Area Rug Styles

Learn about the different types of area rug styles and types

The production of rugs has a long and storied history. Cultures from all over the world embraced the creation of rugs — making it one of oldest and most widely-spread crafts known to mankind. Because of their vast popularity from the past up through the present day, area rugs and other forms of carpets come in a wide range of styles. Many have heard of famous Oriental area rug styles and Persian rugs, but the truth is that there are so many other origins of rugs — all with their own unique styles and stories to share.

Examples Of Nazmiyal's Modern, Vintage and Antique Area Rug Styles

Modern, Vintage and Antique Area Rug Styles

In this article, we share just a few of the ways to categorize different styles of rugs and what to look for when purchasing rugs for various rooms of the home.

What Are the Different Types of Rugs Called?

There are a number of different ways you can categorize rug styles. Perhaps the best place to start is by looking at age: from antique to vintage to modern. Each of these styles or types of rugs have their own unique stories to tell. Where were they most commonly produced? What dyes and textiles were used? How did supply and demand impact rug production? And, how did rugs align with interior design trends throughout history?

Antique Area Rugs

To be classified as an antique, a rug must be at least 80 years old. Presently, that means that any rug made in the 1940’s or earlier falls into this category. However, antique rugs on the market today can date as far back as the 17th Century — and sometimes earlier — providing consumers with a wide variety of options to choose from.

Antique rugs are defined by more than just their age, however. There are an array of desirable characteristics that define these heirloom pieces, including the quality of the design as well as the weaving technique and materials used. For example, rugs produced prior to 1925 used traditional natural vegetable rug dyes, which result in a more vibrant color, and hand-spun wool.

Different Types of Antique Area Rugs by Nazmiyal

Different Types of Antique Area Rugs

The most popular way to categorize types of antique area rugs include:

  • Name of the rug: The name of a rug can tell you a lot about the piece of art itself. Often, the name given to a rug reveals something about its location. Its name might reflect where the carpet was woven, where it was sold, where it was designed, or even where a dealer believes it was woven. Or, the name could reflect the design itself. Finally, the name might include the name of a tribe or community where the design was created. Examples of rug names at Nazmiyal Collection include Folk Art Rugs, Swedish Rugs and Hooked Rugs.
  • Origin of the rug: Some consumers seek to find rugs that reflect cultural authenticity. There are a wide variety of rugs to choose from hailing from the dynasties of Persia, the Caucasus, Ottoman Turkey, Mogul India, China and so much more. Each of these locations developed their own unique style and techniques, telling stories of their origin.
  • Pattern of the rug: One of the most common ways to shop for a rug is by searching for a pattern that speaks to you. Fortunately, with so many styles of antique rug, there is something for everyone. Patterns and design elements commonly found in antique rugs include medallions, tribal designs, allover designs, prayer rugs and Judaica carpets.

Nazmiyal Collection has the largest collection of antique rugs in the world. Shop rugs by shape and size, name, origin, pattern and color.

Vintage Area Rugs

Vintage rugs were crafted from the mid-20th Century through the 1970s. This time period was marked by the rise of experimentation and innovation in the arts, sciences and popular culture. All of this resulted in rugs steeped in nostalgia, artistry and style. Unlike their earlier counterparts,  mid century modern rugs often align with styles like pop-art, surrealism and minimalism to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of interior design. As the popularity for interior design styles like Mid-Century Modern has grown, so too has the demand for vintage rugs.

Some of the most common styles of vintage area rugs include:

  • Scandinavian Rugs: While Scandinavian rugs were originally created by using solid colors—often black, gray, yellow and white—geometric shapes and floral designs were quickly introduced. These design elements—along with the resurgence for mid-century modern décor—have caused an explosion in the demand for vintage Scandinavian design rugs. This style of rug can be playful, bold and elegant—making it a perfect fit for all kinds of interior design spaces. Click to view: Scandinavian rugs | Swedish rugs
  • Moroccan Rugs: Moroccan rugs have become quite popular amongst collectors and consumers alike. Vintage Moroccan rugs make use of rich, dynamic colors, bold designs and geometric patterns, fitting in right alongside retro furniture and accessories. Moroccan rugs are dynamic and strong, making them an excellent option for those looking for a statement piece to display on the floor or on the wall in the home or office. Click to view: Vintage Moroccan Rugs | Modern Moroccan Rugs
  • Art Deco Rugs: As a style, art deco draws on elements of styles like neoclassical, constructionism, cubism, modernism and art nouveau. Rugs classified in this category hail from Europe and certain parts of China where the new art movements became increasingly popular. With the use of geometrical elements, architectural design and both bold and muted colors, art deco rugs are both elegant and stylish—adding warmth and visual appeal to any space. Click to view:  Art Deco Rugs
  • Persian Rugs: For decades, Persian rug styles have been some of the most well known carpets. Vintage Persian rugs, like their antique counterparts, are characterized by excellent, refined craftsmanship. Available in a wide assortment of colors and fabrics, you can find a vintage Persian rug that suits almost any design style, from bold patterns to muted colors that fall more in line with traditional aesthetics. Click to view: Antique Persian Rugs | Vintage Persian Rugs
The Different Types Of Vintage Moroccan Area Rugs by Nazmiyal

The Different Types Of Vintage Moroccan Area Rugs

For more than two decades, Nazmiyal Collection has been building one of the largest selections of vintage rugs on the market. We invite you to browse our vintage rug listings.

Modern Area Rugs

Modern rugs—those produced over the past decade or two—are experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. The production of modern rugs draws heavily on inspiration from the style Moderne and Art Deco periods of China, Europe and America, as well as on artists like Picasso, Klee, Miro and Mondrian. This results in an assortment of decor options—from abstract to clean minimalism—providing consumers with a wide array of fine quality rugs of varying colors, textures and styles.

As you search for a modern rug to suit your space, there are three main styles to consider: traditional, contemporary and transitional.

  • Traditional Rug Styles: This style of rug includes Persian, Oriental and other classic styles that bring an air of formal sophistication to a space. While today’s modern traditional rugs are relatively new, their design elements draw from royal carpets throughout the world. Typically, traditional rugs use more muted, neutral colors, meaning they pair well with bronze or natural wood furniture. This style of rug may work well for consumers looking to combine comfort with classical interior design. Click to view: Traditional rugs
  • Contemporary Rug Styles: Contemporary rugs are in many ways the opposite of traditional style rugs. While the former is sophisticated and intricate, contemporary rugs are often playful or romantic. They are, essentially, works of art. Hallmarks of contemporary rugs include vibrant colors, geometric patterns, or contracting elements—often ringing back to vintage or retro designs. This style of rug pairs best with eclectic design elements and furniture, and those looking to make a bold statement are often drawn to contemporary rugs. For example, colorful modern area rugs can be a fun addition to furniture of any color or pattern.
  • Transitional Rug Styles: A more difficult to define rug, transitional rugs bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary design. Most often, transitional rugs will add a modern twist to a traditional style—perhaps playing with subtle colors or removing a border. Transitional rugs are ideal for those looking for a less formal approach to traditional design. These rugs pair best with natural wood tones and soft colors, and they walk the line perfectly between masculine and feminine features. Click to view: Transitional rugs
Modern Swedish Rugs by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Modern Swedish Rugs

Nazmiyal Collection has one of the finest selections of modern rugs in the world. Browse our extensive collection of modern rugs to enhance your space.

What Material is Good for a Rug?

Rugs are made from a variety of materials, depending on factors like when and where it was made and what it was designed to be used for. We find that rather than asking which types of rugs materials are the best, it’s much better to ask which materials speak to you. What do you find appealing from an aesthetic and tactile sense? Where do you intend to display the rug? Are you in search of a particular type of pile—which essentially refers to how thick a rug is?

