Sowa-Neighborhood News

Thanksgiving Ready-Tables, Chairs and Accents for your Holiday Hosting

A Look Back at Mohr & McPherson’s History

Learn All About Handmade Rug Types & Terms in our Rug Glossary!

Faig Ahmed: Tradition Meets Progress with Azerbaijan Carpets

Feng Shui Decorating Steps for Beginners

Top Summer Design Trends & Styles

Backyard Nirvana: Personalizing Your Outdoor Space

Beni Ourain Rugs: Tribal Tradition, Mid Century Modern

Turquoise & Yellow: Trending Spring Colors

Home | 2014

Yearly Archives: 2014

Sowa-Neighborhood News

 Whats New? 

sowavintagebanner970_0

With all the hustle and bustle that Sowa Sundays cause around here, it can be easy to forget about the piles of other fun stuff to do in the sowa neighborhood. Although Sowa Sundays have ended for the season, the Sowa Vintage Market is open every Sunday, all year round. Located at 356 Albany Street, the Vintage Market offers 3 rooms of vintage Fashion, Jewelry and home furnishings. This place is seriously awesome. Another year-round event is Sowa’s Monthly First Friday’s, when you get to check out all the new area gallery exhibits and see what local artists are working on in their open studios. What could make these two events even better? Joining Forces of course. Starting in November, Sowa Vintage Market has opened during every First Friday from 6-9 pm. There will be treats provided by vendors, and special installations by South End designer Randy Kaufman.

 

Screen_Shot_2014-06-06_at_2.35.37_PMIMG_2243

 

 

 

 

Husband and wife Stephanie Pernice and John Warren are the founders and co-creators of the Vintage market. They are excited for this season’s holiday theme of “rustic luxe mod”, and all the talented vendors filling the market.

Third Thursdays are a new version of First Fridays, started by the artists at 46 Waltham Street. On the third Thursday of each month, the artists will be opening their studios to the public. This mid month treat is a great way to get out on a weeknight, sip wine, and view some art

  

Bean_LittleDancerVI_el
Little Dancer VI
Last month Lanoue Gallery of Newbury Street made the move to Harrison ave, and we are thrilled they have joined the neighborhood. Lanoue’s new gallery is four times the size of their Newbury St. space, and filled with exciting new exhibits. Lanoue is currently exhibiting works by Laura Schiff Bean until December 6th.

 

Donna-.SM_

You may have noticed something new outside of 500 Harrison Avenue. This looming, 13 feet tall sculpture is officially entitled “The monument to the First Female President of the USA” and also referred to as “The Mighty Lioness”.

This monument is dedicated to the artists dream that every little girl can one day become president of the United States. It is also an homage to the great American Sculptor Daniel Chester French, who created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Appropriately, in May 2015 the Lioness will be transported to Chester wood, the historic home of Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge, Ma. So make sure to check out this lady before she leaves us.

The artist of this piece is Donna Dodson. She is a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, located at 486 Harrison Ave. Donna has been carving images from wood for nearly 20 years. Her work deals with the relation of animals to the human spirit and explores feminine beauty with a style based in playfulness and also power and grace.

 

The artist of this piece is Donna Dodson. She is a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, located at 486 Harrison Ave. Donna has been carving images from wood for nearly 20 years. Her work deals with the relation of animals to the human spirit and explores feminine beauty with a style based in playfulness and also power and grace.

 

 Review

illuminus1

Illuminus, was the name of Boston’s first “Nuit Blanche” or “White Night”, an arts festival that began in Europe around 30 years ago. Illuminus happened on October 25th this year, spreading along Harrison Avenue, mainly in and around the brick barn usually used for parking. It was a celebration of digital, video, performance and public art, focusing on large scale light installations.

A highlight event was “Your Big Face” by New American Public Art. The piece was interactive and allowed viewers faces to be picked up by a camera and projected onto an eighteen foot screen, which hung ten feet off the ground on the side of a building.

illuminus2-150x150

“Digital art offers unprecedented opportunities to push the possible in the name of delight.” Franklin Einspruch.

Illuminus was absolutely a success, and an exciting event for the Sowa neighborhood, as well as Boston at large.

Click For more images from Illuminus click here

 

 

Whats Coming?

SHM

Since the end of Sowa Sunday’s, we are hurting for a good craft fair. This one comes right in time for your holiday shopping, and what a great excuse to spend some time in the city with friends and family.
“This year’s Holiday Market will feature the very best of New England’s independent designers, artists and crafters. From the fashionably chic to the hip and cutting edge, shoppers are sure to find an original gift for everyone on their list. Expect to find an exceptional array of indie goods, including: handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more! This handmade holiday spectacular will be held in the spacious and historic main building of the Benjamin Franklin Institute, located in the heart of Boston’s South End. Within walking distance to Boston’s best galleries, boutiques and international cuisine, the SoWa Holiday Market is at the center of Boston’s most diverse and exciting neighborhoods!”

Newenglandopenmarkets.com

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, 2014
Hours: Saturday 11AM-6PM, Sunday 11AM-5PM
Address: 41 Berkeley Street, Boston MA
Admission: $5, children under 12 free

 

 

 

ink-renderngs1

 

Building on History Ink Block” is the name of the project being developed on Harrison Avenue. Ink Block is expected to be a new hub of energy in the SOWA neighborhood, drawing street traffic with its shops and restaurants, including a flagship Whole Foods Market. Ink Block will also reinvent residential housing in this area of the south end, which was largely eliminated in 1959 to build the Boston Herald Traveler building.

