Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My obsession...

My first trip to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey on temporary duty, I could not for the life of me understand the excitement about "going rug shopping." 

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I honestly just didn't get it. So when we got there, and headed out to the shops in Adana, I was ready to stop at the first store and be done with it, but my more experienced rug-buying friends, said "no." 

So on they dragged me down the street to Yellow Star Carpets where we were ushered into an "upper room."
Once upstairs, my eyes widened in amazement as I saw piles and piles of beautiful handmade wool and silk rugs with sales people ready and willing to make a deal. 

At the time, I was using a lot of American Indian art and wanted a geometric pattern with reds and blues.

I had never bought a real, handmade, wool rug before, so I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting. Luckily, I was with some very experienced rug buyers, so they helped me out not only with choosing a good rug, but also with negotiating a fair price.  I should also mention some of the people with me -- well-known musicians and managers, were buying rugs priced in the thousands...and more than one:-)

I found a gorgeous "Yahyali" Turkish rug, like the one above, and started to negotiate. After settling on $450 USD, I paid for it with a credit card, but I was still anxious about paying so much for a rug. The exchange rate is about 46 Lira to $1, so I almost panicked when I saw the receipt. They wrapped it carefully, and I personally carried it back through four more countries before reaching the U.S.  

I was so in love with it, that I bought another, bigger one the next year:-) This photo is from several years ago after we first moved into our house. This one has a little stronger red and was 7 x 11, which I got for around $550. 

I loved that rug, but *one* rule of decorating I just can't break is "an area rug must be large enough for at least the front feet of the furniture to sit on. " I personally just don't like a "floating" rug and the 7 x 11 size made this one float if I changed the furniture around. And I like to move the furniture around. A lot. 

So I discovered ebay and found that I could get an antique Persian rug for $250 or less:-) So I actually bought 3, sold two, and ended up with this huge 9 x 12 one I loved. I won one of them for $79, but it was kind of thread-bare. Go figure. 

It was wonderful while I was using red. But I had been using red since 1995.

So when I gradually migrated over to the blues and pinks, I sent it to consignment. Where it still sits. (I'll make a good deal to somebody:-)
Any whoooo....after I sold the brown leather furniture and brought back in the antiques, I needed something to make it all work together, so I got a creamy shag rug. I know--big difference.

But I started missing my Persian rug:-( So I started searching on ebay, craigslist, etc., only to find that I cannot afford one. Now, I have been blessed to work with some great companies as a blogger and have benefitted greatly...but not with a rug dealer. Or a countertop company. Oh well, a girl can dream. 

Here's what I'm dreaming about... antique wool Heriz. Wouldn't those colors work so well in my living room? This 8 x 11 was listed at $997 on ebay, but I noticed the company would list the same rug several times, some for "buy it now" and some for bidding starting very low, then remove them later so that sent up a red flag to me. One sold for around $500, and another for around $300/ 

As an alternative, Overstock has this beautiful wool 8 x 10 rug for $289, but I think the red is too red.

I like this wool rug which is listed at $337...still a bargain for a wool rug but not my *dream* rug. 

This $6,000 rug is a bargain on ebay at only $599...

This beautiful Tabriz is another ebay bargain at only $2,800.

I won this small persian for .99 last fall on ebay, so it kind of spoils a person. 

So I find myself dreaming about a trip to Turkey and a visit to Yellow Star Carpets for something like this...

...or this one. 


...then I wake up and realize my chances of going back to Turkey and affording this kind of rug are slim and none. 

But that's ok. A girl can dream:-) I guess the point is I'd rather have a creamy, shag rug than some sort of polypropylene imposter. 

But then I could always go back to red...

If you would like to dream, head over to Yellow Star Carpets and browse.

I'll be joining:

Treasure Hunt Thursday


  1. Rugs have gone up a lot over the last 10, um 20 years. Telling my age here, aren't I - oh well, who cares. But nevertheless rugs are expensive. I love.....going rug shopping and I love shopping for natural stone too, it is like an art museum. I could do it all day. I have the same sort of issue as you, although I don't intend on getting rid of my rugs as they weren't cheap and I really do love them, but they are all heavily red based and sometimes I want to do muted colors or even white, but what would I do with my precious rugs. I am grateful to have this little issue of mine.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

  2. They are all beautiful Anita! I have a few small outdoor rugs that suffice in front of doors and in the hallway. In our last house I had two large expensive wool rugs that I purchased before kids, but couldn't use them here as they were 80's colors of a minty green and mauve. I can't remember if I sold them at one of our garage sales or sent them off to a charity. Either way, I can't imagine spending that much on a rug now!

  3. I found my chenille living room rug, hand woven, from Capel at an estate sale last year for $30.00. It retailed for $1000.00. I love it and was fortunate to find it. I am on the shunt for two wool runners. Eventually you may run across what you want, keep looking.

    1. Olive, funny you would mention that, but I lost a beautiful antique craigslist rug this weekend that was $60. It sold over Sunday so we didn't have a chance to go look at it:-(

  4. Oh Anita, all the rugs are beautiful! I hope you find the rug of your dreams and for the RIGHT PRICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO

  5. While I loved hearing about your obsession (and here I thought it was dishes - LOL!), I couldn't take my eyes off the plaid throw over your baby grand. It looks amazing.

    - The Tablescaper

  6. I have wanted a large red rug for some time now and really have quit looking. I may run upon one at an estate sale priced to my liking. The last one was over $1200 at an estate sale

  7. Rugs are crazy in price. We lucked out twice now and kept them well under 1,000.but even with that being said, still a lot. Hope you find just the right one, I know you will!

  8. I hope you find your rug someday soon! My husband was over in Dubai during the first Gulf War (1991), and he went rug shopping while there with a Marine friend who spoke Arabic. They actually had to have dinner with the owner, so that the man could judge my husband's character, I guess, before Charles could buy us a few rugs. Charles was able to buy four. Two he gave to my mother-in-law and one to my parents. My brother now has the one that went to my mother and father, and we have the other three again.

    Love my little rugs and carpets, but only the wool 9 x 12 is large enough to put furniture all the way on. The pink silk is folded up in the garage as it tends to float all over the tile floor and, like you found, the furniture won't all sit on it, but the front feet will. It comes out once in a while but is hard to vacuum.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories!
    Barb Chapman
    Murrieta, CA

  9. Some flooring places have clearances this time of year...Keep your eyes open and look. My mom bought a 9X12 lovely wool rug for her living room that cost her about $200. The smaller version she bought for her dining area cost her nearly $1300. Same place. Difference: they ordered the smaller rug to match the larger one they already had in stock. I got an early birthday present that year of a runner with roosters on it for $42 that was reduced from $150 and picked up a matching door mat of it at a JCPenney clearance event for $14.

  10. When you least expect it you will find it! After you have spent endless time hunting and finally aren't really looking for it, surprise there it will be!

  11. You have a lovely blog, read your bio and listened to your music--it all speaks volumes. I sing in a 150 member choir in our church and love to lead others in worship. Hope you make that trip to Turkey and find the perfect rug.