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Oriental rug galley opens its doors in Ligonier

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Cami DiBattista | for the Ligonier Echo
Aaron Stewardson shows some of his favorite rugs at the recently opened Diamond Rug Gallery at 100 West Main Street, Ligonier. The store offers a wide variety of high quality Oriental rugs.

Diamond Rug Gallery, Westmoreland County's first exclusive rug gallery featuring hundreds of fine new and antique Oriental rugs, recently opened on the Diamond.

Owned by husband and wife team Aaron and Michele Stewardson of Unity, the store is an extension of their Latrobe-based business Aaron's Rug Care.

“We'll help you find the perfect rug to complement your home's decor,” said Aaron Stewardson, who added that the ideal rug should not upstage the furniture in a room.

The Stewardsons initially sold and serviced rugs from the same location but are happy to be separating their retail space from their cleaning services. The gallery now serves as the business's retail space, while Aaron's Rug Care continues to offer cleaning and repair services.

The Stewardson import a variety of rugs from all major districts, including Pakistan, Turkey, India and Afghanistan. They offer a wide range of rug sizes to compliment various parts of the home.

“The area was lacking this type of service,” said Michele Stewardson. During visits to Westmoreland County, where Michele grew up, the Stewardsons noticed there were no specialty rug stores in the area. Therefore the couple decided to relocate to the area and open their rug business.

A member of the Textile Museum in Washington D.C., Aaron Stewardson has extensive knowledge of his product.

He studied under world-renowned rug expert Leonardo Contardo for more than 10 years where he learned to identify rugs by region and age.

When shopping for a quality rug, the Stewardsons suggest bringing in measurements of the area the customer wishes to cover.

“It's helpful when customers bring swatches or pictures of the area, as well,” said Michele.

Customers may utilize the gallery as a drop off location to have rugs serviced, but the business also offers free pick up and delivery for the customer's convenience.

“We couldn't have picked a better location,” Michele Stewardson said, of the new space on the Diamond.

The Stewardsons said they are very happy with their new location and have enjoyed meeting area residents who come in to visit and shop.

“Much of our customer base at the Latrobe location was made up of Ligonier residents, so we decided to bring our rugs closer,” said Aaron Stewardson. “When we learned there was an open location on the Diamond, we figured it was a great opportunity to move our retail space here to Ligonier.”

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.