Some of the most sought after types of rug material include:

  • Bamboo Silk: Bamboo silk is made entirely from bamboo that has been treated in order to turn its cellulose into a paste. This material is then dried and woven into a thread, resulting in a soft and luxurious fabric that’s still quite durable. Bamboo silk rugs hold up well, even under heavy furniture or in high-traffic areas.
  • Banana Silk: Another natural fiber, banana silk is made from only the stalks or stems of banana plants. Banana silk is well-known for its versatility, providing luminous and radiant sheen while still offering durability. Banana silk rugs are also eco-friendly, offering both economic and environmental benefits.
  • Camel Hair: The majority of camel hair rugs date back to 1910-1930. These rugs are quite rare, making them a popular choice amongst collectors and designers alike. Made from the hair of camels, these rugs often offer rich, earthy colors as well as intricate geometric patterns.
  • Cotton: Cotton—a vegetable textile that’s created through the separation of fiber from seed—is most often used as the foundation of a rug due to its durability. However, cotton rugs do exist. Cotton can be used as the pile or flat-woven face, especially when bright white is required, because it produces a truer white than wool.
  • Silk: Perhaps the most luxurious of all rug materials, silk rugs offer an unmistakable softness and sheen. Silk— which is derived from silkworms—holds dye exceptionally well, resulting in vibrant, rich carpets. Produced extensively in China, India, Persia and Turkey, silk rugs are truly a statement piece.
  • Viscose: Viscose is a semi-synthetic rayon fabric that is created from wood pulp. It feels quite similar to silk, although it is significantly cheaper to produce. While viscose can hold up well, it does have a high crush / mat factor. For this reason, viscose rugs do best in lower-traffic areas like living rooms or bedrooms.
  • Wool: The most common fabric found in rugs, wool is derived from animals like sheep. There are a variety of different types of wool—some offering abundant softness while others offer strength and durability. Wool rugs have been shown to stand the test of time, making them suitable for homes and businesses alike.

What Style of Rug Is Best For…

It’s not uncommon to wonder what style of rug to purchase for a certain room in the home. And while the ultimate decision should come down to your tastes and preferences—it’s best to look for a rug that speaks to you—there are some considerations to think about as you shop. We’ve compiled a list of questions you may have when purchasing a rug for the living room, kitchen and bedroom to help you consider your purchase. Click to view: Some of the best rugs in the world

What Type of Rugs Are Good for a Living Room?

When looking at area rugs for a living room space, there are a few things to consider. First, think about what the living room space is used for. Is it a formal sitting room? You might consider a more elegant woven rug. Is it a space for the family to relax? Then you may wish for a more informal, durable rug. Next, assess your personal style and existing furnishings. Do your pieces tend toward traditional design, or are you more fond of eclectic accessories? Your personal style should inform your purchasing decisions. Finally, consider the feel of a rug. Families with barefoot children or adults may wish to purchase a softer wool or silk rug, for example. Click to view: Living room rugs

What Kind of Rugs Are Good for Kitchens?

For many, kitchens are the heart of the home. They are cozy, warm and inviting spaces perfect for friends and family. Adding a rug can increase the comfortable, homey feel of a space—making them a perfect addition to a kitchen. When choosing a rug style for the kitchen, durability is likely top of mind. What type of rug is most durable? Consider a material like wool; not only can it be cleaned, but it is strong and durable so it will hold up well against foot traffic. Next, consider the design elements in your kitchen. What colors and styles are used? For example, matching a key color in your space to your rug can produce a streamlined, intentional design. Click to view: Rugs for the kitchen

Which Rug is Best For a Bedroom?

Especially for bedrooms with hardwood or other non-carpeted floors, soft rugs for the bedroom can provide an element of comfort and warmth. When selecting a bedroom rug, consider elements like size and placement, design and durability. Where do you intend to place your rug? For example, a larger area rug is perfect for underneath a bed. Then, consider elements like color, pattern and style to ensure your bedroom rug will suit your needs visually. Finally, consider durability. While silk rugs may work well for low-traffic bedroom spaces, the presence of pets or children may call for a strong rug. In these instances, cotton and wool are ideal types of rugs for the bedroom. Click to view: Bedroom rugs

Find Area Rugs For Your Style at Nazmiyal Collection

Nazmiyal Collection has spent decades putting together the largest collection of varied area rug styles and carpets worldwide. Our carpets span every style, shape, size and price range to ensure that our customers can find the exact rug their heart desires. Browse our collections of rugs and carpets and get lost in the stories they reveal.

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