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Classic Rug Collection
Name  Barbara Barran 
Organization Name Classic Rug Collection

A relative new comer to RugMark, Classic Rug Collection is the brainchild of Barbara Barran, a design veteran whose seven-year-old rug business recently expanded to Nepal. This shift to production in South Asia enabled Barbara to add new rug design offerings for her clients and to join RugMark as a way to give back to the children of Nepal.

Barbara Barran’s interest in design and interiors began when she was a child growing up in Washington. Her father owned a furniture and carpet store in a small nearby town. Every Sunday the family drove around the looking at model homes and visiting other home furnishings stores. Barbara and her sister Marcia spent endless hours poring over design magazines, painting and repainting their bedroom and dyeing their curtains and bedspreads. 

After graduating from Temple University with a degree in English, Barbara got a job managing Scandia House in Philadelphia, which sold classic Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian furniture. A few years later she returned to school and received an M.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh, and then worked at an Ethan Allen furniture gallery for a year. New York City was Barbara’s next stop, where she attended Columbia University, earning a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in Shakespeare. Naturally, she sold furniture during the summer.

After spending six years as a representative with SunarHauserman and Knoll, two office furniture manufacturers, Barbara left sales to begin teaching at the New York School of Interior Design. This also presented the opportunity to start a business, designing and painting quilt-patterned floor cloths. The Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian, Old Sturbridge Village and other museum stores carried her work.

In 1999 Barbara started Classic Rug Collection, Inc. She used the word “collection” because she envisaged rugs made in many different styles and techniques. Drawing upon her interest in historical sources she has designed rugs based on American Primitive designs, the Gee’s Bend Quilt patterns, and Art Deco/Vienna Szecession motifs. She also creates rugs drawing from her own experiences and imagination. Many of these ideas become one-of-a-kind, custom rugs.

Today Barbara selects from the finest rug manufacturers in the world to bring her designs to life. She commissions flat-woven wool, alpaca, and llama rugs from Peru; hand-tufted wool and silk rugs from Thailand; hand-knotted wool and silk rugs from Nepal; and, best of all, hand-tufted New Zealand wool rugs made by some of the finest craftspeople in the USA. In this way, she can find the technique—and the price point—that best suits her clients.

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