Helen has mentioned this company before but as I have now had a chance to use them personally and they provided such a great and useful service, I thought I would write about the product and how it works in more depth. The company is called Rug-Maker and they make custom rugs. You can have them make a totally bespoke rug and I would imagine this would cost a fair amount. But they have another service, which is a much more cost effective way to get something totally unique. You can create your own rug using a range of styles they have: you pick your style, pick your colours (they have over 600 to choose from), then state your size and choose your quality (knot count) and material (wool or silk or a mix of both). The most cost effective option is the 60 knot count in wool. They have over 80 styles to choose from ranging from traditional to contemporary so there should be something for everyone. Their ingenious site is easy to use. Once you choose the rug, it lists the colours used within the various sections of their sample image.
You have a palette where you can choose and change any colours. It is fun to play with but I must admit a bit of a challenge only in the sense that you want to make the right choice. I am having the same problem choosing fabric for some curtains….if I am going to have something made up especially for my room and scheme, I want it to be just right.
So to my project. I wanted a new hearth rug for my living room. If you have been keeping in touch with my house projects, you will know that I am working on redoing our entire house in an art deco/1930s style. I had used an old blue and white chinoiserie rug, but as the final elements were going into the room, I felt the room was moving away from the art deco aesthetic I had envisioned.
I needed to make sure the last few bits and pieces for this room pulled it back towards the modernist look I wanted. So I thought I would use the chinoiserie hearth rug in the dining room (which I have planned to decorate in a chinoiserie/deco style) and use a more geometric deco rug here. Finding an original art deco rug is hard, finding one that is a reasonable price is very, very hard. There are some amazing rugs for sale out there (just look at the selection on 1stdibs), but they usually run to 5 figure prices (gulp!). They are rare and works of art and priced accordingly. To cut a long story short, I was having no luck whatsoever and Stephen still hadn’t won the lottery. Then Helen reminded me about Rug-Maker. I took a look at their site and was thrilled to see that in the “geometric” section they did a rug called “Joel” that is obviously an homage to the famous art deco designer Betty Joel (she designed furniture and rugs in the 1930’s and her stuff is hard to come by and covetable). I was sure something like this would still be well out of budget, but as I mentioned in a previous post, you don’t know if you don’t ask. I asked and to my delight, a custom wool rug was within my budget. They price per square metre and can do any size. My rug needed to be 0.55 mtr x 1.1 mtr so 0.61 square metres total. I was sent samples of the different knot counts and materials.
Each sample is half wool and half silk so you can see the difference. The wool is nice, but the silk is gorgeous. However, the silk is a lot more expensive than the wool (not surprisingly) so I just stuck to wool. Wool is still a quality rug product so I was more than happy. Then it came down to colours. This was the hard bit. I sat in the living room on the laptop researching art deco rugs so I could be clear on the types of colours traditionally used. I also thought about the colours in the current scheme. And hardest of all, I tried to think of colours that would also work for future schemes. I came up with two options and then stalled. The detail would be done in off white, brick red and dark inky blue. But I was undecided between a pale celadon green
or a beige biscuit colour for the background.
As the Rug-Maker has 600 colours, I knew I could be quite specific. I cut up and old paint chart and sent the paint “chips” to Julian at the Rug-Maker to match. He sent me back a batch of tufts to look at. Honestly, I couldn’t have picked better myself.
I was so bemused by the tufts, and being a bit 'Minion' mad, I really thought they ought to have names but managed to restrain myself. I took these home to look at in different lights over the weekend and see what Stephen thought. After much deliberation, we decided to go for the green background. I chose a green more celadon than jade as in my original artwork. It was really difficult. Both would look good in the room. The beige was more neutral, but in the end, the green was more interesting. Both were common colours for art deco rugs, but the green just had a bit more pizzazz. Choice made, order done, proof approved and now we wait.
It will take about 10 weeks for our rug to be handmade in Nepal. I am sure it will be well worth the wait and I shall post the results as soon as it arrives.
Custom or customised services like this are becoming very popular as we all endeavour to put our own mark on our houses or wardrobes. Full custom design work can be very expensive but a customised option on a set range is a way of getting something quite unique at a fraction of the cost of bespoke. Surface View offer great wallcoverings, blinds and lampshades made to size from a wide selection of famous artworks and photography; Spoonflower allow you to design and print your own fabric; Converse allow you to customise your own sneakers. Our "In Your Own Words" range of stencils offers you a chance to have your own quote, name or lettering made up from a choice of styles and sizes. No two people will ever order the same thing. As we have a finite range to choose from, we can offer this customisable service at a great price. It has become one of our most popular ranges. As I work on my house, I see more and more people are offering custom options which is very exciting. Who is your favourite company that offers this service?