View our current antique selection of American rugs below:
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American Rugs – The antique rugs that were produced in America are typically the famed hooked rugs. Although variations exist, such as Navajo rugs and Ingrain rugs, hooked rugs serve as an emblem for the American rug industry. Popular from the 1600’s to the early 1800’s, hooked rugs served settlers because of the limited supplies available and the necessity for floor coverings.
Usually these designs centered around geometric patterns, floral designs, animals, landscapes and seascapes. Although humans are rarely represented on American rugs, there was a strong sense of individualistic expression as different regions became characterized by their particular styles.
Like America’s newfound citizens from a wide array of countries, her crafts and designs were gathered from many separate groups and foreign countries. Hooked rugs that were crafted in homes by the light of oil lamps and candles are one of America’s first national art forms. They depict state symbols and important regional motifs that still provide insight into life in early America. These nubbly hooked rugs are quite distinctive and evocative of an earlier time, which makes them popular furnishings for historic homes.
Early American braided rugs that were sometimes created from remnants found in textile mills also evoke a welcoming old-fashioned style that conjures up images of fireside conversations in the charming colonial homes of New England. An antique rug’s origin has substantial bearing on its overall aesthetic as well as its utility. quilts, hooked rugs and braided floor coverings were popular items, pastimes and practical crafts that allowed individuals to turn what they had into something more useful and more beautiful.
Antique American rugs , Quilts and textiles are truly pieces of individual and national history. With their folk-art whimsy and practical sensibilities, these early American works of art are a joy to behold. As the nation evolved, its carpets did too. Building on the foundation of hooked rugs and southwestern Navajo rugs and blankets, decorative ingrain carpets and more sophisticated textiles emerged. From humble farmhouses to high-society estates, these antique American rugs had a place in every home, and they still have a place in the nation’s history.
The History of Rugs in America
America’s rug industry officially began during the 19th century. Prior to that, Americans were importing rugs from Europe. This practice initially began as the first colonists made their way to Massachusetts. However, with the Revolutionary War, England put tariffs into place to prevent Americans from importing rugs. For this reason, American manufacturers in New England stepped in to takeover the rug trade.
Though America’s history of rugs is quite extensive, the designs of these American rugs have their own history, as many of them can be traced back to Navajo culture. Today, many people associate American rug design with Navajo style rugs and hooked rugs. This tradition in design inspiration began when 17th century settlers started creating hooked rugs.
These motifs on American hooked rugs often changed throughout the years, consisting of floral designs, seascapes, landscapes, animals, and geometric patterns. Each hooked rug design, regardless of the motif, displayed a certain individual expression that was unique to the person making the rug.
The History of Braided American Rugs
When it comes to cultivating a feeling of warmth in their home, most people automatically choose a braided rug as part of their decor. This is, in part, a result of the rich history of braided rugs. While most people believe that braided rugs originated in the early colonial days, their history is actually tied to Native American culture.
It was Native American techniques for rug weaving that brought about the design of braided rugs. These techniques were initially used by Native Americans to create saddle blankets for their horses, in addition to ceremonial rugs, and ponchos. These were all items that were often used in traditional “pow wows”. It was with these techniques that Americans learned to create their braided rugs.
After being inspired by Native American culture and tradition, braided rugs increased in popularity throughout the American colonies around the 1500’s and early 1600’s. These earlier American braided rugs were often created from leftover fabric scraps. Rug manufacturers would take burlap, cotton, and wool to create a unique braided rug design. In doing so, they developed many different methods for creating rugs. After a few of the fabric strips were braided together, they would then be stitched to each other to form the braided American area rugs.
American Colonial Interior Design
Interior design trends are always changing and evolving. New fashions emerge, then subside. One of the most curious aspects of this flow of trends, though, is how often old styles reemerge. The number of “revival” styles throughout history is a testament to how often we look to the past for inspiration. In the USA, the American Colonial interior design style has exerted its influence almost continuously throughout history.
What Is American Colonial Design?
American Colonial is a home design aesthetic based on the architectural and interior design practices of colonial settlers in America. It is especially influenced by the homes of 18th-century settlers. These houses often borrowed significantly from the country homes of Europe but were simpler and more practical.
Due to the influence of European homes, there are subsets of American Colonial based on the country of origin of the settlers. For example, Dutch settlers had a different style from their English counterparts. The style tends to be distinguished by its simplicity and honesty. Many of these homes had a relatively rustic and casual feel compared to the lavish and formal European homes that served as inspiration.
The History of American Colonial Design
The style evolved throughout the colonial period of American history. Early elements began in the 16th and 17th centuries. These homes were even more bare-bones and practicality-oriented than their later counterparts. Basic plank construction of both the structure and furniture were very common.
Homes in America evolved and became a little more comfortably furnished in the 18th century, especially among the wealthiest settlers. However, the aesthetic continued the tradition of simplicity and practicality, just a little less severe.
As the style developed, the simple furniture became more advanced, moving towards the American Craftsman style. Features such as dovetail joints, mortise and tenon, turned shapes and cyma recta shapes started to emerge. Nonetheless, a lot of furniture continued to have a simple, honest and sturdy look and feel.
Creating an American Colonial Look Today
Many people still love the American Colonial style and its influences are notable today. It tends to be blended with the Early American style, which followed the American Revolutionary war. This blending is most notable in the use of patriotic design motifs such as the Betsy Ross flag, the bald eagle and similar items. Strictly speaking, these designs do not belong in American Colonial (although most people wouldn’t begrudge them).
Creating an American Colonial aesthetic should involve a color palette made up of white, natural wood and a few basic colors. The most common colors were barn red, indigo blue and tallow ochre. Certain other options such as optical green were introduced a little later.
Another central element of American Colonial was quilting. It was common for early settlers to use quilts on beds and walls to make rooms cozier and livelier. You can incorporate this with a quilted pillow or comforter. For the walls, whitewashed colors paired with crown molding and wood paneling are common parts of this aesthetic. Dark woods such as mahogany and walnut also help to add to the style. Furniture is typically heavy and traditional. Items such as trestle tables and trunks can really add to this look, especially if they are handmade.
Using Area Rugs With American Colonial Design
To find the right rug to fit your American Colonial style, focus on handmade, vintage rugs or antique rugs. Consider the colors that were available back in the day. They tended to be relatively earthy. For example, look for an antique rug with a combination of beige and ochre colors. Alternatively, you could opt for a deeper red color palette.
Many of the patterns during the colonial period were floral and included elements such as the pineapple, heart and anchor. Other patterns were simpler and more geometric. Typically, wealthier homeowners chose patterns from the former category whereas less well-to-do settlers opted for simple, homemade geometric designs. Area rugs and carpets for this style should be flat-woven or with a short pile. Shag rugs weren’t popular yet in America during the 18th century.
Think about some of the other major elements of your room. If you expect to have dark woodwork, consider a lighter even white or cream colored rug that can add brightness to the room. Alternatively, you can create a cozy space with a richly colored piece. The American Colonial aesthetic is quite flexible. The key is to focus on simplicity and practicality with your rugs as with all other elements of décor.
Find the Perfect Rug for Your American / Colonial Home
Find the right rugs for your American Colonial interior design at Nazmiyal. We have a diverse selection of antique and vintage rugs that work well with this aesthetic. We have also collected an array of beautiful rugs, such as antique American hook rugs, that match the design language of American Colonial well. If you are struggling to find the right rug for your space, connect with our experts. We are always happy to help.
Here are some beautiful American rugs from the Nazmiyal Collection for your American Colonial decor:
This interior design blog about American Colonial interior design was published by Antique Nazmiyal Rugs.