designer, I was thrilled to have this connection to a potential new supplier in Turkey (I'm in Minneapolis, Minnesota).  There must be some very clever algorithum hiding behind the wall of Google+ because not only did Solveigh find me, but Google+ automatically found my Twitter and Facebook pages and my Picasa web-based photo album.  I didn't have to do a thing, they all just instantly came together on my Google+ page.

As a result of the connection, I was able to see this beautiful Hereke silk carpet...  It is 42 X 68 cm and has 100 knots per cm2 which translates to approximately 667 knots per square inch.  Amazing level of detail in the design!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sell your unique value as a designer and create a custom rug!

Creating a custom rug is easier than you think.  Carrie Rodman, Design Director at Martha O'Hara Interiors, selected one of over 200 designs on my website and specifed a custom size and her client's colors for the hand-knotted Tibetan wool runner below.

STEP 1:  Create a digital rendering.

STEP 2:  Create a 1' X 1' or 2' X 2' strike off

STEP 3:  Begin weaving the rug in Nepal

And, in 12 to 14 weeks, depending on the size of the rug, you will have your unique, artisan hand-knotted Tibetan rug which will last for generations.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flat weave rugs are all the rage!

Flat weave rugs are a popular and less expensive alternative to a hand-knotted rug.  They are easily handled, light-weight and typically reversible.   In a flat weave rug, the colored weft strands of wool are woven across the loom over and under the warp strands.  Without any knots, flat weaves do not have a pile.  Due to their construction, they are thinner than knotted rugs and not as warm and plush.  Simple curves are achievable but stripes and squares and other more boxy shapes are rendered best in a flat weave.

Over the years, flat weaves have been used as wall hangings, saddle pads and prayer rugs.  Following are 3 examples of flat weave rug construction.


Here are a few fun flat weave designs.

Square Chains

Interlocking Rings


Genie Bottle

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Designing a Tassel Runner

Inspiration comes from lots of different places.  Most recently, a common drapery tassel inspired me to create a damask runner in 2 colorways:  taupe & cream and sky blue & cream.  A lovely bathroom, kitchen or bedroom rug with an updated traditional motif.

Tassel Damask Runner/Sky Blue & Cream

Tassel Damask Runner/Taupe & Cream

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rug Yarns

Preparing and dyeing woolen yarns for hand-knotted Tibetan rugs is labor-intensive.  First, the wool is sheared from the sheep (typically Tibetan sheep that live above 14,000 feet in the Himalayan mountains).  Sometimes New Zealand wool is used but currently NZ wool is much more expensive than Tibetan wool for the Nepalese carpet makers.  Once sheared, the wool is machine or hand-carded to separate and straighten the fibers, remove impurities and prepare the fibers for spinning.  Hand-carding is a traditional method where a pair of wooden paddles with wire faces is used to brush the wool.  The result is a batt or rolag of lofty wool that makes spinning easier.  After carding, the wool is hand-spun and then wound into balls.  The yarn balls are used to hand-knot the colors into a beautiful Tibetan wool rug. 

    Shearing sheep
    Brush for hand carding
    Spinning wool by hand
    Winding yarn balls and separating into colors
    Photo:  Courtesy of Goodweave
    Weaving of Concept Interiors Rug Design in Nepal

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    World Day Against Child Labor

    As a licensed importer with Goodweave, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. which is working to end child labor in the rug-making industry, I am very aware that children are still losing their childhoods to the rug loom.  Despite pronouncements by the Indian government that child labor no longer exists in the country’s hand-woven carpet sector, there are still innumerable shacks and village huts where children are coerced to work 16 or more hours a day weaving carpets for export to Europe and North America. These children are either paid a pittance for their efforts, or are exploited through outright bonded and forced labor. 

    Goodweave is working to get these kids off the loom and back into school.  Each year, Concept Interiors Rugs donates a percentage of our profits to help their efforts.  By becoming aware of this issue and considering it in your purchase of rugs, you are helping children get an education and have hope for their future.

    Today is World Day Against Child Labor....

