For many people, the world of Oriental carpet is mysterious and overwhelming. My family has been in the business since 1938. Here are a few simple pointers we've learned to give our customers.

Where to Start
Before you begin, take a little time to think about size and color; it will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the showroom. Draw a rough sketch of your room with the dimensions noted and furniture placed. If you're shopping for a dining room rug, know the size of the table; you don't want your chairs falling off the edge of the rug when you back up from the table. For stair runners, count the number of risers (each step has a riser and tread). Most new rugs come in sizes from 2 feet by 3 feet to 10 feet by 14 feet—although some come in larger sizes. Runners are typically 30 inches wide.

Conventional wisdom says that decorating a room should start with the Oriental rug. After all, there are infinite choices in fabrics and paints and a well-chosen Oriental rug will outlast most everything else in the room. Well and fine, and great advice if you are starting from scratch. More often than not, however, a rug is being chosen for an existing space with established color and style—so it's very important to carry samples with you. Taking a photo of the rooms is also helpful. There are more colors and designs in Oriental rugs to chose from than ever before.

Once you know the size of the space and have color samples tucked under your arm, it's time for the bigger questions. How much will it cost? How do I judge quality? Where do I go from here?

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