Rugs and More

By Jon Vreeland   |   November 23, 2017
Owner Michael Kourosh in front of one of Rugs and More’s many displays

Just off the corner of Olive and East Gutierrez streets in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Design District, Rugs and More, carries an extensive collection of rugs, shawls, and tapestries, and all of the highest quality, some that took multiple generations to complete.

Rugs and More is a third-generation business owned by rug dealer and collector Michael Kourosh. Michael’s grandfather collected rugs in the first half of the 20th century in Hamburg, Germany. By the late 1960s, Michael’s uncle turned the grandfather’s passion for rugs into the still-evolving business. Then, Michael moved the array of products from the north end of Hamburg to the realms of the world-famous State Street just 10 years prior to the new millennium. Now, the vast menagerie of Persian, antique, classical, modern, or any style rug imaginable, sits on the lower end of town where the award-winning business continues to dominate Santa Barbara’s thriving world of interior design.

Despite the vast selection of rugs being by far their number-one product — including wholesale accounts with Sandy Cedar Ranch, Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel, as well as Montecito Valley Club — Michael says the customers who purchase rugs usually find additional decorative products and furniture such as sofas, chairs, loveseats, dressers, vanities, armoires, statues, pictures, mirrors, or anything to adorn one’s home or business. This enormous haven of rugs and home decor also displays entire living room sets, arranged with couches made of leather amid tables made of premium woods, with a different style and size chandelier that hangs from the rafters of the store’s vaulted ceiling. 

According to Michael, everything is made from the finest materials, and the work is top-notch craftsmanship. Everything from the careful stitching on every vintage, antique, modern, shag, woven, transitional, traditional, tapestry, flat, hand-braided, hand-hooked, or hand-woven rug made of silk, fur, wool, outdoor, leather, cotton, or blended and synthetic materials with natural dyes, to the hundreds of variegated statues of animals and Buddhas scattered like an old sentry amid the many products and exhibits.

The store’s largest rugs hang on the back wall of Santa Barbara Design Center

Furthermore, upstairs in the left corner of the gargantuan store is a room with hundreds of antiques: little model ships on old wooden chests, the store’s two largest Buddhas sitting side by side on locusts and in front of a large tapestry with the stitchings of a king on a white horse, and a woman with long black hair and deep scarlet lips who smiles and holds a gilded cup of burgundy wine, while the other women serve the king on bended knee. 

Michael is an earnest collector of “anything old,” but refers to himself as a “rugoholic.” He has been involved with Persian rugs, shawls, and tapestries his entire life and says, “As soon as I see a great rug or an interesting textile, I get a rush and a childish smile that only an addict can get upon injecting his favorite drug.” 

Rugs and More restores, repairs, cleans, appraises, rents, ships, and installs any style and any size rug. But for those whose home needs a proper scrutiny before purchasing the perfect set of rugs and/or decor, Kourosh himself, especially when it comes to rugs – or one of his professional designers located all around the country – will come to clients’ homes to better assist them with decisions. This includes the customization of colors to complement the existing carpet, hardwood floors, paint, and furniture, and with the clients never leaving the comfort of their home.

Michael Kourosh’s long-standing business carries more than 14,000 rugs which includes Santa Barbara’s “Rug of the Month” – a rug from South East Persia that is 4’ x 6’5 and woven in the 1700s or earlier. As with many Persian rugs and tapestry, the art conveys a special type of story. In this case, it is a tale of good versus evil: a mythical dragon and its quest to devour holiness, a lion overpowered by what looks like an innocent rabbit, amid flowers and birds to symbolize the beauty of love and marriage, or what Michael says is “the whole story of good and bad, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, the higher aspirations of humankind, the paradox of living, and its expectations all knotted into this master work.”

Rugs and More uses Ziegler and Co. — established in 1883 — as their one and only manufacturer. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and closed Sunday. And every Saturday night at 10 pm, Michael appears on KEYT to present some of his finer items: shawls worth $50,000 and more, tapestries with art and weaving that take unfathomable amounts of time and dedication, and to some are considered priceless. You can also visit the website at


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