Come winter and it’s time to give a snug facelift to your home with rugs and carpets, writes Syeda Farida

With the temperatures dropping by the day, a cuppa hot chocolate, a rocking chair near the hearth and a rug under the feet makes for a cosy picture. Come winter, and it’s time to give a snug facelift to the home, with rugs and carpets.

From hand woven carpets to fluffy synthetic rugs, options are aplenty in the stores, available in various shapes and sizes. “Carpets add colour and character to a room. In winter especially one needs a warm rug to walk on. In the Western countries wooden flooring is supplemented with wall-to-wall carpeting as temperatures reach sub zero. Over here we have three months of winter and it is practical and economical to have carpets over smaller areas, such as under the dining table. Also wall-to-wall carpeting accumulates dust and needs to be cleaned every day or every alternate day in our kind of climate,” says interior design consultant Sailesh, director Sailesh Kurkarni Designs.

For people who are allergic to dust mites, sisal and hemp rugs are the next best option. Made with natural fibre these go well with a wood-heavy theme. But like with other carpets one has to be careful as coffee or coloured drinks stains do not fade. “Today people want maintenance-free light weight rugs. Most acrylic and synthetic rugs in use now are washable. The regular shampoo can be used to wash these and the rugs can be dried on the terrace or balcony. Shaggy rugs are popular. These can be custom made in any colour. These come in cotton and shiny texture. As for the price, a doormat in shaggy rug comes for Rs. 500. While wall to wall loop pile, woven and non woven carpets are right for banquet halls and office spaces, these are not meant for homes. Today expensive Belgian and Turkish carpets have few takers. Customers are the best judge to choose what goes well with the theme in their home,” says Shilpa Nainani, marketing head, Princess Carpet House, MG Road.

“A 6x9 hand-woven Kashmiri carpet made with Llama wool can cost Rs. 58,000. These feature Kashan, Kirman and other Persian designs. You also have synthetic carpets from Kashmir that come for a lot lesser,” says Abdul Sattar of Kashmir Carpets, Road No.1, Banjara Hills.

Mr. Kulkarni advices, “these days the hand-woven Persian carpets and woollen rugs are used like paintings on the walls. They are too expensive to be used for the floors. But if you want to go for Persian rugs, keep the lovely expensive carpets for the formal drawing area where there is not much footfall. Use a half inch layer of sponge under the carpet. This provides a softer feel and fluff. Durries are inexpensive and add life to the room. The superstores and malls have come as a blessing. One can buy 3-4 sets of carpets instead of an expensive one and keep changing the theme.”

For the ethnic look, an exotic Kashmiri carpet for the centre the room teamed with hand woven rugs from Ladakh for the sofa can complete the guest area design. Apart from Thangka paintings inspired by Buddhism, the dragon carpets from Ladakh can add a lot of vibrancy to the drawing room. The motifs are in bright hues that are often seen in the homes of the high altitude desert.

Another form of weaving that produces bright crimson and yellow carpets is the one from the Kutch region in Gujarat that uses camel hair, wool and cotton fibre. Traditionally the camel hair rugs are used by shepherds looking after the camels in sub zero temperatures and are ideal for trapping heat in rooms.

Durries from Warangal with Kalamkari prints using vegetable dyes are gaining popularity. These are ideal as runners to fill the walking space in bedrooms. A more sturdy option of shaggy carpets are useful when it comes to the living room and children’s room. “Today carpets come with interesting prints such as a Donald Duck that are ideal for kids’ room,” says Ms. Nainani.

Animal prints, floral motifs and geometric designs are in vogue and so are pastels and yellows. “People prefer darker coloured rugs as they absorb dust. But pastels can add more radiance to a room much like marble flooring,” says Mr. Kulkarni. Be it contemporary chic, traditional or tribal, carpets can be used deftly to design a home as per your imagination.