Thoroughly Modern Rugs

New U.S. showrooms

With the market for contemporary handmade rugs piping hot, three of the world's leading artisanal carpet makers (two from England, one from China) have recently opened showrooms in this country. Christopher Farr, a fixture in London's fashionable Westbourne Grove since the mid-nineties, now unfurls his lusciously Rothko-esque wool-and-mohair rugs in sunny Los Angeles, where they glow like stained-glass windows. Six years ago, Chris and Suzanne Sharp set up The Rug Company in Farr's London neighborhood. Though made in Nepal, most of the company's eye-popping carpets, from Paul Smith's psychedelic stripes to Cath Kidston's full-blown roses, appear ineffably British. They seem even more engagingly eccentric in the Sharps' new SoHo shop. In 1996, New York artists Janis Provisor and Brad Davis founded Fort Street Studio in Hong Kong and began producing hand-knotted wild-silk rugs that re-create the layered effects of watercolor washes. Now this husband-and-wife team has a Manhattan outpost in which to hang their painterly carpets.

Christopher Farr USA Inc., 310-967-0064. (Also at Ralph Pucci International in New York City, 212-633-0452.) The Rug Company, 212-274-0444. Fort Street Studio, 212-925-5383.