Anthony Armenio

Design is a hallmark of any product you can think of. From the materials utilized, to the item's composition, and finally to the overall final presentation, how an article is designed is plays an important role into its perception. The word "perception" is an important component in any consumable; in other words, how something is perceived dictates its public worth and value. That isn't to say perception is the entire "end all and be all", but how something is seen at visually has a large impact on the opinions someone harbors towards it.


Designs Everywhere!


A rug's design embodies this ideology fully and absolutely. The design of an Oriental or Persian rug is what will attract someone right off the bat. You instantly become interested in something if it displays something that evokes a sense of "grandeur", and that's exactly what an Oriental carpet inspires across the board. The luxurious, one-of-a-kind presentation is actually what draws you into its presentation. The end result is something that offers you a sort of "fulfillment"; as if this was an item you were always meant to have, and want it to display your array of perspective.

We've previously talked about the several motifs that can be sprawled across the surface area of an Oriental rug, but we haven't actually outlined how to identify them. Some motifs are rather straightforward while others take some difficulty to identify if you don't understand the specifics behind their craft. The purpose behind this week's blog entry is to dive deeper into our original exploration of an Oriental and Persian rug's styles, providing you with the tools to identify the most ambiguous designs.

 Let's start this off by outlining the easier to identify motifs:

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Floral

    The designs listed provide rather obvious context clues to what they entail. Animal designs present animals, Human designs present people, and Floral designs present flowers. Straightforward, no?

    There's not much else needed to be say about these designs. While Animal and Human motifs are a bit more rare, Floral designs are found almost across the board in terms of Oriental or Persian rugs. In some manifestation, an area of brush, a vine, or some kind of shrubbery. You'll normally find Floral motifs accenting the inner or outer borders of the rug's surface area acting as an enticing draw towards the carpet's centerpiece. 

    Now that the straightforward motifs are out in the open, let's take a look at the harder to identify Oriental rug designs:

  • Geometric
  • Linear
  • Open Field
  • Modern
  • Solid
  • Medallion

    Like the namesakes of the more straightforward designs, context clues guide the principle features of these styles as well. For those less seasoned in terms of either interior design or artistic approach, some of these terms and, likewise, their traits aren't easy to identify.

    The first on the list, Geometric, incorporates what it implies: geometric designs. In other words, a carpet finds itself decorated in shapes across its surface area. If you see a carpet that adorns a ridged usage of lines that formulate a shape, you have a carpet that possesses a geometric design.

    Kazak Oriental Rug

    A Kazak Rug with Geometric Patterns across its manifest


    Open Field goes a bit further into the grey area. The name details what to expect, aka a more open area across the rug's surface, but there are other elements integral to it as well. An Open Field design can take two approaches: other details such as Medallions, Geometric, Floral, etc. motifs that are spread out rather than bunching up, or a legitimate open space that's only detail is its use of color. You could think of this as a sort of "flexibility", but think of it more-so as an extension of options.

    Bukhara Oriental Rug
    A Bukhara Rug utilizing an Open Field aesthetic

    Modern and Solid are two designs that can go hand in hand or a slightly differing route from one another. For Solid, the presentation is always the same: a heavily saturated approach that prioritizes color over anything else. Motifs can very rarely find themselves as an element of a Solid rug, but otherwise they're far from common. Likewise, Modern takes a similar approach in both regards to the common and rarer presentation of Solid. Modern rugs can display the standard of only color and no designs, but it actually gravitates toward displaying simplistic designs than no designs at all. Think of Solid and Modern this way: both can share the same approach, but their personal uncommon form of display is its counterpart's common form of display.

    Modern Oushak Oriental Rug

    An Oushak Oriental Rug sporting a Modern design

    SA-1228 Mid-Century-Modern-Gabbeh

    A Gabbeh Oriental Rug sporting a Solid Mid-Century Modern Design 


    And last on our list is the most common of designs found upon Oriental rugs: Medallions. A Medallion is straightforward, but it's important to go into the specifics of it. The Medallion is almost always the centerpiece of a carpet it's adorning. There are other variations, such as a plethora of Medallions rather than a single, centered one. Outside of this, you'll find what every other motif, every other design revolves around in terms of the most common layout of an Oriental rug to be the Medallion.

    Keep in mind: any of these designs can likewise appear on a rug. Oriental rugs aren't tethered to displaying one motif at a time--they're works that incorporate a plethora of ideas, designs and styles.

    We hope this insight into the designs and presentations of Oriental and Persian rugs! Understanding what is on display in terms of an Oriental rug is incredibly important--it allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation for these magnificent items.

    As always, cheers, and until next time!