See a 1000+ piece inventory of our current collection of antique art rugs.
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Antique Carpet Trends in East Bay
Located in the heart of the Rockridge district in Oakland, Claremont Rug Company has had the privilege of working with many clients in Berkeley, Oakland, and the surrounding East Bay area since the company’s founding in 1980, helping families build incomparable collections of art-level antique carpets. Many unique architectural styles developed in Berkeley, Oakland, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda, and Piedmont during the end of the 19th century and turn of the 20th century. Our East Bay clientele appreciates the experience of pairing our fine art-level Oriental rugs with their architecturally unique homes whether they have a beautiful Spanish/Mediterranean style home in Montclair Hills or a Traditional Crocker Highlands Chateau or a Craftsman Bungalow in the Rockridge district or any style in between.
Often times when our clients begin living with just one antique carpet, they find how enlivening the experience of adding an antique art-level carpet can be to a home and a growing desire to collect develops in many of our clientele. Above see how conversation and activity groupings are created with the use of a series of vintage Persian carpets of different styles. A small room size vintage Persian Kashan rug holds the seating area under the silkscreen by American photorealist Chuck Close echoing its colors and even its detail work in this client’s East Bay home. Antique Persian carpets pair marvelously with a variety of interior decor styles.
Whether your home is a mid-century modern home in Upper Rockridge or an elegant estate in Piedmont or a Panoramic Hill contemporary home with sweeping Bay views, antique 19th-century Persian and Oriental art-level carpets pair beautifully with any decor style. A perfect example is the client’s home, pictured above. The organic, rough hewn ceramic sculpture by Peter Voulkos is displayed in the entryway on top of its artistic opposite, a finely woven antique Persian Isfahan floral carpet. Together they set the stage for the engaging experience of interacting with this couple’s extensive and wide-ranging art collection.
At Claremont Rug Company, our entire staff adheres to a ‘Client-First’ business model in providing the highest level of customer service to each and every customer. “We adhere to this [Client-First] approach for every interaction, whether in our physical gallery, via telephone, email or through the internet. What Client First means to us is that customer service begins before a transaction is consummated, not after. It is an anticipatory approach based on the presumption that those who seek us out deserve a level of service at the highest level possible, whether they purchase from us or not. Admittedly, my clients, by and large, because of their financial position and because of their exposure to objects and lifestyle, expect a standard of service and “product” unknown to almost everyone else. To achieve this, it is vital that our Client First attitude be not simply a motto or tagline. It is our ethos and we are fervent about it at every level in our organization”, states Claremont Rug Company’s President and Founder, Jan David Winitz. With our client’s needs always in mind, we offer full-service home presentations, carpet cleaning services and rug padding for our local East Bay clients.
Historical Homes and Prominent Architecture in East Bay
The diverse terrain of Berkeley, Oakland and the surrounding East Bay area has made it a highly desirable area of the Bay Area for the arts, culture and residents throughout the years. Below see a selection of Italianate Victorian style, late Gothic Revival style, Craftsman style homes and other historic homes and building from the 19th and 20th century still standing in Berkeley and the Rockridge district of Oakland today.
Rockridge district Historic Craftsman Bungalows
51st and Broadway north to Alcatraz of North Oakland
There are more than 2,000 Craftsman bungalow homes in Oakland, and 2016 marked the centennial of 136 Craftsman bungalow homes built in Rockridge in 1916.
When Craftsman bungalows started to proliferate after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, they tended to be build-it-yourself “kit homes” ordered from Sears and other catalogs, often assembled by owners, many of them factory workers not long off the farm. One Sears model, known as the Elsmore, cost $1,945, the Rockridge News reported last year, saying that “today’s homeowner is likely to pay that just for a new water heater, delivered and installed.”
Craftsman architecture — and the Craftsman-style bungalow — grew out of the American Arts and Crafts movement that flourished starting in the late 19th century. It celebrated the handmade over the machine-made, along with the simplicity of design and natural materials. The movement took its name from “The Craftsman,” a popular magazine founded by the designer and furniture maker Gustav Stickley. With its gently pitched gables and exposed rafters, the Craftsman bungalow was unfussy, sturdy and broad — a response to the rather fussy, ornate and vertical Queen Anne homes of the Victorian period.
The Craftsman’s open layout, with one room flowing to the next with few hallways, has been described as a precursor to the open floor plans that are common today. Popular from around 1905-1930, Craftsman bungalows took off in Southern California, particularly in Pasadena. Rockridge developed as a “streetcar suburb,” where bungalow owners would hop on public transportation that delivered them to jobs in downtown Oakland or connected them to a ferry ride to San Francisco. The East Bay became a center for more elaborate Craftsman styles, thanks to the work of architects Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan.
Captain Charles C. Boudrow House
1536 Oxford Street, Berkeley, CA
One of the most imposing Victorian-era homes in Berkeley, the Boudrow House at Sea Captain Corner was constructed in 1889, when Berkeley, whose population then numbered about 12,000, was a favorite retirement spot for mariners.
The house was built for Charles C. Boudrow (c. 1830–1918), a Massachusetts-born master mariner who was for many years a shipping magnate in San Francisco.
Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
41 Tunnel Rd, Berkeley, CA 94705
Born of a golden era, the history of Claremont Club & Spa dates back to the early days of the Gold Rush, when a Kansas farmer by the name of Bill Thornburg “struck it rich.” He came to California with his daughter and his wife who dreamed of living in an English castle. Thornburg purchased 13,000 acres (part of the old Peralta and Vicente Spanish grants) to fulfill his wife’s dream and built the castle and several stables, which housed pedigreed hunters and jumpers.
Shortly after Thornburg’s daughter married a British Lord and moved to England, Mrs. Thornburg died. Bill Thornburg subsequently sold the “castle” to a family by the name of Ballard. While the Ballard family was out on July 14, 1901, a dry and windy day, tragedy struck and the castle burned to the ground. Only the Ballard livery stables, barn and some of the costly furnishings survived the fire.
The destroyed property fell into the hands of Frank Havens and “Borax” Smith, a famous miner. They planned to erect a resort hotel on the property with trains running directly into the lobby. However, these plans were abandoned. One night, Havens, Smith and John Spring, a Berkeley capitalist, played a game of checkers in the old Athenian Club of Oakland with the stakes being the property. As the legend goes, Havens won.
Havens and the “Claremont Hotel Company” began building in 1905, but the infamous earthquake of 1906 and subsequent Panic of 1907 interrupted construction. The additional land the Claremont Club & Spa now rests on was purchased in 1908 and after much turmoil, The Claremont Hotel opened for business in 1915 as the sprawling Mediterranean hostelry seen today. From the charming rural surrounding and expansive veranda and lobby, larger than any other hotel on the Pacific Coast, to the on-site private school and radio station, The Claremont Hotel was one of the nation’s grand transient and resident hotels. In 1937 Claude Gillum, who had been with The Claremont since 1926, purchased the property for $250,000 and virtually rebuilt it from the foundation up, completely refurbishing the interior.
Charles W. Heywood House
1808 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA
An exceptionally fine and rare local example of a spacious Italianate Victorian, this house was built in 1878 for Charles Warren Heywood (1831–1913) third son of pioneer lumberman Zimri Brewer Heywood(1803–1879), who established Berkeley’s first lumber yard and built Berkeley’s first wharf in partnership with Captain James H. Jacobs.
Sather Tower is a campanile on the University of California, Berkeley campus. It is more commonly known as The Campanile due to its resemblance to the Campanile di San Marco in Venice, and serves as UC Berkeley’s most recognizable symbol. This late Gothic Revival tower was completed in 1914 and first opened to the public in 1917. The tower stands 307 feet tall, making it the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. It was designed by John Galen Howard, founder of the College of Environmental Design, and it marks a secondary axis in his original Beaux-Arts campus plan.
1755 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Weltevreden is the Dutch equivalent of the German wohlzufrieden, meaning “well satisfied.” It is a name often used in Holland and its former colonies, from South Africa to Sri Lanka. Neither Volney Delos Moody nor his second wife, Mary had any Dutch ancestry, but Weltevreden was the name they picked for their retirement oasis, a showplace residence under sheltering oaks on the north fork of Strawberry Creek, located at the corner of Le Roy and Le Conte Avenues. Built in 1896, it attracted much attention. In the Sunset magazine article Berkeley, the Beautiful (December 1906), writer Herman Whitaker described Weltevreden as “most beautiful of all” and the “premier residence of Berkeley.”
The Thorsen House
2307 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
The William Randolph Thorsen House was designed by the architects Henry Mather Greene and Charles Sumner Greene in style of the American Arts & Crafts in 1909. The house is considered one of the Greenes’ “Ultimate Bungalows,” and represents the peak of their unparalleled architectural style. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a California State Historic Landmark.
Located along Piedmont Way, one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s first residential streetscapes and itself a historic landmark, the wooden house is uniquely distinguished amongst its neighbors. The main entry is set apart from the street by a dramatic brick wall and double stairway, flanked on each side by elaborate iron lanterns and carefully-designed landscaping. Inside, the illusion is maintained by a rich attention to detail, including hand-painted friezes, iridescent art-glass, and exotic woods.
A Local Rockridge Business Serving an International Clientele
Jan David Winitz, president and founder Claremont Rug Company in Oakland, CA, has built a global reputation among carpet collectors and connoisseurs since he founded the company—at age 25—in 1980. Born into a New York family of art collectors and scientists, “Winitz inherited two things from his grandmother: a collection of great rugs and a love of art.” (Financial Times). His stated vision was, “to introduce fine families to antique carpets possessing equal or greater artistic magnitude to works of art usually displayed on the wall.”
Jan David and his wife, Christine Hunt Winitz have been East Bay residents for over four decades. Jan David Winitz is a graduate of University of California (Berkeley) where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts double degree in English and German language and literature in 1977 and a master’s degree in Education in 1978. Upon graduation, he became a high school English teacher for three years before opening Claremont Rug Company in 1980 with his future wife, Christine. Since the inception, Claremont Rug Company has very much been a local East Bay business which serves an international clientele of antique carpet collectors and connoisseurs.
See a 1000+ piece sampling of our current collection of antique art rugs.
CLICK HERE >>