    Sangita was in 3rd grade when she was forced to leave school because her
    family could no longer afford the tuition. When her family lacked the money
    for basic necessities like food, Sangita had no other option but to travel to
    Kathmandu and work in a carpet factory to send money home.  She was
    only 12 years old.

    After a few months of toiling at a carpet loom in a dark space, with little
    to no food, pay or rest, a GoodWeave inspector discovered Sangita and
    rescued her. Once at GoodWeave’s rehabilitation center, Hamro Ghar,
    Sangita was happy to continue the education she had abandoned years
    ago and live in a friendly environment with other children who escaped
    a similar plight. One year after being rescued, she was reunited with her

    Sangita is now 16 years old and in 9th grade at Nava Jyoti Secondary
    School in Makwanpur. GoodWeave continues to  sponsor Sangita’s tuition,
    school supplies and food.  She says, “It is only because of GoodWeave
    that I am here to talk about my life. Otherwise I would still be a child laborer
    in a carpet factory. I want to give many thanks to GoodWeave and its family
    for everything they have done for me. Thank you.”

    Child working on a rug loom

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Designing a Paisley Rug

    A few months ago, an interior designer in my building approached me with a paisley inspiration that she drew for a rug.  With this drawing in hand, I created a 10 X 13 foot rug for a young couple's living room with bright, fun colors and paisleys that were positioned to have just the right "pop" under the homeowner's furniture.  The design firm is Lilu Interiors...I just LOVE their tag line..."we don't just throw a pillow at a problem and call it a day!"  Lilu has a wonderful team of talented interior designers that can add tremendous value to a design project and they are great fun to work with!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    What is "art" silk in a rug?

    "Art" silk is a fancy way of saying artificial silk.  Giving the first impression of real silk, art silk is a poor performer over the long term.  Art silk, banana silk, soy silk...these are all fibers which are spun using the same viscose process used to make rayon...a process harmful to the environment.  When these silky strands get wet, either with a spill or by being wet-cleaned, they "bloom" and result in an unsightly appearance.  At this point, they are no longer the beautiful silk look-a-like.  Having tested these fibers with Fiber Seal, a recognized fiber expert in the interior design industry, I would not recommend them.

    Real Chinese silk, although more expensive, is far superior to art silk in a rug.  With professional help from companies like Fiber Seal or Micro Seal, real silk can be protected, cleaned and restored to its original loveliness.  So, next time you're looking for a little glamour and sheen in a rug, opt for the real thing...

    Quatrefoil pattern--Tibetan wool and raised Chinese silk

    Peregrine pattern--designed by David Salkin--100% Chinese silk

    Silk Swans pattern--designed by Laurie DeMartino

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Custom Rug for the Bathroom

    I'm reposting this due to the crash....

    Gone are the days of bathmats...remember those little postage stamp-sized cotton throws for the bathroom floor?  Welcome...a custom-made Tibetan rug for the bathroom (designed and delivered by Concept Interiors)...a beautiful pink and cream hand-knotted beauty to rest those freshly-painted toe nails on!  Interior design and color selection by Carrie Rodman at Martha O'Hara Interiors.  Photo by Susan Gilmore.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Custom Rug for the Bathroom

    Gone are the days of bathmats...remember those little postage stamp-sized cotton throws for the bathroom floor?  Welcome...a custom-made Tibetan rug for the bathroom (designed and delivered by Concept Interiors)...a beautiful pink and cream hand-knotted beauty to rest those freshly-painted toe nails on!  Interior design and color selection by Carrie Rodman at Martha O'Hara Interiors.  Photo by Susan Gilmore.

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Pursuing my passion...

    I created this blog out of a desire to show you, the interior designer, some of my rug designs which may inspire you to create a beautiful custom rug for your client's home.  Three years ago, I started my rug business and now have over 200 designs on my website and a thriving business.

    Rugs add warmth, space definition, texture, pattern and color to any space.  From time to time, I will be sharing my rug designs and inspirations and give you some tips and ideas which will help you to make better decisions when making plans for your next area rug.  First in a series of many rug designs is my Lotus Flower and Wedding Rings rug which is a contemporary play on the traditional Tibetan lotus flower design and the age-old wedding ring pattern.

    Lotus Flowers and Wedding Rings