Designing Barrington Lifestyles

Lee Youngstrom and other Barrington area interior designers turn to Rugport for the finest handmade Oriental rugs inventory and custom-designed rugs available in the greater Midwest.


story by lisa stamos | Photo by Jim Prisching | Fine Rugs Sourced By Rugport

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Interior Designer Lee Youngstrom

Early in her interior design career in Barrington, with her first company known at Interior II and now Irongate Interiors with business partner Molly Milligan, Lee Youngstrom used to buy her fine rugs from dealers in High Point, North Carolina, New York City, and Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Today, Youngstrom buys from Rugport for her clients wherever they may live in the United States, as Rugport delivers both samples through in-home-trials, and purchased fine, handmade rugs.

“It’s been about 25 years that I’ve known Houshi and Alex from Rugport,” Youngstrom said. “I’ve bought so many of their rugs that I’ve lost count!” Youngstrom says that Rugport has helped her with clients in any location across the country, whether a small runner or a gallery rug. “It’s best seen in your home, and that is one of the greatest things that Rugport does for us. They are always hauling rugs for us, always smiling, and quietly teaching our clients how to know about their rug, its age, and its origin. Their service and ethics have created for us a lasting business relationship and along the way, a valued friendship.”

Rugport business partners Houshi Moradi (on left) and Alex Torabi visit with Barrington interior designer Lee Youngstrom at their showroom in Palatine, Illinois.

Houshi Moradi traveled to India to find the perfect rug for the home’s dining room, which was the catalyst for all other rug choices. This transitional style rug was special-ordered with superb coloring and high-quality emphasized by the homeowners. This contemporary dining room rug was the first chosen for its color, and to guide the other rug choices, but it had to be re-shaped into a square to fit the room.

Rugport offers wholesale and retail rugs starting at $2,500 that are sourced from across the Middle East and Far East from the top 20 dealers in the world. The rug styles range from contemporary and modern to antiques. Over 100 interior designers turn to Rugport for their clients who live in Chicagoland, the Midwest, Indiana, Texas, Michigan, California, and Washington, D.C. Each week, Houshi Moradi and Alex Torabi ship out rugs for their unique offer of in-home trials. They believe, as do their interior design clients, that seeing is believing. Ninety percent of their customers who have the in-home trial purchase the rug.

In business since 1979, Moradi and Torabi have never gone out of business, even during the Great Recession. “We have always been growing and improving,” Torabi said. “We held together our dealer relationships during those difficult years, and that long-term loyalty has paid off for us and our clients.” Moradi does most of the traveling to source and supply Rugport’s inventory. His trips take him to India, Pakistan, and Iran several times a year. The company also attends trade shows in Germany, India, and in Las Vegas.

A custom-designed family room at the home of Peggy and John Thodos showcases a personalized French Country styled décor with English accents. The solid ceiling beams were originally from an 1800s Borden milk factory in Elgin, Illinois. The family room was updated with a unique and cozy nook that formerly housed an entertainment system. The other changes made were sourcing new furniture, re-upholstering existing pieces, and adding an estate rug from Rugport. The 14’ x 18’ rug featured here is a Nomadically styled rug with a pattern called Bakhshayesh. This rug was made in Afghanistan and purchased by Rugport in Pakistan. It is one of the rarest rugs and took years to source, with its colors being an important consideration. The homeowners have been clients of Rugport for 18 years and have several of their rugs.

Rugport’s main location with its extraordinary inventory of 7,000 handmade rugs of all sizes is on Route 14 in Palatine. Other Rugport locations are in Petoskey and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to buying rugs on regular trips, Rugport also offers their own brand of custom-designed, custom-made rugs, to provide clients the desired combination of color, pattern, and fibers. Most of their clients are professionals early into their careers who are interested in culture and quality, and they see the rugs as a long-term investment—one that comes with Rugport’s workmanship and materials guarantee, and verification of the rug’s age and construction details.

High-quality handmade Oriental rugs (a catch-all for rugs anywhere from the Far East or Middle East) are a life-long investment that requires care, especially if placed in high-traffic places at home. Rugport’s experts suggest a fine rug should be cleaned every 5–7 years, depending on its wear. They also offer repairs, appraisals, and restorations in addition to cleaning services.

Business partners Houshi Moradi (on left) and Alex Torabi have been offering high-quality, fine handmade rugs at Rugport since 1979. Sourcing their rugs from India, Pakistan, and Iran, their inventory tops 7,000 in three locations. In addition to offering rugs from small runners to estate and gallery rugs, Rugport provides repairs, appraisals, and restorations in addition to cleaning services. Rugport works with over 100 interior designers in the Chicago area, including Lee Youngstrom, Irongate Gate Interiors, and Kate Marker of Kate Marker Interiors, both of Barrington. To learn more, visit the Rugport showroom at 23 S. Northwest Highway in Palatine. To reach by telephone, call 847-202-0600 or visit online at