Located above the street level retail and restaurant spaces will be 475 luxury residential units, spread across four buildings. The housing will be split into three sections: Ink 1, Ink 2 and Ink 3. Each section features a different point of view regarding style, layout, and amenities. The Project features private parking, a fitness center, multiple rooftop lounging areas, and a swimming pool.

For those of us already living or working in the neighborhood, the most exciting aspect of Ink Block is definitely the Whole foods. This whole Foods will be 50,000 square feet and will offer a larger than typical variety of prepared foods. The market will also undoubtedly draw shoppers who may not otherwise frequent the neighborhood. It is a welcome addition to the community and is expected to be opened before the opening of the living spaces, in early 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Ready-Tables, Chairs and Accents for your Holiday Hosting

tumblr_mc8si3gRD31rs5278o1_1280

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Family, friends, food and football. Thanksgiving is a time to relax, and appreciate the blessings in our lives, forgetting the stress of the daily grind. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner in your home however, this day of peace and gratitude can become very stressful! The last thing you want to worry about amidst the chaos of kitchen timers and relatives is table space. Every guest needs a seat, and each dish needs a place at the table to be displayed. Luckily, at Mohr & McPherson we are running out of space for all of our tables. Here are some of our favorite dining tables, coffee tables, buffets, centerpieces, and extra accents to help you entertain the people you are so grateful to have.

 

Dining Tables

tumblr_mvy7tnnf481sygafyo1_500
dining

038e572607de7516bb9ad9e430147bea
Industrial reclaimed wood dining table with cast iron base. This table top will add texture and color to your dinner conversation. There is something about eating at a rustic table that  enhances the appetite.

Style Idea:

42783__65017.1408900759.1280.1280

 

Add this matching Industrial reclaimed wood bench with cast iron to your Table for a perfect fit

 

 

0cd9cd41551f28f50fd31acbd386eb1d

 

Acacia dining table with cast iron base and built in seating that swings in and out.This style seats eight, ask about availability of four-seater.
This table is ingeniously convenient. Not only do you not have to provide chairs, the seats fold back in! Now you have extra space around the table for standing and talking with guests before and after dinner, perhaps for a dessert buffet.

 

 

 

e6dafcf5b8a896ba28a006f59f1148bba6b8c797eaeae94dfc140fb80016b836

Crank Table-Round iron dining table with industrial crank mechanism. Height adjusts from 28″ to 40″ high. 39.5″ diameter.
Evelyn Dining Table-Mango wood with splayed legs in Natural finish. 48w 48d 30h.

These round tables are great for a smaller party in a tight space. Sleek and sophisticated, nice and easy.

 

Style Idea:

b7ff89ebfed7775d287745b66196b3b0

Painted iron six candle stand. Add this to any table as a centerpiece, or a side table for some detail and mood lighting.

 

Chairs

 

 

chair collage

 

From Top Left:

Classic style dining chair, iron with blue painted finish
Alberta Wishbone Chairs. Classic Mid Century Modern with Alberta Fabric.
Beautiful wooden dining chair. Also great in a room setting.
Iron & leather dining chair with arms.

 

Sideboards

 

 

40335__18315.1407924596.1280.1280-1

Easton 2 section, 6 drawer buffet with an open hutch, multi colored mango wood drawers. Hutch is 12 deep and secured to buffet.This is a beautiful statement piece, which also serves as practical. Great for storing anything you may need to grab or stash somewhere quickly, as well as displaying photos, candles, ceramics, books, or anything you want to show off to your guests.

 

40341__85310.1407924369.1280.1280

Parker buffet with three drawers, two doors and bottom shelf. Brass ball handles. Mango wood, honey finish. AL:so available in a natural finish. Classic, simple and neutral, this buffet is great for storage, or a record player, while also supplying extra surface space for whatever you need to display.

39116__95208.1407924459.1280.1280Narrow mango wood console table with tapered legs, Natural finish.

 

 Extras

 

 

wine rack collage42487__53752.1407924601.1280.1280

 

 

 

From Top Left:

Iron rack with wood handle, holds ten wine bottles!
Square tray, made from steel with nickel plating.
Shesham coffee table with bright blue painted finish.
Painted iron coat rack with flourishes.

A Look Back at Mohr & McPherson’s History

Kevin-McPherson-Portrait-by-Jessica-WeiserKevin McPherson, owner of Mohr and McPherson, recalls his journey to building the store we know today. He also shares insights on design, eastern culture, and his passion for travel and discovery.

When did you first make the decision to start the company? What brought you to that decision?

In the early 80’s, I operated a small furniture retail business selling factory produced contemporary furnishings. In 1990, I was doing small renovations and general contracting with my business partner, John Mohr. I had the idea of returning to something related to home furnishings. 

This time around, I wanted to sell things that were hand crafted with some real provenance… something genuine & authentic. I felt that I had a calling in that realm and we decided to open a small shop in Cambridge. After each borrowing $5,000 on personal credit cards, John and I opened Mohr & McPherson’s doors on a shoestring budget in March 1991.

 

 

 

123

Photos from our original Cambridge location in 1991.

 

Did you start traveling in search of exotic furniture before you opened or after?

