The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Oriental carpets, long a decor mainstay, look great with everything

  • A tree-of-life design on a Turkish Ushak, circa 1920s, is shown in a room designed by Robert Brown. Vintage versions of this size retail for about $6,...

    Colleen DufflEY / Traditional Home

    A tree-of-life design on a Turkish Ushak, circa 1920s, is shown in a room designed by Robert Brown. Vintage versions of this size retail for about $6,000 while new editions are available for about $3,000.

  • The 17th century Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet, probably from Kirman, South Persia, was sold by the Corcoran Gallery of Art to an anonymous buyer. for a re...

    Sotheby's

    The 17th century Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet, probably from Kirman, South Persia, was sold by the Corcoran Gallery of Art to an anonymous buyer. for a record-setting price of $33.76 million in June.

  • A smaller Turkish Ushak carpet, circa 1920s, is layered on top of a larger sisal carpet, in a room designed by Lillian August.

    Emily Followill / Traditional Home

    A smaller Turkish Ushak carpet, circa 1920s, is layered on top of a larger sisal carpet, in a room designed by Lillian August.

  • A smaller Turkish Ushak carpet, circa 1920s, is layered on top of a larger sisal carpet, in a room designed by Lillian August.

    Traditional Home / Emily Followill

    A smaller Turkish Ushak carpet, circa 1920s, is layered on top of a larger sisal carpet, in a room designed by Lillian August.

NEW YORK -- The stunned crowd at Sotheby's burst into a rare round of applause when a museum-quality Persian carpet sold for a record-setting $33.76 million in June.
"It was extraordinary and wonderful and the carpet deserved it," said the auctioneer, Mary Jo Otsea, Sotheby's senior consultant for rugs and carpets.
The hand-knotted, 17th century Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet, with a red ground and dark blue border, is "still dazzling to the eye," she said.
While few of us can fathom spending so much money on a showpiece, Oriental carpets, made in countries from Turkey to China, are available at various prices and have long been a popular part of home decor.
"Older carpets look great with everything," Otsea said. "They add great warmth by their color and design. Older carpets have a wonderful patina and character that you can't capture in a new piece. Each one is different. You're not going to see the same thing when you go into everyone's house."
Doris Athineos, the arts and antiques editor for Traditional Home magazine, said the sale of the Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet may inspire people to look at the carpets with a new eye, mindful that an eight-figure sum was just shelled out for one of the finest examples.
"It gives them confidence to pull the trigger on something they may be eying, and confidence if they've inherited them from a great aunt or have them rolled up and stored. They might think, 'Hey maybe I should put that out,'" Athineos said.
Whether antiques or reproductions, the carpets work well in any kind of house or with any kind of decor, she said.
"I can't imagine where a beautiful antique carpet wouldn't work," Athineos said. "I have seen them in every kind of home from minimalist to maximalist, where there's lot of decoration in the house. They add warmth to very pristine, minimalist spaces."
Try one in any room except the kitchen, Athineos recommends, especially the space where people spend the most time, perhaps the media room.
"That's the kind of wear those carpets can take," she said. "They're meant to be walked on."
With so many styles of design -- florals, geometrics, abstracts -- Otsea recommends browsing through as many carpets as possible to find out what you like. A great carpet, she said, is the right combination of color, design, technique and tradition.
"The more you look, the more you realize what you like," she said. "There's a whole world of patterns to choose from and color palettes as well."
Athineos advised going to a reputable store, not one that's constantly promoting a going-out-of-business sale. Ask about the return policy, as some stores allow you to buy and try, and return it if it doesn't work.
"Sometimes you don't know until it's laid out, the way the light falls on the carpet," she said.
If you are shopping for a machine-made reproduction carpet, Athineos suggests bringing a damp, white cloth. Part the pile and rub the cloth against the carpet to make sure no color comes off; that bleeding is the sign of a cheap carpet, she said, that won't last two years.
"Reproductions can be great, but this is a carpet you do not want," she said.
Don't get too hung up on a carpet's size, Athineos said; buy what you love and find a way to work it into your home. Try the layered look, she suggests, with one carpet overlapping another.
"You should take the size equation out of it," she said. "Persian carpets aren't about an exact size to fit the room."
With 61,000 carpets to choose from at New York's ABC Home & Carpet, the company's vice chairman, Graham Head, advises people to buy pieces they feel emotionally attached to, much as they would a painting.
"It's got to speak to you, otherwise don't bother," he said.
Carpet buying is an art, not a science, he said, and shouldn't be over-analyzed.
"If it makes you smile and you come home at night and open the door with a little bounce in your step, and you're happy to be home with the rug, then that's a good buy," he said.
"If you've done it by some mathematical equation, it doesn't have the same soul to it. It should be predictably unpredictable."
Story tags » Interior decorating

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

HeraldNet highlights

First stop for tourists
First stop for tourists: County tourism volunteers inform, point the way
Remembering Jerry
Remembering Jerry: EvCC groundskeeper Gerald Olmstead was always happy
An untapped market
An untapped market: Sound to Summit is first brewery taproom in Snohomish
Saving the trees
Saving the trees: Learn from arborist how to keep your trees healthy
SnoCoSocial