Tag Archive | bakhtiari rug

A Kindred Spirit

The other day, I met a man in the hall. I was standing outside my office, and he was wheeling a rolled up Persian carpet, into the elevator. I don’t know what I said to make him stop and chat, and maybe the carpet was just really heavy and he was looking for an excuse to rest, but he did stop. And time stood still.

I do not usually enjoy talking to strangers, but he seemed to be a kindred spirit. I cannot describe the instant bond we shared. I learned more about life in that hour than in the whole of last year. We discussed things about rugs I did not already know, clarified how much of an art rug-making is, and I was truly inspired. He had recently lost his wife to cancer, and may have been starved for conversation, but it was a moment that I will never forget.

Bakhtiari Tribal Rug.

Bakhtiari Tribal Rug.

I missed the Webinar I was scheduled to attend, and risked the wrath of my boss, but it was worth it. I learned that quality hand-made rugs are as individual as fingerprints, with each tribe having their own designs. I learned that rugs are masculine and feminine, with the floral feminine rugs representing formal décor and geometric masculine rugs casual décor. The movement in the rug will set the tone of your room.

The Seasons.

The Seasons.

I learned that the Bakhtiari rug in my living room that I so love is a tribal masculine rug with squares depicting the seasons. I learned that a rug in the dining room should be dark in color (to mask stains) and should not compete in design with the chair legs. It has to be 2 feet longer than your table on each end and 1 ½ feet longer on each side. It should be of the highest quality because this room represents hospitality; eating together is of utmost importance among friends and family.

A masculine rug is more casual.

A masculine rug is more casual.

I have always loved rugs, and in my own home, seem to favor the masculine type. It is rare to meet someone who understands rugs as art. They seem to be almost an extinct breed.

A masculine rug.

A masculine rug.

That day, in a dingy hallway, I learned about the art of life and reinforced my love of rugs. They are a critical component of any good design.

 © copyright Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2013.

Shutdown Fail

We are in desperate need of some cheer around here. The shutdown and the rain together make for a gloomy environment. Early this morning, I braved the elements and dragged back a load of dry firewood from the shed. The goal was simple: to warm up and drive the rain out.

In the process, I caused billows of smoke to pour out of the chimney, set off every smoke detector in the house, and made a desperate phone call to my neighbor: “How do you open this darn flue again?” Funny, I don’t have any pictures of this part.

And it was only 8 o’clock in the morning.

We hung in there as I listened to my niece chant, “Firetruck!” over and over again, which caused me to glance shiftily around thinking they were going to pull up at any moment. I was making up random excuses to tell the firemen as to why I was wearing pajamas and a raincoat, still bra-less and playing with matches all at the same time.

Yet, I still managed to find joy in this first fire of the season.

First fire of the season.

First fire of the season.

For most people, having a fire in the fireplace requires only the flick of a switch, but I ask you, “where is the adventure in that?” This fire did just the trick, and it was awesome.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

Rugs

Being half Armenian, I have some quirks I have to be wary of: hairiness, alcoholism, a desire for cars that I cannot afford, and a love of rugs. The kind that are hand-made of natural fibers, with rich vegetable dyed colors, and intricate designs. The rug for me is the foundation of a room. It is the source of my colors and design scheme. When I see a beautiful rug, I fall a little bit in love.

The first time I was truly inspired by a rug was in a flute lesson. My teacher stopped me in the middle of Fauré and told me to wait. He went to the couch and reached under it. He pulled out a heavy carpet and started to unroll it. It was truly breathtakingly beautiful. The flowers were weaving throughout it in vine patterns and the all-over design was shimmering with pinks, blues, and greens. It was so vibrant, it made my flute playing pale in comparison and I understood his point. I was told to leave the lesson and go to the nearby and little known textile museum. It was there that I was to find the inspiration to play better. This was the beginning of a love of rugs that has only become more of a passion for me.

Unfortunately, rugs are expensive. I am always on the lookout for a hand-made rug I can afford. Auctions, yard sales, convincing my Grandma she is tired of one she already has, and even pure luck. This beautiful Bakhtiari rug was given to me as a gift by one of my Dad’s friends, who we refer to as “Uncle Rug”. All he got in return were some roses.

The Bakhtiari rug is currently in my bedroom. It is very rich and reminds me of my Armenian heritage.

This rug was purchased at an auction. I had about 5 seconds to decide to buy it and I have never regretted it. I paid $75, which was pretty much our grocery money for that week.

I found this rug at a yard sale in Lynchburg. It is a Bokhara (meaning elephant stamp) rug. It has a silky sheen that I love and is currently in my living room.

 

 The Bokhara rug in my living room.

This rug, from Dubai, was another gift. Although “gift” is misleading here considering I kept two… troublesome dogs in my house for fourteen months. But the rug is fabulous and it makes quite a lovely little olive branch. It is made of silk and has the medallion in the middle. I love the green all through it.

When you are looking at a quality hand-made rug, notice the back. Is the pattern still visible on the backside of the rug? If so, it has a high number of knots per square inch. The more knots, the better. If it is made of wool, silk, or cotton, it will be easier to clean and will not retain odors. Is the fringe intact? These are all signs of a good quality rug.

 

The backside of the silk rug from Dubai.

My daughter had a nosebleed all over a sisal rug that ran in the hall from her bedroom to the bathroom. It was badly stained and would not come clean. I decided to paint it and that rug is currently in my kitchen.

If you are unsure of how to make your room feel complete, or if it lacks warmth, or you need a jumping off place, find a rug. It will define your seating area and add some glam to your room. You will not regret it.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio