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The symphonic effect of antique Oriental carpets in the home


In this gracious lakeside family compound, two unique village carpets, a 19th century Serapi (foreground) and a 19th century Malayer (background) bring a sense of unity and warmth to the broad vistas that can be seen from this high-ceiling room.

200-year-old Center Medallion Bakshaish antique Oriental rug enlivens the elegantly appointed living room of a serious connoisseur. The early village carpet from the Azerbaijan weaving district is the crown jewel of the extensive collection.

OAKLAND, CA.- Speaking from 39 years of experience guiding his clients to integrate antique carpets into their homes, Jan David Winitz, president and founder of Claremont Rug Company, explains his approach. “An analogy that I often use is that of a symphony orchestra,” he says. “Rugs, antiques and other art forms are employed much in the same way that musicians perform in an orchestra. Each instrument makes its own unique contribution to create a unified sound. Working with the home owner, my role is that of the conductor to create the harmony of the symphony in the residence.”

Whether architecturally traditional, contemporary or transitional, a home’s features and the homeowner’s vision help to dictate the choice of antique Persian and tribal rugs for Winitz. Among the considerations are the height of ceilings, the amount of natural light as well as the furniture and other art. Large residences often have significant volume with multi-story ceilings. “In such cases, antique rugs create the ‘ground’ element that serves as the focal point,” says Winitz.

In floor configurations, particularly in larger rooms or spaces, smaller rugs can subtly create separate conversation areas, while a palace-size carpet serves as a unifier. One of the more delightful aspects of antique Oriental rugs is the versatility that they bring to a residence, room by room, to express something specific—formal/casual, contemplative/spirited. “Rugs have an artistic theme or ambiance. A Laver Kirman or a Serapi, styles that are polar opposites in emotional nuance, can both provide breathtaking impact, depending whether you wish the room’s tempo to be lento or allegro, so to speak,” Winitz says.

“My niche—art-level antique rugs—has afforded me the opportunity to visit and to assist in furnishing many very beautiful residences internationally and to experience first-hand how strategically chosen rugs endow a home with a palpable graciousness.”

The magnificent antique Laver Kirman medallion carpet with its elaborate framing of eight concentric borders is a perfect centerpiece. The 190-year-old Court carpet was acquired to add to the confluence of European paintings and furniture, luxurious fabrics, polished wood inlay and sculpture with a color palette that unifies the room where even selected details, such as the fleur-de-lis sofa motifs and gilt-edged frames resonate with it.

The magnificent antique Laver Kirman medallion carpet with its elaborate framing of eight concentric borders is a perfect centerpiece. The 190-year-old Court carpet was acquired to add to the confluence of European paintings and furniture, luxurious fabrics, polished wood inlay and sculpture with a color palette that unifies the room where even selected details, such as the fleur-de-lis sofa motifs and gilt-edged frames resonate with it.