Floor Plan


The rugs come in all shapes and sizes, from round to runner.

Bradford’s Rug Gallery offers the Camp Rug Collection, which is hand hooked using recycled cotton in designs that mimic original American hooked rugs. They are constructed of fabric cut into narrow strips and a foundation of burlap; a needle with a hook on it is pushed through from the top of the rug, and the fabric is then drawn through the surface.

Brad’s collection of antique rugs includes this Caucasian Shirvan, circa 1890, made in the Surahani design using 100 percent all-natural dyed wool.


The Rosses, in a rare timeout.

The hunt is on for color poms for a custom Tibetan rug to match an existing piece.

The Bradford’s daily dose of color: Brad selecting color poms for a custom area rug.

FIELD TRIP – January 2014
by Veronique McAree  | Photography Amanda Kowalski 

A truly great rug can define a space and add the right note of color or texture to make a room sing. With over 2,500 rugs to choose from, Bradford’s Rug Gallery has your floor covered. 


Rugs: They spark visual interest, add welcome cushioning, muffle the sounds of foot traffic, and are simply a reliable place to kick back and relax after a busy day. 

But finding one without losing your mind—or breaking the bank—is no small chore. With a gazillion choices, from online retailers to big-box stores, the job of finding a beautiful rug is a hard one. 

That’s where Brad and Beth Ross come in. As co-owners of the Portland-based rug emporium Bradford’s Rug Gallery, the couple has made finding and decorating with rugs easy.

Because clients typically don’t know where to begin, the husband and wife duo, with their very low-key manner and expertise, start by getting a feel for their clients’ styles and tastes. They encourage them by pinpointing textural preferences, where the rug will be used, how it should feel, and how they want it to look. In other words, they’ll go to great lengths to walk customers through the rug-buying process, helping them find the perfect piece.

“Customers might arrive with a paint chip or a swatch of fabric and we’ll quickly guide them with stories behind the products, showing them textures and materials, eventually landing upon styles they gravitate to,” says Brad. This is no small task, considering Bradford’s Rug Gallery stocks more than 2,500 rugs in their 4,000-square-foot store.  

They also encourage clients to test-drive rugs in their own space. “It’s easy to adore something in the store, but nothing compares with seeing it in your own space,” notes Beth. “And because Brad delivers all of the rugs, his expert understanding of the rugs and how to best use and place them continues.” 

The Rosses have owned the Rug Gallery since 2006, but Brad began his rug career in the ’90s working for other rug retailers and learning everything he could about the industry—earning him his reputation of being one of northern New England’s leading experts in hand-knotted rugs. 

The collections at Bradford’s Rug Gallery come from everywhere, including the great carpet-making areas of the world—Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal, India, and China, to name a few. They specialize in unique rugs, the kind you won’t find in a Pottery Barn catalog. “We understand and respect the unique heritage of traditional rug artisanship,” says Brad. “Many of our rugs are crafted entirely by hand, using the same techniques their ancestors have for generations.”

A field trip to Bradford’s Rug Gallery includes a very educational tour of the massive collection. We check out the flat weaves (which Beth says are hugely popular at the moment). I learn the difference between a suzani and an ikat. We peruse Persian and Oriental styles and pay a visit to the gigantic broadloom room. There are antique hooked rugs, grass-fiber rugs of jute, hemp, and sisal, and myriad gorgeous, hand-knotted rugs made using world’s oldest traditional skills. Plenty of designer brands are displayed as well, including Martha Stewart Rugs, Thomas O’Brien, Thomas Paul, Amy Butler, and more. 

Beyond attention to design and quality, it’s the thoughtful, problem-solving services that keep visitors coming back (from all over New England). Many of the rugs can be customized by shape or size to fit any space, plus installation, cleaning, and restoration are all in a day’s work at Bradford’s Rug Gallery.  

Field Notes:

3 Tips for Buying a Rug:

•  Be practical—think about how you use the space when choosing color and pattern. Rugs are meant to be lived with, not around.

•  For longevity, buy the best quality you can afford, even if that means waiting. You will be surprised at how well better quality rugs respond to years of wear and tear. 

•  Above all, buy what you love.

Bradford’s Rug Gallery: 297 Forest Avenue | Portland | bradfordsruggallery.com | 207.772.3843

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