How to buy a rug while abroad

There’s a white, silk rug in the middle of my living room, 8′ long by 5′ wide a sprawling delicate piece that represents a journey to Istanbul and the memories within. I paid too much for it — this I know — but I’ve accepted that fate as a tourist. To me, the rug represents more than a fiscal transaction. It brings back the streets of Istanbul, the adventure of digging through hundreds of rugs, of plunging my fingers deep into the pile of each weave and experiencing the culture of commerce in Turkey.

It’s important, however, to keep your wits in line when making such a big investment. With some rugs costing well into the thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars, there’s much to consider when making a selection, and unfortunately more than a few hustlers to influence that decision.

So we asked New York rug consultant Katrina Mauro to walk us through the basic process. As a favorite Gadling Twitteratti and an avid traveler herself, Katrina has years of experience in selecting and selling the full spectrum of rugs, and she’s got some great tips for the rug-curious buyers below. Take a look.