Founder and President of Classic Rug Collection Inc
My interest in design and interiors began when I was a child growing up in Washington, PA, where my father owned a furniture and carpet store. Every Sunday, my family drove around the area looking at model homes and visiting other home furnishings stores. My sister Marcia and I spent hours poring over design magazines, painting and repainting our bedroom, dyeing our curtains and bedspreads, and researching new ideas for our bathroom. Marcia became an interior designer, but I had difficulty sticking to one path.
After graduating from Temple University with a degree in English, I got a job managing Scandia House in Philadelphia, which sold what we now call classic Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian furniture. A few years later I returned to school and received an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh, and subsequently worked at an Ethan Allen furniture gallery for a year. I then moved to New York City where I attended Columbia University, earning a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in Shakespeare. Naturally, I sold furniture at various stores during the summer. After spending six years as a rep with SunarHauserman and Knoll, two office furniture manufacturers, I left sales to begin teaching at the New York School of Interior Design. This also gave me an opportunity to start my own business, designing and painting quilt-patterned floorcloths. The Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian, Old Sturbridge Village, and other museum stores carried my work.
In 1999, I started Classic Rug Collection, Inc. I used the word “collection” because I envisaged rugs made in many different styles and techniques. Drawing upon my interest in historical sources and using my research skills, I have designed rugs based on American Primitive designs, the Gee’s Bend Quilt patterns, and Art Deco/Vienna Szecession motifs. I also create rugs using my own experiences and my imagination. Many of these ideas become one-of-a-kind custom rugs. All of my rugs use natural fibers and carry the Goodweave label. Goodweave inspects the looms of companies that agree to employ adults only. Through independent certification and rigorous inspections you know your rug is child-labor-free.
Today, I select from the finest rug manufacturers in the world to bring my designs to life. I commission alpaca rugs from Peru; hand-tufted wool and silk rugs from Thailand; hand-knotted wool, hemp, nettle, linen, banana, and silk rugs from Nepal; and, best of all, hand-tufted New Zealand wool and silk rugs made by some of the finest craftsmen in the USA. In this way, I can find the technique—and the price point—that best suits my clients. Domino named the Classic Rug Collection, Inc. one of the top 125 eco-sensitive companies in the US on their Green List.
I think my motto sums up our goals – Outstanding Design. Highest Quality. The Ultimate in Personal Service.
Thank you for your interest in my rugs. Barbara Barran