Surena Rugs brings color, character and quality into your home


Founded by Moe Rabbani, Surena Rugs carries Atlanta’s best collection of Persian, Caucasian and Turkish fine area rugs. Rabbani was well-known in Atlanta’s design community, both for Surena Rugs and for his previous business, Persian Galleries. His wife, Faye Rabbani, has taken on ownership since his passing and continues to offer exceptional rugs and the same high-quality service Surena Rugs’ clientele has come to expect.

Surena’s rug collection includes new, semi-antique and antique hand-knotted rugs from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Romania and India. Rabbani is passionate about rugs and an expert on their provenance and on connecting clients to just the right one. “The rug a client buys tells me much about their character and what is important to them. Often, potential buyers are afraid of color. They wonder if these colorful rugs fit in with the rest of their home,” says Rabbani. “My job is to help them take that initial leap of faith by trying the rug out. Typically, once they see it in the context of their home, they realize how much value it adds to their living space.”

Clients who visit the store are encouraged to take samples home to try out, and, in the case of clients from outside of the region, rugs can be shipped. For those out of state, the process is simple: Clients select potential rugs through Surena’s vast online inventory, then Rabbani and her team properly prepare the rugs for shipping and send them to the client at no charge. A credit card is held for the duration of the trial, and in the event a rug is not desired, the client is provided with instructions for the return, for which they pay the cost of shipping.

Surena Rugs’ extensive collection is renowned not only in the Atlanta area but nationwide, and the store’s sterling reputation extends beyond rug sales, as it also offers expert rug appraisals, design coherence, search and brokerage, hand cleaning and rug restorations.

While handmade rugs are incredibly durable, they are also in many ways delicate and thus need to be professionally cleaned to ensure they maintain their integrity, richness of color and shape. Surena Rugs has the expertise, tools and products needed to properly clean rugs made from wool, cotton and silk fibers, as well as modern rugs made from synthetic fibers. Restoring freshness and cleanliness typically only requires the use of simple shampoos and water, but in some cases, chemical solutions (some natural, others synthetic) are used for stain removal. Surena Rugs offers professional cleaning not only for rugs purchased from the store but also for family heirlooms and rugs purchased elsewhere. Cleaning can be done at the shop or, even better, at the client’s home. In some cases, antique rugs may require dry cleaning. Rabbani’s staff can determine if this is the case and offer recommendations for dry cleaners specializing in rugs.

Another aspect of rug ownership is the potential damage that can come about as a result of sharp edges or the weight of furniture with which it comes in contact. Other damage can be done by pets and through other mishaps. Whatever the case, it takes a true rug artisan to do rug repairs, as the process is technically difficult and requires the correct types of fiber dyed to perfectly match the intact parts of the rug. The goal, of course, is to make the repair imperceptible. For repairs done on holes and rips, the craftsperson must first recreate the warp and weft threads that are missing or damaged, then re-pile the damaged area, and finally shear the new fibers down to the same length as the rest of the rug. When done by Surena Rugs’ experts, the repair will have the same patterns and character of wear that was previously on the now repaired area.

Rug padding is a must-have for every type of floor surface. Whether the rug is to be laid on existing carpeting, on hardwood or marble floors, or on tile, padding is needed to ensure the rug stays in place and there is no issue of it slipping or buckling, both of which can cause a tripping hazard. Padding also protects the underside of the rug, and its ability to absorb impact can increase the rug’s life by nearly 40%. The best types of padding are felt with a thin rubber backing, which anchors the rug and prevents it from slipping. Artificial fiber pads can cause damage to rugs, often disintegrating and subsequently staining and ruining the rug permanently. Surena Rugs can provide the highest-quality products, size the padding perfectly and then install it precisely in your home. Surena will ensure the right products are paired with your specific rug and floor surface. Rule of thumb: Thinner, flatter rugs need more grip, while thicker rugs with a heavy pile need more padding.

Because the shop constantly buys and sells rugs, its team has hands-on experience studying them and determining quality, origin, type and condition. Many customers wonder what Rabbani looks for when purchasing rugs for her shop. “First and foremost, I am looking for quality and checking the backside of the rug to evaluate the size of the knots,” she explains. “I’m also particular about the feel, both the tactile feel and also the artistry. Colors are also important and, of course, the design. In the best-made rugs, all of these things converge.”

Rabbani has become expert at helping clients pick out rugs for their homes, from a single room to an entire household. While considering each room separately based on its function and aesthetic, she looks for ways to create flow from space to space. “While continuity is important, mixing and matching styles to create distinction in mood and style between rooms is also exciting,” she says.

Rabbani loves the history of her antique rugs. Some started out for one purpose and over the years were altered, often with color changes, perhaps for a wedding or someone’s passing. “The beauty is that as rugs migrate from one family to another, the new household imprints its own life events on the rug, and thus, the rug continues to evolve,” she says. “The semi-antique rugs already hold within their fibers 60 to 80 years’ worth of life events, while the oldest rugs are between 120 and 130 years old.” *

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