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Author Simplifies Rug-Buying

Anyone in the market for an area rug would do well to take a look at a new book, “ The Decorative Carpet. ” Written by journalist Alix Perrachon, also a rug consultant and owner of Alix Unlimited , the book’s 250 pages are full of color photographs showing how 32 top American designers have used rugs in their interior design projects.

“This is the first book ever written on how to decorate with rugs,” Alix says. The format of the book, which grew from a series of interviews with designers that she had written for The Oriental Rug Magazine , is simple. In the book, each featured designer describes how he or she selects the right rug for each project. Bunny Williams , a Manhattan-based designer and author, says that she invariably starts the design process with the carpet. Robin McGarry of Connecticut states that she uses handmade rugs in all her residential projects. And Jamie Drake , a New York designer known for his use of color, says rugs are a wonderful place to begin a color scheme.

In addition to designer insights, “The Decorative Carpet” has a section on purchasing rugs and care tips, as well as a glossary of the top 20 patterns and styles of rugs. Prospective rug buyers should heed Alix’s warnings on Oriental rug sale scams. She cautions that “going out of business” and liquidation sales are usually promotional schemes featuring mediocre merchandise. Traveling auctions held at church halls and hotels should also be avoided. And Alix advises against purchasing a rug when traveling. “Despite the most heated bargaining, the final price will most likely be the same as back home, if not more,” she says.

The best place to buy a rug is from an established retailer in your community or through a consultant. “A reputable dealer will allow a rug to be tried in your home,” she says. And that really is the only way to know if a rug will work in your home.

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