Hand-knotted rug
SEEN IN ACTION at the Museum of Science & Industry’s Smart Home exhibit; msichicago.org

Having a hard time finding just the right area rug? Create or customize your own through West Loop–based Organic Looms, an eco-minded company that works one-on-one with clients to design wool and silk rugs that are later hand-knotted in Nepal and India. The company has a 1,200-color yarn library and dozens of existing patterns from which to choose, but you can also supply your own design. For $150 (which can be applied toward the final purchase price), a 2-by-2-foot sample can be made in 30 days or less; the completed rug will be delivered within 90. An 8-by-10-foot wool rug starts at $3,800, including shipping. organiclooms.com


Photograph: J. B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry