In the early part of the 20th century in the northeast United States, the home furnishing culture was such that the more discriminating affluent placed great emphasis on art level furnishing such as elaborate Persian carpets, European influences such as French Aubusson, English Chippendale, Italian Provincial and American Colonial. The typical living room contained elaborate furniture, paintings, high ceilings, fancy window treatments and wood floors covered with Persian carpets. The dining room was of central importance to the household, containing elaborate silver, delicate china and hardwood floors once again covered with Persian rugs.
Members of the middle class had smaller, two-story houses with wood floors covered with machine-loomed carpets like Axminster, floral wallpaper and practical, simple possessions for furniture.
After the Second World War, in the Fifties and Sixties, the wall-to-wall carpet revolution took hold and people installed sweeping swaths of monochromatic carpeting in their homes. It made them feel larger and warmer, with ceiling-to-floor drapes in basic colors such as gold and avocado converting their homes to comforting castles.
As the Sixties rolled into the Seventies, huge percentages of the population benefited from the educational opportunities of the GI Bill and en masse, Americans became more aware of and developed an affinity for art level furnishings rather than seeking merely basic functionality.
From this experience, we have learned that in the art culture, the key to awareness is exposing people to the works which would fascinate, stimulate and satiate their need for culture. Over the last quarter century and beyond the year 2000, we have placed thousands of rugs in people’s homes, serving as a foundation and platform for them to build a culturally artistic environment upon; an environment which will be passed along to their children, who then pass it on to their children and so on. An environment of wood velvet furnishings where the addition of paintings, piano and books creates a talented environment.
As far as carpets go, the primitive, whether floral or geometric, have always ruled supreme. To live with a tribal rug such as a Heriz or Serapi, a person will take comfort from the energy and the human spirit that it so strongly reflects. We are stimulated by a direct connection to the artistic effervescence and creativity of tribal weavers who wove it in their simple mountain homes, creating vibrations powerful enough to be felt across oceans and decades in our homes today.
Oh, antique rugs – how great thou art.