things that make a house a home

I know very little about this antique Oriental rug other than the pattern seems to be what would fall possibly into Caucasian category. But I am not an expert, I just pick up rugs I think are homey or would fit in my home.

It’s not a very big rug, it’s just under 35“ x 45“. Just a little scatter rug. It’s a little worn in spots and it’s fringe is virtually gone as it was the wool of the rug itself. And it’s wider at one end than the other. But I love it and it’s one of those things to me that helps make a house a home.

Old oriental rugs are one of my earliest memories of things I liked in houses even as a little girl. My mother will tell you a story of me sitting on a giant oriental rug playing with a very fat Persian cat. Neighbors of ours when I was little.

Other major oriental rugs that hang out in my memory is like the giant one that used to be in the dining room of the Ardrossan estate in Villanova. I don’t know if it’s still there because when I was in my 20s it was very threadbare on the edges then and you had to watch not to catch your heel in the carpet. I have seen pictures of the dining room in the past few years and I don’t think that’s the same rug that I remember. The rug I remember had reds and deep blues in it. But I digress.

My mother likes oriental rugs as well, but styles she likes aren’t the same as I like. She always liked paler shades that you were afraid of walking on and as a matter fact she trained our dogs growing up to walk around the edges of the rugs.

I always like the stronger shades of color. I like the rugs that you think of seeing in an old British library with a fire dancing in the fireplace surrounded by beautiful mahogany wood paneling on the walls and books and a soft old Chesterfield sofa. You know, the kind of room you would expect to see Winston Churchill reading a book in.

And I’m not the person that you’re going to see in fancy oriental rug galleries buying rugs. All the rugs I have found have been picked out of places like the Smithfield Barn at a recent offsite sale, downsizing sales like those held by Caring Transitions, garage sales, Church auctions. (One of the best places to pick up really cool sometimes threadbare in places old oriental rugs is the Saint Davids Fair Auction which is not happening this year because of COVID19.)

The rugs I look for and some of my friends as well aren’t these perfect museum quality high end auction house rugs. They have been well loved and in many cases we’ve had to get slight repairs done before we could use them as well as getting them cleaned for moths.

I once gave Pixie from Zakian a bit of a start when I picked up a rug sight unseen from an estate sale around Charleston, South Carolina. One of my closest friends picked up the rug for me and shipped it to me. I figured because the rug was wool and had been in a southern climate in a very old house that looked slightly decrepit in photos that I shouldn’t bring it into the house until it was cleaned and that it probably might have moth damage.

Well, it arrived and it’s a good thing the moving box stayed on the porch until Zakian Rugs fetched it for cleaning. It was full of live moths when unwrapped for cleaning and repairs. Yes live moths.

I picked up a runner one time from a local auction house and they told me it was clean and I wasn’t sure so I sent it right out for cleaning, and that was loaded with moths. So old rugs can be a gamble. But when they are cleaned and repaired they are lovely.

Again, I don’t go for the rarest of the rare or the extraordinarily valuable antique rugs. I don’t even pretend to know enough to know what I should buy, nor can I afford them. In addition so many of them are overpriced. I choose the ones that need a little love.

It’s kind of like old patchwork quilts. I love them as well. The ones I choose aren’t the museum quality rare quilts from quilt dealers all over the country. I choose the ones I can pick up again at church auctions and tag sales and the more. I like to restore and patch them so I can use them.

I have written about old quilts before, and they are one of the other things that I think make a house a home. A lot of people have to have shiny new bedspreads and high-end designer quilts, I prefer the look of patchwork quilts. I have one that I picked up on eBay from someone in Maine that I have been working on for two years that I’m almost finish repairing all the threadbare patches. I picked up a neat one and another offsite sale for the Smithfield Barn a few months ago. It’s on my guestroom bed and it’s red and white and I just love it!

I think now more than ever especially with the year that 2020 has been our houses need to be homes. So try an old patchwork quilt, or a little tiny old oriental scatter rug, or even a vintage tablecloth. Don’t live in a beige, beige world. Add color and character instead of something brand new and always man made fibers.

Thanks for stopping by!

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