5 Styles of Carpets & Rugs

Does your home decor follow specific styles, or do you like to mix and match disparate styles for a unique look? Much like there are styles of furniture and paintings, carpets & rugs have their own style categories. Some of the details will vary depending on the region a rug is from, but there are 5 distinct styles available: traditional, contemporary, transitional, antique and tribal. We’ve included a little about each style so you know what to expect when you ask to see a particular kind of rug!

Traditional Rugs


Many Persian rugs fall into this category. The traditional style usually features a high level of detail work in the design with a border all the way around. The border design often features different colors than the central design and is more detailed, though this isn’t always the case. While reds and browns are popular colors for traditional Persian rugs, one stop in our store near Phoenix will show you the whole spectrum of colors available.

Contemporary Area Rugs

8x10 bamboo silk rug
8×10 bamboo silk rug

Focusing on more simplistic designs and fewer colors, the contemporary style is a perfect match for modern decor and many oriental rugs are made in this style. Instead of being restricted to a traditional template, contemporary rugs feature bright colors in all sorts of designs: abstract, floral, blocks, stripes and other patterns.

Transitional Rugs


This is the happy medium between traditional and contemporary area rugs. A transitional rug will follow some of the conventions of traditional rugs but bend the rules, using different design elements or colors like a contemporary rug. Transitional designs can also take a familiar detail of traditional rugs and put it center stage by making it huge. The range of designs in the transitional category is huge, because some designs focus more on traditional elements, while others focus on more modern ones.

Antique Area Rugs


These are usually large area rugs that are made in a very traditional style. The designs are often highly detailed and the material is high quality. While not a design style all its own, an antique rug has a beautiful history and has stood the test of time to rest on your floor or hang on your wall. New large area rugs done in the traditional style borrow heavily from these but aren’t quite the same.

Tribal Carpets & Rugs


The tribal style is a kind of Persian rug that uses a more primitive design, focusing less on high detail and more on creating a rougher feel. Primitive symbols and elements are incorporated into these designs. Most incorporate reds, creams and purples, although there are exceptions. Due to the simpler style, tribal Persian rugs (also sometimes called “gabbeh”) are often the most affordable area rugs.

What style would fit into your home best? If you aren’t sure, you can view some rug samples in our online gallery or you can visit our Scottsdale store to see the full in-stock selection.

By Allison Edrington.

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