What Are The Most Popular Styles Of Oriental Area Rugs To Buy In 2018?

What Are The Most Popular Styles Of Oriental Area Rugs To Buy In 2018?


The trends of the best area rugs continue to change from year to year.  We like to include all the best home decor rugs that are current in our area rugs showroom.  Before we start to discuss the popularity of rug styles, we feel we should mention the main styles of oriental rugs that exist and how to identify the rug style.  We live in a world where we are saturated by so many choices, sometimes it is nice to be able to narrow down your search so you know exactly what you’re looking for and know exactly what to say to a salesperson when you are looking for the rug you want.  At Artsy Rugs, we clearly define our gallery of rugs using the terms below, as to make the rug search process simple.


The most common area rug that is almost universally known is called the TRADITIONAL RUG.  Traditional area rugs have a signature style of a highly detailed border, often more intricate than the central design.  Most Persian rugs available today can be classified as traditional rugs.  Persian designs have a lot of reds, browns and blues. Many of todays traditional oriental area rugs designs are the exact same pattern that has been used for centuries!  Most people deem a traditional rug to be “formal”.  However, how they are placed in the room and with different types of furniture can change the overall feeling of the room to be quite casual.  Most traditional rug designs have specific elements such as floral designs, central medallions, repeating patterns such as diamonds, octagons and hexagons.  The HAJI JALILI rug below is a classic example of a traditional area rug.

haji jalili oriental rug

It should be mentioned that kilims, durries and sumaks (flat weave designs) often have elements of traditional designs, with complex and intricate patterns and shapes.  However, these particular rugs are also classified as “tribal” in style.  Always keep in mind that a tribal rug may also be called a traditional rug. Below is a CAUCASIAN SUMAK that represents both tribal and traditional.



The tribal rug was born from the nomads in tribes who are always on the move.  Some of these nomadic tribes are known as the Turkmen, the Kurds, the Qashqai, the Belouch, among many others.  You can recognize a tribal rug by geometric patterns versus the curvilinear and floral motifs of Traditional rugs. Tribal area rugs are intended to be a little thicker and less ornate than their traditional rug cousins.  However, even in tribal area rug designs, there are examples of super fine detailed designs in exquisite wool or silk and the price will definitely reflect this difference.  On the whole, the tribal rug is usually less pricey than the traditional rug, which is usually due to a looser knot and more casual feel.  The craftsmanship in tribal rugs are more primitive, and colors range widely from very bright hues to more subdued natural shades. There is a certain magic to the tribal rug due to the fact that they were always made with great meaning.  Some are made with special protective or talisman qualities.  The oldest rug ever found is a tribal rug known as the Pazyryk carpet and it is 3000 years old!

One thing is for certain, the tribal rug is a very popular style especially for those who love the more geometric look and feel.  The rug below is designed by the Turkmen, called the MILAS.



Although usually very large area rugs, the detail and expert craftsmanship shine on these old rugs. Rugs that are older than 1926 are considered to be antique.  Those newer than this are considered semi-antique.  The styles within the Antique area rug category are numerous and vary greatly.  The best area rugs from the very primitive to highly detailed antique area rugs are sought after by collectors looking for both function, warmth and beauty to add to their home.  The most important aspect of owning an antique rug is to have some knowledge of its history.  Be sure to ask the history of the rug by a trusted expert who can assure you the authenticity and appraisal value.  At Artsy rugs we provide a certificate of authenticity for every rug sold.  It is important to note that the term VINTAGE does not necessarily apply to an antique rug.  This term is used loosely in home design to convey an older look that has been used for centuries.  A vintage rug will generally be less expensive than a comparable antique rug. Below you see an ANTIQUE KAYSERI.


The transitional style is very popular due to its modern twist on an old theme.  Many people gravitate toward it naturally because of its versatility in room design.  Some examples of transitional rug design is the concept of traditional design that has been expanded and created with no border. However, some transitional area rugs are less about the design and more about the distribution of color.  For instance, the rugs we have here at Artsy known as the MONO COLOR are technically a very traditional design, but in a much lighter, faded color scheme, making the rug appear much more casual.  Thus the so called rules to transitional rug styles are that there are no rules.  These hybrid rugs are a beautiful blend of old and new. Although many of the Transitional rug designs are more subdued in color, it is not always the case. We are really fond of the one below in pretty blues and beige is from our MONO COLOR collection.  Here you see only 3 colors.  These oriental area rugs are using very traditional floral elements and using much fewer colors creating a completely new look.

For instance, the MAMLUK design below is a classic design made in completely different, subdued and unusual colors, making it a highly unique area rug.



The contemporary rug style has been around a long time and as seen today, there is an incredible quantity of contemporary oriental area rugs styles available.  Contemporary literally comprises any design outside the boundaries of the above rug styles which include, stripes, abstract, painterly, floral, ikat, etc.  The quality of contemporary area rugs will vary widely depending on where you purchase and the overall quality of workmanship.  Please keep in mind that almost all contemporary rugs purchased at Artsy rugs are made with a very high grade of New Zealand Wool and usually will be knotted at 100 knots per inch or higher.  The contemporary rug style has so many possibilities – literally, almost any design you can think of can be made into a rug.

The rug above (7760 SILVER LINING MODERN) is representative of many contemporary rugs today. Many are opting for this painterly style. You can purchase them in a wide range of colors.


As for getting to the topic of trends for 2018, look for more texture in modern oriental rugs.  The weavers are starting to get very creative with textures and using different kinds of materials in rugs.  We’ve seen many multi-dimensional rugs with layers of different cuts at different pile heights within the rug.  Also, the use of wool and silk mixed is continuing to be popular as people like to see variety of sheen in oriental rugs.

MULTI-DIMENSIONAL (highly textured rugs)



We have seen a lot of this trend in the last year and we believe we will see a lot more. Many customers talk about how they like the bottom of the rugs.  The sheering of rugs to the foundation creates a distressed and vintage look in rugs.  It is likely to see the combination of sheering to the bottom and certain designs left with pile. We recently installed the rug below for a client who changed out from a jewel toned rug. These types of vintage rugs are about 60-70 years that have been purposefully distressed.


Abrash refers to the color variation or striations that you see in a hand knotted rug created with hand-spun wool and vegetable dyes.  This beautiful rug below creates the illusion of being worn, when in fact, it is the abrashness of rug colors represented in the rug that give it a vintage look. Abrash is often misconceived as a flaw in the dyeing process, when it is in fact a beautiful effect that has been used for centuries in rugs.



The trend for the last 2-3 years has been grey, beige or what we like to call GREIGE. We are likely to still see more of that as it is a very neutral color and people still adore neutral or soft palettes in the home. That being said, POPS OF COLOR are also being adopted by designers and we’re likely to see an increase of bold color next to some neutrals to add life to a room. The rug below is an example of a neutral rug with a pop of color…. another MONO COLOUR rug exclusive to Artsy Rugs.

We have also seen a lot of BLUES in the last 2 years as well, which will continue to be popular.  However, people are opting into the greener tones, such as teal or green as this was PANTONES COLOR OF THE YEAR for 2017.  See this beautiful ROYAL MAMLOUK design exclusive to Artsy Rugs.

Royal Mamlouk oriental rug

Find the very best oriental area rugs in Palo Alto at Artsy Rugs. Our beautiful area rugs showroom will give you great and unique rug choices from all around the world.  We like to think of ourselves as an art gallery, rather than a rug store.  You will find the best home decor rugs here including living room rugs of all sizes.  Got a special size?  We can make custom sizes for you as well in many of our in-store rugs.