The original inventory was crafted by American artisans, and we acted as their agents. Most of our sales were custom items based on the samples we had in our shop.  After 2 years in that business, I bought out my partner and started traveling to the west coast. There, I purchased furniture from China, Indonesia, Japan and Morocco and had these items trucked to Cambridge. My interest in rugs from the rug producing countries also took shape after meeting two Afghan brothers in San Fransisco, who helped me establish a rug business. In 1995, we were doing enough business for me to make my first trip to Asia to buy a 40 ft sea container of goods to ship directly to the store.


Where were the previous store/s located?

The original store was on Concord Avenue in Cambridge. We also rented another location across the street that acted as our warehouse annex. We’ve lived a nomadic experience in the past 22 years, with locations in Charlestown, Alewife & Moulton St in Cambridge, and Arlington St, Boylston St & Dry Dock Ave in Boston, before consolidating at our current location at 460 Harrison Avenue in Boston.

460_harrison

460 Harrison Ave in Boston’s South End

 

What do you love about Eastern Design?

I was in love with the aeshetic From the moment I can first remember seeing asian design. It has always called out to me. The simple Japanese zen wabi sabi approach was the most interesting to me, but the over-the-top, highly ornate approach from India and China also caught my eye. I was also intrigued by the idea that these uncommon things came from the other side of the world.

What are your favorite materials used in Eastern Design?

Asian textiles are fascinating to me. I also love the wood carvings from Java, India and China. Ceramics from Japan, China and Vietnam are amazing. Rattan, bamboo and other materials from Thailand, Phillipines, Burma and China are great examples of the efficient use of simple local materials to produce durable lightweight furniture, baskets, etc.

What can a piece of furniture from the east add to a western home décor? 

A home decorated with only modern, machine-made goods lacks a human touch and can feel a little like an office environment. A hand-crafted rug, antique cabinet or tribal carving brings humanity back into the environment. 

Also, Asian color sense, especially in textiles, is different than the current western movement towards black, white and gray. It adds color where it is sorely needed.

If someone could add one Eastern item or piece of furniture to their home, what would it be? What about attitude/philosophy? Are there any cultural outlooks on homelife you have witnessed in your travels you think westerners should adopt?

Many modern home interiors look a little like a museum or a hospital. There is something calming about the lack of clutter and sense of order in the modernist aesthetic. What it lacks is any reference to the passing of time. It is frozen in the moment and does not allow for the patina that is a part of the natural process.  Modern homes and furnishing were not designed to show age well. 

The zen term wabi sabi (literally translated means humility and rust) is the zen acknowledgment that nothing is permanent, that all things age and deteriorate and that we must accept or even grow comfortable with this fact.  I believe that the eary modernists were inspired by the spare aesthetic of the Japanese zen aesthetic, but left out the important reference to the passing of time.

Mohr & McPherson Timeline:

    1991: Opened Mohr & McPherson in Cambridge

    1993: Started selling Asian pieces

    1994: Opened annex

    1995: Rented warehouse in Charlestown, Started traveling to Asia to buy

    1997: Opened on Arlington St, Boston, Moved warehouse to Seaport 

    1999: Opened 20,000 sq ft Moulton St warehouse in Cambridge

    2001: Opened Alewife location

    2004: Opened Boylson St location

    2008: Moved to 460 Harrison Ave

    2011: Opened warehouse at 460c Harrison Ave

Learn All About Handmade Rug Types & Terms in our Rug Glossary!

rugpano

We don’t mean to brag, but our rug gallery is one of the most unique in New England, and is absolutely stacked with a large and distinctive collection of only the most beautiful, handmade pieces. Bold, vibrant, understated, detailed, simplistic, and a great mix of both modern and traditional – we have got something for everyone’s taste. For me, the most interesting part of a visit to the rug gallery is all the incredible history behind each type of rug, and the huge level of detail and work that goes into the creation of every one. Touring the gallery with Callum McPherson will give you a first hand look into the amazing world of handmade carpets. You can learn about the origin of the rug, the techniques used to weave it, the history of the design style, and so much more. To prepare for our upcoming rug sale, we are creating several guides on how to purchase a rug for your home. Here is a glossary of terminology, important to know when viewing and purchasing. Check back soon for our free rug buying guide later this month!

Design and Technique Terms:

Abrash 
Difference in color throughout the rug. This comes from the variations of the wool used to weave the rug. When the wool is dyed before the rug is woven, the dye reflects differently based on the specific pile of wool it is used on. These variations in color give the rug a natural feel.

Flat Weave 
A type of rug, which is woven, rather than knotted. They are much flatter and thinner than knotted rugs because they do not have pile. This makes the rugs easier to transport, and they are therefore still utilized all over the world as wall tapestries, for prayer rugs, and as saddle pads. Many middle eastern countries still weave these by hand, while other rug manufacturers have switched to machinery and tools to produce rugs faster, which also makes the rugs less expensive than the hand woven ones. (note: Mohr & McPherson does not specialize in machine made rugs.)

Overdyed 
A recent technique developed to give rugs, an overall color and a more modern esthetic. Often this is done to salvage an old rug, which will have had undesirable colors or have become faded. The original color is stripped down to more of the natural base colors and the rug is saturated with one, vibrant color. By Dying over the original colors and designs, the rug becomes more fluid and flexible in style. It is easier to add a rug to a room when it is one color, rather than multi colored and heavily patterned, such as the traditional Eastern rugs that were popular in the west in the early to mid 20th century. Now people are looking for less design, which can make a bolder statement, while still remaining simple. The original markings of the rug can still be detected beneath the dye, giving it a rustic quality, and creating nuances and variations within the solid color.

Pile Weave 
A type of rug which is knotted rather than woven on a loom. It consists of three layers- the base threads, normally made of cotton which, are the foundation, a woven layer that acts as a cushion, and the final layer, which is the ends of each individual knot after being cut and is called the pile of a rug. You can run your hand over the top layer of this rug, and the pile will brush back and forth. This is where sheen may come into play.

Sheen 
When buying a rug, you may be looking for one with a certain level of sheen. When walking around the perimeter of the rug, you will observe that the light picks up certain colors more brightly from different angles, and the shadow of each thread makes it appear darker. This is based on the direction the knots were tied in, in relation to the angle you are looking from. If the brightness and depth of the colors does not change with your position, the rug does not have a high level of sheen. This is a result of both the quality of wool or silk used in the rug and the washing process done before use.. Silk rugs will also always have a much higher level of sheen than wool. This element is relevant when purchasing a pile rug, but will not be a concern with a flat weave rug.

Styles of Rugs:

Beni Ourain (Thick Pile) 
This style of rug is named after the Beni Ourain tribe in Morocco, which is made up of 17 different Berber tribes within the Atlas Mountains. This tribe is known for their plush, soft, cream-colored rugs, with black or brown stripes, usually in diagonal, intersecting patterns. The rugs are made from sheep wool. The vintage Beni Ourain rugs are neautral in color and abstract in design, which is perfect for the modern décor styles of today. They are versatile, and low in price. During the birth of modern design in the 20th century, these rugs were used by many famous designers, and are therefore linked with classic modern style. The vintage ones were not massed produced originally, and no two are alike. Now they are extremely popular and made in several different countries.

 

Indian Dhurrie (Flatweave)
This style of flatweave is almost always made from tightly woven cotton, which gives it a light feel and makes for the perfect rug in a light room. The colors used in an Indian Dhurrie are often brighter pastel colors and look very current when coupled with their traditional geometric patterns.

Khotan (Pile)
These are similar to the Mamluks, but less geometrical. The designs, while also based often around a center diamond shape, are more flowery and delicate than the framework of the Mamluk.

Kilim (Flatweave) (Persia, Turkey, Balkans and Eastern Europe) 
This style dates back to the 5th century. and is a flat weave with no pile. The patterns are based in a geometric style, often featuring medallions, diamonds, and the famous Mahi (Herati) design which is a diamond medallion with a small fish through in. Unlike the Mamluk, the rug is not always focused on one, large and central diamond. The pattern may be free form and repeating. The more modern versions of the Kilim sometimes in cooperate turquoise, and purple with the traditional reds, green, blue and white. The boldness and geometric quality of the patterns have also become more strong and distinct with modern times. Rug collectors often start with Kilims, because they are cheaper than Pile rugs. It is sometimes thought that because Kilims tend to be less expensive that they are also less substantial in quality or status. This is not true, and Kilims have become increasingly popular in recent years. The lower price was originally based on the Kilims being produced for indigenous use, instead of on a commercial level. Kilims gained popularity when collectors started to value authentic village weavings.

Mamluk (Pile)
This is a type of rug based in traditional style, always featuring a large, central diamond. These are similar to the traditional Eastern rugs you might see in your grandmother’s house, especially in the framework. However, the Mamluk’s style is much more geometrically based. These rugs are currently very desirable, as they provide both traditional and modern style.

Oushak (Pile)
Traditionally from Turkey-the Oushak is a style of rug which has found recent popularity due to it’s subdued light or earthy tones. Another distinction comes in their unique style of weave where the sides of the knots are visible, so each rug has a unique feel. Their designs often include either central medallions, representative of designs used on Ottoman Manuscripts, or the “Star Ushak”. The patterns are often a combination of geometric and floral motifs, mixed together. The colors are distinctive and tend to include a variety of orange shades, reds, maroons and blues in the background. The motif colors are usually greens, blues, ivory, black and yellow. The colors often look faded, giving this style of rug has an incredibly rustic, and aged feel.

Patchwork (Pile)
Patchwork rugs have very recently become a popular reuse of rugs which may have been damaged or tattered. These rugs are given a new life by being repurposed as a very rustic looking collection of different patterns (often overdyed) and stitched together. Patchworked rugs will give any room a great splash of color while preserving the legacy and authentic feel of an antique hand made rug. Although these rugs are made from what were originally pile rugs, they often have very little of the pile left which is what gives them an antique look and feel.


Sari Silk
The same silk that goes into a traditional Indian sari has recently been used to effectively take beautiful traditional patterns and bring them to life. Not only do they have the extremely high level of sheen that is found in a silk rug but they also have a vibrant color scheme that will make you forget everything you just learned about rugs!

Traditional Oriental/Persian Rug
These rugs always have a border, and typically are centered on a large, central design, such as a medallion or diamond. They are heavily designed and pattered, and tend to have a somewhat muted color palette compared to the vibrant colors used in modern overdye. These rugs are based in structure and form.

Click here to view our extensive online inventory, or stop in our Boston Showroom or Rug Gallery to view our rugs in person!

Faig Ahmed: Tradition Meets Progress with Azerbaijan Carpets

01-Faig-Ahmed-700x422

Faig Ahmed is an artist based in Baku, Azerbaijan. Using a mixed media approach and knowledge of traditional carpet weaving, he reworks the conventional structure of the rug by disassembling the threads and rearranging them. Ahmed superimposes digital imagery into the rug design which often creates optical illusion. He also uses geometric forms to transform the carpets into chic sculptures. Ahmed is not only creating new boundaries with his modern transformation of traditional art, he is creating a visual marriage of past, present and future, where contrasting aesthetics are crashed together and harmonize boldly, making something new. Many people view Ahmed’s work as a representation of the social and political change occurring throughout the East.

“Tradition is the main factor creating the society as a self-regulated system. Changes in the non-written rule happen under influence of global modern culture.” Faig Ahmed.

Faig-Ahmed-Foliocue-Art-460

About Faig Ahmed
– Ahmed graduated from the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku in 2004 and works with various media including painting, video and installation.
– Most recently, he has been studying the history and aesthetic of traditional Azerbaijani carpets so he may reinterpret this cultural symbol with contemporary relevance.
– Ahmed superimposes digital patterns onto traditional compositions to create works with bold optical illusions and he applies these forms to sculptures and 2-dimensional works.

– He has been included in exhibitions at Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury in London, the 52nd Venice Biennale Pavilion representing Azerbaijan and The Islamic Art Festival in Sharjah, UAE.

faig_ahmed_beautiful_decay_04-565x261
Sculpture

“His works take what has traditionally been a two-dimensional craft and gives it new life in the third-dimension – stretching elements of his fiber based work into space, and transforming it into far more than a floor covering. Even though they are real, and made with traditional techniques, other examples of his work stretch traditional patterns horizontally, giving his flat pieces the look of digital reworking.” From Faig Ahmed’s Website

equalizer-1000x500-1-1

“The eastern culture is so very rich and saccharine. Putting the pieces of the carpet into the smooth as if a part of a car or of a glamorous and functional shape, I’m fashioning the carpet into a different meaning, a secondary one. It as if starts being an inner part of this minimalist form, gaining volume at the same time. As if all of the ornaments of the carpet acquire a prolongation inside the carpet.” Faig Ahmed

FAIG-AHMED1

“The carpet is a symbol of invincible tradition of the East, it’s a visualization of an undestroyable icon. In my art I see the culture differently. This is more of expectation of a reaction because it’s exactly the change of the points of view that changes the world.” Faig Ahmed

10-Faig-Ahmed-700x465
History of Azerbaijan Carpet Weaving
Azerbaijan has been well-known as an authority and center for arts and crafts since Ancient times. Archeological digs of this territory have discovered signs of highly developed agriculture, stock raising, metal working and ceramics, as well as carpet-weaving that date as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. Carpet weaving tools from the 4th and 3rd millenniums BC were discovered during the Gultapin excavations. Herodotus, Claudius Elian, Xenophont and other ancient historians all mentioned Azerbaijan carpets having spread by the time of the Bronze Age. During the Sassanid Dynasty (3rd-7th centuries) carpets made from gold, silver and silk threads and decorated with jewels began to appear and were greatly celebrated. In the 13th-14th centuries, Azerbaijan exported huge numbers of carpets to other countries.
Different occasions call for different carpets; Wedding ceremonies, birthing, medical treatment, mourning rituals, and prayer. Girls sit on special carpets to tell fortunes and sing traditional songs during the New Year Celebration. Carpet weaving in Southern and Northern Azerbaijan has been influenced by the many changes the territory has undergone, such as changes in religions, tribal cultures, and political states. The designs used in the carpets and the way they are applied reflect the daily life and customs of the communities who produce them. This is fitting because the carpet weaving originated in rural huts. Over time, the tradition and craft came to be amongst the most celebrated and important of the arts. The heads of state gave high value to the art of carpet weaving, and glorified the most talented weavers, as did the great poets. The carpet history is typically divided into the following four main periods:

• I – the early stage of the carpet development. The carpet ware is very simple, without any motifs and patterns. The first palas and djedjims appear.
• II – introduction of the kilim weaving practice by the intricate threading technique.
• III – weaving of shadda, verni, sumakh, zili. The period of simple and complex whipping techniques.
• IV – introduction of the knotted pile weaving. Both from the technical and artistic standpoints this stage can be considered the acme of the carpet making.

Azerbaijani carpets are divided into two general groups: pile and pileless. Within each group there are subdivisions and different styles of rug. The pileless category is associated with the early period of weaving and there are 8 main types: Palas, Dzhejim, lady, kilim, shedde, verni, zili, sumakh. These rugs are classified based on color, richness, composite structure and weaving style. Quba School, Baku or Absheron School, Shirvan School, Ganja School, Gazakh School, Karabakh School. These are the 7 different weaving schools is Azerbaijan. They are separated based on patterns, composition and technique.

Feng Shui Decorating Steps for Beginners

vieques3-1

Feng Shui translates to “wind and water” which equals health, peace and prosperity in the Chinese philosophy. It is an ancient art form and science which is believed to balance both emotional and physical energy. The goal of Feng Shui within interior design is to balance the positive and negative energies within your space as well as within yourself. This will bring harmony of the senses, tranquility and well-being.

It is a common misconception that Feng Shui decorating means creating a completely “Zen” environment. Decorating with Feng Shui actually means that you are catering your decor to support the best energy for whatever activities are intended to occur in a specific room or area. Following basic Feng Shui principles will help you to achieve a desired energy.

Chi means energy. In order to have good energy or “Seng chi”, the energy needs to flow through the home freely without being blocked. If the energy is stagnant or blocked it is bad, or “Si& Sha Chi”.

tumblr_n1jmn8dFGr1s8jpzpo1_500

Feng Shui looks at a house as one, complete being. You may have some rooms that have great energy, but other rooms that are out of control, or just confused and stuck. Many people tend to ignore these disaster areas by shutting the door, or they purposefully put things in the messy room when they don’t know what else to do with it, in order to keep the nice rooms clean. These spaces are like when children are told to clean their rooms and instead of actually cleaning they just shove all their belongings under the bed or into a closet. From a Feng Shui perspective, the messy room being ignored is affecting the energy of the entire house, and therefore the energy of the good rooms.

Though the principles of Feng Shui are extensive and complex, there are simple ways beginners can approach living in a more Feng Shui environment. Start by identifying problem areas, and make a plan for your house. Figure out what needs to change, and define the steps necessary for those changes to happen. Then just be persistent.

6 Feng Shui Decorating Steps

Step 1.Clear Clutter

In order to create good chi, you first must get rid of the old energy.If an area of your home has stuck energy, an area of your life will eventually become stuck. Clean out your garage, reorganize your storage areas. You want the goal to always be free-flowing space.

Step 2. Good quality air and light

A clutter free space with tons of natural light and clean air is like the canvas on which you will paint your Feng Shui masterpiece. These basics are necessary and without them, Feng Shui will only go so far.Lighting can also be used to alter the mood of any space. Light is the strongest manifestation of energy and as humans it is our number one nutrient. The harmful effects of fluorescent lighting on human behavior and the deficiency of sunlight or “Malillumination” according to light researcher Dr. John Ott, are widely documented. Lack of quality light can decrease your overall health, ability to learn and effect your behavior. Try to have at least three separate sources of light in every room.

PYD_CHN_026__23088.1386110480.1280.1280

Step 3. Define your Bagua

bagua

The Bagua is the energy map of your space that determines which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. Bagua translates to “8 areas” because in ancient times people deemed that there are 8 areas of  life that are important for well being and health. Each area of your home is connected to a specific area of your life. Therefore by changing your home you can change your life.

You can use the bagua as a guide to tell you everything from how to arrange furniture to how to choose colors.

There is the Classical or Traditional Feng Shui school Bagua, and there is the BTB Western school Bagua. It is best to not use both in the same home.

Step 4. Choose Colors

Every color fits into one of the 5 Feng Shui elements.

Fire-Passion and High Energy
Colors-Red, Orange, Purple, Pink, Strong Yellow
Fire is the strongest Feng Shui element in South Bagua of your home. It can also be used in Northeast and Southwest Feng Shui areas.

Earth–Nourishment and Stability
Colors- Light Yellow, Beige/taupe, Earthy/sandy colors
This element is needed to promote inner balance and health, as well as protection of relationships.

Water-Ease and Abundance
Colors-Blue, Black
Water is the ancient symbol for abundance and a Fung Shui cure for wealth. This element brings energy of freshness, purity, and calm.
The north, east and south east bagua areas benefit from a strong water element.

Wood-Vitality and Growth
Colors-Brown, Green
This element is healing and promotes vibrancy, strong growth, as well as abundance. Wood is the main element ion south and southeast Bagua areas.

Metal-Preciseness and Clarity
Colors Gray, White
Metal is the dominant Feng Shui element of west and northwest bagua areas, and the north bagua also benefits. This presence promotes calm, precise, light and focused energy.

Step 5. Choose items

Define specific items that will add to the  Chi of your home. Feng Shui holds to the belief that energy is improved when living things are present. An easy way to achieve this is by incorporating plants, bonsai trees, flowers, fish and of course pets. A fountain is a great way to add water, a symbol of abundance. Selecting natural materials such as wood, stone and metals is another way to stick to the organic nature of Feng Shui.

Some examples of classic Feng Shui items are:
Fountains, Mirrors, Lucky Bamboo as a health cure, Images or statues of Buddha for harmony and spiritual growth.

42236__18800.1394821826.451.416

Step 6.Positioning

Understand how and where to position your decorating items and furniture to create the best energy for the space. Focus on the big picture, but also be able to zoom in on each specific area.Match elements to your map, or Bagua. If you want to put a fountain in your home, which is a water element, you need to put it in the Bagua areas that benefit from water, such as North, East and Southeast areas of your home.

Fun Fact: Elephants are part of Feng Shui!

42364__11304.1399910375.1280.1280

The elephant is associated with Buddha and Ganesh, who is an Indian deity. The elephant symbolizes Power, wisdom, strength, protection of the home, fertility and good luck and because of this elephants are often used in Feng Shui. Here are some of the areas an elephant symbol can be useful in.

Protection– To prevent the loss of Chi from the home, place an elephant facing outward.

Bringing Good luck– Place an elephant facing inwards, to draw good luck and blessings into the home.

Love and Fidelity– Place a pair of elephants in the bedroom to promote love within a relationship.

Fertility-Place an elephant beside the bed, or one elephant on each side of the bed.

Mother and Child-Place a statue of a mother and baby elephant in your living area or children’s room to strengthen the bond with your children.

Work- Place an elephant near the front door to attract power and protect the office from bad energy.

Management– Place an elephant on your work desk facing out. This represents caution, poise and strong leadership.

Good thing we have so many elephants around here!

collage-1

Top Summer Design Trends & Styles

Lets discuss some of the hottest trends for Summer 2014. These styles have exploded across the design world and are all likely to stick around for a while. The best part about these looks is that while they are super modern, they are also rooted in classic style and can be worked into the most simple décor, as well as an avant-garde abode.

Honey Toned Wood

picture-3

This mega trend is a refreshing switch from the darker, espresso hued woods that have reined for several seasons. Paired with white and neutral finishes, honey toned wood can really lighten things up and make a small space seem larger. The honey toned wood trend is also reflective of some of the major design themes of the moment such as “back to nature” and “rustic simplicity”.

bathroom-wood

“I am excited about the come back of honey wood tones because I think they are easy to maintain and incorporate well into any interior. A medium tone wood is always in style, and mixes easily with other woods.”  – DeidreInteriors.com

At Mohr & McPherson 

honey_wood_collage

Ryder Bedside Chest,  Avery Mini Honey,  Honey/Alberta Taylor Chair

 

Exposed Nail Heads

silver-leather-nailheads

This is a versatile and widespread trend that actually dates back to 17th century France and 19th Century England. During these times, furniture was often embellished with nail head or rivet trim as a decorative way to secure materials. Today, this trend can be used to enhance traditional style or to bring a piece in the total opposite direction by making it urban and edgy, depending on the application.

Here are some ideas for getting this trend right.

Pay Attention to Detail:

*The spacing between nail heads in relation to the size of the furniture is important.

*If it fits your budget, always choose metal individual nail heads rather than plastic.

*For a rustic look, nail head trim looks great with textured materials.

At Mohr & McPherson 

 

nailhead_collage

Gallant Loveseat (Cisco Brothers),  Rustic Whiskey Tub Chair
Crescent loveseat (Cisco Brothers),  Smoke Armchair

 

Nature/Mixing of Indoor and Outdoor/Layering of Textures

outdoors-indoors-660x613-1

 This concept never goes out of style, but it has become increasingly popular in the last few years, probably because of the global focus on being healthier and more economically responsible. A simple way to incorporate this trend into your design scheme is to focus on tones, textures and colors. Go for wood surfaces and use natural materials such as exposed brick, stone, bamboo, etc. Live Edge furniture and upholstery that mimics natural surfaces such as moss make great statement pieces. Natural light is also a sneaky way to open up a space and bring the outdoors inside.

At Mohr & McPherson  

outside_collage

banyonLive Edge ConsoleBanyan Vine Sculpture, Mangosteen Coat Rack,  Tribeca Loveseat (Cisco Brothers)

  Continue reading

Backyard Nirvana: Personalizing Your Outdoor Space

So, its officially time to be outside. What are you going to be doing while you’re out there? Gardening? Yoga? Hanging out with your dog? Hosting the most beautiful, ridiculous garden party of all time with perfect, vegan hors d’oeuvres, hanging lanterns and a live string quartet? How about lounging? I think it’s safe to say that everyones outdoor summer priority is relaxing in the sun, or the shade with a cold drink, a good book or just the pleasent buzzing of your own thoughts.

Where are all of these activities going to take place? Designing a personalized, outdoor haven is a really fun way to be creative while getting that Vitamin D. Whether you have a patio or front porch that just needs some sprucing up or you are looking to renovate your entire backyard, we have ideas for you. We’ve collected some inspiring outdoor displays and come up with our favorite pieces at Mohr & McPherson to fit each look.

Inspiration

mid_century

 It’s hard to go wrong with Mid Century Modern. When you blend these classic silhouettes with unexpected materials such as our patio chair below, the look becomes modern and edgy, while still rooted in classic appeal.

Our Version

modern_patio_collage-1

Iron Round Coffee Table, Patio Chair,Stone GaneshIron Tray Table


Inspiration

dcad4d7088e38f0b5e38f20c617c5828

This look conjurs thoughts of exotic birds, and you can almost hear them singing as you sip iced green tea. Teak wood is an excellent material for outdoor furniture because it has a high resistance to the elements but also has a sleek appearance. Add bursts of color and delicate, decorative detail to lighten up an arrangement of dark furniture.

Our Version 

frame_goth

 lotus_frame

Teak Bench made from Camel CartMetal Basket LampIron and Teak Bench, Iron Chair, Lotus Plate, Folding Screen


Inspiration

8757e24c0d0d1190326083feb262e9d1

Everything Zen around here. This look promotes total tranquility, and a blissful escape from daily life. Key elements to include are Buddhas, lots of greenery, honey toned wood and twinkling lights.


Our Version

framed_buddah

Inspiration

7778053ac495be0d04ba8c124cf6fd10

This look is based in simplicity. To add exotic or modern elements to a cottage vibe, look for geometric shapes in light colors like this amazing coffee table below. Blend statement pieces with rustic materials such as wicker and unfinished wood.

Our Version

geo_pair_frame

 wicker_lantern_frame

Dining ChairCoffee TableSteel & Glass Lantern, Antique Elm Door, Rattan 2 Seat Chair

Inspiration 

73e9df9b8f119f9a41bbfa8c01f7acf7

If you get excited about lots of candles, lace, and delicate, shabby chic furniture, this romantic setting is for you. You can make this style Mohr & McPherson by adding eastern pieces, which can actually enhance the ethereal nature of this scene. Think delicate iron and whimsical shapes.

Our Version

etherial2-1_frame

banyan_frame

Dining Chair, Candle Stand, Iron DaybedIndian CarvingBanyan Vine Sculpture

Beni Ourain Rugs: Tribal Tradition, Mid Century Modern

rugs

These incredibly soft and luxurious rugs are all the rage right now in modern design. In fact, they are in higher demand than ever due to a variety of different cultural factors. Beni Ourains are admired and sought after by designers and the masses alike. So what’s all the fuss about? What is a Beni Ourain rug, and what makes it so special?

Origins
The Beni Ourain are a group of Berber people from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco that is actually made up of 17 different tribes. They are traditionally shepherds and goat herders who move their herds from one grazing land to the next, high within the mountains. Although these tribes all produce rugs which are similar and known as Beni Ourains, there are subtle differences in design elements and colors – all natural dyes or no dye at all. A big factor when it comes to the quality of these rugs is the superior wool produced by the sheep in this region.

berber-tottoos-morocco-300x300

The Beni Ourain rugs are hand-woven by women and the skill and knowledge is passed from mother to daughter. The design elements used in the rugs are reflective of the weavers real life. Traditionally, the rugs record regular life events and represent major themes such as birth, fertility, nature, femininity, rural life and religious beliefs. Some people who weave the rugs believe the rugs themselves are barriers against evil spirits so they purposefully include lucky charm symbolism and tribal ceremonial symbolism. The detail and design of the rug is also used to tell the story of tribal ancestors or the life of the weaver combined with tribe superstitions which are a strong aspect of culture in these rural regions.

Morocco_MouhouBoussine

edit_

6.9″ x 9.7″ Moroccan style


Patterns
Patterns usually consist of brown and black lines or abstract shapes against a white or cream background. Other designs are the Ancient Berber alphabet, geometric designs similar to Navajo-Native American patterns. Most do not have a border. Some have fringe and others not, some have fringe on one side only. The rugs tend to last a lifetime or more.

Vintage-Moroccan-Rug-45302-HR-763x1024


Production
Though they are typically used as and known to be rugs, Beni Ourains were traditionally produced to be blankets or bedspreads and not floor coverings. Their loose structure is meant to conform to the body. They have thick, soft pile which is deep or shallow according to the purpose. Knots are tied in a very specific way. The rugs are woven without any pattern or diagram to follow, which is why they are all unique.

The originals were not mass-produced and no two are alike. Many of the new Beni Ourain rugs are not made in Morocco but they are referred to as “Moroccan style” rugs because they were created to mimic the original Beni Ourains. The older carpets however are softer and more detailed and varied in design. The “real” beni ourains were never made larger than 7 feet. A Beni Ourain larger than 7′ is most likely a reproduction, not made in Morocco and not old.

rkp37246__50855.1387568117.1280.12807.9″ x 9.6″ Moroccan style

Rise to fame
The Beni Ourain rugs were used by the most renowned mid-century modern designers such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ame Jacobsen, Alvar Allto, Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames. Shag carpets were extremely popular during this time, and the Beni Ourains were a step up from the average shag because of their sophisticated nature. History and cultural developments have made Beni Ourains so popular.

“It is a fascinating set of historical and cultural developments that have made Moroccan rugs as popular as they are today. The Beni Ourain – with a penchant for abstract symbolism and geometry as well as a steady supply of fine grade wool – happened to be weaving rugs and carpets that would be perfectly suited to the design aesthetics of the Western World in the decades following the end of the Second World War. Moroccan rugs by the Beni Ourain remain among the most desirable pieces today, and are sought after the world over, both by experts in antique Oriental rugs and everyday people who appreciate the lasting artistic value of such rugs.” Ubrandsbag

e76b0b716e8290d90f680fa0993ef532

A photo of an authentic Beni Ourain in the home of Frank Lloyd Wright

Turquoise & Yellow: Trending Spring Colors

RUGS
Patchwork Overdye Turquoise                                       Patchwork Overdye Yellow

Spring is here, and not a moment too soon! So while packing away your wool blankets, make sure to replace them with lots of bright, cheerful colors. This season is all about Turquoise and Yellow, our favorite trending spring colors. These two colors are super on trend for spring and have been popping up in a range of hues all over the runways, magazines and design blogs. It just so happens that these are some of our favorite colors and we are so prepared for this trend. Check out some of our best examples below, and don’t forget to stop by our Pinterest too for even more favorites and trends!

Turquoise / Aquamarine / Sea Green / Teal
542px-Turquoise.pebble.700pix
turquoise_hutch_collage
FINAL_BLUE_BEAD_LIGHT_

Clockwise from left: Teak Bookcase  /  Teak Desk  /  Sideboard

 

Yellow / Lemon / Butter / Gold
Sunflower
YELLOW_LIGHT_2
42269__28098.1394821898.1280.1280YELLOW_STUFF
yellow_bench_-1